Tuesday, May 29, 2012

UP Wildfire - Duck Lake Fire

UPDATE: Since I posted the information below, more keeps coming in. 
 If you are interested in keeping up to date with the Duck Lake Wildfire,
click on this site 1450 WNBY of Newberry or go to the site of 

The Upper Peninsula of Michigan has been dealing with wildfires. The wildfire alert season was just about to come to an end when a lightning strike set off a blaze.  The Michigan DNR estimates the fire's size at 21,694 acres. I found the below report at radio station 1450 WNBY of Newberry's Facebook page. They have been doing an excellent job of keeping the public informed of the situation.

The south end of the fire is 14 miles north of Newberry and 7 miles west from Tahquamenon Falls State park campgrounds. A long and narrow fire, it stretches 11 miles to the north to Lake Superior. There are currently 40 miles of fire line. Of that fire line, 6 miles is Lake Superior shoreline, 13 miles is completed line (includes County Road 500), and 21 miles is uncontained fire line. Access remains very difficult with few roads.
The latest estimate is that there are 134 properties within the perimeter of the fire, of which 99 have been inspected to this point. Of the 99 properties inspected, 39 properties have suffered losses. On the 39 properties that suffered losses, 97 structures were lost. The structure losses breakdown as follows:

34 homes/cabins
22 garages
22 sheds/outbuildings
17 campers
1 store
1 motel

There have been times that we can smell the smoke. This past Friday night the sky was hazy with smoke and the evening sunset filtered through, changing the colors of the sky at different levels. On Saturday we went for a ride in our truck- about an hour and 15 minutes - to check on the cabin of friends of ours. They were at their cabin, and they felt confident that the fire was on its way to the west and north, yet the fire started 2-3 miles away from them. They were very fortunate. Others were not as you can see from the above statistics. Below are some pictures I took in the area and of the smoke that lingered in the air.

During the first half of our visit with our friends at their cabin
we didn't smell much smoke at all. But suddenly the wind changed 
and smoke hovered on the air in the stillness of the woods.

We thank all of you who have made contact with us, concerned for our safety.
This fire has been the talk of the UP, and many locals were/are nervous. 
The fire is 45% contained as of our most recent news report. 
We are safe, but please continue to pray for those who have lost, 
and those that continue to fight the fire.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Home, Home on the Range...

We had that catchy tune on our brains for a few days while driving through the Black Hills and the Badlands. We are home now from a wonderful trip out west. We traveled through the Upper Peninsula, northern Wisconsin (even though I was born in this state, and now our son lives there, and I have visited it more times than I can count, we had never visited northern WI which is also beautiful!), Minnesota, North and South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado, and Nebraska.

It takes a few days to catch up on things around the home front after we've been gone 2 1/2 weeks. Now that the laundry is done, and the mail sorted through, I am going to organize my pictures and take a day and create a batch of posts to send out every few days or so. I promise to keep up with this blog over the summer as best I can.

But here's a few reasons why we had Home, Home on the Range on our brains.

A Buffalo grazing right along side the road.

Buffalo on the range.

A wild burro waiting for an apple. We felt bad - we didn't have any!

...where the deer and the antelope play...

A nice profile close-up shot.

This deer wasn't having anything to do with our picture taking. He was getting outta here!

Most of these pictures were taken as we drove through the Black Hills 
and Custer State Park in South Dakota.

That's it for now. I'm going to go out and enjoy this beautiful day.
I hope you all have a safe and fun Memorial Weekend!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

I hope all of my friends and family experienced a blessed day today. As of now, I am experiencing internet difficulties. So this is a quick post from my phone on the road. The below pic shows how fast the weather changes up here in the mountains - almost as crazy as Michigan! One day we are hiking in shorts and tank tops in 80 degree weather... then surprise a half a foot of snow. Then it melts and we have sleet, rain, snow, hail, and thunder. No problem...70 tomorrow down the mountain and 85 on Wednesday. Great hiking weather in the mountains!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Florida Sunshine

We are dealing with heavy hearts at this time. Not only did a special Aunt pass away last week, but our beloved dog, Tess, had to be put down this past Monday. I want to put together a post to celebrate the 12 years we were blessed to spend with Tess, but I'm unable to do it at this time without getting choked up.

So, for this post, I will share with you some pictures I took on our recent trip to Florida.
We had a wonderful time with Steve's parents in Orlando.

Pelicans  hanging out on the dock at Port Canaveral.

This one posed pretty for me on the pier at Cocoa Beach.

We watched the dolphins as we had lunch.

And we watched our first cruise ship ever leave port...

...with many excited passengers.

We visited beautiful Leu Gardens...

...and wonderful friends who have beautiful gardens all their own!

And we saw Florida gators.

We spent a couple of days at Cocoa Beach,

and watched the fishermen,

as well as the surfers.

We went to a car show in Old Town, Orlando.

And we spent time at this beautiful pool.

Next, we're off on a road trip out west - Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming and Colorado. I'll try not to let two weeks pass by between posts again. I did this post two nights ago, which took me two hours, and poof, it all disappeared. Sigh. Technology. 

I'm going to look into the app one puts on your phone and see if I can post that way.
We'll see how that goes...

Oh, and Happy Birthday to my Brother-In-Law, Bruce!