A Little Mud on the Tires

Northwoods Journal
Sunday, August 31, 2014

Since we didn’t have to rush out the door first thing this morning, Mark fired up the Coleman stove and fried up a bunch of bacon and I broke out the waffle iron and made homemade waffles. We enjoyed a leisurely breakfast before getting ready for our day.

We did hear some logging trucks around 8 a.m. but it was just trucks coming to pick up a load of logs. I guess the logs stay put until there is room for them at whatever facility they are going to, so when room is available, the trucks come and get another load.

Mark and Katy took the dogs for a walk while I showered and dressed, then Katy wanted to shower, so we ended up getting a later start for Grayling than Mark had hoped for. Getting four people ready with just one tiny bathroom is not an easy task! Mark and Katy did say they saw huge bear tracks right along the side of the road when they walked the dogs.

It was 11 o’clock before we pulled out of the drive and headed toward Grayling with the sky heavy with clouds. It was noon before we got to the military reservation.

IMG_1855 (1024x768)

Pete aired down his Jeep’s tires before we got started off-roading. There were lots of other vehicles doing the same thing as us, looking for a good time. These included other Jeeps, dune buggies, ATV’s, pickups, etc. We rode around for about an hour looking for something exciting and pretty soon we found what Pete was looking for – a long, high hill with a series of trails going up. I was just getting out of the FJ to take pictures when a county sheriff’s deputy came roaring up to us honking his horn and shaking his head ‘no’. He then proceeded to give Pete a lecture and threatened to ticket him if he went up the hill. You have to understand, there were hundreds of tire tracks going up and down those hills, so we certainly weren’t the first to come up with the idea, and he certainly hadn’t managed to stop everyone.

Having a large number of cops in my family, I have plenty of respect for law enforcement, but this guy was an old curmudgeon and was pretty rude when he didn’t need to be. We hadn’t even done anything yet to be threatened with ticketing! He told us we had to stick only to the roads, no going off on trails, so I guess those expensive ORV trail stickers are useless over there. (Granted, they are not ORV routes.) That pretty much put a damper on our day and except for helping a couple with two young boys who had taken a spill, the rest of our time on the camp was pretty ho-hum.

I have to say that the irony didn’t escape us when we came across a huge area of clear-cut logging in the camp. I guess logging vehicles destroying the hills and trails are okay but not tax-paying citizens! The only good thing is that with all the rain we’ve had this weekend, there was plenty of water in the tank traps and we managed to get a good amount of mud on the tires and add to the vehicles’ Michigan paint job.

A little mud on the FJ's tires.

A little mud on the FJ’s tires.

These were about the only photos I managed to take all day.

Pete airing back up after we were off the reservation.

Pete airing back up after we were off the reservation.

There's a little mud on the engine, too.

There’s a little mud on the engine, too.

It was mid-afternoon when we headed back toward Lovells and had a very late lunch at the Lovells Riverside Tavern on the bank of the AuSable River. They have a nice deck right on the water if it had been warm enough to eat out there. Our sandwiches were good but the service was excruciatingly slow (there were only a handful of people there at nearly 3 p.m.) and their selection of beers on tap was below sub-par according to the guys.

We were all content to laze around on the porch for a while after we got back to the cabin. Eventually Mark and I roused ourselves enough to take Daisy and Ruby for a tramp through the clear-cut area behind our property. The issue of the spring has really been bothering Mark and he wanted to see if we could find where it went under the road. We finally did locate the culvert and he saw right away that they had purposefully blocked the culvert on the west side of the road so that the water can no longer flow through. We thought this was illegal and it seems to me that if you tried such a stunt on your own private property you would soon have the feds all over you!

I had planned a nice steak meal but since we had eaten such a late lunch, we had to eat an even later dinner. Eventually Mark made a fire and cooked the steaks on his tripod grill while we watched a movie. After dinner and dishes we played a rousing game of euchre. I was a tad rusty since I haven’t played in a while and Katy and Pete ended up beating us. While we were playing, Ruby and Roxie cuddled up with each other in the chair like they are the best of friends.

Ruby and Roxie wuv each other. :)

Ruby and Roxie wuv each other. 🙂

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6 Responses to A Little Mud on the Tires

  1. That’s why I gave up off-roading, no place to go. Rude cops have become the norm, unfortunately.


    • I’m happy just going on the ORV trails around us looking for wildlife, that’s plenty of thrill enough for me. I think the guys like my son-in-law who really want to do the more exciting stuff have to go to closed courses made especially for that kind of thing now. They have specific Jeep trails on Drummond Island, which is why they go there a lot. Mark said what we did just driving the power lines is illegal. Pretty much if it’s fun, it’s illegal I guess. 🙂 The state has blocked off more and more of the big hills. Part of me understand it, because the ATV’ers can do a lot of damage. I am one of those cursed people who sees both sides. The funny thing is though, I googled it when we got home and there are plenty of youtube videos of people going up and down that hill the cop stopped us from climbing! LOL Tickets for everyone! 😀


  2. Bob Zeller says:

    Loved this post, Amy. More memories. My thing as a kid with my car, I enjoyed making new trails through snow drifts, or cutting figure-eights on the snow in super market parking lots. I remember playing a lot of euchre with my parents.


  3. avian101 says:

    Pretty much everywhere in the Country you can see the “no go” signs or wire fences, to prevent people to enjoy nature, regardless if you are driving or not. 😦


    • Yes, that is certainly true, H.J. I try to believe that it’s to protect nature, and that the “bad” apples out there have ruined it for the rest of us. We were pretty surprised when we were in Vermont, there were areas where my husband commented that “in Michigan there would be a fence around that so you couldn’t get anywhere near it”.


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