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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!

Sunday, May 08, 2011


Saturday was a beee-uuuu-teee-fulll day!  I actually had to change my clothes to cool off.  But one would think that by now long underwear would not be necessary.  Saturday it wasn't!

We got quite a bit accomplished yesterday.  We managed to set the rest of the picnic tables down (and when I say managed, we are getting too old for this stuff!  Some of them are exceptionally heavy!), picked up sticks and brush, cleaned out about half of the firepits (can't get the rest yet because the ground is too soft to drive the loader in that part of the park without leaving tracks) and removed a Scotch pine tree from behind one of the cabins.  Then of course we had to clean up that mess and we still have to smooth and level the ground off where the tree was.

By now the loader bucket was full of debris and long limbs...limbs with white pine needles and Scotch pine needles...limbs that stuck out beyond the width of the loader bucket.  Because of their size, we put them on the arms of the loader bucket (where the hydraulic hoses are).

Dan sent me to the "wood dump pile" to get rid of this stuff.  The "road" to the pile is just as wide as the loader bucket..and it runs slightly up hill, through more of our woods.

I was having a hard time seeing over the brush in the bucket and the limbs that were on the bucket arms.  If I raised the bucket up high enough so I could see, then the limbs started to roll towards the muffler and the cab.  I was trying to miss the trees on both sides of me and not lose my load.  I finally managed to get pretty close to the pile of brush and raised the bucket up enough so that when I turned the bucket downward, everything that was in the bucket should fall out...which it did with no problems.

But I still had those big limbs to contend with and they were not going to come off on their own.  I dropped the candy blade on the back so the loader hopefully wasn't going to roll anyplace (I couldn't put the bucket down due to where I was).  Then I tried to get off the loader so I could pull those big limbs off.  By now they were pretty much on top of the hydraulic hoses and right by the muffler.  I was in a position between the loader and this stuff and several pine trees that were basically stuck in my hair and clothing.

I finally managed to get the rest of the limbs off without destroying the hydraulics OR the muffler.  By this time, I saw Dan out of the corner of my eye, but I pretended I didn't notice him...because now I had to try to get back ON the loader with all the pine in my hair and clothing, branches and twigs poking me in places I didn't want to be poked.

I finally got back on the loader (by the way, did I mention Casey the loader has no brakes??) and brought up the candy blade on the back end.  Before I could even put Casey in reverse, I was rolling backwards so I was trying to avoid all the trees along both sides and get out of that spot without doing any damage to the loader.

Dan was there waiting when I got out of the "mess".  He said he figured when he heard me drop the candy blade I had a problem (I guess he didn't hear the cursing).  Then he proceeded to tell me how I SHOULD have done it, etc, etc.  I told him that I was a virgin at getting that thing into tight places and getting back out again...and that he should be happy he still had a muffler on the darn thing.

I truly haven't been comfortable driving the loader since the brakes went out on it.  So the last place I want to be is in a tight situation on a hill with it.  But at least that part of the work is done.

We have a large limb that broke off from a white pine tree that we have to take care of.  It is blocking one of the campground roads and one campsite.  It is too soft to go back there yet with Casey, so we'll probably just do some cutting and stacking of brush.  We may have to get our logger neighbor in here to get out the remainder of that tree.  What will be left of it is right next to another huge white pine that we don't want to damage in the process.

It seems things are slowly coming together to get ready to open.  We have 3 new toilets to pick up on Tuesday so we hope to have those all installed by Wednesday so we can finally get the water to the bathhouse turned on and make sure there are no leaks and that the temp control to the showers is set properly.

According to the weather forecast that I'm seeing for the rest of the week, we are not supposed to have any more freezing temps, so HOPEFULLY that means we can get the lines to the campsites sanitized and the water turned on.

It just seems like to the both of us that we are forgetting something important, but we can't remember what it is!  It'll come to one of us in the middle of the night; isn't that the way it goes??!!

Hope to see you this summer!!


  1. Anonymous9:20 PM

    Ice Cube?

  2. Anonymous9:55 AM

    Rain on the windshield

  3. Whoa! That sounds like A LOT of work and a little bit scary, Cathy. Glad it all worked out for you.
    xo jj

  4. Beth, yep a cube!

    Anonymous, good guess but not it!

    Joanne, I just don't have the confidence in driving the loader that I use too...especially without brakes!


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