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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!

Friday, January 22, 2010


Monday, January 18

We made it to Bardwell Lake park at about 1:30 Texas time. Texas is an hour behind Michigan time. It will be confusing for a while because Dan isn’t going to set his watch back (afraid his stem will break ) and I’ve got everything else set at Texas time.

The reservoir is HUGE (I guess they all are) and we have a site overlooking the lake (well, the lake is across the road from us but there are no campsites between us and the lake). None of the sites are full hook up and we are a LONG way from a full service bathhouse and the dump station. The Army Corp of Engineers does provide us with a blue tote (campers, you know what I mean), but that will be a real pain to have to tote “it” that far!

Dan had a very hard time getting into the campsite due to how the sites are laid out and the fact that there are wooden posts on either side of the site as well as along both sides of the road. Dan has a CDL and doesn’t have an issue backing anything up but by the time he was parked on the pad he was fit to be tied (AND cursing like a sailor). We are hoping that when the “bosses” come back tomorrow (Tuesday; today is a Federal Holiday so no one around) that we can get a different site…closer to the bathhouse AND the dump station. There aren’t any other campers up at those sites except for 2 other volunteers.

There are 3 or 4 wifi networks that come up when I try to get online but none of them have a strong enough signal that I can get online so hopefully if we get moved, that problem will be solved.

So, we see that the eastern seaboard has another nor’easter heading towards them or maybe by now it has already hit. Since I can’t get online at this time, I don’t know what is going on anyplace!!

Our trip from N. Carolina to here was thankfully uneventful, but I do have a wise word of caution for you. AVOID I-20 AT ALL COSTS UNLESS YOU ARE DRIVING A HOVERCRAFT!!!! That road is awful!!! It was worse than going taking a buckboard across dead furrows in a field. We crossed one road bridge (small creek underneath) that was so rough that we thought it was going to jerk the 5th wheel off the truck or tear the truck bed off and we’d see it in the rear view mirror hanging on the goose neck of the 5th wheel.

I guess I haven’t had a chance to talk with you about the job interview at the Carter’s Lake Army Corp of Engineer Park. It is certainly a beautiful area and I’m sure it is much prettier when there are leaves on the trees. We looked at 2 of the different campgrounds and we liked the Woodring Branch recreation area the best. However, Jeff told us that the park is adding another one or two host sites at the dam area which I think we would prefer that area. He has put our name down and wants us to let him know what our decision is by May. There is a lot of hill climbing (but there are big motor homes sitting on campsites so they made it OK!) involved to get to any of the campsites. The host sites are very nice concrete pad, fire pits, full hook up sites and a phone line.

The downside is it is about 25 miles one way to get to a good size town with a laundry, Super Wal-Mart and basically civilization. Now, you know us; being away from it all doesn’t bother us but let’s face it, sometimes you need to do laundry more than once a week and there IS only so many groceries you can store in a 5th wheel refrigerator! So, we’ve got some things to think about!

Let’s see…what else has been going on…OH!!!! I dreamed that Dan traded me off to a Mexican with a gold tooth!!! And guess what Dan got in exchange (besides freedom)??? A larger TV for the 5th wheel!!! It has become a joke between the two of us; Dan said that if he had a larger TV the reception would be better. He knows that isn’t true but he tried to use it as an argument as to why we needed a larger TV. Anyway, why is it when ya have a dream like that and you KNOW it was a dream, you wake up mad at that person???

AND I FINALLY FOUND CHIPOLTE SAUCE!!!! Ever since Dan and I had dinner on Veteran’s Day at Applebee’s I’ve been trying to “recreate” their fire brand burger with chipotle sauce. We got our weekly groceries last night (in Canton, Texas) at a Super Wal-Mart and found the sauce!! I bought two bottles of it!!! We’re having burgers for supper tonight!!! And if we like it, we will get a case and take it home!!

Tuesday a.m.
Still can’t get online so thought I’d add some more to this…with the hopes of driving around the campground later, computer in hand/lap and trying to get online when I can find a signal!! Now I can totally sympathize with campers at OUR park who get so frustrated at our free wifi set up. Although we DO say in our advertising that it is only about a 100-200’ range from the lobby, people still think they should be able to sit right at their site to get online. SOME of our guests can do that but the ones to the backside of our campground cannot, so they have to come up to the lobby, or the deck or sit at an unoccupied campsite that is closer to the office. Now, if we advertised free wifi and did NOT go on to say that it is only about 100-200’ from the lobby I would totally understand them being extremely upset.

One of the other hubby and wife hosts stopped by and introduced themselves last night. They are WAY up on site 1; we’re on 47. Very nice people and very helpful. We have plans of going back to Ennis with them this morning. Dan and I need to know where to find the Laundromat in town as well as get a 30 pounder propane tank filled and just get a general idea of where things are. We DID see the Super Wal-Mart on the way through yesterday and they DO have a “hair station” where hopefully I can get a trim. I haven’t had a hair cut since October 16th! Dan asked me the other day if I was going to let my hair grow long again and my reply was “not on purpose”.

We had burgers with chipotle sauce last night for supper…MUCH BETTER THAN KETCHUP!!! I didn’t have a head of lettuce (again storage issues) but I did have a bag of salad mix so we each put a handful of that on our burger. Tasted very good!!! So we will stock up on that stuff before heading back to Michigan!

Friday, January 22, 2010

I AM AMONG THE LAND OF THE WIRELESS!!! We purchased a Verizon air card so I can get online. I hated to go that route, but I had email reservations for next camping season and one required a contract to be emailed back. So now that I can get on line whenever I feel like it (when I’m not working that is!!) I can keep up with everyone.

But for now, this is it!!! We’ve got work to do here and still trying to get organized. More later!!


  1. Sounds like a series of adventures and that will make your winter pass very quickly.
    We are actually having a week long "January thaw" in the U.P. It has been gorgeous...sun every day and today it was 34 degrees. Felt like spring. ha Not to worry, though, by Monday we are supposed to get a lot more snow and back into the teens.
    We have had some hoarfrost which is making winter beautiful!
    We have had a ton of birds in our feeders over the last week too!
    I am so glad you got your WiFi straightened out and hope you find the stores and laundromat so you can now get your life there into a routine...
    waiting to hear about the area some more..!
    Stay safe and keep your senses of humor!
    And get your passport out in case you wake up some morning in Mexico snuggled up to Jose.

  2. Retired One. Dan got a hoot out of your Jose comment. But then, he really would like that bigger TV!! This whole Texas thing has been a BIG "challenge" for us; first it was an issue with the campsite they put us on, then I've been the last several days trying to get the wifi thing figured out. Hopefully things are turning around now!


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