Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Summer in Bessemer, MI May 2006

Some of the scenes at the beautiful Black Harbor Park at Bessemer, MI

Thursday, May 18, 2006 Bessemer, MI Wow a whole week as gone by since I’ve written anything. It always takes a couple of days to pack things up and get ready for a trip. Sally has been busy saying good-by to all of her friends and we had to go to Fremont to see Kris’s new mobile home. It is quite nice and sits in a quiet corner of Rob-Ann Trailer Park. She was in the process of moving so we only bothered her for a little while. We have had no problem with the packing or moving over to Joe and Lisa’s. Mother’s Day was nice and Kitt, Bill, Scotti, David, Lacy and our new Gr-granddaughter Bethany were all there at Joe and Lisa‘s. Joe’s daughter and son-in-law Sue and Paul Dykman stopped by with their granddaughter. Later my sister Sandra Pickett with husband Jim with one of their sons James and Kathy and they all had Mom in tow. It was a good day and it almost stopped raining. Sunday evening was spent with friends and Monday morning was spent with more of the same. By 10 AM we were on the road and heading north towards Luther, in route towards Bessemer.

Such a beautiful day as we meander north up towards the little town of Luther and I do man meandered as we (I) made a wrong turn and had to call for directions. Al and Beverly Armstrong migrated towards Luther about 10 years ago. They sold their dairy farm, near Hesperia, to the boys and Bev retired from teaching. The place where they’re at was, I believe, an uncles and they are now the proud owners of 160 acres of rolling, wooded, tillable, SCENIC land. Most of the aged outbuildings are still standing and Al even lowered one of them from a 2 story to a 1 ½ story workshop. Tastefully done also. Their house sits on the edge of a hill and is very roomy and still very snug at the same time. Overlooking the fields of corn and alfalfa. Al’s pride and joy is a log cabin that he built out on the back forty. He cut his own logs and built a “cabin” anybody would be proud of. Situated right on the bank of a bubbling stream that is just waiting for somebody with a couple of worms to catch some delicious brook trout. I did not measure the cabin but it must be about 24 X 16 foot inside with a ¾ sleeping loft up above. Complete with a beautiful fieldstone fireplace nicely done also. Finished inside with beautiful poplar wood that Al cut also. They’ve spent countless hours at their cabin with at least one hotdog roast a month and have had birthday parties and several Christmas’s there with the family. All-in-all a very, very nice place well worth being proud of. We had a wonderful lunch of “leftovers” which included fresh asparagus and morel mushrooms. All too soon it was time to leave. It was a lot shorter trip getting out of there as we didn’t make the wrong turn this time. Soon we were back on M-37 and looking for our next stop at Dave and Trisha Berends. Trisha is Greg and Becki’s oldest daughter) she is also Sally’s oldest granddaughter and has married and even had a baby since we last saw her. We stopped to say hello and look at their cute house. And of course Sally wanted to see the baby.
  Again it was all too soon but we had to get back on the road and I again made a wrong turn. I don’t know where but I got lost in Traverse City. It is one of the easiest places to navigate but I sure did something wrong.
It took us an hour to go through TC usually a 15 to 20 minute trip. I guess I’d better get a GPS program and learn to use it. That night we spent at Turtle Creek Casino. So Sally could lose $15.00 of her $20.00. It was a beautiful day as we rambled north. The sun was very bright and the temperatures were in the low 70’s all day. The engineering marvel called Mackinaw Bridge was a welcome site as the sun shone on it brightly. It cost us $5.00 with the trailer. (I remember that back in 1960 it cost my wife and I $7.50 on a honeymoon trip to the UP. It cost us more to go across the bridge twice than it did for gas that week. I had a brand new Renault Dauphine that got great mileage and gas was a LOT cheaper then)
 We were supposed to stop at Brevort Lake but no one was home and the weather so great I said lets keep going, so we did. All the way to Manistique where Sally gave her last donation to the Native Americans. I’d planned on staying at their campground but they closed it last October. While Sally lost her last $5.00 I took a nap, just about an hour. On we went West on US 2 to just past Escanaba and then we took Mi Rt. 69 North up towards Crystal Falls. They have 2 RV parks in town and neither one of them was open. Both parks are between a couple of hills so it was down and up and down and up and nothing was open so, we left. I did want to see Evana Palmer but I was agitated and it was best if we left. So on we went into Iron Mountain and into their city park for a well earned rest, I thought. We paid top dollar for the nice grassy site but the cable TV didn’t work and we couldn’t get any other so we did without. Next morning we drove down to the local McDonald’s and had breakfast and then left. The nice warm weather was all gone and it was a cool morning interspersed with showers most of the day as we drove into Bessemer. A lot of people get upset driving in the rain, but I enjoyed watching the rain wash all the bugs off of the trailer.As you enter Bessemer you come to their only stoplight. Turn north and Black Harbor Campground is only 16 miles up the very scenic and sometimes rough highway driving past a half dozen waterfalls which we’ll explore later this summer. Also you drive almost under the famed “Powder Horn” ski jump. They now call it “ski flying” and all I can say it is a long climb to the top. They fly more than 600 feet. I almost went that far once when I was bucked off a horse, I think. While we’re going north we meet a pickup that has UP Campgrounds written on its doors. I flash my brake lights and they turn around. It is Angie and she had just locked up the campground. We follow her and soon we’re all backed into our spot for the summer. The water and electricity are both turned on and our home on wheels and is all set up and she comes back and says the campground is now officially open and I’ll see you tomorrow. Also our first campers show up.

The Black Harbor Campground has 40 sites with about 5 of them overlooking Lake Superior. We’d both forgotten how blue the water is up here and the contrast with the bright new green on all of the trees and grasses is a sight to behold. The growing season here is a little behind the Lower Peninsula so we get to watch the flowering dogwood and other trees and bushes celebrate the coming of spring.

Tuesday, June 6, 2006
Today it is raining, really raining--cats & dogs. So we took a holiday and went into Ashland, Wis. to get Sally’s prescriptions refilled and we need a new cord for the printer. Something happened to the old one and the printer wasn’t getting its’ signal from the “puter”. (It did fix it). Also our barbeque grill took a dump last fall and with Father’s Day around the corner I would like to get one. Boy there were a lot of them to look at. One of them must have been about 15 ft wide and costing upwards of $2,000.00. I settled for a fold-up one for less than $40.00.
That excursion to Ashland is only 96 miles for the round trip so we won’t be going there very much. As we returned home the sky is clearing and a new batch of mosquitoes are flying about. The temp is still in the 70’s.
Friday, June 9, 2006 Lo 47 Hi 65
What a difference a day makes, actually 3 days. It is in the low 60’s and will be in the 40’s tonight. Not to bad as far as I’m concerned. It helps to get rid of the all of the bugs that are (were) flying around.
After the good soaking the ground got from the rain and 2 warm days the grass jumped up about 3 maybe 4 inches. The lawn mower needs new blades VERY BADLY. Also the battery is shot so, I’m leaving it in the yard and not using it at all. I beat (to dull to cut) all of the grass yesterday that I could without stopping the engine and today I went out for about 3 hours with the weed eater and finished up the trimming. I did not mow the entry way on the edge of the roads. They are very steep and the ground is still to wet and soft to get any traction on the side hills. It’ll look ok for this weekend but if new blades & a battery don’t show up by Monday I’ll go to town and pay the high dollar for the needed items. Otherwise I’ll have to call in some “Agent Orange”.
It has been cool enough that we’ve had no campers until this evening a few came in. I think it’ll be cool in the tents, especially the ones set up on the edge of the big lake.
I’ve spent a lot of time on our blog (web-site) probably 8 or 9 hours the last 2 evenings trying to get things where they belong and all of the pictures into the albums. My main problem is I write to much and they only a lot so much room for each page. It is interesting to say the least and also discouraging when after about an hours worth of work everything goes blank or says “entry to long”. There is no guidelines telling how many words or many column inches I may use, so I guesstimate and usually I’m wrong. It’s a good thing you can’t hear my voice of what I was saying as you are reading it, we both could be embarrassed.
It is going to be cool all weekend and warming up next week. Then we’ll probably be back in the 80’s again.
Friday, June 16, 2006
Almost a week since I’ve put anything down on paper. The new blades showed up for the mower and of course they were the wrong ones. The boss tried to tell me different but I took pictures of the new and the old. I had to take the new blades and file the center holes so that they’d fit. It only took a couple of hours and I didn’t have anything else to do anyway. When they brought the blades they didn’t bring a battery. So we went into town and got one from NAPA and it works fine. Then I started mowing and then I mowed some more and then a little more. I spent about 3 days getting the lawns ready for the weekenders and even if I say so myself, it looks great.
I’ve been trying to take pictures of the park but there is no way I can get the beauty of it on film.

Some of the rest rooms at Black Harbor

BUT I’ll keep trying. The summer wildflowers are in full bloom up here I’ve been trying to get a decent picture of a “Jack in the Pulpit” and haven’t been able to YET. Also the does have dropped their fawns and we see quite a few of the little fellows hopping around here and there. Of course when we see them we don’t have a camera. There is something special about a fawn that is only a few days old. They stand so straight on their legs and are light-footed yet not quite coordinated all at the same time.
 The campers here are a varied lot and quite interesting to talk to. We had one couple from the Nederland’s that had brought their motor home over to the states and are taking a year to see as much as they can. Their itinerary includes Mexico and Alaska.
A lot of visitors are from Minnesota and Wisconsin. We’ve even had some from our neck of the woods down near Hesperia. Today a micro-biologist from Little Rock left after spending several days here. Over in another camp-site is a couple from Leamington, Ont.
We’re told that the campground gets quite crowded on father’s day weekend. I guess we’ll wait and see.
Thursday, June 22, 2006
Mow, mow, mow the grass. I’ve probably mowing at least 5 hours a day. When I get done at one end of the park the other end needs mowing. Soon, I imagine, the grasses will slow down in their quest for touching the sky and I’ll be able to cease the incessant mowing. The mower is only 2 years old and needs some TLC. It seems a previous “host” tipped it over, easy enough to do here, ran the oil out of it and yet started the engine. Strangely enough the engine has a “knock” in it but keeps on going and it doesn’t use any oil to speak off. I put new blades on it the other day and a new battery helped but, it will not start without a “jump”. So once it starts I’m on it for the duration. Yesterday after about 3 hours I came back shut it off and said, amongst other things, that’s enough, I’m tired of mowing, I’m done with it for awhile.
Father’s Day Weekend was a bust. A lot of flies and very few campers. Campers know when the wind is out of the south the flies are abundant.
Since then of course it has cooled down into the 70’s and the bugs are less noticeable we’ve had a couple of thunderstorms and with them comes the high winds and etc. BUT it is much nicer than the storms we had in Arkansas while we were there.
The pictures I took of the “Jack-in - the - Pulpits” did not turn out neither did most of the others. I don’t know if it was me or the camera. The Jack in the pulpits are a rather fragile type of flower and I have a hard time spotting them. Some of the wildflowers seem to be doing quite well and I’ve decided to leave them alone where they’re on the edge of the roads and ditches. They add a little color and are pleasant to look at.
Sally has been getting around a lot better and she now walks to and from the restrooms without stopping and resting. In fact sometimes she’ll walk with me to a neighboring campsite.
Aimee is stymied by the squirrels which she just can’t seem to catch. I don’t know who has the most fun her, the squirrel or myself as she relentlessly pursues them. Yesterday I was at the picnic table and she was sitting out there on guard listening when she cocked her head side-ways and got up and slowly walked towards some of the weeds along the edge of our lot. Then she jumped up as a mole ran between her legs and behind her and the mole was really hightailing it out of there. I was laughing as they both took off across the lot and then the mole ran under the trailer. She went under also and then they both came out and the mole turned an ran over near where the rake, shovel and broom were standing. Aimee lost some of her concentration as the conglomeration all came tumbling down. I was laughing hard enough that Sally came out to see what was going on. Needless to say the mole made it to safety and Aimee was looking at me as if I was the cause of all of the commotion. Aimee had something to do for the next ½ hour looking for it.
Last Sunday we went for a drive. We decided to go to Lake Ottawa at Iron River. We’d met another camp-host couple and thought we’d just go visit them. It is a nice place about 4 miles from town. Linda was there but Frank was in the hospital with a viral infection. We’ve not been able to get in touch to find out how he is doing since then.
From there we went up to Crystal Falls to see if we could locate Evana Palmer, who with her husband moved back to her childhood town after retirement a few years ago. Terry died of a heart attack and we’ve just not been able to get into that neck of the woods. We called the local number and it had been disconnected and nobody at the local connivance store knew anything. So I went up near the courthouse and found the local Methodist church. We didn’t see the parsonage but there was a man walking around a neighboring house. I asked him and he had all of the information I needed. The house that Terry and Evana lived in is a beautiful old home right across from the church. Beautifully redecorated and with a porch around 2 sides and etc. Also he told us that Evana had married a Presbyterian Minister and they’d moved to McPherson, Ks. So the 2 people we wanted to visit were nowhere around and we headed back home. It was a pleasant afternoon and evening.
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Beautiful weather, down in the 40’s and 50’s at night and the high 70’s during the day. A few ran showers thrown in and it is keeping the grass nice and green. West of here in Wis. I’m told the grass is burning up and brown already because of the lack of rain.
We haven’t seen any berries yet and we think it is to early. But the black bears have been wreaking havoc in the city of Ironwood everyday.. Yesterday’s newspaper said they had 8 complaints Sunday afternoon, Now they were all over the city all within a 3 hour time period. One bear was destroyed because it would not go back in the woods and they were afraid that a child might get hurt.. One of the law enforcement men told me that they were all different bears and one was a sow w/2 cubs. Everybody survived and the complaints have slowed down some. We haven’t even seen a bear here but I did see some sign a couple of weeks ago but nothing since.
This weekend being the Fourth of July weekend every little town around here is having celebrations of some type. The strawberry socials sound good to me but there is everything from tractor pulls to a demolition derby going on.

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