Welcome to Yooper Yarns! Please don't be shy; become a follower! I know you are out there!

About Me

My photo
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 04, 2011


Sometimes when Dan and I look back on all the trips we have taken, we know how fortunate we have been. We’ve been a lot of places and have seen a lot of things, all within the U.S. and parts of Canada.

The kids didn’t travel much with us after we got married. They weren’t much into camping. One of the kids, I won’t mention by name or gender, thought that roughing it means there isn’t any room at the Holiday Inn so you have to go to Motel 6. As long as they knew there would be a motel involved, they’d usually hop in the car and tag along.

Dan and I were talking about some of those trips today and remembering some of the “high lights”..

We were headed to the U.P.for a two week trip and to participate in the bridge walk. All 3 kids were with us. (Remember, we use to live in lower Michigan) We made it as far as Petoskey the first night.

The hotel we stayed at was built into a hill, so part of it had a really low roofline. One of the boys, I won’t mention by name but he is the youngest boy (you know who you are if you are reading this, son), went tearing around the corner and caught the roofline right across the top of his head. It left a good size patch of hair in the roof covering and left him with a slightly bald area. The other two kids thought it was the funniest thing they had ever seen and asked him to do it again. Dan and I were checking to make sure he wasn’t going to need stitches.

We finally arrived in the U.P. at made our way to Manistique. We stayed at one of the motels that is right across from the beach of Lake Michigan. There wasn’t a place to go swimming, but we all had fun playing in the waves.

When it came time to go in for the evening, the youngest son announced he was going to be the first one to take a shower. Fine. We heard him in the bathroom trying to get the shower going. He had the water running but couldn’t figure out how to make the water come out of the shower head. In a few minutes, he came out of the bathroom with the guts of the drain and said “I think something is wrong with the shower”. For whatever reason, he’d been pulling on the drain plug thinking that would make the shower come on. Dan couldn’t get it back in the drain properly and we wondered if anyone ever noticed.

Those two things stick out in OUR mind. Especially since when we returned home, Dan’s Mom asked the kids if they had a good time. My daughter said “Boy did we!!! ___(insert youngest sons name here) got bald in Petoskey!” I’m sure you know what Grandma thought!! And we still refer to ___ as the plumber.

There were a couple of camping trips out west with the youngest son and into British Columbia and down along the Pacific Coastline and back across. But that was the last trip I think any of the kids took with us.

But, after we married and after the kids graduated, Dan and I started traveling/camping alone.

One of our trips took us to Nova Scotia (lots of lobster dinners on that trip!!). When we headed home, we came back through Maine, New Hampshire, New York, etc. While traveling across the state of New York, we stayed in a campground in the Adirondacks. I don’t remember how far off the toll road it was but it was one of the first campgrounds we found in our trek across New York.

The next morning, we got back on the toll road, got our ticket and were on our way, headed for Ohio (and a side trip to Cedar Point!!).

I don’t know if you have ever read the backside of a toll ticket, but it tells you that if you lose the ticket, you will be charged the highest amount on the ticket for the type (# of tires) of vehicle you have. So we are always careful of where we put that ticket. We put it up in the visor on my side of the truck.

On our way across New York, we somehow picked up a large bumble bee (he was sucked in the open window and couldn’t find his way back out). He was merrily buzzing all over the truck and we couldn’t point him towards the exit (either one of the downed windows). He finally lit in the dash on MY side of the truck. I grabbed the first thing I could think of to try to get him out of the window…the toll ticket.

I managed to get him on the ticket and held him and the ticket up to the window…at which point the bee AND the ticket went screaming out of the window. I said “The good news is I got rid of the bee…but the bad news is I also got rid of the toll ticket.” We had about an hours’ drive before we had to pay toll. There wasn’t anything we could do to prove this ridiculous story.

But, AHHHH-HA!!! I had the campground receipt from where we had stayed the night before. MAYBE they would accept that as proof of where we got on.

Dan was still the driver when we got to the toll booth and he was not looking forward to trying to explain any part of what happened. He just plain wanted to accept whatever extra charge there might be, but I convinced him to at least try.

We showed the attendant the campground receipt and after about 5 minutes of hem and hawing she finally let us through for whatever the amount of toll was between the campground and there. This is one of those things that we can laugh about…now.

I’m sure I have other travel experiences to share with you, but that is it for this time.

Any of your vacation experiences stick out in YOUR mind??


  1. Omg too funny - (fill in the blank) got bald in Petoskey! My Grandma would have fainted! lol
    I can't wait to meet you this coming summer ~ get your butt back up in the U.P. where it belongs - we have lots of stories to share! lol

  2. Cher, Our kids have done and said some funny things...or at least several years later we can laugh about it! We'll be home mid April!!

  3. I am fortunate in that our kids did love to go camping since they were little so we went for many years. It is some of our family's finest and funniest memories. Our girls still love to camp now as adults...and we did the usual Disneyworld trip too, which all of us loved. But we now are also traveling far more as a retired couple than we did with the kids as we didn't have much money or time when they were little....only 2 weeks off a year plus we went every weekend rain or shine in the summers too.

  4. lol....those were some funny stories....I have one for you...in 2009, we camped at Brimley, our son was 3, we had gone into the Soo to check out the Locks (again) and decided to go Putt Putt Golfing at that little place across from the Locks...we make it through the first several holes ok, then Trenton discovered the "ponds", so he stomped his little foot in one and was rewarded with a little splash, and a mild scolding from me...a couple holes later, there is a "pond" in the middle of hole (I am sure you see where this is going)...well he hit his ball and decided to try stomping in the "pond" again, this time the "pond" wasn't flat and when he stomped, his feet went out from under him and he ended up on his bottom...we laughed so hard there were tears in our eyes, and of course, he thought he should try that again....needless to say, we didn't finish the course...and of course, i didn't bring dry clothes, so we went back to the campground...side note, we haven't gone putt putt golfing where there is water traps again...

  5. Retired One, I think family camping is a great experience, but not all of our kids would agree. Some great memories though.

    Amy, I can just picture that! How funny! He may become a great pro some day!


Thank you for visiting Yooper Yarns and leaving a comment!

Blog Archive