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A long time ago, I was a child. (I started out as Cathy First from Colon, Mi.) For the past several years I’ve been an adult. A lot of things went on between those two stages of life; probably no more or no less than anyone elses. My husband and I moved to “da U .P” from southern Lower Michigan several years ago (yes we were trolls at one time). We owned and operated and operate Clementz’s Northcountry Campground and Cabins just north of Newberry, Michigan until May 2015. We have grown kids and grandkids (who all live downstate). My passion is life and all that Nature has to offer us and trying to photograph it in unique ways. Our intention in life is to see all that Nature has to offer us. We hope that you will be a part of our adventures as we cruise through our lives together. Come back often!

Sunday, September 02, 2007


The month of August zipped past all of us. Each day, sometimes each hour, was spent in wonder of what was happening at the fire line and within the marsh. Hard to believe that it was one month ago today that the battle of the Sleeper Lake Fire began.

I will admit to you now that there was a day that we and our neighbors to the north were getting pretty worried. This was early on in the fire, I think around August 4th possibly. We were told that we would have plenty of warning if we were to be evacuated, but to be a little more prepared, I had Dan bring in our sets of luggage (just to have handy) and I started putting important papers, etc in our safe to take along (just in case).

Up until this time, I could not understand these people you would see on TV who had been told to evacuate, get out...and they wouldn't budge. While it did NOT come to that with us, those thoughts ran through our minds that particular day. I could see me out there with my little garden hose doing my best to water things down and keep the fire at bay. Dan figured he'd get his Case loader out and use the chisel on the backside to tear up our property on the north. In our mind we KNEW that wouldn't actually save our place, but it is what you think.

Till now, we never really paid much attention to the interviews that you see on TV with a fire fighter, but since this started, we HAVE been listening to their stories. While this fire wasn't as bad, thank God, as the ones that are going on in Greece or other places in the U.S., there still has to be fire fighter stories to be told. I am hoping that I can get one of the Missouri crew to write a "story" about a day in their life while they were here. If I can get that, I will post it for you.

With all of that said, here is the latest report from the DNR.

Size: Estimated at 18,185 acres and 95% contained.

Fire suppression activities continue today on the Sleeper Lake Fire, including patrolling and monitoring. Approximately 25 fire personnel remain working on the fire. A crew from Wisconsin is working the fire today. There is a fifty percent chance of precipitation tomorrow night, with a better chance on Thursday.

The Sleeper Lake Fire still has hot spots in the northern and southern areas of the fire, and there is still smoldering, both on the surface and deep down in the peat. Crews are working hard cutting trails through the thick cedar swamp, into the hot spots and mopping up.

The fire is a closed area and cannot be entered except by fire personnel and law enforcement agencies. The fire hazards mentioned above and the hazards of falling trees still pose a serious hazard. The fire area will be patrolled and the restriction to travel within the fire boundaries will be enforced.

The burning ban for the Upper Peninsula remains in effect. The ban was rescinded in the Lower Peninsula, due to sufficient rainfall. Refer to the DNR website for detailed information on burning ban restrictions.

(On a personal note, I have been keeping my Mom informed of all that has gone on because she had heard so much bad info downstate. I have mailed her some of my posts and in particular she had to pick on me about the helicopter and missing my ride. She just HAD to remind me that when I was two years old and anyone asked me what I wanted to be or what I was going to do when I grew up, my standard answer was "I'm gonna be a helicopter". Mom said I would get SO mad when I was told that I couldn't be a helicopter and I would stomp my feet and make fists with my little hands and say "I CAN TOO BE A HELICOPTER!". Of course, I don't remember any of this but it has to be true, right? My Mom wouldn't make that up would she?? She HAS told this story before...to boys I use to bring home. Thank goodness she didn't bring out the baby pictures of me in nothing but a beanie cap, my Grandpa's goggles and my undies. For those too young to know about a beanie cap...they usually had a little "propeller" on the top. Thanks a lot Mom!)


  1. Anonymous7:21 PM

    I am glad to hear that things are getting better. I hope the rains give the firemen much help this week. Please thank them, for me, for all they have done and thank you for blogging what has been going on it is greatly appreciated by us "trolls" hehe. Jo Kolka

  2. Jo, we actually DID get some rain yesterday! It rained HARD and they were big drops! But it probably only lasted long enough to fill up a thimble! We'll probably get all kinds of rain about the time Dan, hubby, has to try to put in a new gate on our snowmobile trail...ya can't get back there unless it is dry as a bone!

    If I see anyone, I will pass along your thanks! And hopefully any of the crew that might still be reading this blog will read your comment.


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