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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, June 24, 2010


A “gentleman” came in the lobby last evening and inquired about our campsites and how much it would cost to park his van. He didn’t need any hook ups; just wanted a place to park for the night.

I told him our rustic sites are $18.00 per night. He started shaking his head and said “There ain’t no way I’m paying $18 for no hook ups! Michigan is a rip off State!”

I politely asked him why he felt that way (even though this early in the conversation I would have liked to have rapped him upside the head with my walking stick).

He replied “My wife and I went to that shipwreck museum and they wanted $20 just to go into the museum! What a fricking rip off! We didn’t even bother with it. THEN we went to the falls and they charged us $8.00 to go look at the falls and WE were the ones that had to do all the walking! This State sucks and we ain’t never coming back! And I’m sure as hell not going to pay $18.00 per night to camp!”

I replied (as calmly as I could and by now I had set my walking stick a bit further away from my reach), “Well, if you think OUR rates are too high, you could go to a Michigan State Forest campground where there is no bathhouse, no bathrooms except for outside toilets and pay $16.00 per night. You could save a whole $2.00!”

He said “Nope its all a rip off and when we hit the road, we’re heading out of Michigan just as fast as we can!”

I said, “Right there is the road, so all you have to do is turn your van around, and when you get to the end of our driveway take a right and just keep heading south!”

He said something along the lines of we didn’t know how to treat people and out the door he went. Before he got completely out the door I encouraged him to have a safe trip and watch that door on the way out. (AKA, don’t let it hit you in the ass!).

Maybe 19 years of being a campground owner is too long, huh?

On the bright side, there is only 117 days till we head for Georgia for the winter!


  1. Anonymous9:19 AM

    MAYBE they parked along the street or in a parking lot and peed behind a lampost? MAYBE they got a $100 ticket for parking where they shouldn't park? I wonder where they have been staying? Must be under the stars without facilities? Must be they don't think you need to make money?? IDIOTS! I COULDN'T DO WHAT YOU DO!!

  2. I think you responded most perfectly!

  3. Gary H.3:11 PM

    Though not making excuses for his obvious attitude, I too at times, have a problem with the rate of inflation these days. Remember 20 cent/gal. gas and it wasn't all that long ago that those rustic state campsites were under $10/night. Sounds like he must have had a rough day, we all have them.

    Hope your recovery is progressing for the better and glad to hear at least you kept your civility !

  4. Anonymous, he just acted like he wanted to fight with someone and I was his target. I am getting to the point though where biting my tongue is getting harder to do!

    Ashley, I had a very hard time not retorting with some other remarks. I was heated up over the conversation for a couple of hours afterwards!

    Gary, he probably was in for even a rougher night! We're the least expensive park in the area (well unless you DO go to a state forest campground). Maybe he drove all the way back to the south (he had a very southern accent...and a very nice camping van!)

  5. Don't you hate it? I don't know how they think you pay for the lights and water and maintenance of a campground if you can't charge folks. And I have news for him....Wisconsin's campgrounds are higher yet.....
    Although I agree with him on the Shipwreck Museum being a bit high...Paul and I were disappointed at the cost when we went too.

  6. Jeez! Did he get up on the wrong side of the bed or what. Glad he left. If he'd stayed he'd have complained all night long.

    You were beyond polite. i'd have shown him the door way earlier.


  7. Retired One, I admit to sticker shock on some things as well, but I don't blame the whole state for it or the next business owner I come in contact with. For him, this was a reflection on the WHOLE state. He and his "missus" must have had a wonderful trip!

    Joanna, I feel better knowing that you feel the same way. Thanks for that!

  8. LOL!! Cathy...You are just too funny! Great job for not hitting him across the side of the head! I wish I had been a fly on the wall!!!


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