Reading List Updated.

These are since last posting on summer books:

* Daniel Woodrell. Woe To Live On.

* William Alexander Percy. Lanterns on the Levee: Recollections of a Planter’s Son. [1941] [NF]

* Josefa Heifetz Byrne. Mrs. Byrne’s Dictionary of Unusual, Obscure, and Preposterous Words. [NF]

* Tom Anderson. Things That Bite. [NF]

* Molly Gloss. Wild Life.

* Clyde L. L. Newnom. Michigan’s Thirty-Seven Million Acres of Diamonds. [1927] [NF]

* Michael Wex. Born To Kvetch: Yiddish Language and Culture in All Is Moods. [NF]

* Bill Bryson. Bryson’s Dictionary of Troublesome Words: A Writer’s Guide to Getting It Right. [NF]

* Ray Ovington. Tactics on Trout. [1969] [NF]

* Fred Kogos. A Dictionary of Yiddish Slang & Idioms. [1966] [NF]

* Kathleen Stocking. Letters From The Leelanau: Essays of People and Place. [1990] [NF]

* Robert Leighton Dresser. The History of Pike Lake: Luce County, Michigan [NF]

* Larry Chabot. Saving Our Sons: How the CCC Rescued A Generation of Upper Michigan Men. [NF]

* Luce County Historical Society, Minnie Ida Mattson, Comp. Luce County History: Centennial Issue. [NF]

* Luce County Historical Society, Minnie Ida Mattson, Comp, Ed. The History of Luce County from Its Earliest Recorded Beginning. [NF]

* Sprague Taylor. Tahquamenon Country: A Look At Its Past. [NF]

* Jan McAdams Huttenstine. Remotely Yours: A Historic Journey Into The Whitefish Point Area. [NF]

* Dutch Hanes, Delbert Musgrave, and Bohn Musgrave. History of Columbus Township. [NF]

* Domingo Martinez. The Boy Kings of Texas: A Memoir. [NF]

* Michael Crichton. Pirate Latitudes.

* Shelby Foote. The Civil War: A Narrative: Volume I– Fort Sumter to Perryville. [NF]

* Shelby Foote. The Civil War: A Narrative: Volume II – Fredericksburg to Meridian [NF]

* Shelby Foote. The Civil War: A Narrative:Volume III – Red River to Appomatox. [NF]

* Joseph Heywood. Killing A Cold One.[MS]

* Robert A. Heinlein. JOB: A Comedy of Justice.

* Daniel Woodrell. Tomato Red.

* Joseph Heywood. Hard Ground: Woods Cop Stories. [MS]

* Arturo Perez-Reverte. The Club Dumas.

* Henry Kisor. Hang Fire. [MS]



God Alights @ Muskallonge Lake

August 27, 2012, DEER PARK –God (aka G2)  and Laurie Darlin’ arrived yesterday with Super Dog Nadine in tow. Dinner at the Stump last night; had planned to grill, but drizzle, temp, various local factors sent us south. We’ll grill tonight. Started the morning on God’s deck with coffee, watching  four eagles share a pike out on Bill’s Peninsula. G2 is already mapping out fishing strategies for the lake and nearby waters. This morning I send Killing a Cold One to my agent. Ave youse  a noyce dye, mites.  BAck later in the week, or whenever. Ovah.

A Saturday Morning.


Con Culhane’s bell?

Saturday, August 25, DEER PARK — We pulled away from the cabin at 0630. Fog most of the way into town. A half dozen people were already chowing down at the Logging Museum. We paid, went inside, picked up flatware packs and stood in line, just us. We each got a plate handed to us, heaped with pancakes (blobs or regular), American fries, fried eggs, bacon, and sausage. We then sat down and polished it off with fresh coffee.

From Noobs to Engadine (home of the Eagles), and  being a hair early for the market, we stopped in Mary’s Garden for coffee. Mary’s  features a great bakery with world class sticky buns and cinnamon rolls. We bought one of each for God and Laurie, and a cinnamon roll for Max Stinson. The woman who waited on us, Mary’ daughter, I presume, had a southern accent and a great way with people. I heard her tell a male yacker at the table next to us, “ Arnold , if I knew half of what you think you know, I’d be a genius.”

I laughed out loud.

Thence to the Engadine Farmer’s Market, which is in a pavilion on the banks of Mill Park Pond. Tables in a circle, nothing available by the bushel, most of it piecemeal fair range of offerings. We picked up freshly  picked  blackberries, fresh corn, fresh beets, tomatoes, scallions about 2.5 feet long, some Amish cookies, a pound of ultra -lean ground beef, and some red peppers that look like and are the size and shape of  Hungarians, but the vendor said they are  only one step below Habaneros on the butt-scorching scale. Naturally we had to have some.

There to Noobs, gassed up, bought Detroit, Marquette and Soo papers, and on out M-123 halfwsay to Tahq Upper Falls to see Paul and Joanne  Behm at the North Star Brick Oven Bakery, where we got “tropical” bread for “The Godfreys” (as Jambe Longue calls them), Stinsons, and Browns. And two Swedling Limpa  Rye rounds for me. It was great to see Paul and Joanne.  A couple  driving a mint-condition 1911 Model T, pulled up and joined us. Home noonish, temp already @ 90, hottest day of summer here at Deer Park. Yuck. Quick lunch, followed by a nap. After the nap it was up to Brown’s Deer Park Lodge to spend time swapping fish stories and moose trivia with the Lisac brothers (Mike and Mark), who had just crawled out of the Two Hearted and were filled with tales, as only fishing partner brothers can be.

Lovely Saturday, temperature excepted. Laurie sent note a week or so ago, saying, “No summer clothes, eh?” And I wrote  back:  Bring three seasons. It could be 90 or 30. I hope she listened. It hit 92 today in the shade, our hottest day of this summer.  A few photos follow. The hot south wind continues to blows here.  Tomorrow we rest. Winds supposed to flop to northerlies in next 48 hours. Over.


A genuine “crow-tree.”



From Logging Museum in Newberry, just outside the cook shack, where breakfast is served.



More from the farmers’ market.



Sharing the roads.



Great bakery, restaurant, Mary’s Garden, Engadine.



Farmer’s Market, Engadine: Under the Pavillion.



Bulldog-Indian Football

Friday, August 24, NEWBERRY — We arrived last night about 1745,  just as the lightning storm commenced, parked against the fence of  the football field, and waited while the dog trembled and shook behind us.  After a 50-minuted “lightning delay”, officials called the teams out to the field, we  got out of the Green Streamer, walked past three pickups with  LUV2HUNT vanity plates, and went in to Non-Sequitor Field to watch the game, as the song “Sweet Home Alabama”  blared from a jambox somewhere in the stands.

Newberry’s players and their parents lined up in the  end zone and were called out to mid-fild to be presented to the crowd, of which the parents in the grass were a substantial proportion.  Parents cleared the field. Both teams pranced and stretch. Coin toss, Newberry won, elected to defer till second half and line up to kick.

The crowd of I don’t know how many stood for the national anthem, played on the sound system and barely audible. Virtually everyone stood for the game. Virtually everyone took off their hat.(Me included) Hardly anyone held a hand or hat over their heart (me included). Most people under 20ish didn’t stop talking or conversing all the way through.  No one sang the anthem (including me).  Jambe Longue and I were silent. A radio played a football game report in the concession stand beside us while the anthem played.

I’m guessing all those staunch whomsoevers who crow that symbolic patriotism is deeply entrenched in the nation’s rural population\ have not been out much. Last night I’d call patriotic feeling lukewarm at best.

Just before 2000, the game finally began, and now it is in the books: Newberry 33,Rudyard 6. The game began with a Rudyard  back dropping the kickoff, picking it up and running it back 88 yards for a TD.  Oops. Then Newberry answered on the ensuing kickoff with an 80 yard TD. Thirty seconds into the game, the score is 6-6.

Next series Rudyard lost a fumble. And the series after that, Newberry lost a fumble. Then the Indians settled down and pretty much dominated play. Their backs dropped 6-10 fumbles and they lost 2. Both teams played with energy, but the Bulldogs, with only 16 dressed for the gamed were outmanned and outsized. Newberry had 17 seniors in uniform.  Both teams hit hard and both showed opening game mistakes. Rudyard has a new coaching staff and low player numbers for both the varsity and JV. Ran into an old classmate at the game. His grandson was playing. He seemed fairly clueless about personnel on the team.

But how often do you witness two teams with black and orange color schemes go at it? And what do black and orange have to do with Indians or Bulldogs, anyway?  Such remarks aside, we looked forward to Friday night under the lights, praying rain would not visit. But it did, 50 minute delay for lightning and five minutes before kickoff it rained canids and felines.

While we’re on the subject of lies, damn lies, and statistics (Thank you, Mark Twain), let’swalk that path for a moment: The night before the game,  I did a quick look at the two teams to try to get some feel for their season prospects. Not much data was available, and no sports stories, so I went elsewhere. Mr. Computer, which in the case of sports can drag the sublime into the belly of  ridiculous, revealed that Rudyard  this year (7-4 last season) is ranked 11,740th nationally, and 468th in the state of Michigan, whilst Noobs (4-5 last year) is 12,358th and 508th statewide.  Can we say meaningless statistics, not even in the joke category, more like sick. Really, some jerkwad, self-appointed “expert” rates high school teams into the tens of thousands nationally? How would you like to be the bottom rated team in the entire nation, or state? IOur national obsession with real and fantasy sports and statistics is a sickness.

So, it rained like hell before the game, but not a drop fell up here at the cabin.  And no wind aqt the game, but 20 mph here when we got back. As usual. This place up here has its own weather, some sort of microclimate.

Newberry should have had another touchdown as the receiver caught the ball wide open, but seemed so surprised by that event he slowed and looked around and got tackled. He should have been long gone to the goal line.

 The Indians deserved the win, so congrats to them.  Now that I write that sentence if smacks of historical irony, or something.  Noobs  has to travel to North Dickinson next week, and they will need more than luck. The radio announcer described North Dickinson as “being in the center of nowhere.” Uh,  that fellow needs to look around some, and think before he declares.

At one point before kickoff — with lightning flashing north of us, the Bulldogs took the field and the PA man told them , “Rudyard, you should not be on the field yet.” I took this as eagerness to engage, but in retrospect it was more likely a  product of disorganization for the opening night.

Saw some of the things you tend to see at sporting events, a couple on the sideline, disgruntled with Bulldog play who called the team a “Bunch of buffoons.” Didn’t care for that. The kids played hard, but were outmanned. What the hell is wrong with that?

A young man in a mixed group of youngsters told the others: “I don’t want to get tackled. It’s painful.” Actually kid, it’s not. Most of the time.

The sad thing is I  came into the tilt with high hopes for my Bulldogs, not based on stats, but based on the fact that yesterday, coming back from pal Sevie’s in NW Chippewa County I had a Native American flag  us down on a dirt road  and ask me to help him find a certain land section in Luce Co, which he had overshot by several miles. Indian asking white guy for help getting around in the woods? Man, that HAD to be a portent. I mean, What are the odds? Alas, it was not to be. Custer  was filled with hope: See where that got HIM at the Little Big Horn.

There were no bands for either school (budgetary issue?)  and only Newberry had a cheerleading squad at the game. Jambe Longue and I stood on the Bulldog side of the field, which was very sparsely populated, and largely silent.

Last season I had the pleasure of listening to Rudyard upset Newberry 14-13 at “The Yard”; this say some, kept Newberry out of the state playoffs. That night I was on patrol with a CO who had graduated from Noobs and who suffered the loss deeply, his team having been the fave. We heard parts of the game on the radio, far out in the woods as we ran across a situation involving a downstate woman whose Tom-Tom GPS unit had led her north off US-2 onto Hiawatha Club property, right before a gate got shut behind her and a goat rodeo commenced. She was bound to North Dakota and it never dawned on her that getting on a dirt road going north  from Naubinway might be erroneous data: See what plugging your attention into your tunes can lead.

Still, we enjoyed tonight, my first Bulldog game in 52 years.  Even had hot dog at the concession stand.  Finished  Killing A Cold One  in the wee hours of last night, and lazed most of the day until I did a phone interview with reporter Mark Wedel of the Kalamazoo Gazette at 4 P.M. He hasn’t read Red Jacket (or gotten a copy, which somehow disappeared into the editorial superstructure of the paper), but he will do a story about it and use reviews from elsewhere. This is common practice in today’s media. He last interviewed me ten years ago (ten books too).

The anticipation for this  night was wonderful! I didn’t really care how well the teams would play skill-wise, only that they would exhibit the smash-mouth, all-out, (probably erroneously remembered) uber-competitive attitudes of yesteryear. I sure hoped I wouldn’t find players sitting on their benches listening to MP-3s or iPods, or playing games on their 3G/4G phones.  

Please God, not that.  And they didn’t,

But I’d also have to say the spectating kids were not  particularly amped about the game –  that is, the kids strutting around the track,  off the field, but young kids (future Indians)  ran around everywhere in miniature Newberry jerseys tossing foot balls to each other, and people were obviously enjoying themselves, and it was a fine night.

Said earlier, both teams hit pretty hard, but over time Rudyard’s short bench wore down, and if they have any injury problems, the season will seem very long indeed. I wish them luck in staying healthy and continuing to play with the energy they showed tonight in a losing cause.  Both teams need a lot of work on tackling techniques and on containment tactics.

Tomorrow we hit the 0700 Lumberjack Breakfast in Noobs (fried eggs cooked on top of bacon grease!), and move from there to the Farmer’s Market in Engadine.

God and Laurie-Darlin’ arrive Sunday, two  days late for divine intervention, I might add. The Bulldogs could have used the physical presence of god tonight.  My humble presence surely was inadequate, though prior to the game I watched Noobs lineman warming up and predicted to Jambe Longue there would have some holding penalties called because they were all grabbing and holding 0onto jerseys in the warm-ups. Three were called, with no effect on outcome. So she goes, that fickle finger of fate’s fortune. Over.  Photos of the game and evening follow.


Inside the Green Streamer, one hour before kickoff…



Lining up.



Anxious to start.



Pre-game home crowd.



It seems to be passing…finally.



The stands.


Everybody stay calm, it’s only two scores.



Second quarter sky, message from god?






Friday night lights.



Lining up in 2 Q



Daylight in Da Swamp

Yesterday we took a drive over to NW Chippewa Co to see pal Sevie, daughter Rachel, hubby Mike and neighbor Sue. About 35 miles on dirt from our place. Sevie has a wonderful camp in the swamps, even has an old logging RR grade in back. Nice visit and on way home we could see rain coming in, but all we got was .1 inch. Yesterday morning a pileated decided to visit us and Jambe Longue got some good looks and had the patience to get  a couple of shots of  our visitor, a male (stripe on face). Fun day. Roads rattled our bones.  Tonight’s agenda: Yooper football! Over.


Friday Night Lights in Noobs.



What the weather looked like when we got back from Sevie’s.



Yooper garage.



Cabin visitor. We have lots of them in the old oaks near us, hear them all the time, but seldom see one.



Swamp denizens, from left, Racherl, Sevie and Gretta the Lab, who actually runs things in da swamp…


Another Day

Worked from 0200- 0500, then again 0900- noon, and then to town today for errands and haircut at Bob’s Barbershop, found out the Rudyard Bulldogs 0pen the football season against Newberry, in Noobs, 7 p.m. kickoff. We’ll be there, camera in hand, my first bulldog game since I graduated in 1961!  Today saw our fifth wolf of summer– just down Coast Guard Road. Friends Max and Brenda saw a sow bear with three cu cubs on CR 407, between Wolf Inn and Pine Stump Junction, around dark Saturday night. Our own bear count is stalled at one, and that on the very first day.  Some misc pix follow. Still writing, getting some interview requests, etc. There will be something in Lake Superior Mag in the next issue — not sure what the months are officially. Enjoy. Over.


Shaving this summer? Not so much….



Don and Chris Maxwell sent along this sign they ran across in Texas. Huh.



Pal Dick DeLong and wife Pat visited London to take in some Olympic soccer, spent time with old pal and colleague Phil Sheldon and daughter, Skye!



T’ings From da Yoop

Merchandise checker-outer.

MONDAY, AUGUST 20, RUDYARD (BULLDOG COUNTRY, Alma Mater Mein) — Yesterday we drove over to “The Yard” today to meet friends Jay and Donna Emerson for lunch at Joe’s Bar & Grille,(in city-center Rudyard, within walking distance of Coach Roy Hamilton’s woodworking shop). Emerson’s were headed BTB after a week on south Drummond Island and we had not seen them since early May, so we met to catch up, figuring Sunday noon would be a quiet time in the bar. Not so. Soon after we arrived, in came a country band (never did catch their name, but they had a banner hung in front of them proclaiming “Classic Country Songs.” Ensemble of:  male keyboard player, male on acoustic guitar, female on the electric base, and a female vocalist. They played a couple of tunes then joined a long table of their roadie-groupies to yak and visit. The music was good, but we didn’t get to talk much and after lunch, separated ways, them heading south on I-75, and us working our way north up the Sullivan Creek Trail to M-28, where we stopped at the Eckerman, M-123 crossing to chitchat with a couple of gents hawking some very nice furs. They seemed quite knowledgeable about the fur biz.

We thence meandered west and north, picked up Marquette Mining Journal and Soo Evening News sunday papers at the gas station and headed home, where we were greeted by a mature bald eagle on  Bill’s Peninsula. I pulled pulled off the road to shoot pix through my window, but another vehicle immediately stopped in front of me and a woman and man jumped out and headed for the beach and, predictably, the eagle flapped away. Meanwhile, another car stopped behind me also to take photos and I had to reverse squiggle my way out and drive to the cabin two hundred yards away.  When the two tourist circuses moved on, two adult and an immature eagle kindluy alighted at the end of the peninsula. I took some photos, but they were quite a distance out and 300 mm just doesn’t  hack it for LD photography. Still ,you can tell they’re eagles. Our sightings of baldies stands at 271 , and should easily pass 300 before we head south in October.

God and Laurie-Darlin’ will be up soon and some fishing will then commence as we hope for rains and a push for salmon. Kings come in first, then pinks, then coho.  My work schedule continues to be over-full, but God will fish, with or without ein partner.

The microclimate of Deer Park  continues to perform like a desert island with B.O., weather skirting north and south of us, rarely across or on  us. Muskallonge Lake’s shoreline has  increased by close to 10 feet since we got here in May and it’s now become quite dicey trying to take the 14 ft. away from the dock.  There is, predictably, all manner of local lore about why this lake is so low, and all of them point fingers at the DNR (of course), but nobody bothers to talk to any of the local hydrology experts in the DNR, NPS, USGS or “anywhom” else. Folks just come up with theories and pass them around as fact, which is so UP. The most recent fact/theory I heard is that because Muskallonge allegedly has a clay- shell bottom, there  used to be rules for decades  prohibiting the sinking of any posts into the bottom of the lake, and that  such penetrations somehow cause the lake’s water to percolate into the aquifer and out to Lake Superior.  I’ve yet to see any clay in this lake, or around it, but my friend Max tells me if I wade out a bit, it will be like walking on a skating rink in penny loafers. Still the experts ought to weigh in on this, if for no other reason than to give the local amateurs more ammo for carping.

As a note, I will someday tell you the tale of trying to find out who named Deer Park, why, and when. All I know is that it was called Deer Park before 1978, but the details seems somewhat lost in the fog of history. Still, by the time we leave we will have run it down to some conclusion. When I ask locals the question, they sort of stare into the gloaming, clueless.

Recently I encountered two males who declared the DNR’s policies were a huge state problem and when I told them the DNR doesn’t set policy, they looked at me like I was a Martian. I asked them if they knew what the National Resources Commission was and they said, “Like it does stuff with pollution?” The were clueless.

Sometimes ignorance has a blinding sheen coming offinhit.
Deer Park’s Summer folk  are beginning to pull out. Ruthie and family left two weeks ago. The Gabriels (George,Jen,Allie,Anna, Ari and muttsker Kocho) left Sunday morning for home in So. California. Mary Sue and Martin left later this week for home in Florida.  Most summer folks were up here a month or six weeks, which seems less than a blink to us. But they are Lucky people to be able to take so much time away on vake: corporate folks usually don’t  get such latitude for such long stretches.  Still, it’s sad to see folks leave, but now we will be enveloped in silence, easily hearing the sounds of bird wings passing over and calls from the lake as the animals move into pre-fall mode. Said this before, but evidence continues to mount that the birds are beginning to flock for migration south. Our Caspian tern crowd is up to 23, five greater yellow legs were on Bill’s Peninsula  a few nights ago, and flocks of juncos and blue jays are passing through, all part of the natural cycle. Hummingbird moths are being spotted here and there, alas not yet by us. We’d never even heard of one until Mike Brown told us about it. We tried to find bloobs the other day, without success. Last year we picked into the second week of October.  The local bear has been on the beach again, tearing up old logs and such and leaving various souvenirs for walkers. 6.2 inches of rain have fallen since we got here the last week in May. That’s not much, given how dry the spring was and after the fourth consecutive low snow winter.

Starting to feel like fall here, 46 degrees this morning, similar tomorrow.  Feels good, with highs in mid-60s and nice sun. Yes, we are seeing some alarming leaf changes and color starting and over east of Strongs today, the ferns were almost all brown in most places; here despite, low rain ,our ferns continue in their verdant phases. Yesterday Jambe Longue found a pine cone with colors ranging from green to purple. Very nice. Nature’s palette sometimes shames our greatest painters.

Next week the Luce-West Mackinac County Fair opens at the fairgrounds by the Newberry aerodrome. and we’ll give a visit.

Two days ago, after four days of north winds blowing in stone, we went to our favorite beach, which was heavy with stone, and found nary a single agate. First time that’s happened, but all part of the hunt.  The papers here are beginning to talk about high school football ahead and we tried to get a Rudyard Bulldog sked to see when and where they play the Newberry Indians, but the schedules haven’t yet been delivered. “Maybe tomorrow,” the girl in the bar said. Just like fishing, I thought.

We visited the Rudyard Coop after the bar yesterday. The coop’s  a pretty good grock-and-hardware emporium; we picked up some ears of fresh corn, which we peeled and cut when we got home. Ate it too, with our fancy egg casserole, fresh grape tomatoes and Trappey’s hot sauce.

I have plowed my way into Vol III of Shelby Foote’s Civil War narrative and am again reminded that all those millions of lives lost, maimed and disrupted, in what was called by one wag: “A rich man’s war, and a poor man’s fight.” Interesting too, that more of the south’s rich actually got their noses into the blood and shit, than the north’s rich, who could hire substitutes and whose personal lifestyle stake were  less at risk. Sad. oMake no mistake about it: slaery ahnd state’s rights were labels and the real driving force of that war was money, that of Southin Bidnedtmen.”  Naturally this reminds me of all the wails and cries from certain quarters about needing more business experience in the White House. This got me to wondering: has this country EVER had a successful president who was  previously a  successful businessman?  (All the ex POTUS’S are successful from book deals and speaking gigs.) Then I  began thinking about secretaries of defense, specifically those drafted from corporate or business ranks, and there were so many disasters and failures that came to mind that I dropped  the subject as too depressing.

There are a number of photos included  after this text for the reader’s enjoyment, all from recent times.  Would add there that when Jambe Longue got up this morning there were five eagles on Bill’s Pen (three juvies, two adults).


For Mommikol Georgie from Jambe Longue.


Trappertime talk.
Rudyard Cooperative. Finns started food coops in the Yoop in 1914, in part as response to mine owners trying to punish Keweenaw strikers during 1913 labor dispute. Read Red Jacket and you’ll get a feel for the strife.
Adult bald eagle on Bill’s Peninsula.
Joe’s Bar from the back alley.
Yakker truck in Bulldog Country.
Jay and Donna at Joe’s Bar (bison burger is a specialty).
One of the reasons I like the Yoop. No poisonous snakes, and few nopoisonous.
This is only third sighting of snake this summer. Good.
Summer storm, no rain. Again.
Wolf Inn hummer.
Beach Gangs of Summer.
Sitting in the evening shade.
Pepperpot Heaven.
Late August afternoon, south of Muskallonge Lake.
Driftwood collector’s boneyard.
August evening.
July Brunch at the Goose’s Gastronomic Palace on the Bay.
Candid shot of the Parlor of Beauty Spiffification Process. She looks like a 1950s rabbit ears antenna!
Multicolore nature in even the most mundane things.

Oop Der in Keyvinaw

Saturday, August 10, Deer Park —  Fast week, Mon through Thursday over to da Keevinaw, back here Thursday night, driving from Copper Harbor to Melstrand in rain, and here? Nary a drop, dry as a catacomb bone. Will fast through things and add some photos from various places.

Monday, early blastoff for Houghton to fetch friends with truck trouble. Visited the Houghton County Historical Society Museum, which is truly one of our state’s treasures. Will put up photos another day, but our hostess Christine Walden is topshelf, knowledge able, helpful, enthusiastic, committed. Wow. This museee is one of best I’ve seen anywhere, any class, any country, and I’ve seen a heap.

Lunch at Toni’s in Laurium and from there over to the Eagle Harbor Store, built in 1867 and heralded here and there, but a huge disappointment with management with some sort of corrections training and outlook on things. I was leafing through a Lake Superior Magazine, looking for an article supposed to come this fall with info on Red Jacket. Nothing in the Aug-Sept issue. The proprietor says, “You could buy that, you know.”

I said, “If it had what I wanted I’d buy them all, but it doesn’t, so much grass and adios.”

Then we checked into Lake Fanny Hooe Resort (the Motel unit, facing the lake), hundred smackers a night, including the dog. Picked this place because my friends Mary Lou and Glen Sheppard went there every year.  Now I can’t understand why.  Place has more rules than San Quentin, and you may not bring firewood onto the property; you MUST buy the resort’s fire wood at $5.25 a bundle (including tax), making it the most expensive wood we saw from Deer Park to Copper Harbor. Seems like a great way to announce to guests, “We’re all about the money.” Our friends had their fifth wheel parked there also, but had to change sites because something wrong with power hookups or site size or both. Two nights later another couple pulled their rig in by our friends, had gone through the exact switch drill and were told, “You’re the first people to ever switch sites.” Makes one wonder, eh. We’d stay there again, but only in a pinch. The view of Lake Fanny Hooe is spectacular, but the resort is strictly Lake Fanny Hopeless. The place was filled with outstate plates: Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin.

Tuesday we bounced our way out to High Rock Bay for a rock hunt and picnic. Lots of folks out there, but great scenery.  Vollworth hotdogs on the grill on the far northern landsend of the state, very cool and tasty. Thimbleberries going everywhere, and some blackberries that needed a few more days to add to sugar content.

After the land-cruise we had dinner at Harbor Haus, excellent as usual. Freshly caught whitefish and fresh Lake Superior lake trout, with a bottle of Syrah from Washington State. Afterwards, up Brockway Mountain to catch sunset and there we drean into friends Randy and Sally Clarke from Pinconning. Parked right behind them!

 Wednesdaysit was rock-picking on poor rock piles at Delaware and Central, then down to Houghton for lunch at the Ambassador, great view, great staff, mediocre food, and after the repast to rescue Don and Chris’s truck from the Ford Dealer. Thence to Shute’s (Shooteys) for a look-see at the inner décor. Then to a rock shop and some galleries.

 On way home stopped at bookstores to sign stock. Lloyd at Grandpa’s barn e ven had the new one – Red Jacket in stock. Dinner at the Fifth Wheeler, Don’s famous rotating personal pizza dinner. Great chow, and a good time.

 Thursday morning we debarked for the east, had a shaggy gray wolf cross US-41 in front of us near Delaware, and had rain almost all the way home from Copper Harbor – about 250 miles or so. My first wolf of summer. Lonnie’s second.

East of Three Lakes we took a gravel road drive back to King Lake – only six sites and wonderfully isolated. Good chance of moose sightings in the area, but not this day.We did find miles of abandoned trains on a track, also not an unusual finding in the UP woods.

 Lunch at the Crossroads Bar south of Marquette and we ordered two pasties to go, which we had for dinner, digging out the innards and tossing the  pastry shell. Best pasties in the UP to me. While we are sitting there twerplish little fellow swaggers in, pants sagging, baseball cap sideways on his head, arms c overed with ratty tattoos that looked homemade and he has this cocky look on his face and looks at me, watching Water Polo bronze medal match between Hungary and Australia and the stranger says, “Dude, is that like some kind of soccer?”

 Itold him, “Right, they play in water with frog fins .

 “Dude, cool, man.”

Most likely he is from our same planet, but not of it.  Or I am from but not of. Takes your pick.

 Gas stops (both directions)  at the tribally owned Pines station north of Baraga was the usual chaotic mishmash, like an unscheduled hotly conteswted  pit stop at Indy, everybody racing for the same pump in a grand game of cluck-cluck for the pump. We visited with a farmer with a tent on the grounds, bought some veggies and stuff and continued eastward.

 Shopped at Glen’s in Munising in heavy rain, thence over H-58, Adam’s Trail, M-77 north to CR 407 to our hacienda.

While unloading the truck a guy in a van with New York plates asked if he was on the road to that Grand Muh-RAZE place?” I told him he was and wished him a safe and productive journey.

Yesterday we slept in, got up and drove to Perry’s Landing, where we walked a mile or so and then picked agates, finding virtually none until just before getting out when we ran into a cache of six of them in a twenty-yard stretch. No looky, no findy.

Today it is back to work, no playtime. Oh yeah, finally some direction on the title of the short story collection which publishes next April: Hard Ground: Woods Cop Stories. The title certainly describes the content.

 Hinjoy  dose pitchers….no partikiller order.


How one knows dere in the Yooperback.
Blackwater tubes on Pelkey Creek. Not on a main tourist route.
Abandoned near King Lake Campground (east and south of Three Lakes).
Pizza pizza pizza!
Sundown from Brockway Mountain
Green Streamer Buddies.
Pick thimbleberries. They were EVERYWHERE in the Keweenaw!
Picnic on the Rocks
Dinner in the RV Projects….
On Da Rocks
Maxwell’s DIY homemade pizza. Um-um good!
The oddest parking signs ever. In front of Shute’s in Calumet (aka Red Jacket)
Chris Maxwell and her new BFF
Picnic at Michigan’s landsend.
Urban habits die hard. We drive out to High Rock Bay and find three bikes chained to a tree. Wouldn’t want a bear to borrow one?
License plate seen in the Keweenaw. Tea Party economics based on Ayn Rand, who was pro-choice and a big booster of capitalism, but never invested in the stock market because she didn’t trust it. Prolly won’t hear this from the Tea Partyers….
This is the size of the trolley (elecric) cars that once hauled folks from Houghton up to a bit north of Red Jacket Actual cars are on the grounds of the Houghton County Historical Museum, a must-seet place in your Copper Country travels.



Blood Time

CURTIS, August 2 — Met Jambe Longue’s younger “bro” Dean and wife Christine (Dean & Tine), and her Mommio  Georgie and her good beau Otto, at Chamberlin’s here north of town sur du lac. Whitefish baskets on the porch as the overcast and rain-threatening day that happily gave way to a blue sky and hot sun. Before lunch we managed to find a narrow bookcase (17 inches) at the local antique emporium, to add to the one narrow case we already have. Temp was in the 80s at the restaurant, and a northwind-driven 67 up here on the Big Lake when we got back around 4 p.m.  after racing stops at Ace Hardware, the bank, Snyder’s Drugs, and Rahillys (for grocks). Out new printer EATS black ink cartridges. Can barely print out one 500-page manuscript on one cartridge. My ancient HP at home could spit through 5,000 pages before a new cartridge was needed. Technology improves? I think computer companies improve ways to make more money for shareholders. The consumer is left sucking wind, by big business these days.

Stopping yesterday at Deer Park Lodge Mike Brown asked if I had heard about India losing power. Huh? No clue. We are simply disconnected from the world in our little cabin, and Dean and Tine got to see how we live yesterday. Life in 288 square feet requires paramount organization skills, not just for set-up, but for daily living. It also reinforces that most of us have too damn much stuff cluttering our lives.  Not being connected to the world is a good thing in many ways. I mean, really, what am I going to do with India’s rotting grid? Other than wonder why we keep sending tech jobs over there?

One thing that happens here is that as we walk or drive around “Joe-Roads” I hear Limpy Allerdyce’s voice whispering and I keep a pen handy to write down his latest words and expressions: Here’s the take as of our 71st day in the woods, unalphabetized: preflab house (prehfab); milk of amnesis (milk of magnesia); preflabbatory food (fattening); all of the sudden (all of a  sudden); Minnie’s Well (might as well); shitoric ( worthless words and speeches); heavity (something serious); scampaign (political events); right off the pat (right off the bat); AbbottandCostellobod (where dat UBL guy got greased, eh); mixlexic (dyslexic; made-meats (eg, Spam and the like); finger of speech (figure); crapmusic (any he doesn’t care for); black-eyed piss (peas)p; explorators (explorers); pooterpaint (cosmetics/makeup); blimbo (bimbo with flexibility); terms of caboose(abuse); moralegally (all that crap churches and lawyers talk about); by the grades of god (grace); radish (ravish); lemon harangue pie (meringue); letcher suit (leisure);short end of the dick (stick); alterate (change); migaination (migration); spitistics (statistics); refudiate (repudiate); dickscussion (conversation among males); nymphocytes (lumphocytes); BVD (DVD); gas roots (grass roots); hairyassment (harassment); Lebanese (lesbian); migrainiac (driven crazy by headache); Pontiuspifflate (pontificate); tricknology (technology); spaloon (beauty parlor- bar); predeater (predator); wormy jelly (vermicelli); taptop (lap top); enick (eunich); stealth-wealth (da stuff nobody knows about, like dose rich pols keep money hid in udder countries); hickabilly (country music); Golf of Mexico (Gulf); crapapples (crabapples); Your-nope (Europe); Tent State (where national guard shot hippy kids in Nam days); stupiditions (superstitions); pie olive mode (a la); carbuncle neutral (carbon-neutral); vigor mortis (rigor mortis); mental pause (menopause); bare-face lie (bald face lie); Tootsie Royaled (Tootsie Rolls): dead roadkill; goitering (loitering); porkyticians (politicians); goat towns (no pipples, jes goats eatin’ grass); hairy tickets (heretics); liverals (liberals); Democraps (democrats); livertarians (libertarians); consternatives (conservatives);pubelickans (republicans);hog strips (bacon); cackleberrry (egg); gymnacafetorium (room or facility that tries to satisfy all sorts of needs and does none); self-incriminalate (self-incriminate); battleboil (battle royal); Markiequeensfairyrules = Marqus of Queensbury (see, whin you in scrap, ain’t no rules!); salami oats (solemn oaths); toothfull (truthful); long in the tits (old); bayrocketer (barometer); really tired (retired); honest idjit (Honest Injun); no time like the puissant (present); Fucks News (Fox); eggnergee (energy); Dungbury (Doonesbury); Saturday Night Jive (Live); singrmnation (discrimination); gerbilcide (germicide); rankshit (rancid); one-bite(small dog); maniac expression (manic depression); bowlavart (boulevard); nudetique (place sell sexy stuff wimmens); flightseeing (sightseeing); oldtiques and newtiques (junk of varying ages); blood clogs (clots); greedpelicans and dullocramps; torneedle (tornado); hulacaine (hurricane); seedgulls (seagulls); and, tackaltars (tag alders).

And a thought from Shelby Foote in The Civil War: A Narrative: Fort Sumpter to Perryville. From a letter to the Richmond Whig from General Beauregard: “…if certain minds cannot understand the difference between patriotism, the highest civic virtue, and office-seeking, the lowest civic occupation, I pity them from the bottom of my heart. “ He’d be so full of pity in modern times he’d explode.

We are not missing the national political “slimepaign” up here, though we have a local thing August 7. People here may take sides internally and intellectually and vote their consciences when they step in the both, but in the lead-up to the vote put campaign signs for both parties in their yards….to  hedge their bets, especially where law enforcement is concerned, which raises the issue again, why do we vote for sheriffs, whose qualifications vary so widely, from not at all qualified, to overly qualified?  We are an odd, strange land at times. I would add that when the iPad works I am getting 1-3 emails from Democrats and Republicans soliciting “just $5. Ain’t gonna happen, schmucknoids, not never, sayin’? All that such a tiny donation would guarantee is that I would never take me off their damn lists! Not sure how I got on both outfits’ lists. I’ve never given a cent to either one, and won’t.

For the record I haven’t seen any plastic or wire dog kennels strapped to car cars up here this summer. Maybe that sort of thing is out of style, though people here  still knock around in pickups with loose kids and dogs in back, and now I’m seeing young kids on motorcycles sans brain buckets, thanks to new way of doing things in this state.  Ain’t we grand and thoughtful folk

Earlier in the week we had a first, two sirens: a county dep and a Troop blasting west on CR 407. Turns out a stranger lost control of his vehicle on the big hill west of Superior Dunes (east of Grand Marain). Neighbor Brenda, with her bad back, was first on the scene. Good thing for the man she was a surgical nurse. The ambulance went across 407, got the vick into their care and chose to go back south down M-77 and around rather than back across the washboard, which would have been a good 45 miles shorter: Decisions. No word on the vick’s status since then. The accident was barely mentioned in this week’s Newberry News, one terse sentence in the sheriff’s weekly report.

 Great local name for the Governor: “Rick the Squeak.” He’s not spoken of too fondly, but no politician is up here, so he shouldn’t take it personally,

By the way I discovered in the ancient history of Newberry an “Allderdyce” family name. For the record, they’re no relation to Limpy or his kin. Different spelling, different peeps. I say this because readers sometimes send me emails over the website asking if Joe Smith is so and so’s grandp ya know, the Joe Smith who lived in X-placeat X- time? Why’re you writin’ ‘bout my Grandpa?” I was not and am not. Having seen a familiar name in print, some people remain largely unconvinced of my denial, forgetting surnames are shared over time and geography by millions of unrelated folks, and in Yooper phone books, ancient obits and many other name repositories. 

Even Heywoods.


Yesterday while I proofred, Jambe Longue and Shanny went bloob-picking, then down to Perry’s Landing on Lake Superior to look for agates. Abundant stone, as photos show. This morning she went over to the beach from our place and found a handful in an hour, and on her way over a bear track, this time not a little one. We definitely have some bruins patrolling our neighborhood.

Some recent photos follow, in no particular order. Enjoy. Over


Day boyz at rest.


Stump-humper on Jambe Longue’s car. First one we’ve seen since our time in the Porkies four years ago.


Bear track between Stinson’s and Gabriel’s, Saturday morning.


Adequate product at Perry’s Landing.


Beach mutt.


After dark in the cabin.


Sign outside the Sandtown Cemetery near Curtis. Reminds me of the Dead End sign on Cemetery Road outside Grand Marais.


Sign by cash register in the antique mart.


Blood gathering on Chamberlin’s front porch.


Moon Over Muskallonge


Late Afternoon in the Blueberry Patch

The bloob crop up here this summer is hurting — no other way to put it, at least in our area north of Newberry. But yesterday we found some patches and picked nearly a half gallon. Usualy we freeze multiple gallons while we’re up here and bring them home BTB for Jambe Longue’s morning oatmeal. Not sure if we’ll get a critical mass this year, but we’ll enjoy what we find. It appears that the March 80-degree temp spike up here, following by harsh freezes kicked the pants off the berries, and little rain since, thus a meager crop. But we also know that the freeze doessn’t really happen along the south shore of Lake Superior and reasoned that if we stayed within 4-5 miles of the coast we might get lucky. And we did. The dog, of course, was in canine heaven as we picked away. We had visited maybe 20 other sites before this one, and found almost no berries, which made this a real Oh Shit! find. Every site we went to, including this one, had piles of bear scat, with mostly red berries, so I am thinking the bruins are having similar trouble finding what they need for fall fattening.

Picking was good and we headed home to whip up dinner and because we always carry so much junk along, we made multiple trips to the truck. Jambe Longue tends to move more slowly than I do, and I shut off the truck before windows got closed and she pointed out my shortcoming and I turned the key back on qand went back into the cabin and kept noticing that the running lights were on. The Green Streamer has some sort of door-closing, electrical glitch nobody has ever diagnosed and we have pretty well acceped the lights-off delay as a Green Streamer trait. Eventually they go out. But this time I left the key on and by the time I discovered it, Senor Battery was kaput. Max Stinson came down and put a battery charger on the truck and this morning p0wer was restored. All part and parcel of life up here when you poke around the woods with too damn much stuff and too high expectations. The fun part of the day was having a pair of mature sandhill cranes who graceously shared the patch with us until the dog made his presence known and they departed on the fast scoot. This morning I got up to check the truck battery and discovered three black cormorants sitting on the neighbor’s antenna. This has happened before and on that occasion they spilled their feces on his new metal roof and the acids and chemicals in those substances ate into the roof’s laminate (not sure if this is technically correct), and neighbor Ross was a very unhappy camper! And there they were again this morning, so perhaps a drama will develop from this. Also three bald eagles early, all adults, two on the beach munching fressh-caught fish. And having proofread for a while, Jambe Longue got up to start her day and the dog and I went back to bed.  We’re going back to the berries this afternoon, after dinner, and will check out another possible spot for crop. The whole notion of hunter-gatherer takes on real meaning when combined with the vicissitudes of weather and animal behaviors. Life in the woods is sweet!  A few pix follow.  Over

And just when you think you’re first to find a patch, you discover it ain”t so


Cormies roosting on the wires….


Fixing the Bozo move.



Our picking neighbor.



We’re practitioners of the Yooper thumb and three-finger claw picking method, which means when you get home you have to separate berries from debris.



First you picks them.