Chris and I went camping this weekend, at Newaygo State Park along the Muskegon River. The park is small, about 100 sites and rustic. We made our reservation on-line which is a cool feature as you can see the site map and pick a specific location. What is not so cool is that the map isn’t completely accurate and they charge $8 for a reservation fee. We picked a site far from the playground and the bathroom, we thought. As it turns out the pit (oh, vault is the fancy name for that now) toilet was directly across from our site. They must pump then on Thursday or Friday because it wasn’t too bad when we arrived but was pretty stinky by Saturday night. Before we left on Sunday, we drove around the camping area to note the better sites, for next time.
This being a camping trip, of course we had foods cooked over the campfire. On Friday morning, Chris picked up some turkey tenderloin and put it in a caribbean jerk marinade so we made kabobs for Friday night. They were good but this turkey was really hard to cook. Our fire got hot enough to turn the grate red hot but these things were still raw in the middle after 20 minutes! Saturday night we had sausages plus potato salad picked up at a local grocery store.
S’mores were dessert both Friday and Saturday night. I found the perfect stick for marshmallow toasting and I’m quite upset that I forgot to bring it with us! Hopefully the next person to stay at site #6 will find a good use for it.
During the day on Saturday, we explored the area including the towns of Newaygo and Fremont. Or rather we tried to go to Fremont. They are supposed to have a nice Farmer’s Market there and I thought we could get provisions for Saturday night dinner. Between road construction and the National Baby Food Festival we couldn’t get anywhere near downtown. Fremont is the home of Gerber Baby Food and they sponser an incredibly large parade during the festival. A parade which happened to be starting at exactly the time we arrived in town. That was kind of a frustrating trip.
We found a few things to covet at an Sports Outfitter store in Newaygo- kayaks, a cool Tilley hat for me some more camping equipment- but left without spending any money. Later, we did pick up one of these:
I can’t wait to use it next time- just like Girl Scout days!
Sunday morning, out of firewood and not much to eat for breakfast anyway, we went in to the “town” of Croton and dined at Rio Cafe. We drove past this place earlier in the weekend and couldn’t help but notice the large “BREAKFAST 8 AM- 11 AM” sign. On the way there on Sunday, we learned that the American Legion also has a breakfast buffet on the weekends but I pushed Chris to at least check this place out first.
Okay, they serve Pepsi products so that was a strike against them. The cafe is small, maybe 6-7 booths plus two pub tables. From the sounds of it, they do a pretty good take-out service though. And during lunch/dinner, they also operate an ice cream store serving Hudsonville Ice Cream, like pretty much every ice cream stand in the area. Since it was breakfast time, we skipped the ice cream. The restaurant has a selection of traditional breakfast items including eggs, toast, pancakes and so forth. They also have a few breakfast burritos and specials. Sunday’s specials including pecan pancakes and a skillet dish that Chris chose. It was potatoes, eggs, peppers and mushrooms topped with cheese and served on a fajita platter. He tells me (today) that it wasn’t particularly exciting. I had a breakfast burrito with bacon, eggs and cheese. It was huge and cheap- our total bill was $13 and that included a glass of fresh oj. I would have liked the bacon a little crispier but I still managed to eat half the burrito. It cam with homefries and those I had to push away because I would have eaten every last one of them and then been overly stuffed later. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, these were ideal homefries.
Address: 7641 S. Croton Hardy Drive, Newaygo, MI (actually in Croton); 231-652-5977
Hours: Sun-Thu: 8AM-8PM; Fri-Sat: 8AM-10PM
No credit cards; non-smoking
No food photos but here is a shot of the Muskegon River from atop the Hardy Dam: