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July 27-
    It's been another week of beautiful weather up here. Temps in the 70's, low humidity and lots of sunshine. We picked up a little bit of rain, but none of it played much of a spoiler with outdoor activities. Seems like there is something going on up here every weekend, if not every day during the summer. This weekend was the UP fireman's tournament which was hosted by the Houghton Fire Department. They had a parade on Thursday and then the races on Friday. We did get some storms through here Friday afternoon and evening, but were probably too late to interfere with the races and brief enough to not cause any major problems with anything else going on outside.
    We were actually out of town Friday afternoon and evening. I had the pleasure of having two wisdom teeth pulled Friday afternoon. These were the first teeth I have ever had to have pulled and with all the horror stories about persons having their wisdom teeth pulled, I was a little apprehensive. Even my dentist recommended that I go to see the oral surgeon for mine as they were old and so set up that he thought it would be better for me to be put under. So Friday was the day and I have to say that it was a walk in the park. I think I got really lucky because we arrived about 10 minutes early for the appointment, the got me in right away, put me under and 30 minutes later we were leaving. There are no oral surgeons in the area. There is one in Marquette, but is so busy that we went to one in Niagara WI, which is right next to Iron Mountain MI. Nora had to ride with me because I was not allowed to drive home after being put out- understandably. I was still pretty groggy for most of the way home, but came to pretty good by the time we reached Baraga. So we did our weekly grocery shopping while on the way home and other than having to take some advil in the first 24 hours after the extraction for some swelling, I have had no problems. I am not completely out of the woods yet. I guess I can still get what is called a dry socket during the first week of recovery, but so far so good and I can honestly say that this whole ordeal has really been no big deal. Like I say, I think I got lucky and for that I am grateful.
    Seems odd that this will be the last entry for July of 2008. It seems like it was just a few days ago that we were in the midst of the Independence Day celebrations and now here the month is almost over. For those of you counting down the days until summer is over, I have good news that for just about every locale in the Midwest, the average high temperature has peaked out and is now slowly going down. I must caution you against getting too excited. Most locales also see their average high temp fall by about a degree in the next 10 days and August can still provide some pretty hot and humid days, so we are not out of the woods yet, but are passing an important mark in our progression towards the cooler months. In just about 5 weeks, summer will basically be over up here. We can still have some summer like days once we head into mid September, but the nights get nice and cool and we usually do not have any truly hot or humid days once the first week or so of September is over.
    It was another kind of laid back week up here. No major construction projects and other than traveling to Niagara on Friday, we stuck pretty close to home. On Saturday Nora and I decided to go and pick some blueberries. While golfing on Thursday I got to explore some of the land adjacent to the fairways of the course and there are lots of wild blueberries along the course and the berries were in the process of ripening. So Saturday we headed over towards Rice Lake to do some picking of our own. When we arrived at the spot we wanted to pick at, there were already a half dozen vehicles parked with folks out picking. The area that you can pick in is probably close to 30-40 acres in size, so there was plenty of room for all of us to pick and if you hit the right spot, you were treated to bushes full of ripe berries. For those of you that have never picked wild blueberries, let me just say that they are probably the hardest berry to pick. First, they are very small, probably the size of a small BB. So it takes a lot of berries to fill a bucket. Second, they are on bushes that are very low to the ground, so you either have to squat, neel, or sit while you pick them. Most of the other berries grow on bushes that are tall enough that you can stand comfortably while picking them. So it takes some real patience to pick enough wild blueberries to have enough to do something with them. Nora and I were lucky enough to pick about a gallon between the two of us in about an hour. I wonder how fast we would have picked them had we still had our helpers with us. That was really amazing how they would pick the berries off the bushes and eat them. What was even more amazing is that they learned by just watching Nora and I pick them. We did not have to show them to do it.
    I can say that the weather was perfect for picking. Temp of around 70 degrees, clear blue skies, no humidity to speak of and a nice breeze to keep any bugs at bay as well as keep you cool while in the full sun. Nora made some blueberry muffins with some of the berries we picked and then froze the rest. Next will be the raspberries and thimbleberries, although I am not a fan of the thimbleberries.
    What was amazing to me is that where we were picking the berries was the sight of a big wildfire two years ago. This is how things looked just a few weeks after the fire 3 years ago and this is what things looked like on Saturday in the same spot. Still some charred remnants, but also lots of green. It is just amazing how nature can heal itself and also how quickly the healing process occurs. After picking the berries, we headed over to the beach at Big Traverse. It was just about perfect weather to be at the beach as well. It never ceases to amaze me that we can be at such a beautiful beach on such a beautiful day on a weekend day in July and still have the entire beach to ourselves. You can have your North Avenue or Oak Street beaches. I'll take the solitude of of a Keweenaw beach anytime! The air was so clean and crisp that Mt Bohemia could be seen off on the horizon clear as a bell, even though it was about 25 miles away.
    Today we hooked up with our old friend Paisley for a walk in the woods. It was a little warmer and a little more humid today, but still nothing that was too warm or too humid for a walk in the woods- even for a four legged friend. Paisley's Mom and Nora's friend, Amy came with us and the four of us walked down this nice trail that leads you through the woods and after about 2 1/2 miles you reach the north shore of the Keweenaw and Lake Superior. A nice reward for the hike through the woods. Paisley does not like to swim much, but did get her belly wet on a few occasions and drank a bit to cool down too. Amy, Nora and I just sat on the beach for about a half hour taking it all in and then turned around and hiked back to the vehicle.
    We are just so lucky to live in a place where we can do everything we just talked about. From the berry picking to the hiking in the woods and on the beach, this is just such the perfect spot to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. In a way I am thankful that we are not mobbed by tourists, but also feel sorry for all the folks that have either never been here to take it all in, or cannot get away and visit the area. I can say that if you have been here in the winter and not the summer, you really should see this area in the summer. I am not a huge fan of the season, but it sure is beautiful, especially the woods and beaches of the big lake. Plus we are now in the perfect time of the year to come. No bugs to speak of and awesome weather. Again, I just thank my lucky stars that I am fortunate enough to be able to live here and enjoy all it has to offer and to be lucky enough to have a beautiful wife to share it all with.
    I did do some work this week. It was in the form of getting the sleds prepped to sell. There really was not anything major that had to be done, but I did pull the rear suspension out of the 800 and polished up the rails on it. It took me about 90 minutes per rail and I think they turned out pretty nice. With the polished aluminum real idler wheels, it really looks good. I also polished up the tunnel again, but this time around it was much easier than the first time I did it last autumn. I think this time around it took me just over an hour to polish up the entire tunnel, whereas it took me around 3-4 hours last autumn. While I had the rear suspension out, I changed the hyfax as well as hit all the grease spots.
    So other than waiting for the new windshield for the 700, both sleds are ready to be sold. As I think I mentioned in the last journal, I will be putting together a sales page for each of them and will be posting it on the site in the coming weeks. I don't NEED to sell them, but with two new sleds coming this autumn, will not have a need for them and will also need the storage space. In cause you are interested, I am planning on listing the 700 for around $2000 and the 800 for $4500. All the full details on both sleds will be listed on the sales web pages for them. Who knows, I may even throw in a free backcountry tour for the buyers of the sleds, just to sweeten the deal a bit.
    Well, I think that about covers it for this one.  Take care and I will talk to you all next month!
Good night from the Keweenaw..
-JD-

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July 20-
    Boy, if every summer was like what we are having this summer, then I think I might actually look forward to them! Not that I usually dread them, but I do not love summer like I love winter and autumn. We had another really nice week of weather, with temps in the 70's and not much humidity at all. A couple of rain events, but most of them happened overnight. The rains have been enough to keep things green and growing and I think another effect of the regular rains we are having will be one heck of a color show this autumn. There are a number of factors that determine the extent of the color show in the autumn, some of them known like healthy trees heading into autumn and then crisp autumn weather during the show. Other factors are not completely understood. I just know that the previous two dry summers caused many trees to change prematurely and even when the color show kicked in fully, it was pretty muted. So if you are planning on coming up to catch all the beauty this autumn, then I think there are good chances you will be rewarded. If you have never been here and are thinking about it, I strongly suggest you come. We have had folks from New England visit the area in autumn and say that our color show blows theirs away. I know at times my eyes seem to be deceiving me, that the colors they are seeing just cannot be real. Strange to think that in just a little over 2 months, that show will be underway!
    The past week up here has been a little more quiet. I did get the wood surfaced into the tongue and groove on Monday and then hung it on Tuesday. I also finished the trim work around where that tongue and groove went up on the outside of the sauna, so all the construction work on the shop is officially done. I still have to paint the garage floor and weather permitting will handle that in two weeks. I also still have to hang the tongue and groove in the sauna as well as build the benches and install a heater, but will not be doing that until autumn arrives. This past week I also finished construction of the workbench for the new shop. It turned out pretty well and is solid as a rock. I think I could put an automobile on it if it would fit. Those are solid 6x6 legs and the 2x6 rails supporting the top are half lapped into the legs so no screws or nails were used in the construction. Just good old fashioned jointery and glue joints. I am pretty much anti fasteners (screws, nails, etc.) when it comes to furniture construction. All they really do is tear into the wood fibers and will eventually loosen over time. A good wood on wood joint will last for as long as the piece is around. The top is 3 pieces of plywood laminated into a 2" thick slab. It weighed about 80 lbs when I was done with it, but is as solid as a rock. I have already put it in the shop and added a nice work vice to the one end. I will have to move it when I paint the floors, but have a home made furniture dolly that I use to help me move it easily. I painted the top a dark charcoal to mimic an oiled slab of soapstone and then coated it with 4 coats of polyurethane. I am also not a big fan of polyurethane (or really most film forming) finishes on my pieces, but poly is about as bullet proof as a finish gets and that top will see a lot of abuse, so I went with that.
    Before the snowmobile season starts, I am going to build a little changing area that will store all my riding gear. The shop will be heated and that way I do not have to come into the house in full garb and undress, getting snow all over the place and then taking up space in the utility room storing all the gear. We it comes time to ride I can just put on my base and mid layers and then head out to the shop to get fully suited up, only having to walk around 20 feet outside to get from one building to the other. I know Nora will really love not having all my gear hanging in the house!
    With the construction done, I have moved onto getting the sleds all ready to sell. Not that they needed a ton of work or anything. I just want to get them as cleaned up as possible. I have started work on the 700 first and it is pretty much ready to go, except for one thing. It will need a new windshield. I decided to take all the decals I had plastered onto it off. All went well until one of the decals left some glue residue. I went to use some acetone, but could not find any, so I grabbed a bottle of "Goof-Off". Well, in the fine print it states that it should not be used on plastics. I failed to read the fine print until it was too late and it had already dissolved part of the plastic on the windshield. No way to fix it, so it will be getting a brand new one. Live and learn.
    While I wait for the windshield for the 700 to come in, I will be changing out the hyfax on the 800 and getting it all cleaned up. Last autumn I polished the tunnel and it looked great, so I plan to do that as well. I also plan to polish the rails on the rear suspension while I have it out as they stood out like a sore thumb when the tunnel was polished. I plan to put them up for sale next month, so if you are looking for a long track, these might be up your alley. I have not figured out sale prices just yet and they will both come with the mods I made to them as well as the stock components that those mods replaced. I will also be putting a sales flyer together and have heard about this pretty good website to put it on to try and sell snowmobile stuff. :)
    The other excitement this week has been provided by the local fauna. The new crop of deer were born a few weeks ago and we have a mom and her fawn running around the property. Today when I went outside for a moment, they were about 50 yards from the cabin having lunch on something growing in the woods. Monday morning we had this one walking around the cabin looking for something to eat. I thought I was going to have to yell at it for going over to eat the leaves off the apple trees, but it stuck to other foliage and I let it be. On Wednesday, Nora called from work and said that she thought something had gotten into the hummingbird feeder as it was emptied overnight and the shepherds hook it was hanging on was bent. Right away I thought a bear as they love that juice from the feeders and are about the only thing strong enough to bend 1/2 inch steel rod to get at the juice. Later that morning I went over and examined the feeder and saw some bear prints in the sand near by. They belonged to a pretty big bear too, as they were about the size of my hand. Here is a shot of the shepherds hook that the feeder hangs on. Nora also said that our neighbor about 400 feet down the road had their garbage spread all over the road. I was surprised that our garbage has not been gotten into, but then realized we had not put anything into the outside cans yet. That afternoon I did have to put a bag into the outside can and put that into the shop.
    On Friday night just after dark, Nora heard something getting into the outside trash cans and I got up to go to the bathroom at the same exact time. She said that she then saw a large shadow cross the yard from the bedroom window. There was nothing in the cans for the bear, but must have been enough left over smell from the night before to cause it to investigate. Then this morning at about 4 am Nora woke me up to tell me that the bear was back and trying to get into our compost tumbler. We bought the thing a few weeks ago and have been adding table scraps to it for about 2 weeks. I am sure that those smell pretty good to a bear and it tried for a little bit to get into the bin last night, but then something seemed to spook it and it left rather quickly. It might have been Nora and I that were watching it from our bed about 15 feet away. The tumbler sits behind the cabin about 15 feet from our bedroom window. We really did not make much noise as we watched it, but I am sure that it probably was able to smell us near by and left in a pretty big hurry. If it comes back I plan to give it an ear full. It was neat to watch it up close and personal once, but I do not want it tearing the compost bin apart for a free meal. We did get to size it up and it is big. Standing on it's hind legs while trying to get into the bin last night, it was taller than I am. I would say it is at least 250-300 lbs or maybe more. I am also questioning Nora's advice to spread peanut butter on a sore arm muscle I have - just kidding. Seriously though it was neat to see, but I hope it does not become a problem. I know if Burt and/or Baileys were around, the bear would not be around for long. A dog is the best bear repellent there is.
    With all the construction done, I feel like I need to get my exercise in other ways, so Nora and I have been taking walks. Yesterday we headed down to the beach at Eagle River. You can start from the Eagle River Inn and head northeast and walk for about 3-4 miles before you run out of sand and have to turn around. This spring we did the entire trip there and back, but yesterday did about 2 miles up and back. Kind of a weird day, with filtered sunshine through a few clouds and also some low fog blowing in off the lake. It was not a cold day, but we still had the beach pretty much to ourselves, only seeing one other couple who has a home on the beach there out walking as well. Today we took to the woods for our walk. We walked past Burt's Pond and then out into the woods about 3 miles. Poor Nora was a little on edge with the bear roaming the area. I tried to calm her a bit by saying bears are very afraid of humans (the reason why we do not see too many of them around here, even though there are a lot living in the woods) and that they are most active at night. Things were going well until we rustled up a partridge from the bush. That will startle anyone, but will really give a scream to someone that is already on edge! We even came along a covey of partridge. I counted 5 in the first round of flight and another 3 after that. We must be nearing the peak year for them as we are certainly seeing and hearing a lot more of them than in previous years. I liked it better when the dogs would flush them about 50 feet ahead of me rather than Nora and I flushing them about 10 feet from us! At least I know my ticker is still going good!
    The bug report is about the same as last week. Not bug free, but not a big problem either. I would say deerflys are the major issue right now, but even they are not really too much of an issue unless you happen into one of their more favorite breeding areas, which seems to be a meadow surrounded by woods, which up here is a golf course! They probably have a week or two left until they go by the wayside and we enter into the best summer month up here- August. Almost no bug problems and beautiful weather. It's also been nice to see some no vacancy signs on some of the motels up here. I don't know if things have been as busy as they typically are, but at least some places are as busy as they can be some of the time.
    Talk to you all again soon!
Good night from the Keweenaw..
-JD-
July 13-
    Another week done for summer. Although today felt a whole lot more like a mid September day than a mid July one. Our high was only 58 degrees and it was cloudy and pretty windy all day as well. I spent most of the day in the wood shop, with long pants on and a long sleeved shirt and never got too warm. The whole week has been pretty cool, at least not hot and humid and I think that the number of days that we have had when it was on the warm side and humid could be counted on one hand so far. We have not put the pool up so far this summer and I am thinking that we probably won't, as we typically stop using it and take it down in the third week of August because the temps are getting cool enough where it is not used that much. So that means if we put it up right now, we would have about 5 weeks that we could use it and it just does not seem to be worth it. Plus this week looks to be comfortable, except for Tue and Wed when we could be in the 80's with some humidity.
    It seems like we had a busy week this past week, but when I think back to try and come up with all we did, I draw a bit of a blank. Nora's brother and his family were here until Thursday, so we were doing things with them. I did some work on the shop, but not a lot as the construction is pretty well wrapped up. I still have to put the tongue and groove on the outside and inside of the sauna. I have the wood for the outside and need to get it surfaced into T & G and will hang it this week. The inside will have to wait a bit longer until I can get some more money to do that part and get the heater for it, but the plan is to have it done before the chilly nights of Autumn kick in. Nora is chomping at the bit to have it and I know I will appreciate it after a long ride on the sled. Hop in there and get the chill out before heading off to bed. I also have to paint the floor. I picked up the paint on Saturday, but have decided to follow the instructions to the tee. They call for at least 60 days of wait time if you poured a fresh slab. Another brand I looked at said to wait 30 days and I know that concrete does most of it's curing in the first 30 days, but will wait the 60 days like the instructions say, that way there is no excuse for the paint not to stick as well as they say it will. So the end of July I will be looking for some good weather to paint the floor.
    Today I spent much of the day in the woodworking shop. I am building a workbench for the new shop. I had thought about purchasing a steel one, but decided to use some left over wood from the shop to build this one. It is going to have some pretty beefy legs as I am using some left over 6 x 6 for them. It will also have a very solid frame and top. There will likely be some pretty heavy work that gets done on it and I want it to be rock solid. It's probably about half done, but will take a few more days to complete as I need to put some finish on pieces before I can do the final assembly and then I want to put a few coats of poly on everything to protect it a bit. I am sure there will be a picture of it or two when it is done. Hopefully for the next journal!
    The only pic I have of the shop this week is of the first bit of decoration I put in it. I wanted the American flag to fly in the shop and I also wanted it to be the first banner that flew in the shop and with Independence day just passing, it seemed like a pretty timely thing to do. I have a few other banners in mind and would also like to get some USGS maps of the Keweenaw up like I had in my old office in the LL home, but also do not want to completely cover up all the nice T & G, so we'll see. With the construction all over, I needed to take a shot of where all the scraps went. That was the wood boiler, which is currently packed full of all the scraps. Should get a day or two out of all of that wood. Glad it is not going to waste.
    Nora and I too two ATV rides this week. Friday afternoon we headed out for a little cruise. A few weeks ago I found a nice route through the woods that will work in the winter for sledding. We sort of just happened along it, making all the right turns by luck. So Friday I wanted to see if I could remember all the turns we made on the trip a few weeks ago and we did pretty well, only making one wrong turn. That led to a dead end in less than a mile, so we turned around and headed in the opposite direction and ended up with a successful trip. On our way back we headed down the Eagle River, but encountered some logging on the trail down to there from Phoenix and so we turned around. While cruising along that trail, I spotted a little waterfall and stopped to climb down the hill to snap a photo of it. It's too bad that the water was not a bit deeper there, it would make for a pretty good swimming hole. There is a pretty good one a little further downstream though. Here is a shot looking down stream. Before heading home we did a bit more exploring and found some nice hills to climb on with the sleds in the winter. From near one of the tops of the hills, we got a nice view of the Cliff Range.
    On Saturday, I headed to the lumberyard to pick up a few things for the workbench and was thinking about working on it, but it was just too nice outside and all work and no play makes Johnny a boring guy. So I broke the news to Nora that I thought we should hop on the ATV's and ride north to have lunch at Lac La Belle. I've never been on some of the trails up that way on ATV and it seemed like a nice ride to take for lunch, so we headed off. It rained a bit on Tuesday of this week and again Thursday night and then again Friday night, so the dust is way down on the trails. Of course with all the rain recently, there were also a few puddles on the trails. It is nice to be having regular rains though. The woods are nice and green and our lawn is pretty green as well. The big lake is rising more and more and is just a few inches below it's long term average. With all the rain, I would have expected the mosquitos to be worse, but they are actually less of a problem than they were a few weeks ago. Blackflys are gone and even the deerflys seem to be starting to fade a bit. August is usually the best time of the summer up here, but it looks like we might have a nice second half of July as well.
    Back to the ride yesterday, Nora and I had fun working our way up the trail. Lots of puddles on the main trail, but once we got off the main trail and onto the one that heads to Lac La Belle, it was great riding. The first few miles are on a pretty good road and then things turn to a logging road which is still in pretty decent shape. That is the first time I have been on that section of trail with no snow on it and I have to say that it was a great section for ATVing.
    We made it to the lodge in about 2 hours of riding, has a nice lunch and then decided to scoot over to the big lake to check things out. Bete Gris Beach is one of the most beautiful in the entire UP and if you have never been there, this is what you are missing. Just as beautiful on a day with overcast skies and winds causing the rain to fall horizontally, trust me I have been there in that weather.
    After enjoying the beach for a while, we headed home, only this time we took the bush most of the way back. I decided I wanted to see if we could find our way back on the path I discovered a few weeks ago, only in the opposite direction. For a brief moment I thought that we might have taken a wrong turn, but then the sights became familiar again and we were able to find our way back home. We ended up taking all the right turns after all, although I think I will need to travel through that route a few more times to really get things memorized. The view changes a lot from summer to winter and unless you know something by heart in the summer, you are likely to make some wrong turns in the winter. Not that that is such a bad thing.
    Well, I am not sure if it shows, but I had a hard time keeping my concentration while writing this entry. It has taken about 3 times as long as it usually does and I am past my bedtime, so will sign off for now.
Good night from the Keweenaw..
-JD-
July 6-
    Greetings. I am going to start with something I have forgotten to mention in the previous two journals. That is the bug report. Weeks ago I was talking about the blackflys and how nasty they were. Well, about two weeks ago they gave up for the season for the most part. That was not particularly early, but it just amazes me how they can be so prolific and then just all but disappear. There are a few stragglers and seems like every year a few remain, but I am not even sure if they are the same species, because they do not fly into your ears like the others do and they are much slower. Thus you are able to kill them before they bite. The mosquito crop seemed to be a bumper one a week or so ago, but also seem to have toned down a bit. They are also easy to avoid if you know where to go and when. The deep woods obviously have them all day long and into the evening hours. However, if you get out into the full sun, they are not much of a problem at all and then at dusk and in the early morning hours just after sunrise they are a problem in many locations. Bug dope also helps to keep them from biting you, so I never view mosquitos are much of a problem, at least no more so than anywhere else in the Midwest.
    The deerflys have come out in the past 2 weeks, but again are not a problem everywhere. They seem to be worst in open areas that are near the woods. We do not have any problems with the deerflys at our house and about the only place I have been bothered by them is on the golf course. I do not remember them being a problem on the golf course last year, but then again last year was so incredibly dry I think many insects just did not populate like they typically would. So I guess the bottom line is that if you were staying away from the area because of any potential bug problems I would say that the coast is clear. Or at least no worse than anywhere else in the Midwest. Mosquitos are the main issue and really are manageable with bug dope and/or avoiding certain areas at certain times of the day. Last evening, we all went into the woods to explore the Cliff Cemetery and some old mining ruins of Clifton and were in the deep woods. I did not have any bug dope on and was not too bothered. A few swats from time to time, but for the most part was able to get around without issue.
    The weather sure has been typical Keweenaw summertime weather. Thursday and Friday were beautiful, with temps in the low 70's and very low humidity. The humidity and temps started to climb yesterday, with a high of 83 at the airport and 87 at our house. The dewpoint peaked at 65 yesterday and is currently at around 67 today, with a temp of 84. So today and yesterday would be good beach weather, while Thursday and Friday were perfect for anything you wanted to do.
    Nora's brother and his family are up visiting from the thumb of MI and we all took in the fireworks at Lake Linden on Thursday. All in all a good show was put on by the LL Volunteer Fire Department and the weather was perfect. Temps fell into the low 60's as the sun set and not a cloud in the sky. We all wore light jackets and long pants and were very comfortable. Friday Nora and some of the crew headed back down to LL to take in the parade. I opted out to do some work on the shop, but then we all gathered up here for a little 4th of July party. With the weather being so perfect, the deck we built this spring got a good workout. Paisley is still with us and Nora decked her out in some Independence Day attire. That was actually what Burt wore last year, but she did not seem to mind and I don't think Burt would have had a problem with it either. She enjoyed the party too, being able to go around to everyone and get her attention from them.
    Before all the festivities started, more work was done on the shop. Al came over on Monday and put the ridge cap on and then on Tuesday the garage door was installed, so the shop is officially weather tight. Looks good too I thought. The paint sample in the brochure for the door did not match the actual color of the door itself, so the paint we got from the hardware store did not match either, but I plan to pick up some samples from the hardware store, bring them back to match them with the door and then have a quart of paint made up so that the two doors will match better.
    I have been pretty busy working on the inside of the shop. When we last left off, the walls were all done and all that was left was the ceiling and the sauna. Well, I was able to finish up the ceiling this week. Monday, Tuesday and part of Wednesday were spent putting in the framing for the ceiling and then Thursday we rented a drywall lift to help us hang the luan plywood. It was not heavy stuff, but so flexible that it was too difficult to put up by hand. Then Friday, Saturday and today I put up the moldings and the other trim pieces and it is all done, except for the area where the sauna wall still needs to be finished. I hope to get the wood for the outside of the sauna sometime this week, get that up and then finish up the ceiling in that area. Then all that will be left is to paint the floor and finish out the inside of the sauna. I have to wait a few more weeks to paint the floors as they need to cure for 60 days, so perhaps I will work some on the inside of the sauna in that time. I think one could just sit in there right now and it would feel a bit like a sauna!
    Really not much else going on up here, at least with us. The July 4th weekend is a very big weekend up here for those that moved away to come back and visit and it also pretty much kicks off the tourism season. I know June was a very quiet month up here tourist wise. I think the cooler temps in other areas as well as our cool temps up here kept folks away, plus June is not a huge month for tourists. I hate to sound like the chamber of commerce, but I do think it is fair to say that we are having some beautiful summer weather up here and with the bug month of June past us, it is a great place to come and explore. I am hoping we can get to the beach in the next day or two as we have not gone to any of them yet this summer. Now with the shop pretty close to being done I will probably start to do less work on it and do more playing!
Good night from the Keweenaw..
-JD-