DAY 148, SATURDAY, September 27, 2014, ALBERTA — This was one of those fly-by weeks, gone in a flash, marked by the turn of the equinox, no more hummers, two wolf sightings closeby, and 750 miles in the Green Streamer. Lonnie just woke up after 10 hours in the sack. I am wearing her out, she alleges.
Tuesday we did an all day local tour, from Michigammee up through Herman and all over the Baraga Plains and such. Wednesday we shot over to the Porkies and Silver City to see our friend Jackie McMullen, bounced our way around the South Perimeter Road and went on south and west to Ironwood for a few hours.
Thursday we pounded the rocky roads of Cable Lake and North Iron county in search of moose, but found only one set of tracks.
Yesterday we were up and rolling early and drove up to Brockway Mountain to have a color-gander there, with stops to hunt agates (we found some small ones), and to sign book stocks in Copper Harbor, grab a lunch, and hit one more mine dump heading back, where we found nada and were too damn tired to do the hammer work. We ended with a stop at the Woodn’n Spoon in Mohawk, drilled on to Houghton, then came down the back roads to Chassell. Unbelievable weather. Indian Summer: How long till some lumpwad wants to change that term as politically incorrect?
I see that the feds are now proposing to charge folks a $1500 license for photographing federally owned wild lands. Even smart-phone- pix of the wife and kids. Ridiculous. Been my feeling for a long time that people controlling our national parks and wilderness areas would be most happy with nobody going into the areas. Teddy Roosevelt must be rolling in his grave.
Our rudes are gone. I should explain. We call hummingbirds, ‘rudes, shor for Evinrudes, which is what they sound like when they are at the window feeders or you are sitting outside with them. We had 11 of the little ladies on Sunday, and none since, our count from their arrival to departure ISYN, 32,520. Next year will tell if this was an inexplicable freak season, or, as we surmise, we are located in superb breeding and nesting habitat. It’s been fascinating to have them around in such plenitude and everyone whose visited has been blown away by the traffic. Ah well, another sign of summer’s end.
Colors up this way area now changing furiously and in some microclimes the colors seem past peak and into the brownout and down to the ground phase. Can’t say if this is a normal color season either, this being our first extended one on this side of the UP. Lots of animal and plant signs of fall coming in. Hear signs down in Kalamazoo as well.
One of the sadnesses of this place (the UP) is how few kids we see up here, visiting with adult guides. It’s almost all grayhairs. Yesterday and our day in the Porkies we saw very few Michigan plates. Almost everyone on the road was from somewhere else. Not sure why this is. Up at Lake of the Clouds we encountered a small flock of Mandarin-speakers, all of them in flimsy fabric baseball caps, wearing designer sun glasses, and all carrying fold-up metal canes, all white in color. Looked like a pack of Chinese-speaking blind mice. Eash also carried a back camel for hydration purposes. Given that the distance from the water fountains at the parking lot to the viewing overlook was 200 yards through the woods, I guess it’s possible dehydration could happen, but it seems a little on the doubtful side. They wer all wearing identical running shoes (I first wrote sneakers, changed it to tennies and changed it again to running shoes; in Europe the shoes would be called trainers. I’m not picking on the Chinese folks. We saw lots and lots of camelbackers up in Copper Harbor and saw many of that raw brocoli-for-breakfast crowd of human rabbits on bikes and afoot. Also so many gents in their sixties and seventies in restaurants who keep their baseball caps on throughout the meals. At least the Chinese takes theirs off. Obviously my generation didn’t get raised so well on table manners by the so-called Greatest Generation. Or there is something afoot I’m not aware of. There is no doubt however some kind of group-think sweeping our country, group runs, group walks, group reads, all good things, but why do we have to operate in crowds and not alone? Very strange. It’s as if Americans cannot be out of contact with others. Isn’t Facebook an extension of this concept? My idea of Hell is a group tour somewhere, even with friends.
Shaksper has been thoroughly enjoying his multiple scent experience of the past week but he is worn out from so much Green Streamer guard duty.
Am not working on final plans for patrols with COs around firearm season. A Saturday start this year. Been awhile since one of those. I won’t say where I’m working until deer season is over and I have photos to share. It is always an interesting time, not the most important time statewide for COs, but for most COs.
That’s the weekly roundup. Now to BUCKULAR DYSTROPHY, Grady Service’s tenth sortie, to be out fall of 2015.
MOUNTAINS OF THE MISBEGOTTEN, Lute Bapcat’s second itteration could not be found in bookstores in Copper Harbor. Lots of copies of earlier books, but no MOTM. Not sure why…
Last night I got an email from a gent from Nevada, (formerly from West Branch MI). he informed me that the cordite smelled by characters on pp 273 and 433 “is not possible.” He explains: Cordite was specifically a British invention used by them from 1891 but discontinued in small arms during WW2. it was never loaded in the .44 mag or the 7.62×39 cartridges.”The smell of cordite,” he continues, “is a cliche with mystery writers possibly started by mid-20th century British ones, but those chaps are the only ones to use it legitimately. He concludes, “Please substitute the smell of burnt powder or some such equivalent in the future.” Such inaccuracies, he concluded “sets a true gun crank’s teeth on edge every time we see it.
I appreciate the technical input and will look into it an as COs say, take the necessary action. Of course I can’t really do anything until I bet back BTB to my books to see what he’s talkign about and decide what exactly to do. For now his note goes into the errata file. The book in question on this one was KILLING A COLD ONE, not the hardback original for last year, but the soft cover edition from this fall. I was fascinated by the writer’s use of the term “gun crank,” which is new one to me and I shall be looking at it’s roots, and may even use this in a future book. I wonder if all “true gun cranks use Britishisms like “chaps?” and if this is some sort of linguistic twist brought on by firearm proximity. And what is a “true” gun crank vis a vis other gun cranks. So many questions.
All from Above the Bridge in Baragastan for the moment. Last night I listened to Baraga play L’Anse in h.s. football and my favorite kid announcers were doing the game. I never listen to the games down below, only up here. We have more than a month remaining in our time here and intend to enjoy it to the fullest. Enjoy the photos that follow. I’ll split them into two blogs, rather than one long sucker. Over.
Cable Lake Country
More on the road in. Roads in places are pure cobble and beat hell out of the truck.
Not far now, my map reader promises.
Light at the end of the tunnel on Cable Lake Road.
The road inbound.
Looking off the road into the woods.
Beauty all around us.
Beauty ahead, beside, behind, and above. Way cool.
Closing in on the boat launch
Finally the launch and a break from driving bad roads.
Cable Lake in Fall.