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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, September 29, 2009


As most of you know, Dan and I will be leaving in 20 days for our jobs at Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge.

Maybe you DON’T know that we will NOT be wrestling alligators! I’ve done some online reading about the history of the area, and way back in the early days of settlers trying to conquer the “new world” there WERE alligators in that area. There were also early settler colonies that “went missing” and were never heard from again…I don’t know if one has anything to do with the other but it makes one think!

There IS an abundance of are black bears (use to the bears so that's not a worry really) and hundreds of varieties of birds. And the red wolf has also been reintroduced into this area. I was told we could not hang any bird feeders of any type outside our 5th wheel (or anyplace for that matter) due to the bear population. I’m more worried that there MIGHT be some left over alligators; according to Jack Hannah, they can live a very long time!!!

Dan and I are very busy trying to get things done in the campground and our lodging accommodations so we’ll be ready to leave and not have to come back and do it in the spring. There are the normal things we do every fall that we still have to do; sit up all the picnic tables, take down all the playground equipment, thoroughly bleach the bathhouse walls, showers, etc (not that they don’t get this treatment during the summer but there is the one last BIG cleaning when we close them down in the fall), mow everything one more time (I HOPE just one more time!!), trim trees…just a lot of things to get done plus all the new things we have to do in order to leave!

We've been splitting wood for what seems an eternity. Let me put it this way, I'm not anxious to start a campfire any time soon and my shoulder blades and upper arms have gotten such a work out I could now clap out a pretty good, steady beat with only using my protruding shoulder blades (well, they FEEL like they protrude!!)

Come October 12th, I don’t know how Dan will act. See, that is the day that the cable man turns off the cable to the campground…and for the first time ever, it will also be turned off to our home and to the Little Lodge (one of our rental accommodations). We will have a full week of NO TV!!! Funny, it doesn’t bother Dan while we are on vacation for 2-3 weeks at a time, but I know the evenings are going to be very long for him (which in turn could make MY evenings long!!).

There should be plenty to do during the day to keep us both busy so the TV won’t be missed so much till after supper time (or unless it is raining and we can’t do much outside!!). I can almost envision it; an actual conversation between the two of us…for almost 7 evenings!!! Good thing the radio still works and I DO have a lot of CD’s! It could get to the point that he chases any remaining campers out the gate and closes it BEFORE noon on October 17th! That way, we can get on the road and get going!!! But if we’ve spent the previous numerous evenings engaged in meaningful dialect, what in the hell will we talk about once we are in the truck, one the road and away from here???

Our domicile is beginning to take on the facade of a going out of business sale. There are belongings scattered about that we need to take with us and don’t want to forget to put in the 5th wheel. The best way to do that is to leave them where we will see them (or trip over them). We both have our list(s) of things to do, take, blah, blah, blah. Time will have a way of sneaking up on us at the last possible moment!! (Does that sentence make ANY sense?? Aw, heck…you know what I mean!!)

So, yep, it won’t be long and we’ll be on the road again!! I’m so excited I could almost levitate!!!

AND there is one other thing to be excited about!!! I'm going to meet a fellow blogger!!! This person and the better half will be arriving tomorrow, Wednesday, to spend a couple of days! I'm sure we will both have big, tall stories to tell!!


  1. This sounds so exciting! I hope you'll be blogging from the refuge!

  2. You sound so organized. I'm very excited for you and looking forward to posts from your trip and your new job.

  3. Perhaps you could meet another fellow blogger this week as well. We are planning on coming up north this weekend to our camp north of you off of County Road 500. I plan to stop and see you either Saturday or Sunday!
    I'll have a better time frame by Friday and will let you know. I'm excited to meet you and Dan!

  4. Shelley, I PLAN to blog wherever we are at...as long as I can get online!!

    SBW, I don't feel very organized at this point with everything being all over the place!!

    DVM's wife, THAT WILL BE GREAT!!! Dan and I would love to meet you and the family!! We will be gone all day Friday, but will be around the rest of the time.

  5. Cathy,
    You make me laugh. Wow, it does sound like you have a lot going on before you leave. Hopefully the weather cooperates for you. It has been raining here at home for the past two days. Enjoy your time at the refuge! What an experience.

    On a side note, Brian and I will not be able to make it up there before you leave. :( Things have been pretty busy lately and we cannot get away. Hopefully next summer we can come up for a visit. We would love to meet you both.

  6. I am bummed that I will miss DVM's wife when we come there...so close yet so far...!!!
    DVM's wife: if you head any farther west on your way through, please let me know?? We could always go to Marquette to meet you for coffee!!!
    Cathy, we will be leaving home soon to see you...can't wait!!!

  7. Ashley, the weather here has been on the miserable side. I updated the fall color report and didn't have a new photo to go with it due to the miserable weather. Today the sun is shining so I have no excuse!!

    Retired one...See you soon!!! Looking forward to it! Maybe we'll put you to work splitting some of that #$^% wood!

  8. Wow, so much to do AND no TV to veg out in front of at the end of the night. :-)

    Sounds like you have everything under control.

    I'm counting the days for you!



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