Last day of
the month, so I figured I better get a journal in. Been busy as usual,
plus trying to catch up on my sleep. For some reason, last week will
full of late nights. Since I start work at 5 am, any night past about
9 pm, is a late one. Last week, the earliest I got to bed was about
10:45, so by the weekend, I was running some serious deficits. Plus
I love sleep and perform best when rested, so I was really in need of some
catching up. I am not complaining, all the late nights were of choice,
but still had their impact.
We have been getting
out into the woods to do some exploring and I have been bringing my camera
along. I actually forget when this first series of shots was taken,
but I believe it was this past weekend. The hounds and I took a walk
in the woods near my house. We took the took the local
snowmobile access trail. I am just so lucky to have wilderness
so close to my home. That last shot was taken about 250 yards from
my house, as the crow flies. I remember walking that trail when we
first moved up here and because it takes lots of turns I did not even realize
I was still so close to my house. We came across a beaver dam and
like a true flat lander, I was just amazed at the fact that it was there.
It turns out the beaver dam was actually only about 100 yards from my house,
maybe a bit more. It is no longer there, it was a small one on a
small creek, but that creek can really get cranking when the spring thaw
hits and I think that this springs flooding washed out the dam. Anyway,
it is a nice trail to take, as it provides a lot of differing environment
in a very short time. The trail is only about a mile long.
At the one end of the trail, there is some mixed forest and then the vegetation
changes to a grassy meadow, which is actually a flood plain that floods
every spring. The creek now is just a gentile little little body
of water meandering
it's way through the meadow. Here is another shot
of the meadow.
About 3/4ths of the
way down the trail, it encounters the Traprock River. There is a
swimming hole that the hounds like to take a dip in and they did not pass
up the opportunity. Here's the Beez
doing a little doggy crawl. Here is old man Burt
taking a dip. As you could see, they did kick up a little bit
of silt as they got near the edge of the creek and I thought that they
may need to get a little cleaning up when we got home. Baileys decided
that as long as she was going to get the hose when we got home, she was
going to make it worth
her while. By the time she was done, she looked like a chocolate
lab not a yellow lab and I was on my knees laughing. Never a dull
moment with these two! We got home and I was able to make a game
out of playing with the hose in the kiddy pool I have to them and they
got all nice and clean and had fun while at it, so we all had smiles.
Even though most of
the Midwest rose into the 90's today and even here it was warm, with lots
of humidity, it is getting harder and harder not to think of the pending
season changes. Yesterday I got a snowmobile magazine in the mail,
it seems like visitors to the site are starting to think a little more
about snow, we got our first KSE reservation and the back to school sales
have started. Even Julie had a meeting for school (she got a job
teaching in the Hancock School system!). In a month the first frost
will be possible and in about 2 months, we will be near the peak colors.
Another sign is the firewood
piles starting to pop up. That was one that a person nearby me
has. They heat their house primarily with wood and walking outside
in the winter, you can smell the wood burning just about every day.
I love it, it makes me feel like I am living in the northwoods, which I
am! Looks like he has some chopping and splitting to do. He
went had about that much piled up last fall. Got it cut, split and
stacked in about a few days. That's hard work.
So even though most
folks in the Midwest are sweltering, the glorious season is getting closer
and closer. A lot of folks up here seem to have had enough of the
heat and humidity. I am at the head of the list. I know we
have a few more weeks left, but then the refreshing winds out of the north
will begin to blow, nights will get crisp, gardens
will brown and the critters up here will begin to prepare for the long
Good night from the Keweenaw.
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which helps to make johndee.com
Boy has it been nice the past 3 days. I know that a few up here have
thought that it has been too cool, but not me. Great sleeping weather,
with lows in the 40's and 50's, great hiking weather, with highs in the
60's and lots of sunshine. Well, at least today we had lots of sunshine.
Some clouds were out and about from time to time Tuesday and Wednesday.
I will admit that when the sun was hiding behind the clouds it did get
cooler, but still not too cool for me. I never mind throwing on another
piece of clothing to stay comfortable. But on the flip side, there
is only so much you can take off to be comfortable.
With the nice weather,
the hounds and I have been heading out into the woods for our afternoon
exercise. I have been trying to mix things up a little so that both
the hounds and I can see some new scenery every day. Yesterday we
went down one of my favorite ski trails. It is the same trail that
the groomer uses to get from his house to the trail system so it is always
nice and flat, as well as "panked" down. In the summer, it is a beautiful
They call it a two track because of the two tracks left by the vehicles.
Makes sense, huh? We even braved the deep woods by exploring some
traveled paths. Most of those less traveled paths end in a rather
short distance, but the hounds and I don't mind. Its the quality,
not the quantity. The bugs are not bad at all, with just a few deer
flies to swat every once in a while. No misquitos or black flies
and no stable flies and no horse flies. Hey, is this really the UP?
I'm not complaining!
I played golf yesterday
evening. I even walked instead of riding a cart, plus I carried my
clubs. Not really a big deal most times. That is the way I
would usually play. I prefer walking to riding. That way I
get to see my next shots setup better before I hit the ball than racing
up to it in a cart and then hitting it, only to race onto the next shot.
I guess my point here is that my leg did just fine. It was a little
bit sore at the end of the 9 holes, but that is to be expected. I
awoke to no unusual soreness, so it is definitely getting stronger.
A month ago, I would have never been able to do what I did and would have
been really sore trying. The human bodies ability to heal is really
amazing. Especially with the help of some fine doctors and other
health specialists. Speaking of which, I need to get back up to the
therapy center and hit the machines to get the leg to 100%. No way
I want to have anything less by the time the snow flies!
view from up at the golf course was great with the low humidity, clean
air and crystal blue skies. I still think that a persons life is
extended by living up here from both the lack of stress and also the clear
air. In that shot, the nobs in the terrain, way off in the distance,
about mid picture are Mts. Houghton and Bohemia. The cameras lens
setup makes things look more distant then they really are. In real
life, I could see the actual ski runs on the face of Bohemia and it looked
to me that they have cut at least one new one. Sure hope I can get
the courage up to ski that place next year.
Today the hounds and
I took our walk on another ski trail. This one is a rather short
one and is mostly up hill on the way out and down hill on the way back
(obviously, duh!). It also had some berry patches that I believe
have been visited by some local bruins. I did not go out to the patches
to look for hair or slobber, but there was a fairly clear
path beaten down through the grass to them. I suppose that a
human or even some deer could have done that too. I did not see or
step in any other bear sign, so who knows. I did make sure to make
some noise when we walked up the trail though. I am not worried about
meeting up with a single bear with the dogs in my company. The bear
can run faster then them and will climb a tree if need be. What I
am worried about is a sow with cubs. I'm fairly certain that she
would stand and fight to protect her cubs and that would not be good.
hounds and I did not see any bear, but did see more flattened vegetation.
We also saw more
berries and some Keweenaw
color. I was really hoping that the butterfly would not fly away
before I could get the shot taken. The dogs were even walking right
beneath it while I waited for the camera to come to life. As luck
would have it, the shutter snapped and about a second later, it took flight.
All I needed was some blueberries and most of the rainbow would have been
represented in that one. I wonder what that butterfly is doing right
On my morning walk,
my neighbor with the bursting raspberry bushes gave me a big container
are in my kitchen just waiting for me. After I finish this journal
I'm gonna have a bunch with my chocolate fudge brownie ice creme.
That will make it healthy, right? Who knows, maybe when I get my
patches all going full speed I will try my hand at making some jam.
Well, I've been sitting
here for several minutes staring blankly at the computer screen, so that
must mean I am out of things to say for now. It feels like I am forgetting
something, but I did not write my ideas down so guess that this is it for
Good night from the Keweenaw.
Hope that I
did not mess anybody up by changing the date on the last entry, but as
I sat down to write this one, I realized that I had put the wrong date
on the last one. Anyway, all is fixed now. As I type this,
the cooler air is headed into the Keweenaw. It is actually still
fairly warm, but the less humid air is filtering in and I will awake to
temps in the upper 50's or low 60's and nice dry air too. I really
don't know how someone without air conditioning could survive it up here.
All I know it that everyone I heard say they hoped it would be a hot summer
and now wishing for come cooler temps. You'll never hear me say I
which it would stop snowing, never.
Not much new to talk
about. The berries are still the main story up here. The bushes
Julie got me for my birthday have some berries that are ripening and I
snapped a shot of
a few before I ate them. Tasty, very tasty. I can't wait
to get a big berry patch going so that I have tons to harvest and eat in
the future. I saw some in the store, but they were 4 bucks for a
half pint, a bit steep for me. There are some farms to pick them
up here and Julie is talking about going to pick, sure hope that she will
share some. I think that the hounds and I will head off into the
woods tomorrow to see if we can get some that the bears have left.
I am a little worried
about my front grass. We picked up about 3.5" of rain last week,
the back yard has greened up nicely and I had to cut it, but the
front is still rather brown in most areas. Not a good sign.
I don't think the grass is dead, but I wonder why it is still dormant with
all the rain we got. I may break down and water it soon if we don't
get much rain and it remains brown. One thing I have noticed with
the rains is that the lake level is up. I would have to say that
it is up about 6-8 inches from where it was this spring.
After the past week
of humidity, and the past 4 days of heat, it seems hard to believe that
in a month and a half we will be done with any heat and in 2 and 1/2 months
we should have seen our first flakes. What a great thought.
I looked back at the past journals a few weeks ago, and I just can't believe
the snow we get up here. The piles in my front and back yards were
just huge! I'm ready. I'm ready for autumn and then winter.
I know we still have a good month left of summer and will enjoy it, but
I am ready.
Wow, am I ever hurting
for material tonight. I wanted to get one out tonight because I have
dinner plans for tomorrow, but jeez, I think that I am out of stuff.
I know that as soon as I finish this and upload it, all this stuff will
come to me. Sometimes I write ideas down, I think I need to get back
into the habit. I guess this will just be a short but sweet one.-
Gonna try and
sneak one under the wire today. It is currently 10 after noon and
Julie is heading down so that we can go to the beach. Then we are
going to a friends house for dinner, so I am going to try and get out a
journal before all that takes place. If I don't finish before we
go to the beach, I think I will have time between the beach and the dinner
plans so I will finish it then.
I've been slowly becoming
more and more active up here. Between regular walks, both on the
beach and in the woods, golf and socializing, I have not been too much
laying around. Oh, I almost forgot, I am continuing to work on the
bathroom and should have a picture in a few days. The only thing
left is the crown molding and once I get going on that, it should be done
in 2-3 hours. I just need to get going on it. It is fully functional,
which is nice and I think that it looks great. A huge difference.
Anyway, back to more
interesting stuff. Like I said, the hounds, sometimes Julie, and
I have been going either to the beach or into the woods to do some exploring.
Baileys is really coming along and is almost back to 100%. I am still
not letting her run, nor am I letting her get too much exercise, but she
is really coming along and it is great to see her without pain. It
has been really humid up here all week. Our dewpoints have been running
in the upper 60's to low 70's which is almost unheard of anytime up here,
let alone for a whole week. The actual air temps have not been getting
too hot. They have been in the 70's for the most part, but still,
it is uncomfortable to do too much strenuous exercise outside. We
have thus not spent too much time in the woods. I took the hounds
to the beach just about every day this week. I still can't get over
how nice some of the beaches are up here. I think I have mentioned
how I have been privileged to be on some of the best beaches around.
Including some famous ones along the mid Atlantic coast, Florida, the lower
Great Lakes and even Barbados. But none seem to beat the beauty of
some of the beaches
up here. Well, Barbados had some nice stretches along the east
That pic was the beach
at Big Traverse Bay. A fairly quiet stretch of beautiful sand beach.
No rocks and better yet, no glass, pop cans or other signs of human spoilage.
The township has developed a little park at the north end of the beach
and that is starting to become better known, so we'll see how long it stays
pristine. So far so good.
This stretch of beach
also is home to lots of wild
blueberries. They are just starting
to ripen. We have plans to pick a bunch and then put them in
some pancakes tomorrow. My mouth is watering just thinking about
it. It is just so cool to have all of this wild and wonderful nature
up here. All at my immediate disposal. Big Traverse is only
about 10 minutes away from my house and the drive is really beautiful to
One of the main objectives
in going to the beach has been to get the hounds some exercise. The
doctor said Baileys
could swim as much as she wants, so I have really been trying to let her
go lots. She like to swim, but just not as much as Burt.
He'll fetch as stick for as long as you want to throw one out. He even
seems to enjoy the waves. Yesterday we were there for about 2 hours
and I suspect that today we might even be there longer. I don't know
who is luckiest, me or the hounds.
As I mentioned, the
ride to and from the beach is really beautiful. It takes me through
some wonderful northwoods
forest land. That was the freshly-paved road between Big Traverse
and Rice Lake. Speaking of Rice Lake, here it that beautiful
body of water. The vegetation growing up out of the water is
wild rice, which gives the lake it's namesake. Then a bit more forest
after Rice Lake until I reach the farmland
of the Traprock Valley. Not much farming being done anymore,
but there are a few horse stables and hobby farms. Then we reach
the Torch Lake
and follow it into town.
In one of the previous
journals I said I would take the camera along next time I went golfing.
I was true to my word and did it last Thursday. I mostly play the
Calumet Golf Club. It is a public course and only has 9 holes.
That is fine, as I start to get a little weary after more than about 12
or 13 holes and am usually pretty tired by 18. Anyway, the course
is in pretty decent shape, considering it usually is not even greened up
until May sometime and is usually under snow by November. It sits
on top of the Keweenaw Spine so on a clear day affords some great views.
Even on some not
so clear days. Normally from that vantage point, you can see
the big lake and all the way to Mt. Bohemia and Mt. Houghton. It
was too humid and hazy to see that far when that shot was taken.
I kept looking for other shots to take, but was having a problem.
Most of the holes are just regular golf holes, with nothing special.
Either that or the low sun angle put a glare of sunlight right in view
so the shot would not have turned out. When we reached the par 3,
6th hole, I was able to snap a shot of Al
teeing off. His shot did not go exactly where he had wanted.
You can actually see the ball just above and a little to the right of the
sign for the hole. The actual hole is straight up ahead, just beyond
the water hazard. We had a good time out there, regardless of our
Well, I have just returned
from the beach and now have to get ready to go to dinner, so will sign
off for now.- JD-July
So much to say,
I don't quite know where to start. Julie came back last Friday and
that helps to explain why a journal has not been done since last Thursday.
Not really her fault, but we have been busy going to gatherings, exploring,
shopping and other fun stuff. I don't know how many of you pay attention
to the picture names that I post, but if you do tonight, you will see that
some are labeled "jul14...." and some are labeled "jul17...". That
is proof that I at least had intentions on doing a journal last Saturday,
but I guess we must have gotten tied up with other stuff. Actually,
that was the night we went to a graduation party, so I did have a good
excuse. Anyway, I hope that I do remember all that I want to write
I guess that I may
as well write about some of our weather events. We got rain Sunday
morning, a pretty good soaking and very welcome. Since then, it has
rained both Monday and this morning. My lawn is starting to green
up again and it will be needing it's first cutting in over three weeks.
I did not miss cutting it, but the burned out look was not pretty to look
at. It was actually nice to watch it rain Sunday, even though it
did wash out much of the morning. Another nice thing is that we have
yet to get into the heat. It has been humid, with dewpoints in the
60's, but temps have only been in the upper 60's and low 70's so I have
not had to use the air conditioners. It has also been quite cloudy,
which is fine by me with this humidity. Looks like it might become
warm enough to close up the house and turn on the air in the coming days.
Really, there is not much relief seen from the heat and humidity across
all of the Midwest in the next week to ten days, maybe even more.
So if you are suffering now, best make some plans to do more for the next
week to 10 days at least. Sorry!
When Julie arrived
last Friday, we were still in the sunny, but low humidity weather.
I decided we should head to the north shore to see if the biting flies
had gone away. The way I figured it, if that had, we would have a
great day at the beach and if not, then we take a few bites and scramble
back to the car and go to the beach at the village park where the flies
have not been bad. As it turned out, there were no flies and it turned
out to be a great
day at the beach. The hounds liked going to their old stomping
grounds for a swim. Here is Burt
bringing back a stick, while Baileys contemplates getting hers.
She finally decided to head out and get it and here she is on
the return trip. Every once in a while, a wave would come in
and present a little challenge for the dogs to get over. Baileys
does not like them and will not go in over her head when they are rolling
in. Burt, on the other hand, attacks them and goes right
over the top. When Baileys does go out and get a stick, she has
a unique way of bringing it back. Sort of like she is smoking
a large cigar.
The rain has not only
helped my grass out of the mini-drought we were in, but it has also helped
out the Keweenaw's berry crop. The woods are filling up with ripening
thimbleberries and red raspberries. On our walk the other day we
snapped a shot of some
thimbleberries. Julie loves these things, but they are really
not for me. She got me to try some, to see if my mind had changed.
The result was was the same as the last time I tried them. The pucker
face. Cute huh? We then came across something more suiting
to my taste buds, red
raspberries. Now this is my happy
face. My all time favorite are black raspberries or blackberries.
But they will not be ready for about another month. We did go to
one of my secret patches of these berries to see how they were coming along
and I was happy to see lots
of berries popping out. The red raspberries Julie gave me for
my birthday also have a good amount of berries on them. However,
they are still over a week away from being ripe. A neighbors bushes
are just starting to ripe and it was all I could do to keep myself from
stealing a few on my walk with the dogs this morning.
On the afternoon walk,
Julie, the hounds (they like to eat them too!) and I gave ourselves a special
dessert by hiking into the woods and picking some fresh berries.
I spied some nice fresh
red raspberries and when I went to get them I discovered that they
were covered with a little slobber and a few strands of black hair.
That all did not show up in the picture, but it was caused by one of two
possibilities. Either someone with black hair and a drooling problem
was out there before us picking berries without using their hands, or a
black bear was out there trying to get to them before us. I am putting
my money on the second choice. I'm just glad that I did not do a
quick grab and munch. Yuck!
So lets see, what else
is going on. The bathroom is slowly coming along. I stress
slowly. All I have left to do is to put the trim up, caulk the tub
and build a cabinet, but I just can't seem to find the desire to get on
it. It is basically functional again, so the need to do the rest
is not as critical as it was a week ago. I am going to hold off posting
the before and after pics (not that there are a ton of you dying to see
it anyway!) until it is totally done, but I am very happy with the way
it looks now.
I guess that about
does it. Julie is probably reading this thinking "what about this...
and that... and this...!), but I have drawn a blank, so I guess I will
just sign off for now.
Good night from the Keweenaw.
weather we have been having. The past three days have been in the
70's. with clear blue skies and low humidities. The night time temps
have been dropping into the low 50's, making for perfect sleeping weather.
Now, if only it could last. Unfortunately, it looks like my old nemesis
the heat and humidity will be creeping in this weekend and really take
hold next week. The way I have things setup it should not be too
bad. The house can be kept cool, I will just miss having the windows
open all day and night.
The bathroom remodel
saga continues. By about Tuesday, I was finding myself a bit stressed
out about the whole thing, as it looked like the goal of having things
done by Friday (the day Julie arrives back in town) would be quite hard
to reach. I finally gave up that goal and just decided to get things
done at a more laid back pace. The painting is all done, the slate
tile was laid yesterday and grouted today, so it is all done. All
I have left to do is to put up the wainscoting and trim and paint them,
put the toilet, vanity and sink in as well as build some cabinetry.
It is looking good and I am glad that I decided to take my time and just
enjoy the process as much as possible rather than stress out about it.
I know that Julie could care less if it is done when she gets back or not,
so I don't know why I was so bent on getting it done so fast anyway.
With the bathroom remodel
I have not been outside in the beautiful weather as much as I would have
liked to. Even so, the hounds and I have been taking regular ventures
into the woods or to the lake to swim. Baileys is really getting
better and better every day. We are now up to 20 minute walks and
that is nice. I think that it is also helping me out. My leg
seems to be getting better as well. I still plan to get back into
the workout regime once the bathroom is done. I think that the regular
and more disciplined workout will get it into pretty good riding form.
Berry season is just
beginning. I had my first three red raspberries today on the walk
in the woods. Most of them were still at least several days away
from being ripe and the ones in my back yard are still over a week away.
It looks like I will have a fairly decent crop for the first year with
these bushes. I am actually surprised that I have any. It seems
like a rather stressful event for those things to be dug up and then replanted.
I am looking forward to the harvest though. The ones in the woods
were awesome. So fresh and ripe, just like candy. Nope, better.
Maybe tomorrow Julie, the hounds and I can head off and check out one of
the black raspberry patches that I know of. Those are actually my
favorite. Plus, the blueberries are likely getting ready to go.
What a great time of the year.
Speaking of good eats,
Julie is down in the birthplace "Crispy Cremes". For those of you
that do not know what I am talking about, they are the best doughnuts in
the world, period. Nothing fancy, just glazed yeast, but they melt
in your mouth and are just amazing. I am a bit of a doughnut afficianito,
that and bacon. Hey, everyone has their vices right? Too bad
mine are not so good for me.
About the only other
thing going on news worthy is the difference a year makes in the land use
issue up here. Last year the battle lines were drawn over the Mt.
Bohemia issue and each side was digging in for the showdown. This
year, that whole issue is pretty much a non event. Black Bear (the
developer of the hill) is trying to get the county to apply for a grant
to have a sewer system developed that it could use and there is opposition
as well as support for that, but it is barely even making the newspaper
up here so it is not exactly a major issue. At least not for the
region as a whole. What is making news is the unique areas of the
Keweenaw being purchased by different entities. What is nice is that
these entities, be it the state or private interests, all seem to have
one interest in mind and that is to keep the areas the way they are now.
No development, but yet open to the public with little or no restrictions.
That is a nice way to go about things if you ask me. In fact, one
area that is trying to be negotiated is up near the tip of the Keweenaw
from Bare Bluff to the mouth of the Montreal River area and then up to
Keystone Bay. Some land up by Schlatter Lake would also be included.
I have yet to get to Keystone or to Schlatter, but the mouth of the Montreal
is about my favorite place up here. I sure hope that this transaction
can go through. It would protect these areas from ever being developed
as well as allow us to be able to go to them using any means we like.
This transaction is
actually hinging on some government action in the form of grants.
There is public commentary which is being considered in the decision and
if you feel that this is a good idea, you can write to: Sharon Edgar, Grants
Administration Division, Michigan DNR, P.O. Box 30425, Lansing Michigan,
48909-7925. It was said that you can write about the lands unique
features, loss of public access and importance to the regions economy as
some issues that would help sway the powers that be. I guess the
way it works is that "X" amount of funds become available for the grants
and we are in competition with many other areas to try and get one of the
grants. So a strong showing for this area would obviously help our
chances. Now, I take special pride in respecting a persons individual
rights and I hope that I have not offended anyone with this issue or my
plea for people to write. This is something that I almost never do
and I believe it is actually the first time that I have. Obviously,
if you don't want to write a letter, don't. I will never know and
even if I did know you did not, I would not be upset in the least.
I actually do not usually get involved in such things myself, but because
I think that this is one of those really good things that only comes around
once in a while, I will be sitting down and typing out a short letter to
express my opinion in hopes that these areas can be preserved for the public
forever. So lets swamp Ms. Edgar shall we?
Well, I guess with
that I will be signing off.
Good night from the Keweenaw.
Julie left for North Carolina last Friday to be with some friends and teach
power skating lessons (ice skating in North Carolina in the summer? What
is this world coming to!?), and I decided now would be a good time to remodel
my bathroom. I actually played golf Friday afternoon, then came home
and decided to get going on things. I was able to get almost all
of the demolition done before bed on Friday, then finished the demo on
Saturday and started patching the drywall. The room had this goofy
wall paper/paneling on it. There is wall paper glued to 4 x 8 paneling
that is then glued and nailed to the walls. Pulling that stuff left
me with a big mess to clean on the drywall. It would almost have
been easier to just put new drywall up, tape and mud that, but I did not
want to deal with the cost or the hassle of changing the electrical, so
I just scraped the glue off, taped and mudded up the holes and torn drywall
paper and this morning I was able to put a coat of primer on it.
This afternoon I painted and it is starting to come along. However,
like any contractor, I hit a snag. I am use to just going to the
local building supply store and getting what I need, as they have it in
stock. I forgot that this area does not have the super stores like
Home Depot, Lowes or Menards. There is a Menards in Marquette, but
I only drive the 2 hours to get there when I have to. We have lumber
and hardware stores, but they did not have the trim and wainscoting that
I want in stock. So now my carefully planned out remodel schedule
has been turned on it's head and I and afraid that I will not have it done
by the time Julie gets back in town. Now before you jump to conclusions
and I scare my parents, Julie does not live here, she still lives in her
own house. I just wanted to be done so that it would be done and
I did not have to work on it instead of spending that quality time (QT)
with JW. The slate is suppose to come in tomorrow, then the trim
and wainscoting by Thursday, so it will be close. I have taken some
pictures of the way it did look and the progress along the way, and I will
post them when I am done. It will be nice. The retro 70's look
was just not my style.
Not much else has been
going on up here. Like I said, I played some golf. I play with
my snowmobile buddies and some other friends up at the Calumet Golf Course.
It is a public course and only has 9 holes. To play 18, you just
make the round twice. It is a pretty course, with some neat views.
It sits up high and from the clubhouse you can see the Huron Mountains
and Lake Superior to the east and Mt Bohemia and Mt Houghton to the north.
For a public course it is not too bad, of course I have not played on a
private course in a long time, so I have forgot what a perfectly manicured
course is like. Plus the price is right. 20 bucks gets me 9
holes of golf with a cart. A season pass is $300 and if I keep playing
as much as I do, I might get a 1/2 season for $150 which is good from Aug.
1 on. Only problem is that the season is just about over by Sept
15th. Maybe a few good days into the end of Sept and early Oct, but
that is pushing it. Our first snow is usually around Oct 1 and as
much as I like snow and I like golf, I don't like to play golf in the snow.
Next time I play, I will try and remember the camera so you can see the
course. I also plan to play Portage Lake Golf Course, which is owned
by Tech and is in better shape, I think. I am also sure that I will
get up and play the Keweenaw Mt. Lodge sometime this season. Especially
now that the bugs are starting to ease up a bit. That is a nasty
place to play early in the season. You need to wear ankle weights
so that you are not carried off by the insects!
Things have turned
quite dry up here. We have had a few light showers, even a few storms,
but they have not really brought much rain. My grass is now almost
all brown and I have not cut it in 2 weeks. It could use a cutting,
but I will wait until it looks like some good rains are on their way.
No need to add the stress of cutting it to the stress it is already in.
I have been taking
the hounds swimming almost every day. Baileys has really started
to swim a lot. Her knee is doing very well, so I have to be really
diligent in keeping her from running. Yesterday I took two tennis
balls to the lake and tossed them out one at a time. It worked perfectly,
with one dog heading out to get the one ball, while the other dog was on
it's way in with the other. Sort of like an assembly line.
In 30 minutes, I had two tired pups.
It has also been warm
up here. Not hot, but with temps in the 80's and dewpoints in the
60's, the AC's have been buzzing. Plus, Lake Linden is usually about
4-8 degrees warmer than the Airport. We are further away from the
Lake with a north or west wind, plus lower in elevation so the air compresses
and heats up. I would like to get a good accurate thermometer and
place it in a shelter box to get the air temp down here. I would
not be surprised if we were close to 90. Plus my house is not in
the shade ever, so it heats up good. 60's and 70's are on their way
for the next 4 days, so the windows will be opening once again. Nice
cool nights, so I will get some good sleeping in with the windows open.
I will leave
you with one final thought. In 4 months, it will be the second week
of November. Winter will be closing in on us and I may be only a
week or two away from the first ride of the season.
Good night from the Keweenaw.
Happy July 5th
everyone! Hope everyone's 4th of July was fun and safe. Mine
was. Been kind of busy the past several days, with all the festivities,
so I was not able to get to this until now. As I mentioned the other
day, the 4th of July is really a big deal up here. Just about every
town, village or city has a parade, several have fireworks displays and
other happenings. As I also mentioned, Lake Linden is ground zero
for many of these activities. It is really the one time of the year
(other than high school football playoff time) that we sort of take center
stage up here. It is amazing how the whole Keweenaw area also starts
to buzz with activity around the 4th. It seems to be the traditional
start to tourism season up here. By the weekend last, we actually
had mini traffic jams going on in the village. I forgot how aggravating
it is to sit at a stop sign and have more than 2 cars in front of me.
I almost had to plan a little extra time to get to where I wanted to go,
to accommodate the traffic. Almost.
We had our fireworks
display and dance in the park on the 3rd. The entire park really
fills up with people. I don't know how many folks come up, down or
over here to celebrate, but I thing that it is safe to say that the village's
population swells to about 10 times its normal size for that evening.
Even so, this was Julie's first year taking part in our village's celebration
(that sheltered, city girls life thing). I think that she had a good
time and may just be a fairly regular visitor. They had a band playing,
food, drinks and silly
string. Even I
got into the act, preying on unsuspecting passer-by's. I would
pretend to sneeze and then give them a good spurt of the string.
Made them jump a little. The only bummer part to the whole night
was the weather. It was actually perfect right up to the point that
the fireworks started, then some rain showers rolled in. It did not
rain hard, but did come down enough just to make things a little uncomfortable.
Most folks stayed through the whole show, keeping the spirit. We
did luck out, as some fairly strong storms rolled through about 2 hours
later. That would have cleared the park out pretty quickly.
The storms did help
to clear things out for the
parade that the village has on the 4th. Again, the turnout for
this is pretty big. Way more people line the street than live here.
I am not sure how many, but almost as much as the fireworks. The
parade does not really have anything ultra special. There are people
riding unicycles, marching bands, clowns, people on horseback, different
businesses have some floats, lots of fire
fighting equipment and even my dream truck, a Chevy
Avalanche. Any Chevy dealers out there reading this that want
to supply one to Snow Central, I would be happy to show thousands just
what a great truck this is! Oh, and every entrant in the parade tosses
out candy. The kids watching the parade all have plastic bags and
many of them are pretty full by the time the parade is over.
I did not partake in
the rest of the festivities up here (Gay parade, fireworks in the Harbor).
I actually had plans to go with Julie down to a party in Twin Lakes, but
I came down with a little bug, or just plain ran out of steam, but in either
case, I just did not feel too well. I still did not feel 100 % this
morning and that was the main reason for no forecast text today.
I do feel better now, but still am a bit tired. Hopefully a good
nights sleep tonight will have me back to my regular bright and happy self
by tomorrow. We look to get quite cold tonight. Down into the
30's. There was some freezing temps in the Arrowhead of MN this morning.
I already had my first dream that it was snowing out. The season
must be getting closer!
Today has been a cool
one (temps in the 50's). But plenty of sunshine, so it was still
nice to get out. Today the hounds and I took a walk in the woods.
The first one since I can remember. Maybe the first one since this
past fall. It felt really good to be out there and the
hounds really loved it too. Baileys is really coming along nicely.
She still can't go for too long of a walk. We went about 1/4 mile
and spent time just smelling the woods, both the hounds and I! It
was so great to get out and even smell the woods. Nothing like it.
The sights were pretty great as well. The
woods are all lush and vibrant with the rains we have had so far this
summer. There are lots of wildflowers
growing as well. Truly paradise.
However, because of
the army tent worm outbreak (some are calling it a plague), not
all of the woods are as vibrant as others. That was a birch tree
that was attacked by the little caterpillars. There are entire groves
of birch, aspen and poplar trees that are totally bare and it looks like
it is fall or something, with the trees so bare. The caterpillars
are actually a little selective in their eating habits. For some
reason, they do not like to eat maple
trees. That tree was about 20 feet away from the defoliated birch
in the pervious one. Most of the caterpillars are now gone.
They have metamorphasized into moths.
Some other sights seen
on our walk this afternoon were thimbleberries.
They are not quite ready for picking, looks like a few weeks more at least.
I am looking forward to the blackberry season and to getting my own red
raspberries. Now that I have my own hidden blackberry patches, I
need to go and find a few more. The bugs were not too bad, so in
a few weeks, when Baileys can get a little more exercise, then Julie and
I can do some exploring for more of the delicious fruits.
So I guess that gets
you caught up in my activities up here. Talk to you soon.
Good night from the Keweenaw.
Dee would like to thank Jim Formanek of Formanek Designs for his expert
assistance in the creation and technical support of this site. For
anyone wishing to have a site of their own developed, I strongly recommend
that you contact him.
and layout by: Formanek Designs 2000
Website link: go to Formanek