The next trip I remember to Carp Lake was possibly when I was about 11 so that would have made my sister about 4. For whatever reason, we weren’t able to get a cabin at McKosh’s so we ended up down the road a bit from where we normally stayed. It was a nice cabin, pretty much the same type of interior, but it wasn’t the same as staying where we had spent so many days and nights up north. Oh, and this trip we had the family dog with us, a beautiful black cocker spaniel named Lady.
There aren’t a whole lot of things that stick out in my mind about this particular trip, but there are 2 I can remember vividly.
First, I need to explain that my mother was/is very prim and proper and there were certain words she just did not say. Oh, she would cuss and say “damn” or a few other choice words when she was upset, but she never, EVER would say the word fart.
But one night, as we were all asleep, we all heard my mother say very loudly ‘DID THAT DOG FART?’ and we heard no more. I never gave it another thought till the next morning at breakfast, my Dad brought it up. He said to my Mother something along the lines of “You sat right up in bed last night and said ‘DID THAT DOG FART?’ and then you lay back down and went back to sleep like nothing happened.” My Mother would NOT believe Dad and she did NOT want to believe us kids either. For whatever reason, it left her feeling pretty mortified! It is one of those things that was never mentioned again (until now!!)
Another memory of that trip was after a day of swimming and hanging our suits out to dry that afternoon on the clothesline, around the dark side of the cabin, near the bushes, not too far from where a bear had been spotted earlier that day (did I mention the dark side of the cabin, near the bushes??), my parents thought it would be a good idea for me to go out and grab the swimsuits and bring them in. I just couldn’t believe that they would send ME out there to get those suits since they knew a bear had been spotted not too far from our cabin. I don’t care if it would only take about 10 seconds to get the suits off the line and get back in (I could probably do it in less time than that really; I was feeling highly motivated).
So, out the door I went, dreading all 10 feet of the trip to the clothesline and back. As I was returning back, some lumbering critter jumped out of the bushes at me! My first reaction was to put my hands together, raise them over my head and come down hard on the head of this beast! I heard a resounding thud and a big grunt. Whatever it was dropped to the ground.
After my Mother came to, I got chewed out for trying to knock her brains out. How it always seemed to end up being my fault, I’m not quite sure.
This trip, I DO remember going to Tahquamenon Falls. Not too far from the Falls parking lot, there was a wooden “shack” where you could purchase a newspaper with the headlines to include your name. It would read something like ‘BABS BABCOCK WENT OVER THE FALLS IN A BARRELL’. There was a story to go along with it that explained your rough ride over the Falls in a barrel, etc. I’m sure we probably purchased one or two of those, but I have no idea what ever happened to them.
Way back in this era, you could actually take a difficult “hike” to the shoreline of the Tahquamenon River at the bottom of the Upper Tahquamenon Falls. Since my Dad had brought the movie camera and tripod, we all made the trek down to that area. You could get pretty darn close to the bottom of the Falls and some daring (AKA stupid) people would even try to walk BEHIND the falls. You no longer can legally get to the bottom of the Falls. Instead there is a beautiful deck/viewing area right at the top of the Falls. There are 90 steps (very wide and safe steps) that you take to get to that deck. It is funny though because by the time you come back UP those steps, it is no longer 90 steps but about 190 steps…or it feels that way.
We would venture on up through Paradise and head north 11 miles to Whitefish Point to where the lighthouse was/is. This is on Lake Superior; the GREATEST of the Great Lakes. I remember a feeling coming over me when I saw this wonderful body of water and heard the “HOOOO-OOOOO” coming from the lighthouse. I fell totally in love with that spot. The lighthouse no longer goes “HOOOOO-OOOOO”. I can’t remember when or why that was stopped. I think I need to research it and refresh my memory.
One of the days we were on this trip, we took the ferry (not a car ferry, but a person and bike ferry) to Mackinac Island. I remembered we rented a horse and carriage to take around the Island. I even remember the horse’s name was Ruth. Every once in a while, Ruth would decide to stop and take a break (we were only going at a slow walk so she wasn't being stressed or abused). No amount of clucking at her or jiggling the reins was moving that horse. So, Dad (having been a horseman) would climb out of the carriage, go around and whisper to Ruth, pretend to adjust her headstall, get back in the carriage and she would be good to go.
I don’t remember any of the times we were on the Island (with Mom and Dad) ever renting bikes to ride around the Island (remember there is no motorized traffic allowed on Mackinac Island) and I don’t remember ever exploring some of the nooks and crannies or even going to the Fort on the Island….but I did do that later in life…which will be included in this story eventually.
Have a great day!!
- Cathy Clementz