Friday, August 28, 2009

Travel Update of the U.P.

We've always loved the State of Michigan so this summer we decided to explore the Upper Peninsula, which is every bit as beautiful as any other place on this planet. Since there are so many lighthouses and waterfalls we decided to make that our focus along with relaxing and unwinding.

We arrived at Aune Osborn Campground in Sault Ste Marie on Saturday the 22nd. The campground is situated on the St Mary River just east of the Soo Locks. Several freighters passed while we watched. This is a beautiful spot for a County park right along the river yet almost downtown Sault Ste Marie. While camped here we explored the area going down some long less traveled roads – berry picking along the road/trail. The whole of the upper peninsula takes you back to a less hurried era with lots of older homes and cars that are just common place around these parts.

The second day in this area we revisited the Soo Locks. We’ve been here in the past, but it still amazes me that you can fit a huge barge in that small lock to be raised to Lake Superior or lowered to the St Mary River going to Lake Huron.

Monday morning we left Sault Ste Marie for a short trip to Three Lakes National Forest. We got a campsite on Walker Lake. The National Forests, State Forests and State Parks have possession of some of the most beautiful properties. I think the reason that they are not more sought after is because they have few if any amenities. This is from Walker Lake looking back at the campsite.

This a picture of the lake from the campsite.

The beautiful setting is more or less all you get, but that’s enough for us. We went exploring and visited the Iroquois Point Lighthouse. This lighthouse is very well maintained and manned by volunteers with lots of historic information. We were lucky enough to be able to climb the 72 spiral steps to the top of the lighthouse, what a beautiful view of Lake Superior. In its’ heyday the Iroquois lighthouse housed three families that operated the property.

We then visited the Whitefish Point Lighthouse. This was a larger setup with many more outbuildings. The house portion was freshly painted and the crews were working on the lighthouse. No climbing to the top of this one.

We went on to Tahquamenon Falls, we only visited the upper falls this day.

It was a sunny clear day for a meandering drive along the shoreline of Lake Superior. We had a nice campfire that evening and turned in early – no electricity. The next day we planned on going fishing, but the weather looked ominous and windy all day. We did fish from shore – no luck. There is also a nice trail around the lake – about a mile. We got back just before the rain got a little serious. It didn’t last long though and we were back out trying to get the fire going again. It was a nice relaxing day.

We moved again on Wednesday morning to Colwell Lake National Park. This is another beautiful park that had lots of openings. We got a nice site with electricity (only 4 sites in the park) right on the water. After setting up we were off to explore. In our book, MICHIGAN WATERFALLS, we learned of several falls in the area. First was Sable Falls located west of Grand Marais MI. This falls is a short ¼ mile hike followed by 169 steps down to the falls, well worth it.

The next one on our list was Chapel Falls just north of Melstrand MI. This could have been a trip in itself, but unfortunately it was already getting late. We hiked the 1.5 miles into the falls – it was a well maintained path with a few hills, nothing too strenuous. There was a view of the falls at the end of the trail and if you crossed over a bridge you got a closer look. The way the water washes over and rounds out the rocks in an amazing thing.

We were kind of tired at this point, but the book said that Munising Falls was just a short walk from the visitor center in Munising MI. We still had some daylight so we headed to Munising. They were right, it was a short walk and I can see why these are the most visited falls – you don’t have to work hard to get there.

Back at camp the sun was setting and we settled in to cozy by the fire.

Miners Falls
Today we discovered Miners Falls. Well, maybe not discovered, but explored. The falls are NE of Munising MI and are just a short ½ mile hike into the viewing platform. We did the additional 64 steps down to a better viewing area. There were several sprays of water that bounced off the rock and sprayed further out. Very unique.

From the falls we drove down to Miners Castle viewing area. This was a topside view of Castle Rock that lots of people see from a boat tour of Pictured Rock. The beautiful color striations travel around the castle and further around the shoreline. Looking down in the lake from this viewpoint is an awesome experience and the color of the water is a beautiful blue-green. I don’t know if our pictures do it justice, but it was quite striking.

From Castle Rock we took a quick drive over to Miners Beach. I’ve got to say that this is section of the area that I’m glad we didn’t miss.

After getting back to camp MM inflated our rubber yacht and we set off for a fishing excursion on Colwell Lake where we are camped. I’m sure we are missing a very important piece of knowledge about fishing, because once again we came away empty handed. It was still fun to get out on the water and enjoy the peaceful serenity found drifting on a quiet lake. The evening was spent relaxing around a campfire.

That's all for now. Lots more to follow.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Off Exploring

Off on a little exploration. I'll try to post updates whenever we can get a connection. See ya

Saturday, August 15, 2009

While My Sister Sleeps by Barbara Delinsky

Molly and Robin Snow are sisters in the prime of their lives. So when Molly learns that Robin—an Olympic athlete and the favorite child—has suffered a massive heart attack, the news couldn’t be more shocking. At the hospital, the Snow family receives a grim prognosis: Robin may never regain consciousness.

Feelings of guilt and jealousy flare up as Robin's family struggles to cope and their relationships are put to the ultimate test. It’s up to Molly to make the tough decisions, and she soon makes discoveries that destroy some of her most cherished beliefs about the sister she thought she knew.

This was a fast moving book with a lot of tough life choices. Don't know if I'm on a roll here, but my last several books have been pretty thought provoking. While My Sister Sleeps had me in tears a few times, but all in all I would recommend it.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Fertilize Friday

It's Friday so that means it's time to fertilize your plants and head on over to our gracious hostess to check out all the beautiful blooms. My gardens aren't too different this week, but what they attract was spectacular. My MM had a lot of patience and put his photography skills to work. I was really surprised when I was downloading some other pictures and found these of a hummingbird. So enjoy my offering and head on over to Tootsie Time to check out the other participating gardeners.

Trumpet flowers are infamous for attracting humming birds.

Is that a second smaller set of wings? How interesting.

The thing I don't like about Trumpets is that they also attract a lot of ants.

I've also learned that MM is a better photographer than I am. I used his camera last week and his shot of this rose is much better than mine. I'll have to ask for a few pointers.

The Rose of Sharon is loaded this week.

And I'm definitely putting more coreopsis on my list. This plant has bloomed for weeks.

I noticed a couple of pumpkins. This is the first time I've tried one in years.

And surprise of all surprises - I had a blooming hibiscus this morning. It is beautiful!

Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Fun '60's Morning

This is so cool. I found it over at One Gals Musings and this is the
link you go to to create your own little person and scene.

I created a 1960's vintage gal enjoying a morning tea with one of the neighbors. Nothing to do, but gossip and wait for the kids to come home from school. It's one of those great warm days right after school has gotten back in session and we're glad to have some time to ourselves. I enjoy wearing capris even though a lot of people still don't accept women in pants. The heels kind of set it off so it doesn't look like I'm spending the day at the beach. Notice how hippy I was back then... women weren't expected to be thin ... curvaceous I think is the term. Also notice that my neighbor has one of those great new dishwashers. Our budget just doesn't allow for that, but I don't mind doing dishes anyway.

It's been fun to imagine myself back then, and sometimes I wish life was that simple again.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Swinging Peanut

While home for lunch today Peanut was dropped off by her Mom for safe keeping while she left for an appointment. I got a few quick shots of Peanut swinging with Papa. They were having a ball. She was swinging by herself for a while, but she really liked swinging with Papa.

There's just nothing like a front porch swing!

The little doggie was enjoying it too.

Wish I could have stayed home longer cause it looked like they were having a lot of fun. She loves her Papa!

Monday, August 10, 2009

I got this award from Harmony, and since she was instrumental in getting me started in this whole blogging thing this means a lot more.

"The Humane Award honors eight certain bloggers that I feel are kindhearted individuals. They regularly take part in my blog and always leave the sweetest comments. If it wasn’t for them, my site would just be an ordinary blog. Their blogs are also amazing and are tastefully done on a daily basis. I thank them and look forward to our growing friendships through the blog world. Link back to the person who gifted you with the award and share the love with other bloggers.”

The eight blogs I'd like to recognize with this award are:


I have so many more blogs that I'd love to honor because this truly is a great award, but I'm running out of time here. I'm sure most of my bloggy friends really understand that.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Great American Potato Salad

I was never a big fan of Potato Salad. Anytime I had it I just had a small spoon to be polite... that was until I found this recipe from Kraft Foods. It's easy to make and delicious.

Here are the main players (oops is that Hellman's Mayo? Don't tell Kraft)

Great American Potato Salad

1/2 cup Kraft Real Mayo
1 Tbsp yellow mustard
1/2 tsp celery seed
1/2 tsp salt
1/ tsp pepper
4 cups cubed pototoes, cooked
2 hard cooked eggs, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, sliced
1/3 cup dill pickle relish

Mix first 5 ingredients in large bowl

Add remaining ingredients; mix lightly

Refrigerate several hours or until chilled.

If it seems like I have more potatoes than called for I end up adding more mayo to keep it all moist. I also found it easier to add the relish to the wet ingredients - just my preference.

I'm glad I found this recipe at the beginning of summer because I've been making it at the beginning of the weekend and having a great side dish for the rest of the weekend. It couldn't be easier. Try it and let me know what you think. You won't be disappointed.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The Shack by William P. Young

Mackenzie Allen Philips' youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later in the midst of his Great Sadness, Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend. Against his better judgment he arrives at the shack on a wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change Mack's world forever. In a world where religion seems to grow increasingly irrelevant "The Shack" wrestles with the timeless question, "Where is God in a world so filled with unspeakable pain?" The answers Mack gets will astound you and perhaps transform you as much as it did him. You'll want everyone you know to read this book!

For me this book was very heart rendering. Anyone who has lost a loved one through violence or even an accident has a lot of questions of 'why'? The book gave me a different insite into forgiveness and loving. I don't cry for many things, but this book got a little difficult to read through the tears. I would recommend this book to anyone questioning God.

Fertilize Friday

Summer is hot and dry... anything different out there? I have a lot of plants not in bloom, but I was able to find some color to share. So enjoy my offering and head on over to Tootsie Time to check out the other participating gardeners.

The Moonbeam Coreopsis has been blooming for quite a while and it is still so pretty.

This one is the flowering Chicks and Hens. I had two blooming plants this year. They always amaze me.

The cone flowers are still blooming but have fallen over. I got a tip from a neighbor about using bone meal to strengthen the stems.

A friend got me this cute bird house for my birthday. Seeing the spigot on it I thought it would be cute sitting on this old discarded sink. MM put it all together for me. Now I just need a plant lol

Another friend got me this beautiful mum plant. Definitely a spark of color.

The Rose of Sharon is loaded with buds and blooms.

I love the ruffling of the Rose of Sharon petals.

This is the ground side of the Trumpet vine. That wall is probably 12 feet high. It is a wonderful privacy wall.

A close up of the colorful trumpets.

And finally the hanging basket that is still providing lots of color. This has been a beautiful basket all season, I love seeing it out our dining room.

What didn't make it through the season is the hosta plants. The deer had a feast! I was using a 'deer repel' product for a while.... maybe I shouldn't have stopped.

So that's it for me this week. Watering has been made a little simpler by the soaker hose that MM threaded around, but I'm still fertilizing them individually. Wonder how all of this will look when I have all the time in the world? :) Until then, I'll enjoy my peaceful little place on earth.