Saturday, December 31, 2011

Have a Blessed 2012!

We are ringing in the New Year at the Grizzly Den tonight. Everything is packed and the dogs are ready to hop into the back of the truck. Rudyard is under a winter storm watch for tomorrow into Monday. Keep your fingers crossed we finally get enough snow to go snow-shoeing and snowmobiling!

Happy New Year Everyone!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Oh Christmas Tree...

It has been busy! I'm sure you all are experiencing the same at some level. For my family and me, this year is very different from Christmas's past. The move and the packing and unpacking...of course I can't remember everything even if I do write it all down. But we laugh it off and make due. This is the first year in 30 that we don't have a real tree set up for ourselves and our two sons. We made due at our son's house (He bought our house when we moved to the UP) and are adjusting to an artificial tree that I keep set up all year round but not in Christmas style. We've all traveled far to get together for the holiday and with our various schedules, a real tree would have been inconvenient this year. So for this post I thought I would show you all the trees that have adorned our Christmas parties and visits to family.

When we loaded everything up to head downstate, there was a little bit of snow in the UP.

The water sparkled as we crossed the Mackinac Bridge.

Christmas at my brother's house - It was a wonderful day!

And their beautiful Christmas trees!

My mother's beautiful trees!

Our make due tree!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Let it Snow - please

Today is a beautiful day for December. But truthfully, my idea of a "perfect" day would be watching a blustery snowstorm through my window, cup of hot tea in hand. Sigh. But if it isn't going to snow, then it may as well be sunny and in the low 40's - like today. The last two days have been windy and in the low 20's. 

Yesterday I bundled up and took Bear and Ike on a walk to the Grizzly Den. As you can see from the pictures below, there is only a dusting of snow and the river is high and beginning to freeze along the edges.

Many of you know our home is very small - just under 600 square feet. So an indoor Christmas tree was out of the question  - for this year anyways. But not an OUTDOOR Christmas tree. The dogs helped us scout our land in search of that perfect tree to set up just outside the window of our sitting area. 

Steve hauling the perfect Christmas tree out of the woods. overgrown Charlie Brown Christmas tree. "Ike, what do you think?" All I got was the pout. So I shrugged my shoulders and unraveled the lights not knowing Steve had disappeared into the woods again. 
Then I heard the chainsaw.

And out of the woods came this beautiful tree. So now we have two trees!

Tess approves. I'm not sure where Ike went. Both trees are pretty in their own unique way. I've hung suet holders as ornaments and watch the birds fly in and out all day long.

Twinkling under the moonlight!

Now if it would just snow!
The weathermen are saying they are watching 
a storm system for Wednesday and Thursday.
So we'll keep our fingers crossed and continue doing the snow dance.

Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Grizzly Den is Ready for Renters!

The Grizzly Den is officially open for renting. You can find the Grizzly Den on Facebook by typing in "The Grizzly Den Log Cabin Rental" in the search bar or just follow the link on my wall. Also, the Grizzly Den has it's own blog for advertising. I will still post pictures on here, but if you have friends who don't know me and just want to look at the Grizzly Den, they can go here:

Here are the latest pictures...

If you click on the above pictures, you should be able to access a slideshow which will make the pictures larger for your viewing.

Here is the info as stated on the Grizzly Den's Blog:

The Grizzly Den is a smoke-free authentic log cabin on the Pine River in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. It is approximately 40 miles north of the Mackinac Bridge. The cabin is located on Snowmobile Trail #472 northeast of Trout Lake. At the Grizzly Den, you'll experience the quiet, beauty, and seclusion of the U.P.

There is no electricity or television at the Grizzly Den. The cabin's green energy comes from a solar powered 12-volt electrical and lighting system, with optional gas lighting. There is a propane hot water heater and self-contained water pump system. The cabin offers a thermostat controlled vented gas fireplace for cozy heat, a full bath, and a kitchen with a gas stove.

The bedroom is in the upstairs loft which contains one queen and one full size bed. A comfy futon on the main floor opens to another full bed.

The cabin is located 1 1/2 miles from our home and is nestled in the Hiawatha National Forest. In the winter you park at our home and snowmobile the groomed trail to the Grizzly Den. We will assist with luggage to the log cabin upon arrival. All other seasons you can drive to the cabin.

The Grizzly Den is a year-round rental. Fishermen will be able to fish for brook, brown, and rainbow trout, perhaps seeing an occasional salmon swimming upstream. The bird hunters will enjoy the large population of Partridges in the area. The area is also excellent for bear hunting. The North Country hiking trail is just 3 miles west of the Grizzly Den on the same forest road. There are miles and miles of excellent off-road and ATV trails.

Sightseeing includes the Tahquamenon Falls, Whitefish Point, Soo Locks, the Mackinac Bridge and nearby Mackinac Island. You can visit three of the five Great Lakes from our locationLake Superior is approximately 35 miles to the north, and Lakes Michigan and Huron are approximately 35 miles south and east.

A two night minimum stay is required. Rates are $125 per night or $100 per night for a 5 night stay or more.

Please call us at 906.298.1378 or email

We look forward to seeing you and sharing the Grizzly Den experience with you! 
~Your hosts, Steve & Debi VanDyke

And this was the view out of my window this morning while sipping my morning coffee.
More about the Christmas tree on the right in my next post.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Hunt is Over

Well, it's back to work for me tomorrow. Steve will continue to hunt beginning December 1 as he still has a license to bow hunt, and ESPECIALLY because he has the elusive 10 point back on his camera. But the rifle hunting season was fantastic as Steve shot a 3 point so our count is two for this year. Our freezer is full!

I'm working on another blog strictly to advertise the Grizzly Den, as well as put it on Facebook. I will let you all know when they are ready for viewing.

The weather was nice for a few days - 50 degrees. But it has since turned colder. Lots of snow showers today. Below is a picture of Lake Michigan Thanksgiving Day.

Have a great week everyone!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Deer Camp 2011 Update

We received a good five inches of snow yesterday. It is beautiful!

This was the view from my blind yesterday. Very blustery!

But it paid off this morning as it got the deer moving and with the white background made them easier to spot. I got myself a spike!

So now we have the first deer hanging at the Grizzly Den!
More to come...(I hope!)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Last Minute Preparations...

We had our first snowfall of the season last weekend, though it melted quickly. The last two days have been cloudy but in the 50's. Last night it poured for hours! Today the sun is shining and I even have a few windows open.

We have been busy putting the final touches on the Grizzly Den. Last weekend we began moving in!

Steve transporting the mattresses.

And tonight Steve, Riley, and I will settle in for the rest of the week for deer camp!

FYI - The Grizzly Den will be available to rent beginning December 1, 2011. Shoot us an email if you are interested! I'll post pictures of the end result after deer hunting is over.

Riley found a spot across the river so over the weekend the guys 
made a temporary bridge over the log.

Then they headed out to put up Riley's tree blind. He found an awesome spot about a mile and a half north of camp by a huge beaver dam where he has already seen a spike and a 4 point.  

There is blaze orange everywhere - in the vehicles that drive by and disappear into the woods, and in the windows of the camps that sit empty most of the year but are now filled to capacity.

Steve and I have seen about 5 bucks on our game camera and many does. Just seeing a deer in the UP can be quite a treat as they are few and far between. Apparently the wolves and the cougar have depleted the herd quite a bit. We were just told by a friend that he found a mauled 6 point on his property. It was evident it had been the victim of a cougar. 

But all three of us are hoping this 10 point caught on our game camera will pass by our blinds tomorrow morning!

 Well, I have the stew made, cooler packed, and will be heading out the door shortly. 
Good luck to all you hunters out there! Be safe!

I'll keep you posted!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Kenosha, WI

We left the UP for Kenosha and traveled through our first snow of the season.

But the skies quickly cleared. The leaves in Escanaba were past peak but still colorful.

Rain threatened at times in Wisconsin.

But we arrived at Riley's condo as scheduled.

After unloading our stuff...

...we walked into town for supper.

On Saturday, we took a ride west to Lake Geneva...

...and had lunch at the marina.

View Larger Map

Geneva Lake Facts
Area: 5500 square acres (8.6 miles) 

Length: 9 miles 

Greatest width: 3 miles 

Narrowest width: 1/2 mile 

Deepest point: 152 feet (off Black Point) 

A nice wooden boat in the marina...

...and a sailboat race.

As always, it was a wonderful weekend in Wisconsin!