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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, January 05, 2010


Today was our last day on Pea Island. Not just working there, but being there...at least for the foreseeable future.

Ya know the saying "You don't know what you've got till it's gone."? Dan and I are kind of feeling that way now. When we closed up the Visitor Center tonight and headed to drive out of the drive way, you look to the right and can't see around the curve, but you look across the road at that expanse of sand dunes and know that on the other side of it is the ocean in all it's glory and/or fury and the shore birds that you have just finally started to be able to identify, or at least ya THINK you can.

You look to the left and you can see a long way down the road headed north towards the mainland and sand dunes obviously banking along that road too. The ponds of the Pea Island Refuge are visible almost the whole drive back to the Oregon Inlet, so that makes the birds visible to you as well....birds that we won't see again for a while.

It isn't just that this was our last day on Pea Island but Dan and I have made the decision to leave Alligator River NWR on Tuesday, January 12th, IF the weather cooperates.

While it may appear that we didn't have the fun, warm time that we had hoped to have had while here, we really are fortunate and grateful for all that we experienced, all that we learned, all that we saw and heard (the red wolves howling early this morning for one thing), all the wonderful people we have met, so we are extremely thankful that we had this opportunity and we would do it again....hopefully in a season when the U.S. isn't in a deep freeze!!!

But with the extremely cold temps, the fact that we had a couple of days with no water at all due to a pump in the refuge's pump house and that we decided yesterday to winterize our 5th wheel, we are planning on leaving January 12th, weather permitting. By that I mean if the wind isn't howling sideways...which happens a lot here. We still have to work the next two days so I might not be getting much done online.

So, I've got a LOT of things I want to post before we leave because once we are on the road I don't know when I will be able to get back online again. We asked the Army Corp of Engineers if it would be OK if we arrived at our job early and it wasn't a problem for them so we have to keep them informed of our progress too.

Hopefully between this post and when we leave bright and early (we hope) Tuesday morning, I will be able to finish up about the lighthouse and post some more photos of various things we've seen the past week or so.

AND that WAS a very large, very healthy female bobcat. Abbey was able to collect her the next morning and put her in the freezer. The bobcat will make a wonderful addition to their new office/learning center that will be built hopefully this spring/summer.


  1. Wow...it seems like you just got there!
    So sorry the weather didn't cooperate, I know you had such high hopes for better weather there while you had your experiences there....but as you said, you gained other wonderful memories and experiences and that is what counts the most...
    so be careful on the road to Texas and we will be waiting to hear about your next adventures there!!

  2. sfeutz9:58 AM

    I do hope the Texas weather is better for you. I have a sister and a niece and nephew in Texas and the winter climate is generally good. Of course, Texas is a big state and so it depends where you are. Wishing you safe travels and warmer weather! I know you need that! We have had an early winter here with more snow than normal but fortunately lots of sunny days between so I can't complian! Take care!

  3. I agree, it does seem like you just got there. They have sure kept you busy. I have loved reading of your experiences.

  4. Retired One...it doesn't sound like the weather is good any place in the world! Record cold temps being set all over!!! And mounds and drifts of snow where there normally is not snow!

    Sandy, good to hear from ya! Yep, warm weather will be nice, however Texas (at least the area we're headed for) has had cold temps too! Just not sideways winds!!

    Ashely, the time has gone very quickly, so it has been a wonderful time and great memories (and some not so great!!).

  5. Tami Hickey~West Branch10:32 PM

    Really miss you being here in Michigan. Miss your trail reports and stories of the happenings. Hurry back to Michigan soon.....:D


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