Monday, July 30, 2018

2018 Summer RV Trip – Days 6&7 – Muskegon Area

On our first full day in the Muskegon area, we drove north to check out the Silver Lake Dunes, a couple of wineries, and have lunch.  Silver Dunes State Park, which is popular with off-roaders and tourists taking mutli- passenger dune tours, lies between Silver Lake and Lake Michigan.  

We just drove around a little, got a shot of the dunes, and headed for The Fox Barn Winery, which is a fifth generation fruit farmer’s outlet for his crops of berries, apples, peaches, and grapes grown on his 2000 acre farm.  They also grow asparagus and even make some wine from it but we passed on trying it.  We enjoyed their wine and bought bottle several bottles for the road.

Then we headed for the restaurant I had selected for lunch only to find it long closed so we proceeded to our next stop at Oceana Winery.  

Before we left, I asked the wine pourer about a good place to eat and she recommended the Brown Bear Food and Spirits in nearby Shelby.  

I didn't know whether to call it a bar or a restaurant but It is home of the Notorious Bear Burger which comes in Wimpy, Cub, and Bear sizes – even the cub was big and the bear was 1 pound.  I knew I wanted the bear when I left the winery but when I saw the menu, and for a dollar more, I had to try the kicked up version (The Bear Burger Supreme) which included ham, pepperoncini peppers, mushrooms, two cheeses, tomato and onion – I had it cooked medium rare.

It’s on a normal size plate and that’s a standard sized mustard container sitting beside the burger which was at least 4” tall with a patty that was about an inch thick - biggest burger I'd ever seen in person.  They said they used select grade ground chuck and it was more rare than it looked in the pic - I believe it could have been the best burger I’ve ever eaten – I’ll have the other half the next day.  On her way out, one lady asked if she could have a look at my burger.  

The girls thought their pretty large cub sized burgers (The Spicy Jack Burger for Pat and the Dixie Burger for Bev) were very good as well and we all loved the home-made chips that came with them.

It addition to the great food, the service was friendly and excellent and the ambience of the place was just what I expected from the outside – email to Guy Fieri recommending it for Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives will be forthcoming, recommending this 5-star rated place.

Good news – The days high temp was only 75F so we made it fine with one A/C down – hopefully this will continue until we get home.

The next day was planned to be a shopping trip down to Holland and Sagatuck but the ladies decided that since plenty of shopping was in their future, they would pass on the two hour round trip drive.  I would like to have stayed closer to these towns but could not find and acceptable campground – I often wish our coach was about five feet shorter.

Once again, we awoke to cool temps that were perfect for sitting outside enjoying my coffee, typing this blog, and going for a couple of walks.  When the ladies were ready we went for a drive out by the lake and down to Muskeegon and this was our first view of Lake Michigan.

Then we drove further south through woodlands of both evergreen and deciduous trees and past long standing lakefront homes.  I think this part of Michigan is very pretty with many small lakes and more heavily wooded then I had expected – lots of blue spruce trees have been planted for landscaping.  We next came to the Muskeegon State Park where only a few folks were on the beach on this cool Friday.

Then we drove around the downtown area to get shots of the old RR depot (now the visitors center), the library, and the Hackley & Hume Historic Site (I could just imagine these homes in their day).

Muskeegon is a nice looking, clean town of about 40,000 people and the county seat, making it similar to our Maryville, TN.

I have heard of but never seen morel mushrooms and had never eaten them so when we saw them for sale in Shipshewana, I had to buy a few to try, even at $35/lb.  So this night for supper I decided to cook half of them following the sellers instructions to half them lengthwise and soak in saltwater for 30 minutes prior to cooking.  I then sautéed them in a little olive oil and after eating a few, I added them to the peppers and onions we were having with our sausages for supper.

They were unique with a mild mushroom flavor and a somewhat buttery texture and I can now see why they are well liked – just wish I had a big patch of them growing at home.  The sausages were T.P.O (sundried tomatoes, green pepper, and onion) from The Wurst Kitchen and as always they were delicious.

Photos can be enlarged by clicking on them and the blue words are links.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.


7/26-7/27/18 Event Dates


  1. What wonderful are to explore, well over 25 years since we have been that way. The brown bear sure sounds like a wonderful place to stop for a unique burger.

  2. Holy moley! That's one awesome sandwich! It looks delicious! Love those historic homes, awesome architecture! And morels are delicious, my parents hunted and cooked them many times on our Ohio farm. Sounds like you had a great time there in the Muskegon area. Back to blogging now, couldn't stay away.

  3. Larry, Nice travelogue! Asparagus wine!!! I would have had to taste it but I can't imagine that it would be good... Huge and luscious looking burger! I'd have ordered the bear too, minus the mushrooms. Beautiful depot and great looking huge old homes. It's nice to see that Muskegon seems to be doing well and looking good. It's been beaucoup years since we've been there. Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  4. That Bear Burger is amazing looking! I do believe I'd pass on the asparagus wine, too. Looks like lovely country to visit, and you certainly are in the right place for cooler temperatures. It's nice that there don't seem to be too many people around, so you can enjoy the sights in peace. I love those old houses!

  5. Wow on the burger! I would try that for sure. Looks like the adventure is going well. Safe and happy travels!

  6. WOW...............2 meals in one.......stay cool....keep headed North......Enjoy Be Safe.........HRB..

  7. Another fabulous road trip in the RV. As always, thanks for sharing your adventure with us.


  8. Definitely lived up to the Supreme name. Made my mouth water.

  9. What fun you are having. Glad the weather has stayed cool. Can't believe the size of that burger! Man oh man does it look tasty. Imagine if there was an over easy egg on there too...yum. The town of Muskeegon looks neat - I love the architecture.


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