my little fall on Tuesday, I decided that I was going to get right back
up on the horse that bit me, or however that saying goes and the hounds
and I headed back to the cliffs Thursday. We took a slightly different
route, not to avoid danger, but just to see some different sights.
We got to a different overlook, one that makes me very nervous to be on
with the dogs without their leashes. It is basically a rock outcropping
that has a drop off of about a few hundred feet. The dogs like to
get right up to the edge and look over and that scares the heck out of
me. It is one of the few times that I ever raise my voice at them,
calling them back or telling them not to go over by the edge. They
seem to sense the stress in my voice and are very responsive. I even
tried to get them to pose on the rock (many, many feet away from the edge),
but they did not want to do it for me. So I ventured out and took
a shot looking northeast
towards Phoenix. The builds of Phoenix were the light dots off
in the distance.
I then gingerly turned
to my right and took a shot
looking southwest down the cliff drive. In that shot you get
a better idea of the drop off there is up there. Really kind of heart
stopping, especially with nothing between me and a drop of several hundred
feet. We climbed off that outcropping and did some more exploring
up on top. It was a strange day, thick overcast skies from about
Calumet north and clear blue skies in places like Houghton and Hancock
as well as points south. Sort of a weather forecasters nightmare,
but still a great day to be in
As you can see from
that last shot, the colors are changing, but I just took a peak back at
my journal entries from last year at this time and they are not even close
to being as changed as they were last year at this time. Really unusual.
Another thing I keep forgetting to mention is that we (I say "we", but
it is really the hounds) have flushed only one partridge all fall.
That is also very unusual. Usually we will flush one or two in an
hour walk. Don't know why that is, but I would not want to be a bird
hunter up here this fall. It would really be frustrating.
I have one last shot
to share with you from the venture up on the cliffs. We were walking
through an area that had been logged, following a rough clearing, not a
road, when we came across evidence of just how powerful the machinery they
use is. Here is a shot of a rock
that had been busted in half when one of the machines struck it.
Just to put things in perspective, it was about three feet from one end
to the other and I was able to reach my hand in and get the smaller piece
of rock that was sitting in the main crack. Wonder how what ever
it was that hit it is?
We have been
having really great weather the past few days, but I think that today would
be have to be characterized as a "10" in the weather records for nice days.
Cobalt blue skies, temps in the upper 60's, very low humidity and a fresh
breeze. It did not start out beautiful. Thick fog enshrouded
the valley. I went out to take a picture of how thick the fog was
this morning, but the flash just reflected off the fog and the image was
all white. I did take a trip into Houghton later in the morning and
was able to snap a shot of the Portage
Lake Lift Bridge as the fog was burning off the lake. By the
time I got home from being in town, the fog in the valley was all gone
and skies were crystal clear.
With such a perfect
day, the hounds and I spent a lot of time outdoors. We took our longest
walk since my leg break and Baileys surgery, spending about 2 hours in
the woods. We stuck pretty much to the old train tracks running north
up the ridge line of the valley. For a short time we were heading
down a country road up here and that is where I snapped this
shot. That was actually Gas Plant Road, for those of you who
know some of the local trails up here. Some very beautiful views
from up on top of the ridge line on Gas Plant, that is for sure!
With all the nice weather
we have been having up here, it seem almost impossible that in just a week
it could be snowing, but that is what the models are saying right now.
What is also very interesting is that if things play out as indicated,
it could be a very similar event to what happened last year on the same
date. It was October 6th last year when we got our first real snow.
It did snow on the 5th, but on the 6th is when the entire region saw about
an inch and the higher elevations of the Keweenaw picked up 2-4".
Ishpeming and Negaunee picked up close to a foot! It is still a week
away so we'll see what happens between now and then, but very interesting.
It was interesting,
I was on K Mart this morning and I overheard folks talking about how nice
it was today and also about the potential for snow next weekend.
It's fun to hear them say my name in the store and have them not even recognize
me. I feel kind of like a spy or something when that happens.
Well known, but only by name, not face. Just the way I would like
to keep it!
I guess that is going
to do it for now. Keep those eyes out for the cold at the end of
next week. Sure looks to be a winter-like punch of cold air.
More than just the UP could see snow, with some meaningful accumulations
in some of the LES belts of the Midwest.
Good night from the Keweenaw.
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First off, I'd
like to congratulate the good folks in northern lower MI for being the
first ones to see snow this season. Yep, it snowed around places
like Gaylord and Alpena, with Atlanta picking up enough to coat the ground
pretty good, or so I hear. No snow here in the Keweenaw. We
did have a good frost
yesterday morning, but that is it. There is some chances seen
on the horizon (late next week or the following weekend), but that is a
long way off to be to concerned about. Lots can change.
Speaking of change,
the trees are not doing that with much enthusiasm. It seems like
they have not changed much in the past week. Here in town, there
is very little color. A few trees are really lit up, but the majority
of them are still just green. That includes the ones in my back yard.
I have not forgot to re aim the AL Cam, it is just that the trees have
not begun to change yet. There is no way that we will reach our peak
color by the end of next week. I have no idea what is causing them
to be delayed in their changing, but they are behind, that is for sure.
I decided to "get away
from it all" yesterday and headed up to Keweenaw County to do some exploring.
I thought that maybe the colors would be further along up there (don't
know why exactly, but it was a thought), but they weren't. Even one
of the traditional color hot spots, The
Cliffs, was still pretty green. My plan was to take the hounds
up to the top of the cliffs and take in the view. Nice thing about
exploring up here, you do not need to get to your destination to enjoy
the view. There are little scenes like that all over the place
up here. Sure makes enjoying the journey, not just the destination,
Further on up the trail
we came across a spot where a little rock slide had taken place.
Kind of unusual to see up here. Rock slides up here are not that
common. Someone with something had to push the
rocks out of the way to make the trail usable for vehicles. Even
further up the trail we came across another surprise, this one not too
pleasant. The quaint little bush trail heading up the cliffs to the
overlook had been transformed into a major logging
highway. Now don't get me wrong, I am not against logging or
the usage of our natural resources. I realize that as a human, I
am by definition, a consumer. I also realize that the logging industry
does supply jobs up here (although I think that their claims of number
of jobs provided is a bit overstated), but it is just so disheartening
to be walking into an area that was once so picturesque and seemingly unspoiled
and find it to be mauled, manipulated and basically industrialized.
Needless to say, my attitude was changed fairly dramatically by the change
About the only thing
I can say positive about the change is that it did make for easier footing
for our walk. However, that did not stop me from taking a pretty
good spill. Actually I fell when we got off the trail to try and
find the overlook. We were going through an area that was logged,
but lots of tree remnants were laying on the ground. We were going
down a pretty steep hill and I was watching Baileys to make sure she was
getting through ok when I stepped on a limb that promptly rolled out from
underneath my foot. Suddenly I was airborne with my feet out in front
of me. I came down right on a rock about the size of a watermelon
that was sticking about 2-3 inches above the ground. Got the wind
knocked out of me and really hammered my tailbone. No broken bones
(at least I don't think so), but man did it hurt. I was able to hobble
down to the car with the dogs and we made it home ok. Thankfully
I still have some great pain medicine left over so I took one before bed
and slept fine. This morning was a rough one. It took about
2 minutes to get out of bed and about half as long to get seated in the
chair. For awhile, I thought that I might have to go get it x-rayed,
but it loosened up with some movement and by this afternoon, I was actually
able to head up to get in a workout. I almost never bruise (never
did bruise when I broke my leg) but I have a nice one developing as I type.
About the size of a softball.
That little experience
has convinced me that I really should get a cell phone. I really
hate those things, especially living up here, where things are so laid
back. I do have an old one from the Chicago days, but I think that
I will pop for a new one that works better than my old flip phone.
I suppose that I can have it off and retain my solitude while out in the
woods and just use it for emergencies. I might still be there if
I was immobilized somehow. Anyway, I am all safe and sound.
A little sore still, but it has not cramped my style.
I just have one last
shot to share with you. It was taken on the way back down.
We came across a spot where the evil, mean, dirty logging machinery had
not gotten. Yet. Now maybe you understand why I was so
disappointed when I came across the new road and lack of trees.
Good night from a still very beautiful
and magical Keweenaw.
I really wanted to
get a journal out tonight, but it became a real struggle to decide which
to sacrifice, the journal or my comfort in front of the TV and a great
fire in the fireplace (my fix worked and my fireplace is not basically
smoke free). Then I looked over to see my laptop sitting on the table
in the living room and knew that I would be able to have my cake and eat
it too. So here I sit; on the couch, in front of the tv, with a football
game on, a fire in the fireplace and the hounds at my feet. Pretty
lucky I’d say.
It's been a good day for a fire, we have
been in the 40’s all day and the sun has been hidden behind a low overcast
all day. A few showers have even rolled through from time to time,
but we did not get much rain, at least not as much as other areas to our
south and east. I was even dry enough to take a few walks.
It was chilly enough on the morning walk that I wished that I had my gloves
on, the old fingers got a little numb with temps in the low 40’s and enough
winds to create a wind chill in the 20’s. On the afternoon walk,
we were in the woods, so I did not have to have them on a leash, as a result,
I could put my hands in my jacket pockets to keep them warm if need be.
I have to admit, it
was nice to be walking in the woods with the cool temps. It finally
seems like fall up here. There were even a few leaves falling, just
to add a little more atmosphere. The hounds also seemed to enjoy
the cooler temps. They did not slow down the whole time we were walking
and the afternoon walk lasted about and hour and a half. I was actually
a little worn out by the end, but they seemed to want to go on. Of
course, I am still going strong right now and they are sound asleep, so
maybe it all equals out in the end.
The colors continue
to change, although it does not seem like we will be at our peak in just
two weeks. Most of the trees are still just a pale shade of green,
with about 10-15% of them showing real color. I do have some shots
that I took the other day, but one problem with using the laptop is that
I cannot download the pictures from the cam. So I will have to ramble
on here for a while and then when I run out of stuff to say, go into the
office and use the desktop to download the pictures and then comment on
them. To tell you the truth, I cannot even remember what the shots
are of, but I am confident that they are stimulating.
The weather sure did
cooperate with my weekend plans. I had to play in a golf tournament
yesterday. The day started out on the cloudy side, but by noon, the
sun was out and the weather could not have been any better for a day on
the links. Temps in the mid to upper 60s, a light breeze and loads
of sunshine. My team actually did pretty good, coming in second place
in the championship flight, with a 2 under par for 9 holes. The wining
score was just one better, at 3 under. It was so nice that after
finishing the 9 hole tournament, we decided to play another 9 holes.
I had to cut that round short to go and feed the hounds and sneak in a
walk with them before heading off to the banquet. I don't know how
many more rounds of golf I will play this year. The season will be
shutting down on us pretty soon.
It's getting dark out
now, but as I look out, some lake effect rain showers are passing through.
Just another sign that the season is a changing. I do not see any
snow on the horizon for the UP or anywhere else in the Midwest in the coming
week to ten days, but we sure are at that time of the year. Glad
the fireplace is working good now!
Well, it looks like
I have reached that time when my rambling will no longer be entertaining
to the majority of you, so I will head into the office, down load the pictures
and then do some commentary on them before signing off.
Well, as promised,
I have some tantalizing shots to share with you. As they started
downloading, I was able to remember what they were from. I took the
hounds for a walk Friday afternoon and brought the cam along in case we
came across something interesting. Not much was seen, but here is
a shot looking up
Nordman Road just to show you the status of most of the tree colors.
Still kind of green huh? The other shot was on more of a humorous
note. The hounds have this affinity to stick their heads into every
culvert that we cross on our walks. I don't know why, but they just
cannot pass them up. If the culvert is big enough, they will actually
crawl or walk through them. I am just glad that they never encounter
something that does now want them there. Anyway, here is a shot of
them checking out
a culvert. Crazy.
Well, guess that will
do it for tonight. I had a late night last night and got up early,
so I am fading off. Rather than rambling on and ruining a perfectly
good journal, I will quit while I am ahead.
good night from the Keweenaw.
Well, I guess
that the main event up here has been the changing of colors. With
that said, I just realized I do not have any pictures to show any of that!
However, I do have some interesting shots to share. My brother, nephew
and I (as well as the 4 dogs) took a trip to the top of Mt. Lookout, or
"Baldy" as the locals call it. Soon after moving here, I decided
that going up there would be a lot of fun, but I have never been able to
have things come together to allow an expedition. I made up my mind
that we would go there as part of our adventures when my brother and nephew
came. I was told about the trails that head up there, but was not
completely sure I would be able to find the correct one from the highway.
As luck would have it, I found the correct trail and we made our way up.
It is possible to walk to the top and back. It is about a 3-4 mile
trip each way and you gain about 500-600 feet in elevation. However,
with my recovering leg as well as Baileys, I decided that we should drive
most of the way. We drove as far as the first peak and then parked
the car to walk the rest of the way, about 3/4 of a mile.
The view of Baldy from
the lower elevations surrounding it mad me believe that the view from the
top would be something special and I
was right. That was the view looking east towards Brockway Mtn.
and Copper Harbor. Here is a shot
looking to the southwest. That side of the mountain is much different
than the others, having sheer cliffs, rather than a more gradual slope.
That spot seemed like a good place for a pose, so here
I am with the hounds. Also, as we were hiking up to the top,
we caused a couple of eagles to fly from their resting spot at the top
of the cliff. We were only about 30 feet from them when they took
flight, really awesome to see them up so close. They are huge!
It is just amazing how well they fly and maneuver with their size.
Really a wonder of nature.
The view northeast
overlooks Lake Bailey
as well as Agate Harbor, and the view to the northwest overlooks Eagle
Harbor, both the body of water and the town. In the left center of
that shot, you can see the hill where we parked the truck and walked the
rest of the way. No name for that hill on any of the maps I have
in my possession.
I decided to take a
panorama shot of the view from west to east so that you can see the entire
view of the lake. I hope to take a return trip with my tripod
to get a 360 degree panorama. Maybe even take the truck all the way
and set the tripod on top of the truck for a real birds eye view.
Plus, now that I know where the trail head is, a trip by sled will be in
the offing this winter. That is something that I had planned to do
last winter, before I broke my leg. It was even a destination that
I had in mind for a KSE trip. Here is one more shot showing the
cliffs on the south side of the hill. I took that shot from the
approximate spot where the eagles were when we arrived on the hill.
We walked back to the
truck, it was a pleasant walk, with the majority of it being downhill.
Seeing as though the rest of the walk down to the Eagle Harbor cut off
road was also downhill, I asked my brother and nephew if they wanted to
walk, while I followed them in the truck and they said yes. So Baileys
and I bounced down in the truck while my brother, nephew, Burt and my brothers
two dogs walked down. About 1/4 of the way down, Burt either realized
I was not with the group that was walking or just saw the truck behind
him and thought that he would rather ride with Baileys and I, because he
ran towards the truck and wanted to get in. So the 3 of us bounced
down in the truck following the four others. We made good time getting
back down. The slope was all downhill and not too steep, so they
were able to keep up a very brisk pace.
After all that hiking
and bouncing around in the truck, the dogs were pretty hot and thirsty
so I took the whole gang to Great
Sand Bay for a swim. The dogs all swam for about an hour (Baileys
gave up a little earlier than that) and everyone was pretty worn out, so
we headed back to base.
I think that the 2
1/2 days that my brother, his dogs and my nephew were here were the most
active that the dogs have had in a long time. They were quick to
hit the hay every evening and were content in not moving a muscle all night.
I gave them a bit of a break the past two days, but plan to take them on
a fairly long hike tomorrow. I continue to work out and all the hiking
the past few days did a lot to strengthen the leg. I think I might
try and make climbing up Mt. Ripley a somewhat regular event to further
So that gets you caught
up in the goings on up here. We are about 2 weeks from peak color,
but you would not really know by looking at the majority of the trees.
Most have a bit of color, but few are too far along. I will be pointing
the AL Cam towards my trees soon so that you can catch their changing act
in person. No snow seen on the immediate horizon for the Keweenaw.
There is a slight chance that places in the MN arrowhead could see a few
flakes early Sunday, but that is about it so far. I am not worried
about the winter at all. I'll begin to worry if we get to deer season
without any real snow, and that is still about 7-8 weeks away. Till
Good night from the Keweenaw.
Have a lot to
share with you tonight and it is already creeping up on my bed time, so
I will get right to it and may be brief, but to the point. Autumn
is continuing to take hold on thins up here. I have removed both
the air conditioners from the windows, I find myself reaching for a jacket
almost every time I go outside for a prolonged period of time and the leaves
are changing by the day. We had out first frost last Friday morning.
The temp at the airport was 34, so I bet we were even a bit cooler than
that. It was not a hard killing freeze, but I did see frost on my
truck and on the neighbors rooftop. I did not check the grass before
the sun had a chance to warm things, but I think that there was frost on
it as well. All the mornings are chilly now, dropping into the 40's
regularly, I even needed the heat for a few hours Friday morning, just
to take the chill off. Sunday morning I drove by the Torch Lake and
it was showing the signs
of the season. Mornings sure can be beautiful. It is really
my favorite time of the day.
One of the things I
noted when I moved up here was how patriotic people were. The 4th
of July is such a huge event up here. Well, needless to say, the
patriotism is cranked up into high gear. I was fortunate enough to
get a flag, maybe the last one in the peninsula. I tried the stores
in Calumet after hearing all the stores in the Houghton/Hancock area were
out, so was Calumet. I ended up actually getting one here in Lake
Linden. The hardware store had one left. So it is flying with
pride on the front of my house and I have put a spot light on it to keep
it illuminated at night. The village
is all decked out in red, white and blue, flying two flags on every
street light on the main drag through town. It is really neat to
drive through town and even through my neighborhood and see all the red,
white and blue. Heck, I will be driving through a country road and
where a private drive leads from the road to a house set back so far in
the woods that you can't see it will be a flag flying. Really great feeling.
Well, my brother and
nephew have arrived from down south. They pulled in yesterday afternoon
and we did not waste much time heading off to have some fun with all the
region can provide. We took to the beach since it was a pretty nice
day. He has two dogs and so the four dogs and three of us played
on the beach for about an hour or so. Today we headed north to climb
Bohemia. It was a good day for such an adventure. Overcast
skies, temps in the low 60's. It did sprinkle a little bit every
once in a while, but not enough to be a problem. The last time I
hiked up this hill, was before the ski hill went in. Hiking up this
time was a bit easier. Not because it was any less steep, but because
there were more options and the options did not have too many obstacles
to get around. Although I have to admit that the
going was still not too easy. Beezy and I, the two cripples in
the group brought up the rear, making it to the top a few minutes after
the rest of the group made it up. But we made it and here is the
proof, a pic of the
hounds and I at the top.
Hiking up the ski run
had me thinking how much fun it would be to ski down them. However,
I would need the runs to be groomed. I am not good at, nor do I like,
the bumps and most of the runs on that hill are bumped up. The hill
looked really well laid out, with the runs following the fall lines nicely.
The new runs even open up some new views of the land below. Here
is a shot of Lac
La Belle that I was never able to see before the ski runs went in.
We decided to go down a different way that we went up. We chose the
double black run to see just what they thought was a double black.
The first part
was no problem, actually more like a blue (intermediate) run. However,
about midway down, there were a few spots where you lost view of the ground
ahead and it looked like a cliff was ahead. It was not a cliff, but
was steep. Steep
enough to make posing for a shot interesting. However, that is
not the toughest run on the hill. The toughest are where they just
cleared out enough of the underbrush to allow the skier to make his/her
way through the
trees. Yes, that was a ski run. You wouldn't catch me skiing
down those anytime soon!
We found our way back
to the car and took advantage of one of the neatest things about the Lac
La Belle area and that is being in the "mountains" one minute and five
minutes later being on the beach. I doubt that there is never a bad
of of the Bear Bluffs from Bete Grise and today backed that point up.
We allowed the dogs to swim, cool off and get some water to drink while
at the beach. There was not a whole lot of sticks for the dogs to
fetch, so Burt had to prove how strong he was with this
one. It is amazing to me that he can carry that stick and can
even swim with it.
We made one last stop
on the way from Bete Grise back to my house and that was at a roadside
park between Lac La Belle and Gay. There, the hounds used up their
final bit of energy fetching some more sticks and running up and down the
beach, and I was able to try my hand at some landscape
photography. It is my desire to get a digital camera that is
just like an SLR camera, in that you can control the exposure and also
control things like the focus and depth of field. They are down to
about a thousand dollars from about 4-5 thousand a year or two ago.
I think that they can even have different lenses used which would really
get me going on the picture taking adventure. All in good time.
Tomorrow we have plans
to get to the top of Mt Baldy, overlooking Eagle Harbor. I have yet
to go there, so I hope I can find the road. If not, I know we will
have fun trying and will of course bring you all along for the adventure.
Until next time...
good night from the Keweenaw.
Boy, it seems
like a month has passed since I last wrote a journal entry. So much
has happened, so many emotions. I had plans to do a journal on Tuesday,
but obviously they were put aside. Then yesterday I was getting ready
to do one and just could not find things to say. There is so much
being said about the events in New York and Washington that I felt anything
I would say would just be trivial. It did not seem right to talk
about the day to day events going on up here, they too seemed trivial.
I guess that sums up how I have been feeling, that the events, concerns,
worries and even joys of my life recently have been so trivial when compared
to those directly impacted by the events this past Tuesday. I do
not personally know of anyone who was involved in the attacks, but I am
positive that I have customers who have friends and people that they do
business with that were involved. I just can't imagine for a moment
what those people must be going through. I suppose that the way I
feel about everything that has happened is representative of just about
everyone, so maybe I am just preaching to the choir. I guess I just
thought I may as well speak a little about what I have been feeling.
One thing I have also
been feeling is tremendous pride to be an American. Not the hollywood
type, or "pose for the camera with a baby" type, but true pride.
That this event will truly make our country and maybe the world a better
place. I truly have faith in our leadership and in the collective
mindset of the American people. It has choked me up to see images
of all the people standing in line to give blood, to see the folks standing
on the side of the street to cheer on the rescue personnel going in, to
see American flags flying in windows, on sides of houses, on flag poles
where they were not flying before the event. This is truly the best
nation in the world and the best nation in history.
So now I guess I can
talk a little about what is going on up here. Not much. Tuesday
evening I went to the Loading Zone for dinner because I was so caught up
in the events, that I forgot to get a dinner ready. Then by the time
my stomach told me it needed food, it was too late to start thawing out
food to cook, to I just headed over to grab a bit at the local joint.
All the TV's had the coverage on and there were folks there watching the
coverage, but the main action in town was actually taking place outside.
We had a little run on the gas stations take place Tuesday evening.
Rumors of 4 and 5 dollar per gallon gas hit and when I parked my car across
the street from the gas station, the cars were lined up to get gas and
the line grew and grew and at one point was all the way to the park.
For those of you not familiar with the village of Lake Linden, that is
about 4-5 blocks long. Pretty long for a gas station with 4 pumps.
I heard that the scene was the same in places like Calumet, Houghton, Hancock,
Chassell, L'Anse and Baraga. Prices only rose about 10 cents at most
of these places and have since gone back to the prices where they were
before the attack. So other than that, the reactions have been fairly
subdue, just lots of American flags flying.
The days have not been
void of walks in the woods with the hounds. In the last journal I
mentioned how Burt got stung by a bunch of bees as he wandered onto a ground
nest. Ever since then I have been a little hyper sensitive about
where the dogs go. Tuesday, it paid off, as Baileys was about to
hop over a hill and check something out. I called her back and she
was a good doggie and came to me. Thankfully, because on the other
side of that hill was this.
Just in case you did not recognize what that was, it was a hornets nest,
with the little ones busy flying in and out. Sheesh! That was
a close one!
It started to rain
a bit soon after we started our walk, but that did not seem to phase the
hounds and I decided to keep chugging along. I was wearing a water
proof jacket and we had a bit of cover
from the trees, so it was not too bad. There is something special
about walking through the woods when it is raining. It seems to become
extra peaceful. First of all, I guess I know I will not run into
any other nut case out in the woods in the rain. But also, things
just seem more peaceful. About the only sound is the raindrops hitting
the leaves and the sloshing of my shoes through the wet ground. Even
the subdued lighting seems to make it more peaceful. There are no
sharp contrasts, just mellowed shades of green, tan and brown. So
I was actually glad to be walking in the rain. It was refreshing,
peaceful and helped to take a little edge off of the events of the day.
For a moment I was able to escape and just be one with the environment
and my dogs.
More signs of fall
are appearing. The skies have been filling up with the sights and
sounds of Canadian Geese. The first flocks through so far have not
stopped (at least at the traditional stopping ground in Lake Linden), so
maybe that is a good sign for the upcoming winter. The trees continue
to turn. Here is one
caught in the act and here is one
fully changed. Of course the majority of the trees have yet to
show any change in
The next item to talk
about is more of an order of business really. I was contacted by
a friend of the site that they have a groomer for sale. It is a 1992
Tucker Sno-Cat groomer, 360 gas, Allison automatic, 2700 hrs in excellent
shape for sale. The journals were re sleeved in 99 and track redone with
new belting and new breaker wheels and drive sprockets in 2000. It has
strobe lights and stereo radio. They also have a Trail master 9â€™6
drag they will sell individually or as a unit. He says they are able to
give some club a very good deal . The Tucker will be traded in early October
if not sold. They are open to any reasonable offer, they would love to
see some club give it a home. They have done a lot of up grades. This groomer
would be excellent for a small club or a club in a short snow season area
or as a backup unit. The only reason they up graded is that it became possible
for their club to purchase a new Sur-trac groomer. If you want to see a
picture of the unit it can be seen
here. I'd try and get someone up here to get it, but from what
I understand, we are going to be the testing ground for a new high tech
groomer, it is suppose to create a very firm surface.
A bit of good news;
weeks ago, I mentioned in the journal how some very beautiful and special
land in the Keweenaw was being sold by it's owner the Lake Superior Land
Company. The land (6000 acres) included such special spots as the
mouth of the Montreal River, the shoreline from that river to Smith Fisheries
and several inland lakes. At the time of my mentioning in the previous
journal, there was an effort on to try and get the State of Michigan to
purchase the land to put it in the public trust. To keep it open
to public usage and to keep it in it's current state. I asked that
if people thought it a good idea that these lands be put in the public
trust, they write a person in charge of the review process at the Michigan
Natural Resources Trust. I am pleased to say that the land purchase
has been approved by the MI Natural Resources Trust Fund. It still
has to clear a few more hurdles, such as a bill regarding this issue to
be passed by the legislature and the bill to be signed by the Governor,
but from what I understand the major hurdle is to get the approval of the
trust fund authority. So that is some very good news. Some
very special land may very well go into the public trust and remain in
it's current pristine state for all to use for generations. Thanks
to all who wrote the letters, I have no doubt that public commentary had
a significant impact.
I always try and end
the journal on a positive note, so I guess I will call it quits for tonight.
Good night from the Keweenaw!
Well, I have
a few free moments, something that I think will be lacking in the next
few weeks, so I thought I would get out a new entry. I do not have
a tone to talk about and only one picture, but hey, at least it is something.
Fall has finally arrived
up here. At least fall like weather. Today we were cloudy,
windy and cool all day. We topped out at about 60 degrees and it
is currently drizzling and in the upper 50's. We picked up about
1.1 inches of rain in the past 2-3 days. It was very welcome, as
things were really drying out around here. I have been watering my
lawn, trying to get it in decent shape so that I can take the long winter
better, but the good soaking rain did more good than 3 weeks of watering
with the sprinkler. Someday someone will invent a sprinkler that
does as good a job as mother nature. Hey, maybe that's how I'll make
my millions! I have actually thought about how to improve current
snowmaking equipment (surprised?!) and actually have the process needed
to improve it down, I just do not know how to do it. If I could figure
that out, I would definitely be a multi millionaire. Imagine being
able to have man made snow that was the same quality as mother natures.
Anyway, the grass is all nice and green. A far cry from the 100%
brown and almost dead that was occurring about 4 weeks ago. With
the cool temps I will not have to worry about cutting it as often either.
Signs of autumn are
beginning to show up more and more in the trees up here. I tried
to take a shot of a tree, but it did not turn out. Most of the trees
are still quite green, but about 20% of them have quite a bit of color.
That process will start to really get going in about 2 weeks. It
seems like we go from about 50% turned to about 90% turned in the last
week of Sept..
Yesterday we were in
and out of rain most of the day. As a result, the hounds and I kept
close to home. We took three walks, but they were all in the neighborhood.
Poor Burt, on our morning walk, we went to the outskirts of the village
in an area where there is a road, but no homes. So I let them off
the leash to get more freedom for roaming. Burt stumbled upon a bees
nest in the ground and they did not like him there so started to swarm.
He and Baileys were actually behind me, but as luck would have it, I turned
around to seem him really biting to get at something on his rear paw.
I though that maybe he stepped on something and cut his paw again or a
little critter had bit him or something, so I quickly moved towards him
to see what was wrong. I was about 20 feet away when I saw the bees
all over him. I ran over, swatted two main groupings of them, probably
killing about 10 with each swat, then grabbed him and pulled him away from
the nest. They were still swarming so I swatted at them in the air
and on him, then Baileys steeped into the action. I think that she
actually could see what was happening, because she went after some of the
bees that were on Burt's hind quarters. After about a minute, they
all had either been killed or flown off and the excitement was over.
It was amazing, I did not get stung once and I do not think Baileys did
either. Poor Burt got a bunch. I would have to think that he
was stung about 10 times or more, as there were at least 6-7 different
places that were bothering him after it was all over. I was a little
worried, as too many stings on a human can cause problems and Burt being
smaller in size than a human might react to fewer stings. Thankfully
there was nothing more than the left over stinging for him and by the evening
he was fine. That is the second time he has been stung several times
at once. Baileys is the lucky one. She has actually chomped
down on, and eaten, three of those big bumble bees and never had a problem.
I tell her no when I see her eyeing one, but sometimes she sees them before
me. I am so worried that it will sting her mouth, throat or even
stomach and that will cause a problem with her breathing or something,
but so far so good. Maybe there is some kind of built in instinct
that they have that allows them to bit it just right to kill it so the
bee can not sting them. I think it is just luck. I hope I never
have to find out.
Today I took them on
a morning walk in the neighborhood, avoiding the area with the bees nest,
then got the call to play golf and then took them for an afternoon walk
in the woods. We headed up to the first tracks, old railroad tracks
that double as the snowmobile trail in the winter. They are called
the first tracks because there is a second set further up the hill.
Anyway, it was a good day to be in the woods. There were a few puddles
to avoid, the result of the recent rain, but other than that, a very
pleasant time was had by all. The woods were not all quiet though.
It is bird hunting season and every once in a while a shot would ring out
in the distance. I sure wish that I would have grown up in this area,
or an area were guns were more common, or at leas not used for killing
humans. I am really afraid of guns and even the sound of a shot off
in the distance is unnerving to me. I am not against hunting by any
means, it is just the sound of a gun going off rattles my cage. I
think that the grouse and partridge season is going to be a slow one.
The dogs and I have only flushed one so far this season. Normally
we will flush 2-3 in an hour walk through the woods. Maybe it is
The goose migration
has not really kicked in either. A few early birds (sorry, just couldn't
resist) have come through, but the huge flocks of geese on their way south
from Canada have yet to show up. I can't remember when it is that
they come through, but it seems to me that it is around this time of the
year. Hope that is not a signal for the winter. My first year,
they came and actually stuck around for quite a long time. Winter
came late and not with much vigor. Last year, they came and went
rather quickly and the winter came on time and with quite an early season
punch. Maybe they know more that us weather guy's! Would not
I have begun to keep
my eyes posted for signs of winter to arrive here in the northwoods.
I do not see anything. A few days ago, there were some signs way
out in the forecast period, but the next day they were gone. I'm
not one bit concerned. I'll take the 60's we have on tap for the
next week to ten days anytime. That is about perfect weather as far
as I am concerned. Perfect for getting out and enjoying the woods
or beach. No jacket needed and then great sleeping weather with overnight
temps in the 40's and low 50's. This morning I still had my window
in the bedroom open and the smell of burning wood from my neighbors wood
furnace helped to send home the fact that summer is over. The snow
will come and with a little luck I will get in a pre thanksgiving ride
like I did last year. Anyway, keep checking in. I am not doing
the text forecasts right now, but if there is a reasonably good shot for
snow, I will be sure to put out a special little blurb on it. I realize
no riding will be done, but still, this is "Snow Central", so I will stay
on top of it. No flakes will catch me sleeping at the wheel!
Good night from the Keweenaw.
seems to be confused again. We were more like the south end of HWY.
41 (Miami) than the north end the past few days. Today was downright
sultry. Not too hot, the temps today were in the mid 70's, but very
humid, with dewpoints in the low 70's. Man, I really hate that humidity
stuff. Yesterday and the day before we were in the 80's, but with
dewpoints in the 50's, it was actually very pleasant. The hounds
and I took a great walk down the beach at Big Traverse yesterday.
We were almost the only ones, a couple were sitting down the beach with
their dog so I did not intrude on their solitude. Still, we were
able to get in some good play time at the beach. There was a strong
wind out of the south and it kept things really fresh. The hounds
got some good swimming in and I was able to leave any of my worries on
the sand to be washed away by the waves of Lake Superior. Sort of
a nice little summer treat, something we do not get much of this time of
With the recent warmth
and today's humidity, it seems strange to think that today is the anniversary
of the earliest measurement of snow at the Houghton County Airport.
Back on this day in 1956 a trace of snow was measured. I suppose
that the first flakes may have actually been seen even earlier than that,
but the historical records do not indicate when snow fell, just recorded
precip amounts and temps.
The first little wave
of cooler air has already arrived. I stress little, temps have only
dropped about 5-6 degrees and the dewpoint has dropped about as much.
Just enough to make our evening walk a little more tolerable. I was
comfortable, but the hounds are still panting. The recent unique
weather we have had up here caused a unique hatch of some kind of fly this
evening. On our evening walk, we were almost swarmed by these unique
flies. They were about the size of a deer fly, but were much slower
and did not bite, at least did not bite me. I have a feeling they
will not be around for too long. They seem like sitting ducks for
any predator and I suppose they will not deal with any cold too well.
It will be getting
cooler here soon, by Sunday, we will be struggling to get out of the 50's.
Sounds like a good day to build a fire and watch football! I suppose
I had better fix my fireplace first. I have some of the work done.
I decided to hook up a fan to help force air into the firebox. It
is a low velocity fan so it will not blow to hard, but now I know I will
not have to worry about the air just being drawn into the firebox by the
low pressure created there. The air will be pushed in and that should
take care of my drafting problems up the chimney. I am also thinking
of taking the hounds for a hike up Mount Bohemia, so we'll see which happens.
My mind has been turning
more and more to snow. Not really on its own, but rather because
the locals have started talking about it. Some view it as a pending
doom, while others are excited. Today there were reports of snow
in the Rockies out west, so I did a little surfing of web cams on the net
and found some snow
falling. That was a picture taken at Grand Targhee Wyoming this
morning. Didn't it look just wonderful? I would be very interested
in hooking up a pulse monitor to me and measuring the increase in my heart
rate as I flip up that picture. Man that is so cool (pardon the pun),
I can almost feel the chill of the cold air and the flakes hitting me in
my face. Soon, it will be soon.
I suppose that a mountain
climate is actually my ideal climate. Lots of snow in the winter
(Grand Targhee averages over 500" a year), warm, but not humid summers,
short springs and beautiful falls. I just get a little claustrophobic
being in the mountains. It is beautiful to be there, but after about
a week, I really miss being able to see the horizon like I am used to living
here in the Midwest. I suppose that the climate here is about as
close to the mountain climate as you can get while still being in the Midwest.
We average as much snow as many locals in the mountains (more than places
like Aspen), have short springs and beautiful autumns, the summers are
just a bit too humid from time to time. Plus it seems like you have
to be a millionaire to be able to afford to live out there, so I think
I'll just stay put. I can't complain at all. This is God's
country and many of you reading this would switch places with me in a heart
Not a whole lot more
to talk about, things have actually been kind of quiet around here.
I need to fix some things on the truck before I can take any more adventures.
No major repairs, but I suppose my battery needs to be held in place by
more than a bungy cord and the battery cables. I would like to take
a ride to High Rock, maybe even when a little autumn storm is cranking.
I would also like to get to the top of Mount Baldy. Plus there are
some seasonal roads I'd like to head down before the snow hits. So
much to do, so little time! 'Till next time...
Good night from the Keweenaw.
Welcome to autumn
everyone! Meteorological autumn that is. I'm sure I have said
this before, but we meteorologists have our own time frame that we attach
to the seasons, independent of the solar calendar. Sept-Oct-Nov are
meteorological autumn. Actually, up here it should be from about
Sept 1-Nov 15, then deer season, then winter!
This is the season
of change. Not just in the colors of the leaves, but in the weather.
Mother nature has been very demonstrative of that the past few days.
Thursday night after golf, I forgot to tell you all that I drove home from
the course in a hard drizzle that was accompanied by winds and very cool
temps. I'm sure that more than a few of you are wondering if I have
lost it, "hard drizzle"? What the? The main difference between
drizzle and rain is not it's intensity, but the droplet size. Off
hand, I do not know what the official size parameters are, but what was
coming down Thursday night was most definitely drizzle, but hard enough
to keep the windshield wipers going on medium. Friday was sunny and
fairly mild, but Friday night/Saturday morning was a cool one. I
did build my first fire, the chimney cap solution was not the fix, so plan
2 will be put into motion this week. We did not have a frost Saturday
morning, my thermometer read 37 degrees and we had fog, so the dewpoint
was high enough to keep the temps from dropping beyond that. I saw
that the airport up on the hill got to 38. So no frost. The
changeable weather continued, with Saturday evening bring some rain and
temps in the 50's and then Sunday being in the mid 80's. Just 2 evenings
after I had a fire going in the fireplace, I needed the air conditioner
to cool down the bedroom to get to sleep. It was in the low 80's
in my house at 9 pm. I am going to leave the AC in the bedroom window
for about another week, then yank it until next season. I bet I will
need it tomorrow and more certainly Thursday, as we look to rise into the
80's up here. Most of the evenings have been cooling off nicely and
with the sun disappearing behind the hills to the west at a little after
7, the temps usually cool off pretty good at night, but tomorrow and Thursday
may be too much to ask of the natural circumstances.
From what you tell
(no journal all weekend) I had a very relaxing labor day weekend.
Played some golf, did some minor work around the house and even took the
truck on it's biggest adventure through the bush so far. Actually,
I don't think that it would be possible to put it though much more of an
adventure without overnighting. Al, his son, the hounds and I took
the truck north into the Keweenaw (Al and the other locals in Lake Linden
call Keweenaw County "the Keweenaw"). Ever since hearing about a
place called "Keystone" a month after moving up here I have always wanted
to get there. 2 years ago, a neighbor and I attempted to get there,
but were stopped by a car blocking the only road in.
Keystone is actually
Keystone Bay, way up at the tip of the peninsula. It is only about
2-3 miles from the very tip or High Rock, another place I want to venture
to. So Al decided it would be fun to take a trip up there.
Only thing is that most folks take the highway to Copper Harbor, continue
past on 41, then where 41 ends, they take a dirt road around to the road
to Keystone. Al said we would be taking the bush all the way to Keystone,
so I gassed up the truck, we gathered some rations and headed off into
the bush. For those of you who have been on a KSE tour, you know
what "the bush" is. Some of the trails we were driving down Saturday
double as our bush trails for the sleds in the winter. In the summer
they are a little
more grown in. Soon after that shot, we hit the end of the road,
as we were heading down a steep hill and encountered some logs too close
together to get the truck through. I tried, but almost got the truck
stuck in between them, adding some new character marks to the passenger
side of the truck, as well as depositing the "K5 Blazer" detail at the
log pile on the right. I was a little worried that we might be stuck
when the truck lodged itself in between the logs and the right front tire
dropped into a 2 foot hole, but I locked in the front hubs and put it in
4 high and was able to back the truck out. I really should have taken
a picture of the truck, as I was quite amazed it got out.
Not all of our travels
were as adventurous, most of the driving was on logging roads or two tracks
(older, more grown in logging roads). We did manage to make most
of the trip via the bush, with the only traveling by road being from Gratiot
Lake Road to Lac La Belle. We could have taken the bush for that
stint, but we decided that a little bit of highway driving would be nice
as well. Plus it was getting a little late and we wanted to make
it to Keystone before dark! We did find some neat trails to take
KSE tours on. Some of which will be really fun, we both were chomping
at the bit, thinking about cruising through on the sleds in a few months.
We got to the turn off for Keystone with plenty of time to spare before
dark and headed down the last bit of trail. About a half mile before
you get to the lake, there is one final obstacle to cross and that is the
dam. I have heard some stories about trucks, rather large trucks,
all jacked up, disappearing in this beaver dam, so I have to admit that
my heart was pumping a little bit as we entered into it. Al said
not to worry that the water was way down and it might not even some in
through the doors. He was right, it was only about 2 1/2 feet deep
and we made it through without much seepage in through the doors.
In the spring, I guess the water can be 5-7 feet deep and even higher.
I have to say that
Keystone did not totally live up to the hype that others gave it and my
was beautiful to be sure, and I think that if I were to head up there
today or any day during the week, I would find it to be much more appealing.
However, it is the main destination of the 4 wheeling, camping crowd and
being labor day weekend, it had a fair amount of people. Not totally
packed according to Al, but still way too many people for me. Reminded
me of the forest preserves back down around Chicago. Beautiful, but
also containing just a few too many weekend warriors. Even the beach
was sort of a highway used by trucks and ATV's to get from one camping
areas to another. It did not hurt the beach, I am just not used to
seeing the beaches up here driven on and that took some of the special
nature to the place away. I will go back, to be sure. However,
I think I may choose a weekday when the risk of seeing others is low.
It was clean. For all the folks out there, it was well maintained.
I think that is so great that you can have that amount of people out there
and they all know that to leave stuff behind would only ruin it.
Makes me proud to be part of the demographic group represented out there
camping and partying. We even ran into a few friends out there that
were camping for the weekend.
We did not stay too
long, Al, his son and I were getting hungry (the hounds were fed at keystone),
so we took off for the harbor and dinner. As it turns out, we were
some of the last ones to eat at the Pines, as they had a fire early Sunday
morning. The fire destroyed the kitchen, caused smoke and water damage
to the restaurant, but spared Zik's, the bar. In fact, they were
able to have the band play in the bar as scheduled on Sunday.
As mentioned earlier,
Sunday was a warm one. We rose into the mid 80's. Thankfully
it was windy and with the sun angle not as strong, so it did not get out
of hand. I took the hounds to the village beach anyway and we had
a good walk along the shore. Yesterday was nice and cool, so we headed
off into the woods. We actually took our longest walk since Baileys
and I started our recuperation. We were out a full hour and took
one of our old, regular walks on the tracks above the valley. Both
Baileys and I did fine and I am happy that we can take longer walks like
that now. I can sense some nice, long ones coming up once the crisp
autumn days arrive. Today we headed off into
the woods. We did not spend an hour out there, but a good 35-40
minutes and it was just as enjoyable. On the way back from the walk
we passed one of the local
pieces of history. Anybody recognize that that was? You
can leave your answers in the Ask the Audience section.
So something of interest
showed up in the weather forecast models this morning. The first
indication of snow in the Midwest. Yep, I did not miss type.
Snow in the Midwest. Now, before everyone gets all excited, it is
a long way off and will likely disappear before it becomes reality.
The models generally make lots of mistakes when you get way out in the
forecast period, but a big upper air trough is indicated to build in the
week after next and enough cold air and moisture was indicated to occur
in the models to produce some snow in sections of western and northern
MN. I'll keep an eye on it (obviously), as it would not be unheard
of for there to be snow flying in MN on Sept. 16th, but I would not count
on it at this point. Still, it is encouraging to see those conditions
being represented in models for the Midwest. Getting close!
Changing the subject...
I am sorry for those of you checking in to the AL Cam and seeing a blank
image. I think that my cam is dying on me. I have to reset
the white balance every time I reboot my computer. I'm going to keep
an eye on it and get a new one if need be. Can't have that thing
acting up when you all are trying to watch the snow fly!
Speaking of cams.
A visitor to the site sent me a link to a cool cam. It is in Lake
Superior near Duluth and you can actually watch fish swim by. Really
cool, you can see it at: www.duluth.com/fishcam Thanks Brad for sending
me the link.
Well, I guess that
about does it for now.
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