Sunday, November 22, 2009

Yeah man. S'all good. Cool.

We have been washing, and dusting, packing and draining water for days now. It has been unusually warm and except for that quick blast we had in October, it has been snowless. The old timers in the area have been arguing that the last time it was this warm during deer hunting season was in '58... no no it was '59!

The exact date has been the topic of heated debate lately and these debates have been taking place mostly down at the newly opened cafe! I am pleased to report the restaurant... fondly known as 'Mom's Cafe' received it's clearance from the health department and the new management re-opened it yesterday!

I worked at the Post Office yesterday and it was nice seeing cars actually stop on their way through town. The loss of the bar, although not really a busy place most of the time,and a source of continuous gossip and disdain for the non-bar appreciating folks was really a big loss to the town. It made Sidnaw just one step closer to being a ghost town. But then the cafe opened back up and it looks like Sidnaw is going to hang on a bit longer after all!

However, cafes, bars, snow, dancing girls, hunting season... we see none of it. We have put on our blinders and have a new focus... and while it is warm we are going to take full advantage of this good fortune. After Thanksgiving we are going to hit the road! We have decided to become gypsies and get the heck out of Dodge before we are iced in and can't go anywhere! We remember perfectly well the 7-8 month winter last year and don't plan on a repeat.

Justify Full

I mentioned in the last post that we traded in the camper for a pull behind travel trailer. It is 22-ish feet long and it seems like a luxury liner compared to the camper! There is a regular bathroom with a full door and in the kitchen area there is a dinette, and the fridge has a separate freezer, and the stove... it even has an oven and a microwave!

Heck, we could live in that thing... and plan on doing exactly that for several weeks... maybe a few months even. We will be living it it at least until
  • the snow is starting to disappear in Sidnaw.
  • the house sells.
  • we find a new place to hang our hats
Who knows... whichever comes first!

In any case, it is very exciting and we have been working very hard to get ready. We had to go through our stuff see what we needed to pack, clean, and stage the house in case someone comes to buy it. At the same time we have to winterize the house so it does not freeze solid while we are gone. Additionally, we have folded washed and packed the trailer, and ordered a couple of bikes to enjoy on beach strewn bike trails where ever we end up on our travels.

I can wait to save my nickles and PeeWee Herman out my bike!
I need a basket and a bell and a rack.. I should get a cart to haul Delta around... maybe some of those reflector things for the spokes, a bright orange flag, lights.... hmmm.

I can tell you one thing for certain. We are headed southeast through 'the middle' out to Virginia again and then south... south.... south... DEEP south until we see the white sandy beaches of the Gulf of Mexico.

There is one thing I know I definitely do not want to see while I am sitting in the sand down south... and it is these two fellows below. The first one is body surfing for criminy sakes:

I thought the freshwater crocs did not like salt water.

He is breaking the rules!

... then then there is this wise guy just out for a stroll in the sand:

No thanks.
No.. seriously, no thanks.

Anyway... I am pleased to report that we will have computer access thanks to a combination of some lovely mouthwatering technology:

This way we will be able to stay in touch with the world and update my blog as we go along . We will be able to get emails and do business etc. I promise, I will let y'all know if I do happen to see a gator wandering along the beach.

(I gotta practice my 'y'alls', before we get down there...
They might wonder about my combination
'oooo you betchas' and 'like... ya know... it's cool... s'all good.')

We are just so excited about the whole situation we can hardly sleep at night nor seem to take breaks during the day! We have lists of things to do, pack, see, etc., spinning through our heads. Primarily what we are doing now that we are 80% packed is planning our route, keeping our eye on the weather, and crossing our fingers.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The start of something new...

We-uns noticed that we had some new neighbors moving into town just down the road from us. We noticed because the other day out of our window looking across the lake, we saw someone drop in on the other shore and swim diagonal towards the west end of the lake.

It seems there is a home being built just down the road from us on the lake. So David, Delta, and I decided to be neighborly and go greet them. We got dressed in our yooper best and headed out.

(Oh my gosh we are so goofy.)

Back to our path to the new neighbors house...

Delta thought she would take a host / hostess gift and found something oddly appropriate along the way. It took her a couple times to choose something she liked... she wanted to find just the right one.

Hmmm.. not this one... it's too small....

Just perfect but a bit hard to carry.

She brought it back to me to get my opinion.

Unfortunately, Delta's gift went unaccepted. When we got there, no one was home.

We can see they have recently been doing a little fixing up of the place and settling in. They have just started on their home as you can see because it is rather modest in size. I hope they have enough time before winter sets in to strengthen it up a bit.

Hmm... I wonder if the fact the house is so small at this time of year... and that they are even starting to build a house this time of year is some kind 'old injun' sign. Dunno. Need to find me an 'old injun'.

Dad, any thoughts?

Heh heh.

As of yet, we have been unable to make their acquaintance. They seem to be rather shy folk. Delta found where they were taking down some maples and pines and dragging them off the bank and into the water... where they tow it across the water to their home. It is probably ok for her to be sniffing around there at the bank... but from what I hear even though she is 90+ lbs... a dog does not want to try to go after a beaver IN the water.

Type: Mammal
Diet: Herbivore
Average lifespan in the wild: Up to 24 years
Size: Head and body, 23 to 39 in;
Tail, 7.75 to 12 in;
Weight: 60 lbs

Did you know? Beavers are second only to humans in their ability to manipulate and change their environment. Beavers can swim at speeds of up to five miles an hour. They can remain underwater for 15 minutes without surfacing, and have a set of transparent eyelids that function much like goggles. Their fur is naturally oily and waterproof. Hmm... interesting. Thanks National Geographic!

Now for a bit of tragic excitement.

In the past year I have mentioned a couple times the only drinking establishment here in town called the "Trail's End". It is the local bar and I mentioned it in my posting about the grand tour of Sidnaw and then again when I posted about the arrival of exotic dancers during one of the most popular local hunting seasons... which is just about to start again.

Well the Sidnaw landmark has fallen... not really fallen...
more like burnt to the ground.

What you saw on the corner here:

turned into this the other night:

I don't have pictures of what was left after the blaze yet but it took 2 hours for that place to burn literally to the ground. It included an explosion or two thanks to something most folks are attributing to propane... the alcohol, and soda tanks, and grease etc from the grill probably did not help much either.

As we do not live in town we knew nothing of the blaze until the next morning when I was going to work at the Post Office. All that I saw that was remaining of the building was two brick chimneys, and a small portion of a burnt block wall. The rest lay in smoldering heaps pushed and collapsed into the basement. The smoke still lingered in the air and it had permeated everything around it. The post office smelled of house fire all day. Additionally, throughout the day flames would lick out from the piles of debris, and small cinders would fall like snowflakes.

It was quite the attraction... I don't remember seeing that many people in town and they came all day. Heck, the local channel 6 sent the news team out from Marquette.

A pretty little gal in a magenta blazer / pea coat kinda thing came in and asked where the fire department was. I just kinda chuckled and directed her to the aluminum shed where the volunteer trucks are kept. Hmmm... she must like magenta. Have to admit that color does look good on her.

One of our local gals here Lonnie Collins even gave her a quick interview before they went and set the cameras up on the smoking ruins of the bar. I wish we got channel 6 local news... we could watch it and tell Lonnie how famous she is but the TV reception does not come in so well out this far from Marquette.

The fire happened around midnight and the bar owner who lived upstairs got out safely. Thanks to the volunteer fire department his truck was saved as it was in the garage. I heard the plastic and rubber trim was melted around the windows, and he was unable to wash some of the soot off the windows either but got it clear enough to drive... at least he had his vehicle and was able to drive out of town after he finished up with the Fire Chief.

No one will know where or how it started until the local Fire Marshall investigator comes out. At least no one was really hurt other than some smoke inhalation problem with one of the volunteer firemen. He is ok now also by the way.

The hunters, ATV-ers, and snowmobile people will miss one of their watering holes BUT it looks like someone has bought the restaurant in town! Maybe there will at least be somewhere for people to get a cuppa jo or even breakfast in the morning. Rumor is the folks who bought it have another restaurant up near Calumet and they are trying to get this one up and running before all the hunters come in... which is already happening in droves. The old deserted camps that are hidden away around every corner out in nearly every section of the woods have suddenly been filled with testosterone soaked life again.... Trucks, smoke, wood, boots, Carhartts, meat, beer, camo, booze, knives, ATVs, neon orange, guns, and outhouses. scratch scratch.

And now to catch you up on our exciting news... while we are very lucky and the snow that fell mid-October melted... Winter is still on her way. There is no snow or ice on the ground right now so moving around is still relatively easy if not chilly. So... we have decided to make like the snowbirds this year and pack up our knapsack and go in search of greener pastures! Literally. GREENER PASTURES... or maybe I should say greener greens.

I will post more later on our upcoming escape... but here is a hint.
We are movin' on up just like the Jeffersons:

Good-by old friend Palomino... you were a very trusty ride. Just what we needed... BUT



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