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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!

Monday, April 11, 2011


I think we arrived home about 6:00 p.m. Saturday evening. Saturday morning, we didn’t have the early start we had hoped for.

We left Milan in plenty of time to get to Wixom and pick up our 5th wheel. But it wasn’t ready. So long story short, we weren’t actually on the road headed north until a little after noon.

Since the water system won’t be turned on till Monday a.m., we are really roughing it!

Dan was out collecting rain water that was POURING out of the rain gutters on the 5th wheel and the shop. That way we won’t have to use our purchased drinking water for the toilet. I couldn’t believe how quickly he got 10 gallons of water! It was raining hard.

(By the way, I am writing this Sunday afternoon…don’t know when it will get posted since I don’t have internet yet)

The rain has made it quite foggy due to the 50 degree temperature and the snow that is left in places on the ground. It is just a plain nasty day (Sunday).

But it has been a good day to make a dent in bringing stuff OUT of the 5th wheel and into our home…except NOW what do I do with it??! It all was so simple getting this stuff OUT INTO the 5th wheel, but what a drag bringing it all back in. I think basically all I have left to get is some pots and pans and mixing bowls. Oh, and some games, and my mixer, and a tripod…I keep thinking of things!!! Good thing I don’t need any of those items right now!

Dan hasn’t even gotten started on the basement of the 5th wheel. He ended up coming home with a few items that he didn’t leave here with; an electric chainsaw (came in handy for cutting wood for a campfire), a leaf blower (keep our patio clean better than using a broom, PLUS Dan uses it on the slide outs to make sure nothing is on them before bringing them in), a very nice portable, collapsing ladder and a small drill.

Once we finally left Wixom with Gracie (the 5th wheel), it felt like it took forever to get anyplace. I’m sure being sick with this nasty cold/laryngitis didn’t help my idea of time travel.

We stopped along the way at a rest area to stretch our legs and to see if there were any vending machines. Dan needed a Mountain Dew and I just needed something to tide me over. They didn’t have any tide me overs (AKA Snickers), so I settled on a package of 2 raisin oatmeal cookies.

Dan was having trouble getting his last dollar bill to be accepted into the pop machine. I don’t know how many times it was spit back out and how many times and ways Dan straightened that thing. It FINALLY took it…and Dan just stood there. I figured as much trouble as he had had getting this far, standing there and pondering about the fact that the $1.00 was finally accepted wasn’t a good idea. WHO knew if the machine might change its mind again?

So, I said to Dan, “PUNCH IT!” He reacted by actually punching the machine. I will have to give him a bit of credit though; he DID punch a picture of a can of MD. He then managed to find the little button to punch for his MD and finally got the darn thing. By then we were both laughing so hard about it, we hoped no one was noticing….and that the rest area police wouldn’t respond to the scene due to what had probably been caught on surveillance tape!

Dan’s reasoning for punching the machine was that I had started him when I “yelled” (according to him I yelled) PUNCH IT!
Maybe it was one of those ya had to be there moments….

So onward we went. Cruising speeds of 65 mph most of the time. The END WAS NEAR!

And there he was!!! MIGHTY MAC!!! The Straits!! The Mackinac Bridge!!! Dan welcomed Gracie, the 5th wheel, to our driveway. I’ve told ya before that since everything is SOOOO far apart up here, we just say that the Mackinac Bridge is our driveway. A 5 mile bridge joined by another 60+ miles to get home!

We crossed The Bridge and the “fare booths” were in sight. I had our $7.00 ready so all Dan had to do was hand it to the booth attendant and skedaddle.
He picked a lane of traffic where there was no waiting. I didn’t realize it right away, but believe me; the booth attendant in the NEXT lane brought it to our attention ASAP!


We felt pretty stupid, especially the way she yelled at us. Apparently, we’d gotten into the lane for commuters. WHO KNEW??? They aren’t labeled as such. And with the booth glass being dark, you can’t really see if someone happens to be in the booth or not.

Fortunately there wasn’t much traffic so Dan could back the 5th wheel up and get into her lane. Dan said he should have gotten his little electric chainsaw out and buzzed off that board (meaning the rail that comes down to halt you). We both were embarrassed but had to laugh about it.

Then, after months of driving 65 mph most of the time, you cross the bridge and get on U.S. 2…it seems like you are just crawling at 55 mph. We didn’t think we were ever going to get to the junction of M-117 and U.S. 2!

It is late Monday afternoon. The wellman was here right at 9 a.m. and did his thing. The only problem is we haven’t been able to get water in the kitchen. Long story short, it hopefully has ended up being a plugged faucet part. Dan’s got the faucet torn about and one of the pieces in the faucet was pretty much plugged. We’ve never had that happen before. Usually it is one of the screens on the end of a hose or in the faucet, but not this time.

The house is a disaster. There are about 6 loads of laundry waiting. The kitchen looks like hell with all the plumbing parts strewn about. I didn’t even make the bed this morning and that is really odd for me. But look at me; do I look like I really care??? At this moment I’m so laid back it is a wonder I don’t tip over.


  1. sfeutz6:21 PM

    I know how good home looks to us after just being gone a few days so I can only imagine what you are feeling. Hope you get some good weather and everything goes well with you and you have everything up and running soon.

  2. wilson9:36 PM

    welcome back..glad you made it safe and sound, had a similar occurance at the toll booth once

  3. Welcome Home!!!! I know what you mean about the sight of the 'Mighty Mac"....even though I am officially a troll, the sight of the 'big bridge' as my 4 year old calls it, always feels like coming home to me!!!!

  4. I understand about U.S. 2 seeming like it's crawling at 55mph. I got my first ticket ever on U.S. 2 this past summer, just off of the Mighty Mac, I wasn't used to the "crawling" after driving 70 for the past 5 hours or so from Detroit! Thanks for sharing your blog, welcome back home!


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