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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!

Saturday, July 05, 2008


My hubby and friends keep telling me I should write a book. I keep telling them I have no desire to write a book and besides what would I write about and who would read it? When I ask hubby that question, his response is “Write about being a campground owner.” Others say “Just publish your Yooper Yarns.”

We all know there are a lot of other people out there with blogs and websites who have a lot more “worded talent” than I. And while I do appreciate the support and enthusiasm Dan and my friends have shown, I don’t flatter myself into thinking there would actually be people that would buy a book about “The Trials and Tribulations of being a Campground Owner”. True, we have been here 15 years (it will be 16 September 3rd) and I probably do have enough material that I could write a 5 pound, 500 page book, but who WOULD read it??? And would it ENcourage or DIScourage someone from becoming a campground owner? Or if I were to write about my life…that would be as exciting as watching the price of gas go up. There really isn’t much to tell there…well, not unless I got permission from my hubby, my kids, my relatives and the guy next door to include all the episodes that have come about due to knowing them! Heck, sometimes I have enough trouble trying to think of things to say here; can you tell??!!!

It sure was a quiet 4th of July! Not just because of the lack of campers (we have 16) but even the neighborhood was quiet! Normally there are people on CR 407 who celebrate the 4th in a BIG way with BIG bangs and fire crackers and things that light up the night. We didn’t hear one little thing. Must be they decided to put gas in their vehicles this year instead of purchasing matches and fireworks.

Do you realize that in LESS THAN TWO MONTHS it will be Labor Day??? Then on to updating the fall color report, then the snowmobile trail report. This summer has been one of those “one day at a time, wait and see” summers. One of the local area attractions is the Toonerville Trolley and boat trip (to the Tahquamenon Falls). For the past several years, they have been fighting Mother Nature and the lack of rain. The river had been down so far at some points that they couldn’t even make the trip to the Falls. THIS year there is plenty of water in the Tahquamenon River but they have had to postpone trips because there were not enough customers to merit making the cruise. The owner has told some of our guests that they need at least 30 paid customers to even pay their over-head. The Toonerville Trolley has been in business for YEARS and has been in the same family for years. It makes you wonder what next year will bring and how many businesses in the U.P. can continue to “hang on”.

I have talked with other U.P. campground owners and they in turn have talked with campground owners in or around Mackinaw City and St. Ignace. The parks in Mackinaw City say they are full. What it appears is happening is that campers are driving as far as Mackinaw, staying there and taking day trips from that location. That’s the only thing we can think of.

I miss the days of being so busy that neither Dan nor I had time to eat a meal. We would always have to grab something and gobble it down. I use to complain about being so busy that I had to schedule a bathroom break, or I would be hoarse by the end of the day from talking so much. OR getting up in the middle of the night to check the bathhouse. Or going out after quiet time to make the rounds only to finally get to bed about 11 p.m. and someone decides to turn up their radio so have to get dressed and go out again to take care of the problem. IF AND WHEN THAT HAPPENS AGAIN, I WILL NEVER, EVER COMPLAIN ABOUT IT. THOSE WERE THE DAYS. It all started to go downhill after 9/11. It was gradual at first but it has been a steady decline, especially since 2004 when gas SHOT UP TO A WHOPPING $1.89 PER GALLON! I would be thrilled with a steady $2.89 per gallon! Wouldn’t you???

And, to compare prices; my daughter "complained" about lettuce being .99 cents per head (Battle Creek). I told her that it was $1.99 in our stores! Shopping for groceries in the U.P. is getting to require a 2nd REM.

Can it continue to get worse?? Is Congress going to get back from their “well deserved” vacation and DO SOMETHING??? America and the inhabitants cannot continue on this way.

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