Good morning all:

Weekly wisdom from deep within the north woods:

“Asking a working trapper what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamppost how it feels about dogs.” ~ From our north woods everyman, Claire

I suspect Claire’s insight will become clearer further into this morning’s Rambling.

Not being a huge fan of television, and much less of a fan of the current stream of “reality” shows, it was a pleasant surprise waking up to some Detroit radio station. In about ten minutes, before I could even get the coffee brewed, the radio host went through last evening’s lineup of the music shows; the X-factor, The Voice, America’s got Talent, and so forth. This guy managed to draw a word picture of each of the top acts. So, here we are, completely filled in without wasting four-plus hours on a stream of commercials; and now much more awake to write and enjoy my java due to the extra sleep gained.

Maybe it’s just a cycle – but the weather did a 180 on us yesterday. We were supposedly to experience a short bit of rain, then cooling temperatures and sunny. Instead, we had warmish rain most of the day, that then gave us a cooling, plus a small window of clear weather with a tiny bit of sunshine.

It was all just enough for newly tripled grandparents to Edda, Evan, and Cora, Donn and Marlene to join us for a Friday evening meal. Thanks to a wonderful gift of ribs from island neighbors Dennis and Elaine, who headed south yesterday, the main course was a no brainer and Acorn squash and green beans made it complete.

I did have a problem with the grill. Unbeknownst to me the newer generation of propane tank has a safety which shuts them down if there is too great a rush of gas. That is exactly what happened. A recently filled tank and barely any heat, I was nonplussed. Finally my resident engineer, Donn, pointed out the issue. This was followed by a quick burner shutdown, and a new and slower start up. In a few minutes we had perfect ribs.

Coffee and a great apple crisp on a lake cruise completed the evening. No wait, what really completed the evening was more approaching rain. The boat was docked and covered just in time.

Another run to Puddingstone Lake – With the season quickly coming to an end Donn and I decided to make a trail run to Puddingstone Lake. Marlene was busy and Marcia said that last year it took her six months to recover from the same ride—she passed.

The mentioned lake is primarily a “fly-in” lake although a trail does exist. Much of the travel is a smallish trail alongside a power line. Sounds easy enough doesn’t it? Not so fast. The trail crosses a variety of mud pools, three creeks, and staircase like rock formations. Couple that business with heavily rock strewn paths and riders know that they’ve left the comfort of a paved road way behind.

Three hours later I returned and Marcia complimented me on my newly acquired John Wayne-like walking style and a genteel-manner, one step at a time, climbing steps.

Puddingstone Lake is so pristine and untouched that viewing it needs become an annual visit. Besides that, I do love the getting there portion.

Feeding at the trough – I feel like the horse whose hay has been parked somewhere and on who an always full bag of oats is hung. This week is going splendidly. It began Monday with a fish fry of fresh Lake Bass and Northern Pike and complemented by great things prepared by Marlene and Marcia. Mid week was more fresh Bass, only this time it was pan fried; many more kudos on this meal. Want me to continue? OK

Thursday we all trooped off to a 400-persons burg called Bruce Station – ostensibly to go to the bank. In reality it was to enjoy an auction of goods from a couple who were moving and decided not to pack a thing. A gap between ‘viewing’ and auction brought us to Bobbers a small local stop for dinner. It was on the menu, an item which caused major fond memories to surface, and I had to have it—Fish & Chips – of course with much malt vinegar. Wonderful!

Last night it was the just described ribs meal. Tonight, at the Community Hall in the little burg of Kynoch (population of twenty or so folk) is a fund raiser consisting of Barbeque Beef and homemade pies made by the ladies of the surrounding farms. I do believe that I’ll need to increase my daily three-mile hike by at least a mile.

All of this food is as a direct result of trying to use up remaining food prior to securing the cabin for the winter and is so not succeeding.

Animal Planet – Returning from our trek to Puddingstone Lake, Donn and I took a slight detour.

There will be some new logging activity nearby and we wanted to see how the new logging road being pushed into the woods was coming along. Near the point where we turned around was a small cabin sitting on Crown lands. What made it interesting was the tag affixed to the door jamb licensing the place to a trapper and for the sole purpose of fur trapping activities.

Living in the city we are often so removed from activities we’ve never heard about, didn’t know were still practiced, or are still a viable trade to be involved in. I guess that PETA’s agenda does not include trekking too far into out of the way places to do their picketing.

Differing traditions make the Animal Planet interesting. Take, for example, the pre-wedding rites of the local population. No bachelor or bachelorette parties in these parts. Rather it’s a Turkey Shoot Stag and Doe event where some meat packets are then sent home with the most skilled marksmen and women. Taking notes Molly?

Finally, a few photos to demonstrate just how beautifully Marcia’s veggie crop is coming in—now that we’re nearing the time when we’re going home.

lastly, the pressure is on for me to drive our little Deux Chevaux in the upcoming Thessalon ~ Wharncliffe Cruise and Car Show the day prior to our heading home—I’ll join in, primarily to experience the glory of the fall colors along the way.

Make it a great week everyone. Even though our nation’s credit rating went down another notch yesterday to AA- (an event that would have been unthinkable a few years ago), It’ll be OK. There is an election just weeks away.


Archives – Saturday, September 18, 2004
The early signs of autumn are here; shorter days, more leaves on the ground, and about a five degree cooler high. Now that the Deux Chevaux is street legal it became a perfect time for Marcia and I to toodle on over to the local Dairy Queen one early evening, top down and all. The previous owner was absolutely correct, it is one huge people magnet, even going so far as to interrupt my enjoyment of a chocolate covered something on a stick with a “could you lift the hood so I can take a look at the engine?” I should have told him no, that the squirrel was asleep. In actuality I fumbled with the latch and couldn’t make it work.

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