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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!

Saturday, May 07, 2011


I don't think it is ME that is going out of my head, but Dan is about at that point.

See, we haven't had TV since we've been home.  And we won't have TV till May 23rd.  I'M LIKING IT.  Dan is not liking it.  May 23rd is when Charter will be here to turn on the CATV service to our home, the Little Lodge and the campsites.

We've been playing a lot of a dice game called Greedy, as well as Yahtzee and Phase Ten dice game (it is also a card game).  I've been going to bed about 9 p.m. Dan sits out in the living room and reads magazines till he can't see anymore (usually about 15 minutes).

However, one good thing has come of this!  We have been watching OLD vacation videos (as well as a lot of John Wayne videos that we had recorded).  A couple of days ago we started on our "out west" adventure that we took in 1991 (I think!).  We had a 1984 Ford F-250 diesel (boy how things have changed since THOSE diesel days!) and a new 11 foot Coachman truck camper.  It was Dan, our son, another friend of our son, She-ba (my Samoyed) and myself.

We have 4 full video tapes!  Probably half of each one of those was not necessary, but I was taping going down almost every road we went down.  I was especially fascinated with Montana, British Columbia and Oregon...the road sides I mean.  I did manage to actually take useful video of the things we specifically went to see.

When I had ordered our tickets months in advance for the Calgary Stampede and Rodeo, I was disappointed to read on the tickets that the use of videos was not allowed.  I found out later that meant like production type videos...but nope, I didn't take the camcorder and you have no idea how badly I wanted to film all of that and the huge Native American Pow Wow that was going on.

Anyway, on with the story...we have always admired the Rocky Mountains and have been through Colorado before so we weren't including a trip that way this time.  We didn't think it was possible for the Rocky Mountains to be any more awe inspiring till we got to the Canadian Rockies.  You realize how small and insignificant you are in the scheme of things.  And the water falls!!!

While still in the U.S. side of Glacier NP and going along the Going To the Sun highway, water falls were coming out of every nook and cranny in the mountains.  I know it was all due to snow melt, but it was fascinating.

We didn't see any grizzly bears while in any parts of the states we were in, but we did see mountain goats, elk, black bears, prairie dogs, deer and lots of eagles.  And beautiful valleys of wildflowers....

Our trip took us through Glacier NP in Montana and into Canada.  Besides the rodeo and stampede, we wanted to see Banff, the ice fields and I don't remember what else.  Dan has a photo of me standing on the ice fields in a sun dress and flip flops...and it was snowing!  (It had not been snowing that morning when we left camp; it had been warm).  And we couldn't even see Lake Louise due to the fog and snow.

Our trip back took us through Olympic National Forest, Mount St. Helen,Crater Lake, the Redwood Forest, the Sequoia, along the coastline, Yosemite and from there we headed to Arizona because we had reservations for a sunset helicopter flight over the Grand Canyon.

Anyway, it was an 8000 mile trip packed into 3 weeks...with two teens and a dog.  And we all still liked each other when we got home! But I DID hear myself saying some things on tape that I think now "Boy was I a BITCH!!"

When we look at all those videos and think about lugging that great big camcorder around on my shoulder with my eye always attached to the eye cup...I really didn't see much!  Not till I got to watch the videos and then I felt like I had missed out on things because I couldn't remember the same things that Dan and the kids remembered.  AND IT WOULD HAVE BEEN NICE TO HAVE BEEN IN THE DIGITAL AGE WAY BACK THEN!!!  What awesome photos there would have been!  And tiny little movie cameras....

I'm not sure what we'll be watching next.  We haven't gotten out our tapes of our times at deer camp...it was sometimes worse than Escanaba in Da Moonlight!  And yep, She-ba the dog went with us on those adventures.  I made her a bright orange "vest" to wear when we took her out (considering she was all white and we know how white attracts bullets during firearm season).  She was a well traveled dog; she'd even been to Nova Scotia with us!  Poor old girl; how she loved to travel.

So, I guess I better see what I can find in the video vault so Dan doesn't pull what is left of his hair out.


  1. I cathy, I remember the video recorders back in the day-- They were bulky and heavy. But isn't it great to have the memories today-- It all sounds like a lot of fun.

    I've been helping my friend move and she hasn't had tv for a week.... She's going crazy without it, especially at night. She says it's too quiet. These days I wouldn't mind not having tv at our house-- I'd be missing A LOT of basketball and baseball which would be just fine with me, if you know what I mean.

    xo jj

  2. Joanna, what I'm NOT missing is having to sit in the same room with Dan while he watches all the news reports. Nothing happy about the news...I'll bury my head in the sand instead.


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