Saturday, October 29, 2011

Horses, Fudge & Friends!

To celebrate our upcoming 30th wedding anniversary, Steve and I spent a few days on Mackinac Island in mid-October. When we left St. Ignace on the Shepler's ferry, it was a foggy Wednesday afternoon.

But the fog lifted enough when we reached the island to make me feel as if I'd been transported through time. Horse hooves clomped over the tar, and the smell of fudge lingered on the still air. Our luggage was picked up and delivered to the Island House, our home away from home for the next two nights, giving us time to lollygag on an unusually quiet main street before checking in.

They have their own live web cam on the porch which overlooks the marina and the docks where the ferry boats arrive and depart.

Halloween decorations were everywhere on the island.

And cornstalks lined the front of the Chippewa Hotel.

The flowers were very beautiful and in some cases, still front and center stage.

We walked up the hill to the Grand Hotel...

...and discovered this unique flower bed.
And the fall colors were still outstanding as well.

As beautiful as everything was, the best part of the trip was running into friends from downstate: some from our last church, and others from our school days. It was such fun catching up on the new, and laughing (sometimes cringing) about the past. And we even made a new friend - someone we'll never forget and will look up the next time we visit the island, hopefully meeting his wife as well! 

That's Mackinac Island: an island that brings the past and the present together in such a magical way we all can say we've experienced our own sense of Somewhere in Time.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Hunting Prep

Today I'll show you how the transplant Yooper gets his/her deer blind from point A to point B.

Ready? Let's go...

There Hubby goes with the base to my deer blind - traveling a mile and a half down the gravel road.

Next, remove the blind from the overcrowded garage and travel the mile and a half again down the gravel road - this time backwards.

I'm driving the truck, following hubby as he drives backwards to our destination.

Seriously, backwards.

Made it to the Grizzly Den. Just a little farther to the river...

Remember that base?

There it is...

Easy does it...

Woo hoo!

I've got stairs!

Minor has to be positioned just right.

Awesome view! See the river?

Now Hubby does a professional analysis of everything: the location, positioning of the blind, shooting range length, direction the wind will blow and the sun will shine, mental mapping of the deer runs... (yawn)

We're, er, he's not done yet...there's still work to do across the river.

After all his hard work, I now have a tree house on the river! 
Big smiles!!
Thanks, Hubby!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Wide Open Spaces

This past week was a gloomy week in the UP: rain, clouds, and so much wind. It howled sometimes 24 hours a day. Most mornings I drove to work with the outside temperature in my car reading 32 degrees as wind gusts forced me to have my hands at the ole' ten and two positions on the steering wheel.

But we had such an amazing it's hard to complain - too much.

I am a sky person. Colorado has my heart when it comes to unending baby blue skies. But up here, in da UP, the sky changes, depending on the direction you are looking. I am convinced if we were all given a blank canvas, a paint brush and an assortment of paint colors, we could all create a beautiful picture of the UP sky, and no one could goof it up. Seriously. Some days I look at that wide open space and just shake my head, never dreaming of that color scheme and having it turn out so natural. And, should you choose to paint your entire canvas gray - voila - that was the color of the sky this morning on our way to church due to the dense fog that settled in until almost noon. That's one thing I'm still getting used to up here - driving the 35 miles to work in the fog. But, hey, for the most part it's just me, roadkill, and the crows on the highway.

Heading north to the Soo.

And usually the weather doesn't stop progress - commerce, alive and well. The view from my window at work.

Yesterday was a sunny day, and the posse' approved, soaking in the warmth.

And Bear is still working on her summer tan - gettin' a little color on that belly.

Hubby and I have been working on my deer blind (see, all that whining paid off! Not really, he's just a great guy!). Yesterday we moved it down behind the Grizzly Den, along the river. It is a beautiful spot! But getting it there from our garage (where he built it this past week with the wood burner crankin') was an interesting endeavor. Here's its unveiling, bringing it out of the garage, and down to it's permanent location.
I'll post more later in the week.

Have a great week everyone!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Fine Fall Color Tour 2011 - Part 2

Another spectacular attraction near Grand Marais, Michigan, is the Sable Falls, one of many waterfalls in the Upper Peninsula.

The tourist blurb reads like this:

Sable Falls

Located about one mile west of Grand Marais on Alger County Road H-58. Sable Falls tumbles 75 feet over several cliffs of Munising and Jacobsville sandstone formations on its way to Lake Superior. The first viewing platform is down a staircase with 169 steps. The hike from the parking area to this staircase steps is short. The trail continues past the falls and down the canyon. It is about a half-mile to the beach as Sable Creek winds its way to Lake Superior.

Follow the river until you get to the end.
It's worth it!

The water empties into Lake Superior.

Then we headed back to Grand Marais for some lunch at the 
Try their pizza - it's awesome!

Oh, and my favorite tree of the day? 
This vibrant Mountain Ash.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Fine Fall Color Tour 2011 - Part 1

Wow. What a difference a week makes. I just came in from snapping this picture so I could show you what I mean. This is today but don't let the blue sky fool you, it looks dark to the north...

This was taken one week ago.

The weather did a 180 on us this week, and we've lost so many leaves. There is still a little yellow lingering in the trees and in the needles of the Tamarack pines, which would look very pretty if the sun would stay out, but hey, we knew it had to end sometime. And now, as I write this, the rain has been unleashed...

Last weekend was incredible. Not only was the weather sunny and near 80, we had family drive up one last time this year before their exodus to the warm state of Florida. So, on Saturday, we headed to one of my favorite places, Grand Marais. (map)

Lake Superior - looking east toward the Grand Marais Light.

Looking west to Au Sable Point.

We headed west to the Log Slide Overlook. Stunning!

Au Sable Light Station standing tall amidst the colors.

The Grand Sable Dunes

From here we headed back east to the Sable Falls. I'll show you those pics next time.

Well, here comes the sun, again. I think I'll take the dogs for a walk before the next shower passes through. 

How are the colors where you are?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Red Squirrel Hunting - UP style

Red squirrel hunting is a team effort at our camp. First, Bear and Ike hear the red squirrel's screeching taunts. They remain focused on the surroundings, searching the ground and pines for sight of the scoundrel. Once contact is made, they scramble to the spot, and let out an alerting "woof" to those of us in the cabin. Their gaze travels from the tree to the cabin, back and forth, while they impatiently wait for an adult to exit the cabin, .22 rifle in hand. They keep their eye now on the squirrel, hoping the person with the gun sees what they see.

Mission accomplished. Now they fight over squirrel ownership.