Black Friday, Northwoods Style

Northwoods Journal

Friday, November 29, 2013

As per usual, Mark crawled out of bed at 6 a.m. but when he put the dogs out the outdoor thermometer read -2 degrees, so he decided to forgo hunting.  He also found out the water pump was frozen again.  It’s a good thing we filled all those jugs yesterday!

Coffee and pumpkin-apple bread sufficed as breakfast.  I used some of our valuable water to wash my hair – three days was long enough to go without a hair washing!  It was 9:30 when we headed out for Gaylord.

We don’t really have a “black Friday” tradition.  Since our first year up here, we normally go to Gaylord sometime over the Thanksgiving weekend, but at first it was never on Friday, it was usually on Saturday.  Now we sometimes go on Friday, but sometimes Saturday.  It all depends on the hunting, the weather, and our mood.  Our first stop is always Call of the Wild, just to visit the gift shop, not the museum.  They always have fabulous deals on t-shirts and sweatshirts and I used to get my Christmas cards there because they normally had ones with elk on them.  But that hasn’t panned out the past few years.

Call of the Wild, our Black Friday tradition.

Call of the Wild, our Black Friday tradition.

So, Call of the Wild was our first stop and after we had gotten a bag-full of goodies there we headed to Meijer which is on the west side of I75 on the very outskirts of development.  It was busy but not overly crowded and we didn’t really even have to wait in line.  We were both starving when we left there so we headed back into downtown Gaylord, to the Alpine Tavern where we had a delicious pizza for lunch.  I was able to use the wi-fi and get my blog posts for the past two days up.  It was a very relaxed and pleasant outing and we even managed to get a couple items crossed off our Christmas shopping list!

The sun was out all day and the temperature had risen to 30 degrees by the time we got back.  Thankfully the trailer had stayed warm even though the wood burner was completely out.  I had moved the one radiant heater from back by the bedroom into the living room to help keep the dogs warm while we were away.  Despite the sun and the warm-up, the water pump still won’t work.  The light bulb in the pump house had burned out while we were gone, so maybe that has something to do with it.  The bird feeders were wiped out so I quickly re-filled them while Mark started bundling up to go out hunting.  Once the birds were taken care of, I took the dogs for a run up the road.  Since it was so mild I didn’t bother with snow pants or two pair of gloves this time.

After our walk, I made myself a cup of coffee (since I only got one before we left this morning!), put on a heavy zip-up sweatshirt and took my camera out on the porch to see if I could snap a few photos.  I played with different settings, trying to see which ones would work best; low light, sunset, etc.  I have found that the sports setting often works best since the birds are constantly moving!  I have been a bit disappointed with the small variety of birds I am getting this time.  It has been all blue jays, chickadees, white-breasted nuthatches and hairy woodpeckers.  Where are the red-breasted nuthatches, the tufted titmice and the other woodpeckers?  I know I shouldn’t complain and I do love the visitors I do have!

Beautiful blue jay.

Beautiful blue jay.

It's hard to get a good picture of two blue jays at once, they never stop moving!

It’s hard to get a good picture of two blue jays at once, they never stop moving!

I inadvertently discovered that you can literally cook something on top of the wood burner!  When we left for Gaylord this morning, I had forgotten to get the hamburger out of the freezer.  So when we got home, I put the plastic zipper bag of frozen hamburger on a cake plate and set it atop the wood burner.  I checked it once to see if it was thawing and flipped the bag over.  Then I got sidetracked working on my new novella and a little while later I heard a sizzling sound.  I jumped up to find that the hamburger was not only thawed, it was cooking inside the plastic bag!!  Yikes!  For some reason this really amused me and I laughed and laughed.  I must be getting cabin fever! LOL  I told you that wood burner really puts out the heat.

Pitch-black dark at 5 p.m. is so depressing.  I keep reminding myself that less than a month until the days will start getting longer.  Mark was home from hunting at 5:30, he didn’t see a thing again tonight.  I made a simple dinner and after dishes Mark wanted a Sequence re-match.  I won both games the other night, he won both tonight.  The good news is that the pump is once again working!  Mark made sure all the jugs were filled, in case it freezes up again tonight, but it isn’t supposed to get as cold as it did last night.  Mark says that -2 degrees is the coldest temperature we’ve ever experienced when we’ve been up here, and that includes when we’ve been up in January for Sno*Drift.  I hope he is right and that it doesn’t get too cold tonight.  I sleep much better when my head isn’t frozen!

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2 Responses to Black Friday, Northwoods Style

  1. I’ve eaten at the Alpine Tavern, they have good food there. I’ll bet that you couldn’t get near the ig sporting good store on the south end of town, that place is jammed during deer season.

    Have you tried leaving a faucet dripping overnight to keep the pump from freezing?


  2. This was our second time at the Alpine and we liked the food very much, really good pizza and Mark always wants to see what Michigan beers they have on tap. The problem with our pump is that we have to turn it off and on with a switch, so we can’t leave a faucet dripping. Usually the light in the pump house does the trick – unless it burns out like it did this time! 🙂


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