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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, March 01, 2011


It is nearing the time for us to head homeward.  We keep thinking of all the work that is waiting for us once we get back to our campground; lots of wood to split for starters and then just the whole thing of getting the park ready to open.  We go through it every spring, so I won't bore you with it again.

So, we are trying to fit as much in here as we can before time to leave.   Yesterday was not a good day for doing much of anything.  It was cloudy and you could tell that there was going to be a storm some time. But we decided to try to enjoy the day before the storm would arrive.

You may recall that Dan and I take turns each week about a restaurant to go to.  Since we won't have a chance to go out for meals once we return, we do it once a week while we are gone.  Yesterday was Dan's turn.  He decided on a place we'd heard about (thanks Paul and Linda Lape!) that has a pizza buffet.  We are SO glad we decided to go there!

WHAT a variety!  I've never seen or heard of so many different types of pizzas!  And if they didn't have something you wanted, just let them know and they'd prepare it for it.  The price was about $5.00 per person.

OMGOSH!!  Was that pizza good!  It was definitely worth the $5.00 per person!  And Dan had his first taste of Hawaiian pizza (by mistake).  He swore he would never even try a pizza with pineapple on it; it just isn't natural to have pizza and pineapple together.  But he liked it and had another slice of it!

So, when we got back "home", we thought we better take a walk.  It was 80 and overcast but the breeze was so inviting.  We wished he had a hammock to sleep in outside the 5th wheel.  But we went for a walk, watched a little TV and decided to take a nap (which is something we haven't done since we left home in October!).

Dan was sawing logs and I heard the wind pick up and started to hear rain drops so I got up and shut the outside door, checked the windows to make sure it wasn't raining in and went back to finish my nap.  Within about 3 minutes, the siren went off, the NOAA radio started blaring and we were up and running!

I shut the computer down and shut the power off to it, grabbed my purse and cell phone and we decided we'd rather be in the truck than in our 5th wheel.  You might remember that our campsite is surrounded by very tall pine trees and they sway at the slightest breeze.  We decided to move the truck to a different spot that didn't have so many trees (which isn't easy...trees all around us).  By the time we ran to the truck and got in, we were soaked.  As soon as Dan started backing up the truck, it was hailing quarter size hail!  Thankfully that didn't even last a minute, but the wind was picking up.  It was raining so hard that you couldn't even see the sky or the top of the trees. 

We parked in a place we hoped would be safe and waited it out.  Our neighbor also decided to park in that place too.  Before we had run out of the 5th wheel, we did hear on TV that the storm was producing 80 mph shear winds and was 7 miles wide.  The siren finally stopped blaring but the weather was still nasty.

Then the wind stopped but it was raining like crazy; coming from all directions.

About 15 minutes after we made it to our "secure" spot, the rain subsided and things started to look better, so we came back to the 5th wheel. 

We still had power so we turned the TV back on to see what was going on in other parts.  WE WERE LUCKY AGAIN.  Not a couple of miles from us is where the major part of the storm went through.  Trees crashing through homes, on top of cars; just nasty.  Then south and east of us was getting it and they got 1" size hail.  So far, from what we've heard there were no confirmed tornadoes, but as the Weather Wizards said "The sky is so gray, the clouds are so low and it is raining so hard, you might not even be able to see a funnel till it is too late."

In this case I WOULD prefer snow!


  1. Sounds like quite a storm..good thing it was so short!

  2. We really do need to get together and share some of our 'like' adventures! We outran 7 tornados on one trip a few years back. Yes I said SEVEN! We were traveling down I 35 - enough said! Glad you weathered yet another storm! Sun is shining bright on the U.P. today.
    'hugs from afar'

  3. I saw the damage from the storms on the Today Show this morning. You were very fortunate to avoid all of that.

  4. My goodness Cathy, I am glad you are safe and sound...I am thankful for the snow, I don't mind a good ol' thunderstorm every now and again, but hiding from funnels have never been my thing. Some folks have suggested to us that instead of going up north (as if we wouldn't) we need to travel out of state...no thanks, I perfer good ol' Michigan, listening to the stories of other travelers makes me like Michigan and the U P all that much more....although I would love to go to Alaska someday!

  5. How scary! It was nice here today...high 40's with sun...but temps. are going down tomorrow to brutal teens again! Gosh, we are soooo wanting spring! But the countdown is on. According to my calendar, on March 15th in 2010 I had crocuses in my yard and on the 17th last year we had 68 degrees here. I am sure it got cool again after that, but it keeps me hoping! ha

  6. Gary H / Battle Creek12:57 PM

    Despite the sub-freezing weather here I saw my first 3 or 4 robins today....c'mon spring !!!

  7. Everyone, the weather since then has been great! We've been seeing robins for about 3 months off and on, but they are getting real serious about being around now!

  8. Gary H / Battle Creek7:43 AM

    "Yesterday" - another Beatles song.

  9. What???? You two never go out to Timber Charlies for a meal?


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