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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!

Thursday, August 28, 2008


By now, I’m sure a lot of you have read or heard about the deer in the Lower Peninsula that tested positive for chronic wasting disease. All baiting has been banned in the Lower as a result. This deer was on a “deer farm” and had not escaped so the great expectation is that the herd in the lower has not been affected but these precautions are being taken so hopefully the disease will NOT spread. And MY hope is that it doesn’t result in more hunters coming to “da U.P” to hunt.

You may wonder why anyone in the tourism business would wish that. True, we cater to hunters, but the herd is getting smaller in our area and while the DNR numbers always make it sound like there is still a LOT of deer in the U.P., if you talk to true Yooper hunters, you hear that they are seeing less and less deer. Our 76 acres is PERFECT for deer, but rarely do we even see signs that they’ve been around.

Selling deer bait is a BIG business in both the Upper and Lower so this will affect the economy in some ways while the bait ban is on. I’m sure you’ve passed gas stations with huge bags of carrots and/or apples for sale….they won’t be selling that for bait any longer.

On to other things….

Our hummingbirds are very active and it is a delight to sit on the deck and watch the little things do battle with each other over the various feeders. It won’t be long and they will be leaving.

And I think the tourists have flocked OUT of the U.P! WOW!! Everything has come to a screeching halt! Three days ago we were half full, now we have only 6 campers here! We still have openings for Labor Day so if you are making plans, please remember we could probably help you find a place to stay or camp.

Dan and I finally received the blessing of the DNR to have our 4 Mile Corner snowmobile trail again this year. Now, we just have to get permission from one of the property owners that we have a year to year lease with. The other property owners have given us leases that “run until further notice”. We’ve been debating on whether to close the cozy cabins down this winter and just rent the Little Lodge. With all the snow we had last winter and the perfect trails business was not that good for anyone in our area. There was so much snow downstate so people weren’t spending the extra $$ to come this far. So, do ya keep heating and plowing in hopes things will improve or do you drain the water heaters, the water lines, shut off the heat and not worry about plowing all that extra space??? We haven’t decided yet. If we DO close the cabins for the winter and just keep the Little Lodge open, we will give “special rates” to people renting the lodge if they have up to three people in their party. If they have 4-6 people then the Little Lodge rates will apply. I sure wish I had a crystal ball!

I got up about 5 a.m. (it is about 6 a.m. as I am writing this), got my coffee made, had my shower, managed to get dressed without waking Dan. It is one of those mornings that the sky is clear, the stars are twinkling and it would be a good time to sit out on the deck with my coffee. And I would do just that except for the skunk that hangs around the yard. I need to get one of the lawn chairs and put on the deck in the “dog’s pen”. I would be safe there. I love these early fall mornings. There is just something about the quality of the air when it is like this. Just think, in 54 days when we are camping at Big South Fork, maybe I can take my early morning coffee outside our camper and enjoy nature without fear of skunks. With my luck though it’ll be fear of bears….REGARDLESS WE ARE COUNTING THE DAYS!!!!!!


  1. Your encounter with the skunk was very funny to hear about.

    It looks like tourist traffic is down in the Soo too. When we drive by the local campgrounds have many empty spots.

  2. Sault Boat Watcher (can I call you SBW for short??) There were many stories last year when I was reporting on the Sleeper Lake Fire about skunks...they all moved HERE from the fire (well it seemed that way!). I think there is a skunk marking post out here on our property alerting them that "You have reached the promised land!" Every morning there are sandy foot prints in the bird bath/fountain. He has it made.


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