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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!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


I know there were many other trips to “up north” between all of these I've described so far because my love affair with the bridge unquestionably began before the next trip I remember. I know this because I have recollections of driving from Carp Lake to Mackinaw City and being anxious and anticipatory to be the first one in the car to get the first glimpse of the towers of Mighty Mac. What started out at age 5 as a terrifying trip across the Mighty Mac had truly turned into a love affair of seeing an “old friend”.

My brave Mother brought HER mother (my Grandma), my sister, my best friend and I “up north” for a week at Carp Lake and we were able to get our usual cabin. We did a lot of rock hounding, picnicking, some fishing and all the usual tourist things. This had to have been a very long week for my Mother considering by about 5 days into it my best friend and I were on the outs….and by the time we dropped her off at her house a couple days later, we were barely speaking and when we did speak it was not kind words we exchanged.

Several years later, I started a new chapter in my life as a young married woman. If I’d known then what I know now….how many of us haven’t said that?? But, the best thing that came from that marriage was my precious little girl (all grown up and on her own). Being farmers, we didn’t have time for vacations, but after about 6 years, my best friend (the one I wasn’t speaking with on the trip home from several years earlier) and I made plans to take her son and my daughter and we were going north. They were about 6 years old. I had rented one of the cabins at McKosh’s and the plans were in process.

A couple of weeks before we were to leave, my friend had to change her plans so it was just my little girl and myself heading off for a week’s adventure. The cabins were as I remembered as was the town of Carp Lake. Big change hadn’t gotten there yet.

This was my daughter’s first vacation and first trip up north and I wanted her to experience everything I remembered as a kid…even though at that time, and at her age, I didn’t enjoy those trips!

We did all the normal things and she really seemed to have a great time….until we rented bikes to ride around Mackinac Island. For those of you who have done this, you know it is about 7 miles around the Island and it is a good paved road. Even at that, for a little, energetic kid, that can be a long bike ride.

We’d been riding for what must have seemed like FOREVER to that little kid of mine when we came to an old wooden marker alongside the road that simply stated “YOU ARE HALFWAY AROUND THE ISLAND”. My sweet, little pooped out girl looked at me with her big blue eyes and said “Can’t we go back?” It was hard to explain to her that if we are already half way around that going back wouldn’t be any shorter.

We did finally make it back to town and returned our rented bikes. Then we decided we would take the carriage ride to the various site-seeing attractions. These “carriages” are more like very nice wagons, with wooden (hard) seats. I can’t remember how many people they will hold but I’m guessing 20 or a bit more. They are drawn by a team of work horses.

Our tickets were purchased, so we were sitting on a park bench waiting for the next scheduled carriage ride. While we were waiting, my daughter walked over to a trash can and threw her gum away. As soon as she did this, music started playing. She came back and said “How come when I threw my gum away, music started playing?” She hadn’t realized there was a teenager standing close by with a radio which he happened to turn on and UP at the same time she got rid of her gum. I don’t know how much of these things that she remembers, but I hope she has some memories of this trip and the things we did.

The other night, my daughter sent me a couple of photos of that trip that she had scanned into her computer. The two photos she sent me were ones that she had taken of me. Since I am still resorting to dial up, I’m not even going to TRY to upload those photos and share with you, but if my FAP ever comes back down on my WB account, maybe I can at that time.

To be continued!


  1. And I'm waiting to see those pics. Quite curious to know what made you fall so much in love with them!

  2. Can't wait to see pictures!

  3. What a great story. I'll be your daughter was tired after that bike ride. You two probably slept realllly well that night :-)

  4. I love this ongoing story about your love affair with the bridge...and I am awaiting seeing the pictures, too!
    It is so neat that your daughter remembers the trip with fondness, just like you do too.

  5. Ekanthapadhikan, it wasn't the photos that I fell in love with (although I sure wish I looked like that same young woman I USE to be!!), but the Mackinac Bridge and the whole experience of the U.P. Hopefully, I'll be off from dial up soon and can upload them!!

    Ashley, and I wish for the sake of having high speed connection again I could upload them...or anything else!!!

    Joanna, I can't remember how well we slept that night but I do remember even I was tired after that day!

    Retired One, Thanks!! I'm glad my daughter has good memories of it too!!


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