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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, May 20, 2010


The Meridian Fire (downstate) has caused hundreds of nursing home residents to be evacuated.  Several buildings have been destroyed and some owners have yet to be notified.  If you want more info, go to

The extreme fire danger always concerns everyone.  It sounds like this fire could have been avoided if some careless person was not burning debris.  There was another fire around Camp Grayling, but that one has been contained and I believe totally put out.  They are making headway with this fire.

You may recall that 3 years ago, in August, I was reporting on the Sleeper Lake Fire, just north of us.  It consumed over 22,000 acres and was almost too close for comfort.  So, we tend to be very nervous when the conditions are so dry.  It is just a tinderbox in places.

Which brings me to my next concern; campfires....especially those that are started by campers who are just camping out in the woods.  YOU MUST BE CAREFUL.  Dan and I stress to our guests the importance of making sure that campfire is TOTALLY out before leaving or going to bed, but sometimes that doesn't do any good.  And I worry about people using the nature trail and tossing out a cigarette.  There is a LOT of "kindling" in our woods since having a bit of it logged out last year...and it is very dry stuff.

So, please, whether you are camping or driving down the road and smoking, THINK before you leave your campfire (or create one that is so large you can't get next to it for several hours) and THINK before tossing a lit cigarette out the window.  Last year, a fire was started (not too far from here) from log chains creating a spark out in the woods in some tall grass.  You just have to be very conscious of what you are doing.


  1. Amen to that! It drives me nuts when people do that. My father in law is one of those that will bank the fire, and let it burn the entire time we are at the campground, although, he does sleep next to the fire (crazy man, sleeps in his lawn chair). I remember the Sleeper Lake fire. We were camping at Brimley that year. So many careless people, and the problem is simple to correct.

  2. A wonderful reminder..it is very dry here too.

  3. Amy, at least he is NEXT to the fire. Some people just walk away (or drive off) and leave it going. More than once we've gone out and doused someone's campfire after they drove out. Then they'd get back with the marshmallows and wonder why their firepit and wood was all wet! And be mad about it!

    Retired One, Dan said all the way to Iron Mountain it was the same thing and possibly even worse than what it is here.

  4. I can't believe it's so dry up there. It's been monsoon down here this spring. Hope it wets up for you guys soon.


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