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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!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


About 3 years ago in early July, our area had 70 mph straight line winds early in the morning. We didn't even have time to go out and warn campers. As I was trying to get the complete weather picture the storm was only seconds to the west of us...and then it hit.

Dan and I didn't realize how bad it was until it was over and it was safe to venture out and check on our camping guests.

After we made sure everyone was OK, I burst into tears. We had lost many 100 year old white pine trees and several balsam and fir trees as well as many poplar. We had a total of 37 trees just in the campground that were lost. (We still don't have all the damage in the woods cleaned up).

You can see what one white pine tree did to the swings. The 2nd photo IS a huge limb on a tent. Fortunately, these people HAD vacated their tent AND their campsite (actually drove up close to the office away from the trees when the storm struck).

The bottom photo USE to be a HUGE white pine tree and a very old cherry tree. This spring we were finally able to finish digging and chopping out all the roots so we could smooth it off (as best we could) and sow grass.

There are areas of the campground that still bring a tear to my eye when I remember those beautiful pines and firs that use to stand so majestically on those particular sites. One site was so beautiful with the firs that I considered it my church.

I tend to still get a bit edgy when we are in storm warning areas.

The clean up required a logging crew to come in. Thank goodness for wonderful neighbors like Mic McNamara (who owns a logging operation). Mic and his crew made short work of getting it all cleaned up, including all the brush.

I don't know if Dan and I ever will get all the downed trees and wood cut up in the woods.
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  1. Amazing pictures Cathy. We were camping in a tent one night down here about 30 years ago when there were straight line winds and we got out of the tent around midnight. In the morning we saw there was lots of damage locally including the destruction of the Lowell Showboat but our tent was still standing. Very scary.

  2. Wow, Cathy. I had no idea. Glad to hear that everyone was safe though. It is amazing what destruction in a mature of seconds can happen that took years to create.

  3. Ashley, we all were very fortunate that day. Would you believe that one of our RV guests slept thru the whole thing and the wind had ripped his awning right off his RV!!

  4. SBW, it is totally frightening to be in a storm, but especially in a tent or RV...with no place to go!

  5. That's so sad about all the trees you lost - but I'm glad you weren't hurt! How has the weather been this week?

  6. Shellmo, the weather has been cold and damp; a lot of off/on rain and misty. Feels like fall!!

  7. Once, in the 80's, I was at work and my hubby had taken our two daughters (then they were maybe 12 and 10 years old) camping in a National Forest rustic campground. I heard on the radio that a tornado had gone thru that very campground. I had no way to reach them...there were no cellphones then. They were due back in two days and I had to wait....they didn't get back on time and I really was panicking...
    turned out they had such a good time camping they lost track of time. I about killed my hubby for not traveling somewhere with a phone to tell me they were ok.
    He said he saw a lot of wind damage everywhere but they just waited it out in the car and it had been over in about an hour that day and they went back to camping...they didn't even know about the tornado until they got home. No wonder I have grey hair!

  8. Oh honey, that is so sad. But thank god you were all okay. xo

  9. Big winds and floods and earthquakes ... nowhere to go. Scary memories!


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