We've spent 12 fun days in Michigan hanging out with family, but it's starting to get cold and it's time for us to start migrating south. We picked up the RV from where it's been parked for the past few days and hit the road.
We'll be taking a few days to finally get down to Florida.
Our first stop is Wilmington RV on the south side of Ohio.
It was sad leaving Michigan, but we're excited for the next part of our journey!
Only 3.5 hours today, and look, we're already in Ohio!
The rest stops are a good chance to get out and stretch our legs. Alli you can't ride up there!
Here's our stop for the next 3 days. Wilmington RV, part of the Thousand Trails collection. We'll be checking out on the 22nd, and the whole campground closes on the 25th!
Theresa ran inside to check in while we waited outside.
There's a few different sites we could choose, but I always like the ones on the end. It might be a little more trafficked, but you don't have another RV blocking your view. The Mini Golf is just across the street. While Theresa and I got the RV set up, the kids took their clubs over to practice.
Theresa and I joined the kids on the golf course. It's only got 9 holes and those 9 holes are pretty rough. The "greens" are more like cement. The ball rolls quite fast and any time there is a slope, the ball keeps rolling.
Theresa destroyed everyone today, with me coming in second. Ian and Alli were neck and neck and it all came down to the final hole. Ian went first and got a 5. Alli played it safe, just getting it closer and closer to the hole, until she finally sunk it in 4. Third place for Alli!
We don't have any particular destinations to visit while we're here. We took whatever the day would bring. A lot of the days we would walk around the campground, getting walking miles in. The kids loved the playground.
The tire swing is something new for them, so they loved getting swung around in a circle and then me spinning them.
Theresa had hopes of playing some pickleball, but this court is in rough shape.
The kids found this fuzzy caterpillar and named him Fuzzy Wuzzy.
They built him a playground with rocks, sticks, and grass. I'm sure he had a lot of fun in the hour they played with him while Theresa and I got dinner together.
They loved the playground.
And jumping out of the swings.
On our walk, it was especially windy and we noticed things dropping from a tree.
Theresa found one and got a closer look. It's a Hickory Nut!
Someone called these "the king of nuts". Many consider this better tasting than pecans and walnuts. But they're not something that's widely sold. I wonder why? We collected a handful of them and took them back to the RV.
They were easy enough to bust open with a hammer or pliers, but the meat of the nut is quite stuck. Reading online, it suggests using a nut pick, similar to dental pick, to scrape the meat out.
While Alli was hitting this one with a hammer, we noticed there wasn't a regular nut inside but something else! Oh my! Good thing she didn't hit it too hard! These are the larva of the Nut Weevil. In the summer, the female weevil lays her eggs inside the immature nut. The eggs hatch, the larva eat the nut from the inside for the next few months, and in early winter, they crawl out and bury themselves in the soil. One to two years later, they come out as an adult weevil and repeat the whole process again.
The kids thought they were "cute". I don't think I would say that.
Theresa got to work getting the meat out of the nuts. We don't have a nut pick, but she did have a safety pin. In 30 minutes, that's the sum of her efforts. Yikes! We tried them and they are delicious. Buttery and a little bit of a maple flavor as well. There must be a better way to get that meat out.
That night we went back to the Shagbark Hickory Trees to collect as many Hickory Nuts as we could.
In the end, we came back with over 5 pounds of nuts! Theresa and I sorted through them, looking for damaged nuts or with a hole in the shell, indicating they might have weevils inside.
The second test is to put them in water and see if they sink or float. Floaters are suspect. Theresa read that drying the nuts out helps separate the nut meat from the shell, so when you crack them they release a lot easier. She tested the bad ones first, cooking them at 200F for 2 hours. It did help the meat release a lot easier, but only 1 in 12 had anything worth saving. In the end, we tossed all the floaters.
The rest, we'll let dry out naturally and share them with the family when we all get together again for Christmas. Hickory Nuts from our travels that we collected ourselves will be a perfect treat!
The next morning, it was time to leave to continue our journey south again! Off we go!
This mini stop was a chance to do whatever and whenever...no time schedule except for pack up day. The hickory nuts (the good ones, that is) sound like they taste really good, especially if they taste better than pecans and walnuts (which I like very much!)...you all collected quite a stash! That wild tire swing almost made me dizzy just watching it swing :-) EOMReplyDelete