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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!

Monday, November 23, 2009


Dan and I learned two things today. 1. The ground is still very wet and 2. Four wheel drive does not work in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang…the pet name for the government truck we use.

Today we needed to make the rounds and place brochures in the brochure racks at about 14 different spots on the refuge. One of the very first ones we needed to get to was down a “road” that was muddy and the further we got down this “road” the muddier it became.

The end was in sight and so was the post the rack was on. Dan didn’t drive the rest of the way but walked towards the rack with a handful of brochures. I had white shoes on and didn’t want to get them all mud (and with the type of sole my shoes have I would have brought half the “road” back into the truck).

Dan didn’t get clear back to the brochure rack until he saw that it was broken and there would be no way to put brochures in it.

He needed to get the truck turned around so we could get back to the main road. When he put it in drive it was clear we weren’t going anyplace without some effort. Dan is a very capable driver and you all know he is a farm boy and can drive about anything. He managed to get the truck out of that spot and started backing up trying to find a dryer spot to get turned around.

He got to a point that he thought would work and things were going pretty well, but alas and alack (not Dan’s words believe me!) we got stuck. And NO amount of cajoling that truck was going to work. So, he put it in 4WD (so he thought). And nothing changed AT all…except to throw more mud. The front wheels were NOT pulling and we were NOT in that deep. After a few more choice words and a few more times of sticking his head out the door trying to see if the wheels were doing anything I told him it was time to call for help…which turned out to almost be an issue too! We only had 1 ½ bars on the cell phone and THAT was iffy!

I managed to get a hold of Helen at the shop and told her where we were, etc and she said she’d have someone right out. It probably wasn’t even 15 minutes before one of the guys came out with a larger truck (ours is an F-150). Dan hooked on the tow rope and it didn’t take any effort at all to get us out of our “fix”. I don’t think we’ll be going back there to check brochures or replace that rack for a while! At least not without 4 WD!

After we delivered the brochures to the various places, we went back to the shop to load up on tools so we could go fix the boardwalk again.

There has been so much going on and I just haven’t taken the time to tell you about it but I do want to mention a volunteer awards banquet and meeting that we attended the other night in Nags Head. It was held at Pamlico Jack’s (I think I spelled it correctly). The supper was buffet style and was excellent. The meeting before supper was extremely informative (all very laid back). The awards were given out after supper and dessert. The Volunteer of the Year has volunteered about 2000 hours. Some people who have jobs don’t work that many hours in a year!!! I won’t go into all the details of Paul’s volunteer work, but let me just say that he is a first rate diesel mechanic and one helluva cook! There were several other deserving people that received awards as well, but it is quite an honor to be Volunteer of the Year.

I have had several emails from sled heads which I will try to address in an upcoming post. Don't forget to check the TASA website at www.tasatrails.com. The answers you are looking for MIGHT be there. Since I am no longer on the board, I don't update or maintain that website so I'm not sure what is going on. So, please feel free to check the TASA website and if you can't find what you need there, let me know and I will try to help or point you in the right direction.


  1. Tell Dan that if a Yooper couldn't get that truck out, nobody could. ha

  2. Retired One..I told Dan what ya said and he said it would have helped if the 4WD worked! Oh, well, it gave me time to take photos of HUGE flocks of red winged black birds!!


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