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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!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

DOES A BEAR SH- - IN THE WOODS??

We will get to why I titled the post what I did later, but for those readers who might not be familiar with that saying, it pretty much means that “Yes, that’s the truth!”, or “No, I’m not kidding you!!” For example, if I were to say to you “I just ran 3 miles backwards!” And you replied “You’ve got to be joking me!” I would say “Does a bear sh- - in the woods?”…which we all know that they do so what I told you must be true! Oh, and in case you don’t know what the rest of that sh word is, it ends in it.

So, with all of that said, here we go!!

Dan took me for supper last night to celebrate my blankety blank birthday. Oh, OK…I admit it…I’m getting older and I’m over 50… over 50 something to be exact. Anyway, we went into Nags Head (I hope to have photos to post of what is our route to work, well, when we have to go into the office for something). One of the men at the Fire Management Unit recommended a Mexican restaurant to us; La Foghata (or something like that). OMG!!! It was SOO authentic inside and out. Everyone who works there (or at least those that we came in contact with spoke Mexican and at times we had a difficult time with a slight language barrier. The food was so good! I had a fried chicken chimichanga, topped with LOTS of sour cream, guacamole, and all the trimmings that go with that, as well as a side of beans. Dan had a huge beef burrito with all the trimmings. They provided a fried chip and Mexican dip while you waited. We both were so full, but I hadn’t had fried ice cream in ages so I ordered that and two spoons. Dan had NEVER had fried ice cream. When it arrived, it came in a 6” diameter fried shell and the dessert was huge too! Dan moved over to my side of the booth so we wouldn’t make a mess. This was better than any fried ice cream I’d ever had!! With all of that and our drinks, our bill came to $24.92. Sorry to say that you couldn’t get THAT much food and THAT good of food any place where we live (Newberry, Michigan) for that price.

Fishing is a HUGE past time in the area; not just for fun but for a living. In Michigan, you are use to seeing gun racks mounted on the inside of a pick - up truck, with a gun in the rack. HERE, you see vehicles coming down the road with long, heavy duty fishing poles inserted into a fishing pole holder which is mounted on the front of the vehicle (around the bumper/grill area. Driving down the road at even 15 mph, the poles (even as heavy duty as they are) tend to “bend in the breeze” and obviously they bend towards the direction of the windshield. Dan has decided the reason they mount the rods like this is to straighten them back out due to having large fish on the line which causes the pole to bend towards the direction of the water. Dan is such a thinker at times…and such a dry sense of humor!

Abbey, our boss, gave us a quick tour of Manteo (which oddly enough is pronounced MANeo; emphasis on MAN…silent T). We have a LOT to see!! Manteo is a small town; the side streets are very narrow but it is two way traffic. Lots of neat little shops to be explored. Yes, I know…I don’t like shopping but I like looking at stuff like this!! Andy Griffith lives in Manteo and attends Abbey’s church. One thing that we want to do when we have time and the weather isn’t too hot but is sunny (gotta be perfect!!) is go to the Elizabethan Gardens.

One of our jobs is to make sure all brochure racks (which are mainly at trail heads or at canoe launches) are filled and that bears haven’t destroyed the racks. Abbey has a list of the places we need to check on but we haven’t gotten that list yet. The other day, we were “on patrol” on one of the Charles Kuralt birding trails. It is a wide, asphalted pathway that winds through the woods and wetlands. There is a wonderful board walk that goes out over the swamp and wetlands. We had seen areas where bears had tried to eat the rail boards or had grabbed hold of them trying to hoist themselves out of the water; scratch marks, boards bitten, etc. I really don’t know how long this boardwalk is; maybe 1/16th of a mile. About ½ way through there is an interpretive sign that tells you about the alligators and they can grow between 6-12’ in length. Good to know…out over their swamp.

As Dan was walking off the boardwalk and back onto the walk way, he quietly said “Come here; there’s a bear.” I thought he was joshing me. But as I got off the boardwalk and looked where we had just been 5 minutes ago, there was a very large black bear standing in the middle of the walk way looking towards us. We’re guessing he was about 100 yards from us. We watched each other for a while…quietly. We were not going to use our ‘bear horn’ if it was not necessary. Dan and I decided to continue our walk down the path to where we hadn’t been yet. We looked over our shoulder every now and then and the bear was slowly walking in the same direction. The next time we looked back, he was nowhere to be seen so we weren’t sure if he got into the water or went back into the woods…but we still were cautious.

We got to the next board walk which just was a short distance and ended at a view of a lake. One of the rail boards was totally ripped into and parts of it shredded. Since this lumber is treated lumber and is now treated with salt instead of arsenic, the bears like chewing on it for the salt. We knew this was something that we would have to repair and started the walk back towards the head of the trail.

We talked loudly so to let any bears know we were coming through and would appreciate it if they didn’t surprise us by jumping out of the woods. We made it back to our government truck and went after replacement parts.

When we came back to the trail, we were able to drive the truck down the main highway and come in at a different entrance (at the end of the trail) so we didn’t have too far to carry the materials.

As we approached the boardwalk, we could see a steaming pile of bear poop on the trail….so nope, bears do not always sh- - in the woods!!

I hope to have some photos to upload with this post but I am going to be using dial up (hopefully that will work this time!!) so I don’t know how many photos might be uploaded. OH, and about having our mail sent to us once a week by priority mail by our local post office; it took from Wednesday to Monday afternoon for it to arrive!!!

(There is another new post below this one; just some photos is all it is)

5 comments:

  1. Gary / Battle Creek11:36 AM

    A "Very Happy Belated Birthday to You !"

    ReplyDelete
  2. Happy Birthday to you!

    and wow.....bears!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Happy Birthday, Cathy!!! I wish I had known in advance to send you a card or something! Glad you got a chance to celebrate with a dinner that sounded wonderful!
    Wow, I would be snapping photos left and right if I was with you on that bear experience and in seeing all that you are seeing!!!
    It is wonderful you are having such a rich experience. Good for you guys!!!!
    Stay safe and tell Dan not to wear that female alligator scented aftershave!!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. First, HAPPY BIRTHDAY CATHY! I hope it was great and I wish you a wonderful, happy and heathy year.

    Second.... "We talked loudly so to let any bears know we were coming..." Honey, I'd have been SCREAMING!

    Have a great weekend.
    xo

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for the b'day well wishes! Getting older isn't all it's cracked up to be, but this is a good place to do it!

    I sure hope to get on your blogs today!!!

    ReplyDelete

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