Off-the-Beaten-Track in Freesoil, Michigan (and a lesson about mail forwarding)

{Dates of visit: Aug 12-19, 2013}

Looking back I believe it was our next stop, Farmview Resort in Free Soil, Michigan that we learned how valuable and indispensable the website (and app) Allstays is for RVers. Michigan is a bustling place in the summer and staying along the coast of Lake Michigan can provide a lot of sticker-shock when looking for campgrounds. Not only that, but you might find most of the State Parks are full if you fail to preplan in the high-season. Thanks to Allstays, we found a beautiful place to park the Mutiny for a week while we relaxed, fished, did a lot of yoga and scheduled a mail drop.

Can you spt the Mutiny across the pond?
Farmview is just off of highway 31 and, as it's name implies, offers a view of the farm just across the highway. It's looks like it was once a serene pasture on rolling hills with a small pond which is home to a flock of somewhat tame ducks.

They'd go around from RV to RV looking for scraps every evening.
Our site.
The Big White Barn and farm in the distance.
Clark enjoying his floaty fishing thingy.
Yep, it was THAT beautiful.
I have to warn you, there isn't much going on the Free Soil area...and with a population of about 145 people you can't expect much. What I didn't realize it that the Post Office in Free Soil doesn't hold regular business hours. As a matter of fact, they are only open Monday through Friday from 12:30pm - 3:30pm. Yes, you read the right...three hours per day. Since this really is a one horse town, the mail actually goes to the village of Fountain where it will stay until someone feels like bringing it over to Free Soil for distribution. What that boiled down to for us was a panicked trip (the morning we were supposed to leave) to Fountain's Post Office to pick up our General Delivery mail in the hopes that it wasn't in the back of someone's pickup truck on it's way to the Free Soil Post Office.

Lesson learned: check the size of the town's post office (and it's window hours) prior to scheduling a delivery, even if they offer General Delivery services.

But it's only about 10-15 miles to Ludington and Manistee, two resort type towns right on the shores of Lake Michigan, with restaurants, shops and lighthouses.

Ludington North Breakwater Light (not really a lighthouse since it never had a keeper's house attached) was built in 1871.
Generally, I do a yoga pose where ever there's a cool backdrop. =)
Touring the lighthouse offers a great way to test your fear of heights AND capture some amazing portraits (adding this to the portfolio).
 As I stated in the last post, we were already burned out on the whole shopping, eating out, happy hour routines that are popular along the resort towns on the shores of Lake Michigan. Don't get us wrong, we love a good cocktail and spending time at local bars to get the feel of a place, but we were more than happy to stay in the "middle of nowhere" and not feel the pressures of our consumer-centric culture. We ate every meal at home, spent a ton of time reading and really unplugging. Looking back through my pictures I see that I also did a LOT of yoga...more than half the photos are yoga poses!

Over the weekend we were treated to a wedding which were held right on the grounds across from our RV. With all of the Weeping Willows and cattails it was a beautiful backdrop for the ceremony. The reception was held in the Big White Barn, something the farm is known for...every weekend during the summer the barn is booked for weddings, retirement parties, family reunions, class reunions and corporate events.

The Bride and Bride's Maids arriving by trolley (Clark was fishing, of course).

Peaceful evenings and lovely sunsets.

Although uneventful, it was a great stop for some true R&R. The farm is gorgeous, the prices reasonable and we were never hassled by the neighbors or owners. I would definitely stay here again...but I'd do a mail drop somewhere else. =)

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