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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, May 10, 2009


HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY TO YA!!! Hope you have special plans with your family today!!

Dan and I took yesterday off. It was a cold, WINDY, back to long underwear day. We even had a few snow flurries late yesterday afternoon. And since it was expected to be between 28-35⁰ last night, I brought in one of the hummer feeders so they would have something that wasn’t frozen.

But thankfully, it was only down to 35⁰ so I could have stayed in bed longer!

One of my friends brought her best friend, Maggie, over for a visit yesterday. Maggie will soon need a baby sitter because Kathy and her hubby John are headed off for 10 days in North Carolina. Maggie is an Australian Shepherd. As we did with Nick and Chewy, Maggie has pretty much gone everywhere and spent every minute with her “mom and dad”. When Kathy told me that they were going to have to put Maggie in a kennel while they were gone, I volunteered Dan and I to have her stay with us. I couldn’t stand the thought of Maggie being boarded anymore than John and Kathy could, but Maggie couldn’t go with them on this trip.

Maggie doesn’t know us that well and she had never been to our home before so we thought we better get started introducing her to “us” and our digs. She is a beautiful, very well behaved, highly intelligent dog. And she has those startling ice blue eyes. Kathy stayed for a while and then left Maggie here while she (Kathy) ran some errands in town. Maggie didn’t whine but she did lay down by the door waiting for her mom to come back. Dan and I took her for a walk (which seemed strange; we haven’t had a dog in the house since last May 21 let alone take one for a walk, which also happened to be last May 21) and when we came in she did come stay in the living room with us for a while.

I know she will miss her family, but I think everyone will feel so much better with her being here instead of boarded at the local “place”. And we still have a fenced in “dog yard” so we can let her out there when she has to go out. It’ll be like having the grandkids…you can send them home when you’ve had enough! Well, not quite like that!

Kathy’s hubby, John, works for the DNR and has a position at Muskellunge State Park (which is about 26 miles from us and a lot closer for them). One of the state forest campgrounds that is going to be closed is up that way; Headquarters. So, he too knows all about dealing with certain types of campers. But THEY go annually for gun training!
There have been some sadder sides to our owning a park. There have been 3 times in 17 years that we have had to call the State Police. One time was due to a man who had been verbally abusing his child throughout the afternoon. By night, it had resulted in physical abuse. Had it not been for some campers coming up and telling us about this, we might not have known. They were to the backside of the campground and one of the things he was doing to this 7 year old boy was telling him if he let out a peep he would “beat the (#%yt” out of him. The other couple of times were due to intoxicated “guests” who would not settle down and became totally obnoxious. One of them I thought was going to attack Dan before the cops finally got here (and now we’re looking at all these cut backs on troopers).

And the saddest time was when one of our guests had a heart attack. Their neighboring camper came to the office and said we needed 911 but she didn’t know why. I called 911 and while I had them on the phone, I drove back to the campsite. When I got there I could finally tell them what was going on. While we were waiting for them to arrive, I tried to start CPR. The woman was on the couch so it wasn’t going very well. Her hubby helped me pull her off (she was very heavy) onto the floor so I continued CPR and he was doing the mouth to mouth. The EMT’s finally arrived and got her off to the hospital where she was pronounced dead (I had taken the hubby to the hospital). They said that there wasn’t anything that we could have done; that her heart had just exploded. The hubby and I had quite a bond after that and he came to see us every year. He died about 5 years ago.

And we have even had middle of the night guest pet emergencies….which can be bad. It isn’t always easy to get in touch with a vet. It is a lot better than it used to be since Dr. Cheryl has bought her practice instead of being “tied in” with the clinic out of Manistique. At least now, if something goes wrong you can page Dr Cheryl and I’d say 99% of the time get results. It use to be when she worked for the Manistique clinic (with a “branch office” in Newberry), the Newberry vet would be on call every other weekend. If it happened that it was not her on call weekend, then you would have to travel an hour east of here to get your pet to the vet. Who wants to do that in a dire emergency???

On a brighter note…we now have two male hummers and a female has arrived. Yesterday we saw our first male red breasted grosbeak of the season (had seen a female the past week). STILL NO CAMPERS!!! Honestly, right now, I’d rather be seeing campers!!! It is still pretty early in the season but one can always hope!!

Catch ya later!


  1. Sounds like some exciting times at the campground! You have had some interesting experiences.
    I don't envy you on them, and admire your adversity to hang in there and run the campground in spite of those things.
    I haven't seen any grosbeaks yet.

  2. Retired One...I think this is one reason it is time for "new blood". While Dan and I always look forward to getting the campground open and the start of the season, we're at the point it would be nice to let someone else handle it, ya know?

    It has been an extremely rewarding experience, but it has been a 17 year experience. Time for someone else to have a good time. and we HAVE had a great time! For real we have!

  3. Aw, you will have to let us know how the dogsitting goes.

    Wow, those are some experiences you have had while at the campground. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Ashley, I will probably have a photo or two of Maggie to share. She is a pretty girl.


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