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Down a pretty lonely road surrounding Indian Lake outside of Manistique, MI, there is a state park called Palms Brook. It contains what the signs refer to as “Kitch-i-ti-kipi” or “Big Spring.” It is, in fact, the largest spring in Michigan, and, I will venture to say, the most beautiful. The park is small. The only trail leads straight to the spring, because, hey, what else would you want to look at? The color is a deep turquoise. This is from the minerals which bubble up from the bottom. Huge fish (“Maybe carp?” ventures one of the tourists) swim below the surface, which is clear as glass. A small ferry with a viewing cutout in the middle …

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Upon crossing the Mackinac Bridge, the observant tourist realizes that the U.P. specializes in four things: 1. Fudge 2. Smoked Fish 3. “Party” Stores 4. Pasties Okay, so fudge and smoked fish are pretty obvious, but I had no idea what the last two even were. Oh, man. Okay, so a “party” store is pretty much a quickie mart. They usually have a gas pump and copious amounts of booze and ice (which I supposed in the U.P. constitutes “party” supplies). Some of these stores might be qualified as “general” stores, as they have bait and tackle as well as groceries and various necessities. One I came upon had an old fashioned gas pump out front, as …

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Today I departed from my family’s place in Beaver Island, and headed North. Well, really I had to head South for a bit. Then I headed North, and then West for a bit…I’m getting ahead of myself. Bright and early this morning I boarded the Beaver Island Ferry, named the Emerald Isle, which you may remember I missed by a few minutes earlier last week. I didn’t hold a grudge, however, and my mother was very keen on waking me up in time for breakfast, so there was no worry about it leaving without me again. The sunrise was beautiful over the water. The winds were finally calm. Monty and Niko were eager to leave, but I …

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Just behind my parents’ property, down a small path well worn down by many feet, there is a Hudson stuck in the mud. It has probably been stuck there for over 70 years, and seen many a harsh Beaver Island winter. The windows are gone, and so are the seats. The once red hubcaps are now grey, the once blue paint a mossy beige. I like to think that things haven’t changed that much, and that someone tried to drive their lumbering car down a footpath under influence of the drink, and then simply left it because it was too damaged to drive out again. If you turn away from the Hudson and look into the woods, …

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So when your house has been around since 1964, and it has wheels and sits outside all the time, the roof takes a pretty good beating. But it’s not like you can re-shingle a trailer. All vintage trailers need to have their roofs repaired at some point or another. There are different types, some are aluminum with a coating and some have a rubber membrane. Lola has an aluminum roof with many many layers of mucky coating on it. Her previous owner (whom I had to consult about the title) had said to make sure to “put another coat on the roof.” I wasn’t sure what she meant. So I got up there and looked. Eesh. Okay, …

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3 and 1/2 inches of rain! It seems like it will never stop. The Rockies got 10 inches of snow, and here in Northern Michigan the same system hit us with rain aplenty. Today we went to the “Bite of Beaver” (teehee). It’s about FOOD people, not what you’re thinking. (Come on, they could have called it “A Taste of Beaver” or worse “Tasty Beaver” ::stifles laughter::) But the food was very good, and there was PIE!!! SO MUCH PIE! We sampled a home made wild Beaver Island blackberry pie, made by one of our island guides, Betty. Delicious! (“Delicious Beaver.”) I could go on. Here’s what buck-eyes look like when they’re in the pod! Yeah, I …

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Sorry guys, I installed a plugin which will now auto-rotate my images. I am trying to fix the ones that are not properly rotated, but it will take time! Patience!

Rain has come, and with it wind and cold. The dogs don’t want to venture far from the house, and to be honest, neither do I. We took a long walk around the harbor, only to be rained on on the way back. Mom took her dogs to be blessed by the priest in his annual “pet blessing,” while I sat and read a book. She promised me a picture, which I’ll post in a bit. Apparently even the donkeys came to be blessed. It was a slow, boring day. So we decided to make PIE! Which is, by my account, the most exciting thing ever. Our apples from the fallen-down house were too green, but we …

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