This is probably the last blog from Deer Park. This is our fifth year here, with the blessings and help of Max and Brenda Stinson, landlords, fellow agate hunter-addicts (we event hunted the big lake at night!) and friends. We’ve had great fun and many blessings from all the fine folks and neighbors up here and all will be missed and fondly remembered. Next year we’ll be in Baraga County, May through October, but we will be back over here to visit and will look forward to it. If you are looking for a place to stay, we can’t recommend this enough. It’s small, but perfect and the location unsurpassed. Brenda and Max aren’t sure yet whether they will advertise on the internet, but you still may want to drop them a note at firstname.lastname@example.org inquire abo0ut availability. Their phone number is 906-658-3598, and their address Max and Brenda Stinson,l 30840 Muskalonge Trail, Newberry MI49868. They have two cabins right on Muskallonge Lake, a mile from the state park on CR 407 (the road to Grand Marais) and the cabins are 300 yards south of Lake Superior. The fishing for smallmouth is excellent in spring and there are brook trout in nearby Trout Lake and Trout Creek. It’s been a blessing and a heap of fun. Thanks, Max and Brenda, and George and Gen and the three grandkids from California, and Mattie their granddaughter from BTB.
Loading the truck today, and this may be the last posting until we are back in Portage.
Dinner last night with Mike Brown. (We missed you Monica!) and thanks to both of you for all your help. Dinner of grilled sockeye, and venison tenderloin with taties, a cabernet, a fresh bread loaf from the oven, and blueberry cobbler. Yowzser. As poet T.S. Eliot put it in another context. No hollow men up here, but sometime changes begin with an end, not marked by a bang, but with a sigh of satisfaction, and a whimper.
DAY 162, Monday, October 28, DEER PARK — 28 degrees and ice on the storage bins this morning. Sprinkling of snow in Newberry. Big news when I got back this morning. We may very will be in Baragastan in 2014, May through October. Specifics when we know for sure. I took time coming back from a haircut this morning to admire the tamaracks (Tammies) and some of the things I love about the U.P. Photos follow. Oh, yesterday we had a very good day finding agates. Too much surf today. Over.
Five wakeups remain until we sortie south. The neighborhood beaver visited today and more stories accumulate for the collection EXTEME GROUND. “The Gulf of Goth.” / “Heads, Tails, and Other Vague Body Parts.” / “Felony Forest.” This is fun. Truck loading begins Monday after a haircut. Shakspere spent several hours hunting red squirrels by the lake, it was a draw (a victory from their viewpoint?). Over.
Friday, October 25, DAY 159, DEER PARK –Happy Birthday to son Troy. Snowing this morning. No idea if it will stick, but the stories are continuing and three more in the bank, Like Hymens and Soap Bubbles, Balloons Can Pop With Unpredictable Results; Fishing For Glory; and, this morning I wrote, Even the Queen Mother. And I have titles for 7 more, which may or may not work out. Won’t know until they come out of my head. Lonnie heads for a hair appointment in NOOBS today and Shaksper and I get to hold down the fort. Expecting NW gusts to 45 mph today, so lake vizzie is out. Yesterday the winds were too severe and we drove several miles out Coastguard Road and found several agates, on the road, right in the middle hump . Weird. The stones are everywhere in this area once you accustom your eye to the patterns. Over.
Nothing focuses the mind like winter and staying warm. Snow hit here today in earnest and I am in a writing frenzy, knowing I have to call it off in a week or so before we head south and that I won’t be able to really pick it up again until December because of DNR work all through November. This has been a productive summer of writing. The second Bapat story is drafted, MOUNTAIN OF THE MISBEGOTTEN. More than Twenty poems of varied subjects. And more recently a new set of short stories has begun for my next collection, which I am tentatively calling EXTREME GROUND, STORIES FROM THE DISTAFF STAR. All stories focus on women in difficult situations and circumstances. Fun to write so far, and no doubt this has been brewing for a long time because I sat down a week ago and wrote the first story and have written nine more since, 86 handwritten pages. I hesitate to talk about how fast I write, but reality is what it is. This stuff brews for a long time and when I sit down finally to get it on paper, it just flows out. This, or course just starts the process. Editing and shaping will change a lot of substance, but it helps to have a preliminary form complete. Some people struggle for weeks with a sentence. Normally I don’t have to and I’m glad I am the way I am. I can’t speak for others: In this writing game process, there is no right or wrong, no magic formula, and the only test is, Do the words on paper work for the reader? So I will continue writing until we leave, hoping to get at least 15 stories drafted, but it will be what it will be. Meanwhile, we exercise the dog and us daily in the snow and await the wind abating and switching to the south so we can get in another agate hunt, or two. Last three days have been a moderate NW howler. Short Story titles so far: First Day of the Last Day of the World; Gravy; Working The Problem; The Roadrunner Should Make You Laugh; Static Line; Poachers in the Deli; Scenario;FTO; Midsummer’ Day; Tom-Mary-Robert-Frank. Local color photos follow. Over.
DAY 156– DEER PARK, Mi. Morning opened with snow on the deck. Waves in Lake Superior for dog to run the beach, so we headed east on Seven Mile Fire Lane to look around and let him galavant, which he did with great gusto. More shrooms, a bit more color, and so forth. Photos next. Over.
DAY 155: Monday, October 21, 2013, DEER PARK– This day was on the weird side. We headed for town to get flu shots and about 10 miles south of here, between Pine Stump and Wolf Inn we passed what looked like they might be wolves, on a two track, close to CR 407, so I did a flip-flop and we went back and got pix. Realized once we got pix on cameras they’re probably dogs, most likely sled dogs, but they could be bear hounds, I suppose. Both have collars, but we see no telemetry wires or antennae. We saw these animals around 10 a.m. heading east on Sleeper Lake Road (more name than road). Later we checked for tracks and I found tracks more like dogs, and fresh, and only two wolf tracks, but they were old and judged solely on size. Also found what appear to be old moose tracks. Former CO and pal Dave Van’t Hof thinks they look like caribous, but that would be truly odd. Way back in the 20s there was a heard of caribou up in this area, but they died out. Transplants, not survivors over time. And this weekend pal Zael Lutz of Trout Lake put up info on elk being seen around Trout Lake this summer and fall. Wow!
After flu shots, lunch at Pickelman’s Pantry, and other errands, we came back north and took Shaksper for his run over on Seven Mile Fire Lane. 35 mph NW winds made it way too “messy” for a beach perambulation. While he ran, I discovered oodles of strange fall mushrooms, which make for some neat photos. We still have some nice color up her on Lake Superior and I will post photos from the whole day here, but may have to break them into two batches. Days here are endlessly interesting the woods filled with all kinds of stuff to see and explore, but you have to get on the dirt and off the hardtop. Oh and we saws our tenth bear of the season, on CR 407 south of Halfway Lake and the houndsmen were right on top of it. We’ll be out of here in ten days. Hard to believe. Over.
Jay and Donna,Our Georgia friends ( interned in Kalamazoo until the end of the Civil war) found this giant puffball near Donna’s studio and did not know it was edible. They are kayakers. I guess giant puffies don’t grow in Kayaks, if you wash them out. How sad. if they grew on plastic in Kayaks your victuals could travel with you en plein air.