Tamara's Journeys

Journeys as great as the destinations.

Sunday in Michigan

August 30th, 2015

The Porcupine Mountains are crawling with porcupines. Not exactly. There are some porcupines, however the area I explored this weekend takes its name from the fact that the tree covered mountaintops have a silhouette similar to that of a quill covered porcupine.  The crown jewel of the Michigan State Parks, and the largest at 60,000 acres, the park offers so much scenic variety and so many recreational options that I could spend at least four days to get a real taste of what the Porcupine Mountains are all about and really appreciate the uniqueness and beauty of the Porcupine Mountains. I want to go back once fall leaves pop. http://porcupinemountains.com

Before heading to the Porkies I was warned that the 11th Annual Music Festival was taking place. I was concerned about the crowds, however when there’s 60,000 acres to disperse the crowds it’s not a problem. Performers are booked from all over the world and have played for packed audiences of thousands over the years. I’m sure it’s a musical experience unlike any other, but it wasn’t for me. I was visiting for the waterbagging.

Hundreds of waterfalls grace the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park and surrounding area. Waterbagging is to visit as many waterfalls as you can in a single visit and I barely touched the surface by seeing the Presque Isle falls: Nawadaha, Manido and Manabezho Falls to where they empty into Lake Superior.

A unique rock formation at Presque Isle

A unique rock formation at Presque Isle

Presque Isle River emptying into Lake Superior

Presque Isle River emptying into Lake Superior

Painter in residence painting the falls and river

Painter in residence painting the falls and river

The name Manabezho refers to an Ojibwe spirit God and it is easily accessible by the trail.

The name Manabezho refers to an Ojibwe spirit God and it is easily accessible by the trail.

Manabezho Falls has a drop of 25 feet and is the largest and most dramatic of the three waterfalls.

Manabezho Falls has a drop of 25 feet and is the largest and most dramatic of the three waterfalls.

Manido Falls area

Manido Falls area

Manido Falls is the smallest of the waterfalls on the river.

Manido Falls is the smallest of the waterfalls on the river.

The name Manido comes from the Ojibwe word meaning “ghost” and it is easily accessible by rugged trails.

The name Manido comes from the Ojibwe word meaning “ghost” and it is easily accessible by rugged trails.

Presque Isle River before flowing over Nawadaha Falls

Presque Isle River before flowing over Nawadaha Falls

Nawadaha Falls has a drop of 15 feet and is above both Manido Falls and Manabezho Falls. Access to this waterfall requires climbing some rugged trails.

Nawadaha Falls has a drop of 15 feet and is above both Manido Falls and Manabezho Falls. Access to this waterfall requires climbing some rugged trails.

Wild and scenic, the Presque Isle River tumbles over these and several smaller waterfalls and rapids as it races to meet Lake Superior.  This trail parallels the river and provides breathtaking views as you wind through the forest, walk along the boardwalks and the observation decks. Hikers are permitted to climb on the rocks, but there is no swimming permitted due to obvious safety concerns.

Surrounded by the silhouettes of the ancient Porcupine Mountains, the Lake of the Clouds is a gem amid the thick forest. The Lake of the Clouds is probably the most photographed feature in the Porcupine Mountains region. It’s a truly breathtaking sight to behold. The best view of the lake and the surrounding hills was from an easily accessible boardwalk. The hallmark view was atop a 300 foot precipice that overlooks the lake.

Lake of the Clouds 1 Lake of the Clouds 2 Lake of the Clouds 5 Lake of the Clouds 6

Many of the communities in the Porcupine Mountains area started as mining towns. Copper, silver and iron are all found in the area. I haven’t visited a mine yet, however I visited the Ontonagon Lighthouse used to guide ships to the busiest cooper district port on Lake Superior.

The lighthouse was built in 1852, however the wooden structure had a problem with flooding. In 1866, the original structure was replaced with the existing schoolhouse style building, a simple 1-1/2-story rectangular cream brick building with a square light tower at the west end. The extremely high basement was built far above the ground to protect the living areas from flooding.

Originally built on the Lake Superior shoreline with a high basement to protect it from the high waves and flooding, the lighthouse has since “moved” ~ 200 yards back from the shore as the land has filled in with deposits of sediment dropped by waves coming off the lake after the town built jetties. It’s been great in lowering the threat of flooding, however the town has had to continue putting the East Light out further and further.

In April 1963, use of the lighthouse was discontinued after an automatic foghorn and battery-powered light were installed at the end of the eastern pier. The lighthouse was officially closed in January 1964, after which it was leased to the last keeper. The light was removed from the structure and is now housed at the Ontonagon County Historical Society Museum. There’s more interesting history about the keepers and lighthouse at: http://www.ontonagonmuseum.org/lighthouse1.htm

Fancy two-seater brick outhouse

Fancy two-seater brick outhouse

Original to the lighthouse, this stove is still used to cook Thanksgiving meals

Original to the lighthouse, this stove is still used to cook Thanksgiving meals

Ontonagon Lighthouse 3 Ontonagon Lighthouse 4 Ontonagon Lighthouse 5 Ontonagon Lighthouse 6

Lamp without the Fresnal lens with Lake Superior in the background

Lamp without the Fresnal lens with Lake Superior in the background

Ontonagon Lighthouse. Two tones of brick are original because masons ran out of brick and had to substitute the lighter brick to finish the project.

Ontonagon Lighthouse. Two tones of brick are original because masons ran out of brick and had to substitute the lighter brick to finish the project.

May your head be in the clouds, high above the madness of the world as you let your light shine, unconsciously encouraging other people to do the same.

Friday Funnies

August 28th, 2015

Wednesday I met two women who were hiking the North Country Trail. They had started their trek in North Dakota and still had 100 miles ahead of them. http://northcountrytrail.org/

Thursday morning, on my way to work I drove passed a group of American Indians walking along the highway. They were Water Walkers walking from Quebec, Canada to Madeline Island, Wisconsin to raise awareness to the right to have safe drinking water to all people. www.waterwalkersunited.com

To honor these distance walkers today’s funnies will focus on walking: A group of friends went out walking one day and decided to pair off in twos for the afternoon. That evening one of them returned alone, staggering under the weight of a heavy rucksack. “Where’s Fred?” the other ramblers ask. Fred’s partner, Brian, replied, “Fred must have had a heart attack. He just keeled over and died a couple of miles back up the path.” The other ramblers gasped and then one of them asked, “You left Fred laying out there and carried the rucksack back?” “It was a difficult decision,” nodded Brian. “But I thought that nobody would steal Fred.”

One day, three men were out hiking in a remote area of the Upper Peninsula and came upon a violent, raging river. They had to get to the other side, but had no idea how to do so safely. Being a very devout person, the first man dropped to his knees and prayed, saying, “Please God, give me the strength to cross this river.” In a blinding flash of light, God gave him big, strong arms and legs and he was able to swim across the river – almost drowning a couple of times on the way. Seeing this, the second man thought he’d do something similar, saying, “Please God, give me the strength and the tools to cross this river.” In a second blinding flash of light, God gave him big, strong arms and legs and a rowing boat, so he too was able to cross the river – almost capsizing the boat a couple of times on the way over. The third man was amazed at how this had worked for his pals and he also prayed saying, “Please God, give me the strength and the tools and the intelligence to cross this river.” In a third blinding flash of light, God turned him into a woman! She looked at her map, hiked a couple of hundred yards upstream and walked across the bridge!

A Yooper hunter went walking through the great north woods when he saw a young woman lying barely dressed a clearing. ”Are you game?” he shouted to the woman. ”Yes” she replied. So he shot her.

 

 

Hymns With a Message: I Need Thee Every Hour

August 26th, 2015

Nor that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God. 2 Corinthians 3:5

In his book The Practice of the Presence of God, Brother Lawrence claimed to be as close to God while working in the kitchen as when praying in the chapel. After all the Lord is always near us, therefore wherever we are is holy ground. Annie Hawks, a housewife and mother of three from Brooklyn, New York would agree with him.

As a child Annie enjoyed dabbling with poetry. In 1857 she married Charles Hawks and they established a home in Brooklyn and joined Place Baptist Church. With the pastor’s encouragement she began writing Sunday school songs and he set many of them to music.

“I Need Thee Every Hour” was written on a bright June morning in 1872. Annie later wrote, “One day as a young wife and mother I was busy with my regular household tasks. suddenly, I became so filled with the sense of nearness to the Master that wondering how one could without Him, either in joy or pain, these words, ‘I Need Thee Every Hour’ were ushered into my mind…”

The next Sunday Annie handed the words to the pastor who quickly wrote the tune and chorus while seated at the little organ in the parsonage. Shortly thereafter if was sung for the first time at the National Baptist Sunday School Association meeting in Cincinnati, Ohio and published in hymnals the following year.

When Annie’s husband died sixteen years later, she found that her own hymn was among her greatest comforts. (I have also found this to be true for myself during hard times)She wrote, “I didn’t understand at first why this hymn had touched the hearts of humanity until the shadow fell my way. The shadow of great loss, that I understood something of the comforting power in the words…”

Over the years Annie wrote more then four hundred hymns, though this one is the only still widely sung. And one of my personal go to hymns during long dark nights.

Sunday in Michigan

August 23rd, 2015

Geometry is fun! If you like playing with objects, like drawing or taking daytrips, then geometry is for you. To prove my point I set out on a scalene triangle experience. What? You don’t remember your triangles? A scalene triangle is a triangle with no equal sides or angles while still being a triangle. (i.e. A) Bessemer -> Odanah 35 miles B) Odanah -> Minocqua 84 miles C)  Minocqua -> Bessemer 56 miles)

Side A of my triangle was from Bessemer to Odanah with a quick stop at the Bad River Casino to speak with Phyllis before heading to the Powwow. I first met Phyllis last weekend when I stopped at the casino for breakfast. She was kind enough to walk me through the hallways to the restaurant. During those 10 minutes she told me about her life growing up on the reservation, having children and raising her granddaughter. About then we arrived to a hallways lines with photos of tribe members that have joined the US Armed Forces. Including her precious Marine granddaughter. Phyllis, like another grandmother I know that shares the name, nearly burst with pride when speaking about her granddaughter. A grandparent’s love is universal. A bond like no other, is the unconditional love grandparents have for the grandchildren. After taking a photo of her with her granddaughter’s, she pointed me in the direction of the Powwow.

Bad River Casino Phyllis

Powwows are the Native American people’s way of meeting together to join in dancing, singing, visiting, renewing old friendships, and making new ones. This is a national method they use to renew their Native American culture and preserve their rich heritage. I’ve been fortunate enough to attend Powwows of various tribes from North Dakota to Maine.

Every powwow begins with the Grand Entry of all the people entering the grounds as everyone is asked to stand as the flags are brought into the arena. Manomin or, wild rice, is an integral part of Ojibwe history and the Bad River Powwow celebrates the growth and harvest of this natural staple with traditional dancing, singing, canoe races, marathons, and plenty of fun and food for the entire family. I missed the canoe races, however I enjoyed browsing the craft booths and seeing the expert beadwork. Afterwards I watched the Grand Entry while sampling the traditional fry bread.

Bad River Pow Wow 1 Bad River Pow Wow 2 Bad River Pow Wow 3 Bad River Pow Wow 4 Bad River Pow Wow Regalia Bad River Pow Wow Shawl Dance

Fry bread appears to be nothing more than fried dough made from white flour, processed sugar and lard. Like an unsweetened funnel cake, only thicker and full of air bubbles, it’s revered as a symbol of Native pride and unity. I’ve eaten fry bread at other Pow Wows, but I’ve never seen fry bread tacos or fry bread hamburgers. Covered with powdered sugar, their fry bread was better than any overpriced funnel cake! (www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/frybread-79191/?no-ist)

Bad River Pow Wow Fry Bread

Side B of the triangle was from Odanah to Minocqua’s Wildwod Wildlife Park. The park began more than 50 years ago when Jim Peck purchased the land with the vision of creating a place where his love of animals could be shared with the public. An injured whitetail fawn became Jim’s first resident. Jim’s love of animals became known as he opened his house to care for orphaned and injured animals including calves, goats, baby chicks and bunnies.

In 1997 the zoo was purchased by the Dozaszek family. They already owned a private game farm in Wisconsin and understood the commitment, daily care and responsibility this park required to continue to stay open to the public. Thanks to the hard work of the entire staff the zoo received the prestigious Zoological Association of America accreditation in 2008. Now there are presentations, classes and wildlife experiences for all ages. I absolutely loved my experience and can’t say enough about this zoo. Wildwood Wildlife Park is in my Top 5 for cleanliness and close interaction with the animals. (www.wildwoodwildlifepark.com)

Wildwood Wildlife Park 2 Wildwood Wildlife Park 4 Wildwood Wildlife Park 5 Wildwood Wildlife Park 6 Wildwood Wildlife Park 7 Wildwood Wildlife Park 9 Wildwood Wildlife Park 10 Wildwood Wildlife Park 13 Wildwood Wildlife Park 15 Wildwood Wildlife Park 19 Wildwood Wildlife Park 22 Wildwood Wildlife Park 23 Wildwood Wildlife Park 26 Wildwood Wildlife Park 27 Wildwood Wildlife Park 30 Wildwood Wildlife Park 31 Wildwood Wildlife Park 32 Wildwood Wildlife Park 34 Wildwood Wildlife Park 35 Wildwood Wildlife Park 36 Wildwood Wildlife Park 37 Wildwood Wildlife Park 38

Last leg and I was homeward bound full of joy and bunny love. What an excellent geometric journey. It was a celebration of life and of all things living!

Friday Funnies

August 21st, 2015

Wednesday marked National Aviation Day, so proclaimed by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1939. Ironically, it was a bad day for air travel, however it encouraged some Friday Funnies.

What’s the difference between a good flight and a great flight? A good flight you can walk away from. A great flight you can use the plane again.

A blonde won a free ticket to fly to a nearby country. She had never been on an airplane anywhere and was very excited and tense. As soon as she boarded the plane, a Boeing747, she started jumping in excitement, running seat to seat and starts shouting, “BOEING! BOEING!! BOEING!!! BO…..” She continued with this behavior and was getting so loud even the pilot in the cock-pit heard the noise. Annoyed by the goings on, the Pilot came out and shouted “Be silent!” There was pin-drop silence everywhere and everybody was looking at the blonde and the angry Pilot. She stared at the pilot in silence for a moment, concentrated really hard, and all of a sudden started shouting, “OEING! OEING! OEING! OE….”

An airliner was having engine trouble, and the pilot instructed the cabin crew to have the passengers take their seats and get prepared for an emergency landing. (Hoping for a good flight) A few minutes later, the pilot asked the flight attendants if everyone was buckled in and ready. “All set back here, Captain,” came the reply, “except the lawyers are still going around passing out business cards.”

But seriously folks, every time I fly and am forced to remove my shoes and it annoys me. I’m really grateful Richard Reid was the Shoe Bomber and not the Underwear Bomber!

Hymns With a Message: Have Thine Own Way, Lord

August 19th, 2015

.. as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand … Jeremiah 18:6

Disappointments are His appointments, as He uses our setbacks to renew our focus on Him. To strengthen our faith and to divert us to other opportunities. In this case, a bitter disappointment led to one of our greatest invitational hymns.

Adelaide Pollard was born in Iowa during the Civil War. Her parents named her Sarah, but when she was old enough, she changed her name to Adelaide. After attending Emerson College she moved to Chicago to teach in a girls school.

Afterward she became very involved in the work of an evangelist predicting the return of Christ. She moved to New England to assist him, yet felt God was calling her to Africa as a missionary. But, to her intense disappointment, she was unable to raise her financial support. Heartsick, and in her forties by this time, she attended a prayer meeting. That night an elderly woman prayed, “It doesn’t matter what you bring into our lives, Lord. Just have you own way with us.”

That phrase rushed into Adelaide’s heart, and the verses began shaping in her mind. At home that evening she read again the story of the potter and the clay with new illumination. By bedtime she had written out the prayer, “Have Thine Own Way.”

Adelaide did make it to Africa, but the outbreak of WWI sent her to Scotland and later back to America where she wrote poems, spoke to groups and ministered freely.

In the middle of December 1934 she purchased a ticket at New York’s Penn Station. She was heading to Pennsylvania for a speaking engagement. While waiting for the train she was gripping with a seizure and died shortly after.

Have Thine Own Way Lord:

Sunday in Michigan

August 16th, 2015

This weekend was the 94th annual Gogebic County Fair … and I was there! This year there are no poultry exhibits throughout Michigan at fairs or petting zoos as a precaution against the spread of avian influenza. No roosters. Instead there was a new Pony Pulling Event this year. Fairgoers could also enjoy FREE horse drawn wagon rides. And I’m sure I wouldn’t have wanted to miss the chance for a FREE wagon ride if I wouldn’t have been melting in the 91 degree heat. I left Florida to get away from the summer heat and yet it found me.

Harness Racing

Harness Racing

4-H Livestock Auction

4-H Livestock Auction

Gogebic County Fair Sign

Gogebic County Fair Sign

Though the sun beat down relentlessly, I did not faint from the opportunity to serve up fair brats, dogs and smiles at the Coles Foundation booth. The Cole’s Foundation was created as a tribute to a little boy who fought so hard and touched so many before losing his battle to a rare childhood cancer.  Recognizing the incredible needs of families struggling through the nightmare of caring for a child with a terminal illness, his parents created Coles Foundation to utilize the 21st century’s technology to provide support and assistance to families facing the most devastating challenge that a parent could face, the illness and death of a beloved child. What a testimony to their faith and the type of family they are. I was honored to spend time serving beside them. Learn more about Cole’s Foundation here: http://www.colesfoundation.org/about/coles_story

Coles Foundation info

Let me encourage you to send a smile and make a difference in your community. I understand everyone has busy lives, making it hard to find time to volunteer. However, the benefits of volunteering are enormous to you, your family, and your community. The right match can help you find friends, reach out to the community, learn new skills, and even improve your mental and physical health. Learn more about the opportunities in your community and get started doing something great. Even helping out with the smallest tasks can make a real difference to the lives of people, animals, and organizations in need.

If nothing else, get out for a drive. Because happiness is a way to travel, not the destination. And you never know what friendly folks you’ll meet along the way. Today I met three couple out for a ride, just like myself. They told me I haven’t lived until I ride a motorcycle down the road with a big grin on my face and bug stuck in my teeth. I’ll pass on that, but certainly enjoyed meeting them at the antique shop. Safe travels happy bikers!

CUNPIC_20150816_123203 CUNPIC_20150816_123053

The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

August 14th, 2015

Does anyone remember The Man from U.N.C.L.E. television show? If you’re lucky to remember you should run to the theater to see the movie. For those of you too young to remember watching the TV show, I extend my apologies. ‘The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” was originally a TV series from the mid-1960s developed by Sam Rolfe. U.N.C.L.E. was an acronym for the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement, a secret international counter-espionage organization, aiming to maintain worldwide political and legal order. This series lasted for four years from 1964 to 68, becoming a cultural icon of sorts at that time with its audacious theme of US-Russian cooperation at the height of the Cold War. I urge you to see how they performed espionage with style.

This reboot of U.N.C.L.E. retains the Cold War setting. American agent Napoleon Solo and Russian agent Illya Kuryakin are forced to work together to prevent the nefarious plans of glamorous but ruthless arms dealer Victoria Vinciguerra. They connect with Gaby Teller, the daughter of a kidnapped German nuclear scientist, as a means of getting closer on Victoria’s tail. But it would appear that Gaby also is not all she seemed to be … or is she? The cast is very satisfying to watch, starting with Henry Cavill. He carries the film as Napoleon Solo. With his elegant chiseled looks, Cavill credibly portrayed the cool, capable and suave spy Solo, even better then he portrayed Superman last year. He also succeeded in pulling off the smart-alecky personality of Solo, a man with a bristling sense of humor.

Armie Hammer is quite a handsome actor himself, but he could not really lift his career off the ground after his forgettable role in “The Lone Ranger.” Here in U.N.C.L.E., he was charismatic and charming in the bickering buddy as well as the action scenes. They played off each other without him being in Cavill’s shadow.

I’d never noticed Alicia Vikander until her role as the mysterious Gaby Teller. It’s just too bad that she didn’t get many slam bang action scenes while wearing all those wonderful outfits.

Elizabeth Debicki makes a very good impression as the main villain Victoria, with her towering beehive, striking haute couture and naked ambition. It was also great to see Hugh Grant again, playing British agent Waverley. I’m thinking that if this franchise is continued, we’ll see more of Grant since this character Waverly was the officer in charge of Solo and Kuryakin in the TV series.

U.N.C.L.E. was refreshingly different in the realm of spy films and out and out fun. The 60s-inspired production design, hair and costumes were so fab that the viewer can’t help but fall in love with the aesthetics of that period. The fashion, the accessories, the music … even the cars. Especially the cars! Attention was given to every detail to encourage you to escape into the movie universe they created.

A small side note: missing from this Guy Ritchie film was extensive foul language, nudity and blood shed found in nearly every movie these days. Yet the story wasn’t lacking because of this was omitted. This is the most entertaining, slick and stylish spy film in theatres this year!

What are you waiting for?

 

Friday Funnies

August 14th, 2015

It’s hot! How hot, you ask? Well, let me take this opportunity to tell you …

Q: What did the pig say at the beach on a hot summer’s day? A: I’m bacon!

I picked up the local paper to check out the forecast. It read: Today: Sunny, 88. Tonight: Not so sunny, 72.

Also reported in the Daily Globe was the hot weather story about a local man who ran into trouble after filling up his pickup truck at the local Krist station. Apparently he wasn’t very careful, and he got gas on the left sleeve of his shirt. He ignored it, and as he drove down the highway, the heat of the sun on his truck’s paint was enough to ignite his sleeve. He started driving faster, waving his arm out the window in an attempt to extinguish the flames, but that only caused it to burn hotter! As he sped down highway 2, a state trooper saw the situation and pulled him over. He jerked the man out of the truck, rolled him on the ground until the fire was extinguished. After the man dusted himself and thanked his rescuer, he sees the officer writing him a summons! Confused, he asked, “You’re writing me a ticket!? What for?” The officer replies, “Possession of an illegal fire arm.”

I asked my Yooper co-worker “Did you have a good summer last year? He replied “Youbetcha! We had a great picnic that afternoon, eh!”

It’s so hot, that as my co-worker’s husband got out of the shower he said to her “Honey, it’s too doggon hot to wear clothes today. What do you think the neighbors will say if I mow the lawn naked?” She replied “That I married you for your money.”

Stay cool!

Hymns With a Message: The Lord Bless You and Keep You

August 12th, 2015

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace. Numbers 6:24-26

I covered this benediction last summer, but I like it so much I wanted to share it again.

The Dead Sea Scrolls were until recently our oldest copies of Biblical text. But in 1979 professor Judith Hadley was assisting archaeologist Gabrial Barkey in excavating  a site in Jerusalem. She saw something resembling a metal pencil cap in a burial cave. It was a sensational find a tiny silver scroll of great antiquity. And another was found nearby. These tiny amulets dated back to the Hebrew monarchy 7 centuries before Christ. They were so small and fragile they tool several years to clean and open safely.

When they there unrolled, scientists found the world’s oldest copy of a Biblical text, the words of Numbers 6:24-26. These ancient lyrics have been set to music many time, but I tend to lean towards the classic tune set by Peter Christian Lutkin.

Lutkin was born in Wisconsin in 1888 and devoted his life to church music. He studied the masters in Europe and excelled on the organ. He helped start the American Guild of Organists and died in 1931 in Chicago.

D.L. Moody once commented on Numbers 6 saying, “Here is a benediction that can give all the time without being impoverished. Every heart may utter it every letter may conclude with it, every day may begin with it, every night may be sanctified by it. Here is blessing keeping, shining, the uplifting upon our poor life of all heaven’s glad morning. It is the Lord Himself who gives us this bar of music from heaven’s infinite anthem.”

Agreed.

Sunday in Michigan

August 9th, 2015

Waswagoning is a uniquely re-created Ojibwe village open to the public to educate them in the ways of the traditional Ojibwe through tours or overnight programs. It was created by Nick Hockings, a member of the Lac Du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe Indians. He is a traditional pipe carrier, and is a certified teacher of the Ojibwe language and culture. Nick has appeared on talk shows and radio talk shows, often sharing his philosophy that there is only one race – the human race.

Waswagoning 1 Waswagoning 2 Waswagoning 3

Fire was a key to survival for the Ojibwe. A boy wasn’t considered a man until he could make fire. Naturally, that’s where our tour began in the summer village. Ernest, the owner’s grandson, made it look so easy. And I suspect it is when you have the right tools and conditions.

Family was very important to the Ojibwe. Therefore the summer village would have upwards of 400 – 500 family members gathered together. Summer would be a time of spear fishing and setting snares for game. The local Ojibwe used spears and fished at night by torch light. The Europeans saw this when they arrived and named the area “Lac du Flambeau” or Lake of the Torchlight after the practice. They would also set fish traps in the lake.

Summer wigwam

Summer wigwam

Baskets and tools inside summer wigwam

Baskets and tools inside summer wigwam

Waswagoning 7

Basket lid

Basket lid

Fish trap

Fish trap

I learned that they used a tool made from beaver tooth to chip away at obsidian and create the arrow heads. Arrow heads were only used for large animals and blunt wood arrows for the smaller animals so they wouldn’t be ripped apart by the sharp arrow tip.

Waswagoning 13 Waswagoning 14 Waswagoning 15

In the winter they gathered in small camps of only 4-5 families. The group was small because they shared food with among the group. The winter wigwams were built with birch bark roofs and cedar bark skirts to keep out the weather. They would first dig out the ground and fire pit then line it all with stones before covering the ground with dirt and skins. There would be a “pipe” of birch bark from the fire pit to the outside to allow oxygen to get to the fire. As the fire burned it would warm the stones and the floor of the wigwam would stay warm. The fire was not for cooking for the same reasons we don’t cook in our tents – bears.

Winter camp

Winter camp

Cooking area

Cooking area

Winter wigwam frame with fire pit and smoke pipe to outdoors

Winter wigwam frame with fire pit and smoke pipe to outdoors

Birch bark has many incredible features including being waterproof and insect repelling. The bark was used to line their foot stash and also the canoes. Because it wouldn’t breakdown in water, the canoes could be filled with rocks and sunk in the lake for winter storage.

Pole for pushing canoe through rice fields and fishing spear.

Pole for pushing canoe through rice fields and fishing spear.

Canoe made from cedar ribs covered with birch bark

Canoe made from cedar ribs covered with birch bark

The tribe would move 4 times a year for the purposes of gaming, fishing and wild rice harvesting. Along the way they had previously built temporary lodging and set snares for small game. Ernest demonstrated how they tracked the animal to its home and set snares. They were quite effective without allowing the animal to suffer or be taken by other animals.

Waswagoning 20

Our last stop on the tour was designated for youth’s rites of passage. It was explained that the Ojibwe boy would be put in a large tree and tied for his safety. He was about to spend a week in the tree without food or drink while he waited for his vision. Once he had the vision he would call out and they would release him. He never had to share his vision, but he was then considered a man and could take a wife.

Young women coming of age would have “moon wigwams” outside the village to stay in during their cycle. Each girl would spend time in her individual wigwam every month for a year while elder women would visit and teach her the ways of becoming a woman including plants and parenting. After the year she would be considered a woman and be eligible to take a husband. Notice to become a woman it required a year of teaching, and a man only days alone in a tree?

I also found it interesting how there was little government. There was very little crime, everyone would know who did it. It was stressed that the children were taught bravery, manners, self-control and expected to help their families from an early age. Examples given were: 1) You may not walk between an older person and the fire. 2) You may not interrupt an older person who is talking. And 3) You may not go to the neighbors at mealtimes and look wistfully at their food.

Speaking of food, I was beginning to feel a bit looney from hunger. I scurried off to the Turtle Flambeau pig and corn roast. It was a good birthday.

Birthday corn roast

The world's largest "talking" loon. http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/11923

The world’s largest “talking” loon.

For more information on Waswagoning: http://www.waswagoning.us/ and the 16 foot talking Loon: http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/11923

 

 

 

Friday Funnies

August 7th, 2015

My mother decided that I should get something practical for my 10th birthday. ‘Suppose we open a savings account for you?’ she suggested. ‘It’s your account, darling,’ my mother said as we entered at the bank, ‘so you fill out the application.’ I was doing fine until I came to the space for ‘Name of your former bank’. With just a slight hesitation, I put down ‘Piggy’. It was true.

My family had two girls born days apart in August which meant shared birthday for the early years for two very different girls. If one felt it was too hot, the other thought it was too cold. If one said the TV was too loud, the other claimed the volume needed to be turned up. Opposite in many ways, one was an eternal optimist, the other a doom and gloom pessimist. Just to see what would happen, one year our father loaded the pessimist’s room with every imaginable toy and game. The optimist’s room he loaded with horse manure. That night he passed by the pessimist’s room and found her sitting amid her new gifts crying bitterly. ‘Why are you crying?’ our father asked. ‘Because my friends will be jealous. I have to read all these instructions before I can do anything with this stuff, I’ll constantly need batteries, and my toys will eventually get broken,’ answered the pessimist sister. Passing the optimist’s room, he found his daughter dancing for joy in the pile of manure. ‘What are you so happy about?’ he asked. To which she replied, ‘There’s got to be a birthday pony in here somewhere!’ (I’m still looking for that pony! LOL)

David’s wife is mad at him because he forgot her birthday. David saved his skin, ‘Sweetheart,’ he says. ‘How do you expect me to remember your birthday when you never look any older?’ David’s a smart guy. He always remembers his little cousin’s birthday. It’s the day after she reminds him of it.

Most of all as I celebrate my birthday this weekend I am going to take time to stop and appreciate gravity. Sure, it makes things sag south as you get older, but it also keeps your cake from flying all over the room so you don’t have to chase it!

 

Midweek Adventure

August 5th, 2015

Imagine my delight when I realized Ashland was named in the top 10 Most Beautiful Towns in Wisconsin. And I am only a short 40 miles east!

Located on the southern shore of Lake Superior, the Ashland area offers world-class fishing, spectacular waterfalls, hiking and unparalleled nature-watching.

But as I browsed around the historic downtown I found an eight-block area of which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The community’s pride in its rich history is evident in its 17 vibrant murals highlighting a particular aspect of Ashland’s colorful past, depicting subjects ranging from the city’s lumberjacks and military veterans to its railroads, storefronts and former massive ore dock. Since 2005, Ashland has been known as the “Historic Mural Capital of Wisconsin,” making the city a year-round public art destination. I didn’t find them all, however you can see them all at: http://www.visitashland.com/murals/

Asaph Whittlesey Mural, Ashland's first mural depicts founder of Ashland in 1854.

Asaph Whittlesey Mural, Ashland’s first mural depicts founder of Ashland in 1854.

Aviation Mural celebrates Ashland’s early aviation history.

Aviation Mural celebrates Ashland’s early aviation history.

Dhooge Store Mural was painted from actual photographs.

Dhooge Store Mural was painted from actual photographs.

Grace & Fred Campbell

Grace & Fred Campbell

Historical Ellis Avenue Mural

Historical Ellis Avenue Mural

 Joseph Dvorak

Joseph Dvorak

 Joseph Rappata, Joseph Kriskovich & John Johnson

Joseph Rappata, Joseph Kriskovich & John Johnson

Lumbarjack Mural. For this mural the artists  sent out a call for old photos of lumberjacks who worked in this region.

Lumbarjack Mural. For this mural the artists sent out a call for old photos of lumberjacks who worked in this region.

This mural depicts the Ashland Ore Dock, the largest concrete dock in the world of its time.

This mural depicts the Ashland Ore Dock, the largest concrete dock in the world of its time.

The top portion of the mural is a “to scale” painting of the ore dock itself, including every properly numbered ore chute. The lower section includes 21 “postcards” telling the history of the varied uses of the structure over the years.

The top portion of the mural is a “to scale” painting of the ore dock itself, including every properly numbered ore chute. The lower section includes 21 “postcards” telling the history of the varied uses of the structure over the years.

Located near the historic Soo Line Depot Building, this mural represents both the Soo Line and Chicago and Northwestern rail lines that served Ashland.

Located near the historic Soo Line Depot Building, this mural represents both the Soo Line and Chicago and Northwestern rail lines that served Ashland.

The Storefront Mural features a variety of architecture found in the Ashland area.

The Storefront Mural features a variety of architecture found in the Ashland area.

Veterans Mural. All the veterans painted in the mural are actual people from the area.

Veterans Mural. All the veterans painted in the mural are actual people from the area.

The owner of this building wanted to honor the woman that helped raise him.  At her funeral the artist saw this photo of Florence dressed as a waitress and it became The Waitress Mural.

The owner of this building wanted to honor the woman that helped raise him. At her funeral the artist saw this photo of Florence dressed as a waitress and it became The Waitress Mural.

The Storefront Mural features a variety of architecture found in the Ashland area.

The Storefront Mural features a variety of architecture found in the Ashland area.

Not only is Ashland full of culture, but amazing food for the foodie in me, too! Naturally I treated myself to an authentic Mexican dinner at El Dorado followed by a scrumptious handmade marzipan truffle from Gabriele’s German Cookies & Chocolates. I’m already planning to visit Sixth Street Market’s for their award-winning bratwurst, available in a mind-boggling 38 flavors!

Ashland Gabriele's German Sweets

I’m going to check my calendar. What are you going to find in your area this week?

Big Bens Gyros Pita Planet bus

Big Bens Gyros Pita Planet bus

Big Bens Gyros Pita Planet

Big Bens Gyros Pita Planet

Rock River Inn Bass

Rock River Inn Bass

Boudreau's Antiques and Collectibles outside Ashland.

Boudreau’s Antiques and Collectibles outside Ashland.

Sunday in Michigan

August 2nd, 2015

Located at the gateway to the Apostle Islands on the south shore of Lake Superior in Northern Wisconsin, the Madeline Island Ferry Line provides passenger, bicycle and car transportation between the picturesque towns of LaPointe and Bayfield. I began my journey by stopping in the Madeline Island Information Station across from the ferry landing in Bayfield. A visit here will get everyone set for the ferry trip and to return when they have more time. I grabbed a walking tour brochure and knew that I wanted to return before ever setting foot on the island.

I took the 25-minute trip this weekend which provided spectacular views of the Lake itself and several of the 22 Apostle Islands. I felt my cares being left behind on the Wisconsin mainland as we floated across the bay.

Madeline Island is often called the spiritual home of the Ojibwe people, who have lived here hundreds of years before the first arrival of Europeans. The Ojibwe name for the island is Mooningwanekaaning, which means home of the golden breasted woodpecker.  Visitors to Madeline Island are now able to learn a few words of the Ojibwe language through bilingual Anishinabe and English way-finding signs.

Click here to learn more: http://www.madelineisland.com/

The 4-ton propeller was salvaged from the tug Ashland, a working vessel used to tow log rafts on Lake Superior in the early 1900s.

The 4-ton propeller was salvaged from the tug Ashland, a working vessel used to tow log rafts on Lake Superior in the early 1900s.

Fur trader Michel Cadotte

Fur trader Michel Cadotte

Michel Cadotte Fur Trade Post. Founded in 1792 Michel Cadotte married Equasayway, daughter of Chief Waudijejauk. The family traded, famed and welcomed visitors for over 50 years.

 

Madeline Island Candles Madeline Island flowers

Gnomes in front of Island Carvers

Gnomes in front of Island Carvers

Madeline Island Grampa Tonys Madeline Island ice cream

Madeline Island Inn and Pub

Madeline Island Inn and Pub

Metal mermaid at the Bell street Gallery

Metal mermaid at the Bell street Gallery

Mission Hill House

Mission Hill House

Ojibwe Cemetery

Ojibwe Cemetery

Post Office which is half of the original Old Mission dining room in 1900.

Post Office which is half of the original Old Mission dining room in 1900.

Red Snail Sculptures mark Friday Farmer's Market location

Red Snail Sculptures mark Friday Farmer’s Market location

Madeline Island walking tour

The Bayfield and Madeline Island area is situated in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest, a northern wonderland. Once you experience the tranquil lakeside views, relax and unwind in this postcard ready paradise you will never want to leave. I’ll be returning for sure.

Yet there was nothing new, thrilling or revolutionary at the Iron County Fair. I got the sense that’s exactly how the organizers liked it. “Same old, same old” makes for a consistent, old fashioned nature to a fair.

Sure enough, I sang revival songs in the 4H barn while the rain poured down, walked around a variety of antique tractors and watched a draft horse pull competition. That’s what I went for. I wanted to see pairs of draft horses harnessed up to pull a weighted sled. It’s quite a powerful sporting event.

It wasn’t razzle dazzle. There wasn’t tempting gooey fair food. It poured rain. And it was good enough for a Sunday in Michigan.

Iron County Fair 2 Iron County Fair 4 Iron County Fair 5 Iron County Fair 7 Iron County Fair 8 Iron County Fair 9 Iron County Fair 12 Iron County Fair 13 Iron County skies

 

Tamara's Journeys

Journeys as great as the destinations.