It’s Almost Like Vacation

Northwoods Journal

Saturday, June 22, 2013

I slept fairly well considering Ruby only allowed me about three inches of mattress all night.  I never sleep that great up here anyway, which is surprising really.  Considering how active we always are when we are here, you would think I would sleep like a rock.  I think it’s due to the small size of the bed and my perpetual back problems that keep me thrashing around all night long.

We woke up to cloudy skies again.  Doesn’t look like we’ll see much sun all weekend.  It was nice to have nothing pressing to do and no particular plans.  Felt almost like a vacation day.  As I sat at the kitchen table sipping coffee, I looked out the front window to see a very peculiar “wild animal” strolling down our driveway – a big orange tabby cat!  Ruby spotted the cat, too, and started barking and howling until our visitor turned around and with tail twitching headed back the way it had come.

Last week Mark bought a “new”, bigger Coleman stove at a garage sale.  Our old, small one will be going back home to be sold.  He was anxious to try out his new toy and decided to make us bacon and eggs for breakfast.  Daisy and Ruby like to play this game with each other, where they tear around the trailer playing chase.  They wanted to play so I let Ruby off her tie-out but after only a couple laps around the trailer Ruby suddenly got this look on her face, like she all-of-a-sudden remembered that cat and off up the driveway she went, finding the scent and taking off like a shot!  I had to go chasing after her in my nightgown, robe and bare feet!  Mark was forced to turn off the stove and come help me round her up out in the road.  It’s a good thing we don’t really have any neighbors to speak of and there’s hardly any traffic on our road, especially first thing in the morning.  We ate our breakfast at the kitchen table.  Not many birds to watch, just a hummingbird or two that finally found the nectar and the momma and baby hairy woodpecker.  A blue jay stopped and eyed the peanuts but then flew off without eating any.  Guess they just don’t need me at this time of year.

Mid-morning we decided to go find a trail to hike.  I was a little concerned because when we first said the word ‘hike’, Daisy didn’t even thump her tail.  But once the boots came out, she jumped right up and started singing her excited-to-get-on-the-trail song.  Mark wanted to go over to Lookout Ridge (someday I will find out what the locals call it) to see if there were many wild strawberries.  It’s a really pretty drive up to the meadow near the top and then we parked and climbed the last short, steep hill to the very top.  The view from there is AMAZING.  Like an ocean of green in a hundred different shades that seems to spread out to eternity.  I messed with the panoramic setting on my camera but a photograph just can’t do it justice at all.

An Amazing View

An Amazing View

We hiked down the steep trail that the guys couldn’t get up in their 4-wheel drive vehicles last trip.  At the bottom there’s a trail that curves around and goes back up at a bit gentler incline.  It’s amazing how I always think I’m in pretty good shape until I have to hike uphill!  Going uphill just about kills me.  Back at the top we continued across the meadow that was filled with hairy vetch, and into the woods on the other side.

Hairy Vetch

Hairy Vetch

It was so quiet and still, almost nothing stirred in the woods.  We walked until we came to a trail that cut back the direction we had come.  It was a bit overgrown and at one point there were several trees down across the trail all in a row.  I’m very glad Mark wasn’t behind me with a video camera because I wasn’t always very graceful getting over some of those hurdles!

Walking the road less traveled.

Walking the road less traveled.

On the way back home we stopped at DeCheau Lake to see if the dogs wanted to swim.  They really weren’t at all interested.  We found an abandoned turtle’s nest right next to the shore, with some broken eggs around the outside and other eggs still intact under the sand.  Made me rather sad, but considering some of the places we’ve seen turtles laying their eggs it’s amazing their species has perpetuated at all.  Once out of the car, the dogs had no desire to get back in right away so we wandered around the shoreline and the trails that cut back and forth near the lake.  There are always people camped back in there.  Sometimes I wonder why the DNR doesn’t just make it an official campground.  Then maybe people would take better care of the area and not leave so much trash strewn about everywhere.

After leaving the dogs at the cabin we headed into town for a stop at the grocery store, the hardware, the junktiques store, the real estate office, the ice cream shop/resale shop (no, they aren’t reselling the ice cream! J ) and then had pizza at the Know Good.  After lunch we headed out of town to the old Gilchrist Grocery store that is now a resale shop.  A bit of a disappointment, the prices in there were very high!  We didn’t buy a thing.  We saw a wild turkey beside the road and really that was about it for the wildlife all day.

The rest of our afternoon was very quiet and peaceful, with a lot of just pottering about or just sitting on the porch.  We did get a few glimpses of the sun, so that was nice.  Mark messed with some of the treasures he picked up at that garage sale yesterday.  He was going to mow the yard, which needs it desperately, but even after buying a new spark plug he can’t get our lawn mower to run.  That thing is an ancient relic, so no real surprise that it’s given up the ghost.  I finally roused myself enough to clean the trailer a bit, doing a bit of dusting, cleaning the bathroom, vacuuming, that kind of fun stuff.  Tomorrow a young guy from Trophy Class Real Estate is meeting us to give us a comparative market estimate of what we might be able to sell our place for.  He also found a nice place over near Vienna Corners that we may go look at – it’s a small cabin on 10 acres.  I don’t know, it’s kind of weird to think about moving to another place.  While cleaning I looked around at the thousand things we have collected in our 12 years here – feathers and bird’s nests and fossils and pretty stones and memories.  Can we really move all that to another place?  And would it still be Chickadee Cove?  It’s a lot to think about.  I know I can be too sentimental and I really do want hot running water!

Five o’clock came and we weren’t the least bit hungry for dinner so we loaded up the dogs and the backpack and went for another hike.  Mark wanted to check out this place off Meaford Rd. that we’ve walked part of before but he thought there was a trail that went on for a really long way that we’ve never taken.  It’s pretty interesting over there because there are a lot of underground springs that seep up through the ground and create little waterfalls and tiny rivers.  It was a very pleasant walk and a hermit thrush was kind enough to serenade us on the way.  We found a couple pretty rocks to add to our collection, too.  We had parked at a fork in the trail and took the right hand path, which ended up not being the trail that went on forever – although it was a nice, long hike.  It ended abruptly in a huge meadow with tall ferns and daisies.  It was also full of ticks because we all came home with lots of them on us!  We will have to try the left-hand fork next time.

We were all ready for dinner by time we got home.  Mark fired up the grill and made us a couple of melt-in-your-mouth ribeye steaks and we made cheesy potatoes and corn on the cob on the Coleman stove so we didn’t have to heat up the kitchen.  Despite the mosquitoes, we ate out on the porch.  At one point a fox barked way back in the woods.  Ruby did not like that one bit and spent the rest of the evening looking scared that something was going to come out of the ferns at any second!  Other than that, about the only sounds to be heard were the artillery fire from over at Camp Grayling that rumbled periodically.  It was well after 8 o’clock before we were through with dinner and after nine when dishes were done.  Too late to go back into town for ice cream.  Mark mentioned going over to Hillman to the DQ because they are open until ten, but neither one of us felt like trekking out again.  Instead we heated up more water for washing ourselves and decided to call it a night.  Before we turned in we got to hear the lovely call of the whip-or-will.

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2 Responses to It’s Almost Like Vacation

  1. you sure pack a lot into a “vacation” day. 😉


  2. LOL, yeah, we have to come home to rest back up! 🙂


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