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My Summer To Do List (Camping Version)

Friday, July 29 2022

I live in the Cherry Capital of the World (Traverse City, MI). Every year, we have the National Cherry Festival (of course). The festival helps balloon our local population from about 15,000 people to 250,000. It’s a crazy, busy summer, to say the least.

The festival splits our summer in half. As I’m kicking back, watching the Blue Angels perform their impossible aeronautics, I perform a mental inventory of everything I’ve done and plan to do over the summer. In order words, I ask myself those big camping questions that will haunt me in February:

  • How about a Family Reunion?
    Does anyone else host their family reunion at an RV park? We sure do. It’s the best and most inexpensive addition I never built.  Well, okay, I did add a 50 amp plug and a 4” PVC to my septic tank with the reunion in mind, but that’s a small investment for one of the best and biggest highlights of the summer.
  • Did we get above “The Bridge”?
    No summer is complete without a trip to “Yooper Land” (The Upper Peninsula, for you out-of-towners.) My blood pressure drops every time I head north across the Mighty Mackinac Bridge. The Keweenaw Peninsula, at the northern tip of the U.P., is a hands-down favorite. The deep forests and big-water views rival Maine’s coast. McClain State Park is a great home base for exploring the area’s deep history and amazing scenery. Highlights include The Quincy Mine, Copper Harbor and Calumet (almost the capital of Michigan). https://www2.dnr.state.mi.us/parksandtrails/Details.aspx?id=423&type=SPRK
  • …what about Duluth?
    A trip to see my grandson in Duluth, or anywhere in between, usually caps off our travel season.  Hey, it’s all about family, right? We usually hunker down in Duluth and take daily trips, like hiking Gooseberry Falls State Park and stopping at Betty’s Pies in nearby Two Harbors for a slice (or more) of their heavenly fruit and custard pies. https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/park.html?id=spk00172#homepage

That’s my summer to-do list. If I can’t hit all these highlights, it’s just another excuse to get out there next year. Whatever is on your summer agenda, I hope it’s a safe and happy camping season. Hey, hit us up on Facebook and share your stories…we’d love to hear them!

Enjoy!

Bob

Tis the season…for family!

Thursday, June 23 2022

Summer is a crazy time of year. Especially here in the north. The season is so full of promise and possibility…we want to experience it all. The beach. The barbecue. The long walks in nature. The stories and laughter shared around a crackling campfire. We don’t want to miss a thing.

For me, summer isn’t so much about what I do or where I go—it’s all about who I’m with. It’s about family. This time of year, I really feel the tug of family ties. I need to see the kids. I need to spend time with them…time unfiltered by cell phones, schedules and the worry of the work day. Time we specifically set aside to regroup, reconnect and really experience what we love with the people we love.

This feeling was driven home to me this past week as I passed by our local state park. The aroma of lingering campfires hung in the air. For just a moment, the sweet smell filled my car and quickly conjured up memories. A first fish held proudly for all to see. Small hands holding a sticky marshmallow. Sleepy smiles on little faces.

Wherever you go this summer, I hope it leads you to great moments and memories with your family. Make time to make it special, with the special people in your life.

Happy Camping!

Close to home. Close to perfect…

Tuesday, May 24 2022

It’s May in the north. A time of year we celebrate the retreating snows and fast approaching camping season. I’m usually as excited as a 5th grader, counting down to summer vacation. But it feels different this year. Gas prices are up…way up. COVID keeps hanging around. It feels like another year that we’ll have to put that dream trip to Bannf on the back burner.

But then I pause…let’s think this through.  Sure, we’ve had to put a lot of plans on the shelf these past two years. My family definitely has. But when we look around us, there’s plenty to be thankful for…family, health, community. Not to mention, the beauty that beckons just outside our back door. So why not do a “Stay Close-cation”?

No matter where you live—rural Maine or urban L.A.—chances are there’s a state or national park within easy driving distance of your home. In fact, there are over 400 national parks and over 6,600 state parks within the U.S. (yes, I Googled it.)

Many of our fondest family memories were made just a stone’s throw from our driveway. A familiar place where the air was clean, the trees were tall, and the stars danced above the roaring campfire. We never felt like we were missing out. And knowing we were so close to home was an added bonus.

So this year, instead of waiting for things to “normalize”, make your own new normal. Hop online. Check out what local parks are to be had. Book now! And get excited about planning your adventure. Sure, you might not witness a majestic sunrise over Mount Columbia. But you’ll experience something even more precious…time outdoors enjoying what you love with the people you love.

Happy Camping!

Competition and COVID-19

Wednesday, January 27 2021

Bob Brammer, President of Stromberg Carlson, discusses what it takes to fend off the competition, both foreign and domestic. He also walks through the lessons his company learned from almost a full year of battling COVID-19. Lesson one: Take care of your people.

Cabin Fever

Wednesday, March 27 2019

Cabin fever… I’ve got it too… a famous line introducing a song on a video I watch with my kids when they were young – Muppet Treasure Island.  Well, northwest lower Michigan still has some snow and snow banks but we can all feel the heavy weather lifting, making way for blue skies and, yes, camping season!  What motivates you the most to get your coach out and prepare for the season?  Campfires, peace and quiet, or food and friends gathering for a progressive dinner?  All of it for me.

Checking tire pressure, flushing the pink antifreeze, adding things back in that freeze to the coach and finally filling the fridge.  My wife and I generally took one short trip around town simply to remind ourselves of our routines before we set out with friends and stumbled along – reviving the spring brain cells.

Bring the bikes, pack some games, meet some new people.  This isn’t the turn of the calendar for resolutions and yet it is a new beginning in campgrounds. Offering new opportunities to meet people, get close to each other, or escape a routine that is numbing your senses.  As the GoRVing ads say… “Find Your Away”

Happy Trails from the team at Stromberg!

Routines

Friday, May 18 2018

I need routine.  Wake, do emails, read the local paper and check out Facebook to see who has a better life than me.  Read More

Winter 2016-2017

Tuesday, December 13 2016

Winter’s coming.  That’s code for our Vice President, Plant Manager and I entertain one other with the winterization of our different RVs.  Read More

Fall Camping

Tuesday, October 20 2015

Fall camping can be some of the best. Pot roast and sweat pants season is replacing salads and bathing suits season. Campfires serve a purpose other than night illumination – heat! And the colors…where do you find your colors?

Read More

Summer Storms

Friday, August 07 2015

Well, we here at Stromberg have decided our days as storm chasers are over!  This past weekend, northern Michigan experienced an intense summer storm like none we’ve experienced before, blocking many roadways and leaving most of the region without power. Read More

What’s Going On At Stromberg…

Thursday, June 18 2015

So here we are, launching our new website, gearing up for a busy season full of production, shipping, receiving, paperwork and most importantly PROVIDING GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE!  All the while wondering when summer is going to arrive in beautiful northern Michigan, so we can escape for the occasional RVing weekend ourselves! Read More

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