Tamara's Journeys

Journeys as great as the destinations.

Friday Funnies

October 30th, 2015

I was warned to be cautious of the residents when I first came to work in the Upper Peninsula in February. I was told “They aren’t happy bumpkins up there in the north. They have their own brand of misery from being cold and isolated too long.”

I will admit Yoopers are “special.” But in Florida I’ve run across kooky people who want to have themselves cryogenically frozen when they die in hopes they’ll be thawed out (and looking young) sometime in the future. What you may not know is that they experimented in the U.P. long ago to see how far they could deep freeze people and not kill them. Behold the Yooper!

When thawed, every Yooper has a layer of permafrost just beneath the skin. The ice chills all normal human attributes. The technical term for this condition is hypothermia of the spirit. This freezing and thaw means the local residents have never really gotten warm, perpetually tight lipped.

Being tight lipped and isolated by geography over the years, Yoopers have evolved in unusual ways. One that I find amusing is the suspicion of those “from away.” I’ve been asked, “Do you know how miserably cold it gets here?” “Did you come here to have some laughs and then go home and tell jokes about us quaint local yokels?” No, I’m not waiting until I get home to write jokes.

A few Yoopers have warmed up to me, and I’ve had to train my ears to understand what they are saying. The melody pattern of their speech has strange up and down swoops. They substitute D and T for TH sounds: “Dis, day and da udder ting.” An emphatic “eh” is added at the end of most every sentence, and I wonder if a basic sentence is now some sort of challenge. But the most disturbing of all is a strange inhaled “Yeehup” when silent intervals occur in the conversation. They occur often.

It’s fun for me trying to decipher if these quasi-verbal manifestations are affirmations, expressions of disgust, or symptoms of a rare respiratory illness caused by breathing mine dust, tree pollen or too much cold air. I’ll let you know if I figure it out, but I haven’t come to a firm conclusion yet.

Seeing God Across the Country: San Francisco

October 28th, 2015

You were lost, without God, without hope. But now you belong to Christ Jesus, and though you once were far away from God, now you have been brought very near to him because of what Jesus Christ has done for you with his blood. Ephesians 2:12-13

It became known as “the bridge that couldn’t be build.” Farsighted engineers had dreamed for decades about a bridge that would span the Golden Gate Strait, the channel linking San Francisco Bay to the Pacific Ocean. Beautiful as San Francisco might have been, it was dependent on ferry boats for its livelihood. Those who dreamed of a bridge linking the San Francisco peninsula with Marin County were opposed by a host of experts who claimed it couldn’t be done. The 6,700 foot strait was too wide and too deep. Currents and tides were too strong, and when you considered the sudden winds and thick blankets of fog, the whole idea was too dangerous, too costly and virtually impossible.

Yet, after decades of debate the project was launched in January 1933, and completed four years later in May 1937. Today the graceful orange span is one of America’s most familiar and beloved landmarks.

Golden Gate Bridge view from my hostel.

Golden Gate Bridge view from my hostel.

Another beloved bridge is the emotional connection between people that acts as a bridge connecting their lives. Last January when I traveled to San Francisco to see the famous Golden Gate Bridge and ended up bridging a connection with a cousin that had been severed for 35 years with no communication. The bridge that tethered our childhood relationship had been deeply broken by lies and in need of repair. I can’t imagine a more symbolic place to start rebuilding our relationship.

Reunited with my cousin Lorelei after 35 long years! This was amazing!

Reunited with my cousin Lorelei after 35 long years! This was amazing!

The Bible makes it clear that the relationship bridge between God and man has been completely shattered by sin. The Bible says, “Your iniquities have separated you from your God…”The gap between a hold God and sinful men and women was too wide, too far, and too deep. From all appearances, it was the bridge that couldn’t be built. How could God ever span such a gap?

Jesus, the Son of God, became the bridge. On the cross, He gave His life to save us from eternal separation from God. Jesus Christ is the bridge to eternal life. We could have never created a way to bridge the terrible distance between us on our own. I am so grateful God didn’t think it a distance “impossible” to bridge.

To read my Sunday in California click: http://emiling.com/sunday-california and http://emiling.com/monday-san-francisco

Friday Funnies

October 23rd, 2015

Am I the only one that thinks being diagnosed with viral laryngitis is amusing? After all, I’m a physical therapist assistant working in a nursing home with the elderly that can’t hear me on a good day! Thursday a doctor prescribed a round of steroids to reduce inflammation. So now I can’t speak, and I’m on steroids which enhances emotions and is giving me nose bleeds. I’ll be performing crabby charades. This is going to be a fun Friday!

After work yesterday I went into Walgreens and said ‘Have you got anything for laryngitis?’ And the pharmacist said ‘Good afternoon ma’am. What can I do for you?’ Tsk tsk!

Feeling a need for a soothing pick me up, I went to get ice cream to sooth my throat. I asked, “What flavors of ice cream do you have?” “Vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate,” answered the new waitress in a hoarse whisper. Trying to be sympathetic, I whispered, “Do you have laryngitis?” “No….” replied the new waitress with some effort, “just…erm…. vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate.”

A man tells his doctor that his wife has laryngitis. The doctor said there was nothing he could do to cure it. The man said, “Cure it? I want to prolong it.”

Doug goes to see his physician and says, “Doc, my wife recently lost her voice, what should I do to help her get it back?” The doctor says, “Just try coming home at three in the morning.”

And last but not least: Q. What do you call a veterinarian with laryngitis? D. A hoarse doctor.

Seeing God Across the Country: Boston

October 21st, 2015

Stop at the crossroads and look around. Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it. Travel its path and you will find rest for your souls. Jeremiah 6:16

The path I followed the Fourth of July weekend 2014 is marked in red. Winding its way through downtown Boston, the Freedom Trail is a 2-1/2 mile walking path linking sixteen historic landmarks. Boston has always taken in its revolutionary past. But in 1951 a local journalist came up with a revolutionary idea of his own: link significant historic sites with a pedestrian trail so that visitors like me could explore them in a self-guided tour. That’s just what the city of Boston did, and countless visitors from around the world have walked the Freedom Trail ever since.

Stops along the path include the Boston Common, the Old Statehouse, site of the Boston Massacre, the Bunker Hill Monument and the historic frigate USS Constitution. All people need to be able to do is know how to follow a red line. There are special markers in the sidewalk marking important stops along the way. I imagine before the Freedom Trail, visitors armed with maps or guidebooks might have found a few sites, but would have ended up becoming confused and/or lost in the city. The red path has made it easy for people like me.

When it comes to finding a relationship with God and a path to heaven, God made it so simple a little child could find the way. Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” The Freedom Trail through life and all the way to heaven was made possible by Jesus, the One who painted the red line with His own blood given for us on the cross.

I’m so grateful that I didn’t have to wander aimlessly through Boston and that He left a red trail, so clearly marked that leads to Heaven so I don’t have to wander here and there looking for the way.

To view my Boston post click here: http://emiling.com/sunday-massachusetts

All my Boston photos: http://emiling.com/photos/boston-massachusetts

The Freedom Trail Sign

The Freedom Trail Sign

Sunday in Michigan

October 18th, 2015

The Keweenaw is Michigan’s copper country and there is so much to see! And no better place to host my brother’s 40th birthday. This weekend’s adventure reminded me of our childhood game “X marks the spot.” Ever since we were kids, we all knew that’s where the hidden treasure was. A treasure that could be virtually anything, and was always as big as our imaginations. To find such riches today, all we need to do is follow the roads that lead to the Keweenaw Peninsula. The treasures you’ll take home are Pure Michigan.

The adventure begins the minute you cross the Houghton Lift Bridge and continue onto the Copper Country Trail National Byway.  The 47-mile stretch of US-41 from Houghton to Copper Harbor follows the copper lode that lies deep underground and is the basis of the Keweenaw’s exciting and turbulent history.

This moveable bridge is a lift bridge with the middle section capable of being lifted from its low point of four feet clearance over the water to a clearance of 100 feet to allow boats to pass underneath.

This moveable bridge is a lift bridge with the middle section capable of being lifted from its low point of four feet clearance over the water to a clearance of 100 feet to allow boats to pass underneath.

The Portage Lake Lift Bridge connects the cities of Hancock and Houghton.

The Portage Lake Lift Bridge connects the cities of Hancock and Houghton.

Houghton's beautiful St. Ignatius of Loyola Catholic church

Houghton’s beautiful St. Ignatius of Loyola Catholic church

Gracie's first pasty at Roy's Pasty shop

Gracie’s first pasty at Roy’s Pasty shop

Filled with cronut goodness at Roy's

Filled with cronut goodness at Roy’s

Houghton County Corthouse

Houghton County Corthouse

The fall colors along the Copper Country Trail are something that everyone loves to see.  The hills were alive with Spectacular reds, bright oranges, and electric yellows color created by the special mix of sugar maples, birch and oaks of the northern forests. The colors are now past peak and some leaves have started to fall from the trees but there is still some color throughout the peninsula.

Fall foliage along US41

Fall foliage along US41

The drive even relaxed our four legged friends.

The drive even relaxed our four legged friends.

Silver River Falls is not the most exciting waterfall I’ve explored in the U.P., but we were ready to stretch our legs and breathe in some crisp, cold air. Why not do that while searching for one of the ten Keweenaw’s lovely waterfalls? If you are feeling really adventurous, you can bushwhack upstream for about a mile to find more waterfalls of a similar size since there’s no trail to the Upper Silver Falls. We passed on that option, as we did the hike into the Copper Harbor Petroglyphs.

Silver Falls is only a few minutes from the road, it’s a short hike of medium difficulty that gets you back in the woods to this 15-foot high waterfall tucked in a peaceful section of the woods full of green and brown colors.

Silver Falls is only a few minutes from the road, it’s a short hike of medium difficulty that gets you back in the woods to this 15-foot high waterfall tucked in a peaceful section of the woods full of green and brown colors.

The state’s lighthouse heritage is well recognized by nine lighthouses on the peninsula and seeing them doesn’t require as much hiking. Michigan is the only state that supports lighthouse preservation with volunteers working hard to save and restore lighthouses. Due to time and weather constraints we were only able to see Cooper Harbor and Eagle during this visit.

Copper Harbor Lighthouse in schoolhouse style matching Ontanogon Lighthouse

Copper Harbor Lighthouse in schoolhouse style matching Ontanogon Lighthouse

Eagle Harbor Lighthouse

Eagle Harbor Lighthouse

Eagle Harbor Lighthouse

Eagle Harbor Lighthouse

Lake Superior 1

A light unto the world serving Thimbleberry Jam was a main driving force for this adventure. Jampot is housed at a Catholic Monastery in the middle of nowhere, belonging to the Ukrainian Metropoly tucked nicely among the trees and shoreline of Lake Superior in Eagle Harbor. This is a sweet discovery full of candies, jams and baked goods we couldn’t resist. Whenever I suggest a visit to the Keweenaw, I will highly recommend a visit to the Jampot. It was worth the drive for the Thimbleberry jam, plum jam, chocolate muffins, blueberry muffin, fruitcake and jalapeno caramel. Warning: a single slice of the fruitcake could leave you loopy!

We made it to Jampot!!!

We made it to Jampot!!!

Jampot bakery

Jampot bakery

Our Jampot bootie basket

Our Jampot bootie basket

Jampot monastery

Jampot monastery

Jampot famous jam selection

Jampot famous jam selection

Established in 1992 to preserve and interpret the story of the rise, domination and decline of the region’s copper mining industry. Keweenaw Heritage Sites were established to help make a unique contribution to the copper mining story. Embodying stories of hardship, ingenuity, struggle and success, the Calumet site allows visitors to explore the role mining played in people’s lives here and afar.

We were very impressed at the work that has gone into the Calumet sites we saw, sadly most from the outside due to arriving late in the season. However, we were able to tour the Calumet Opera House. When its doors opened in 1900, the Calumet Opera House became one of the finest municipal theatres in America. Many famous traveling drama companies and musicians, from Madame Helena Modjeska to John Phillip Sousa, have performed here. The theatre still presents a variety of theatre, music, opera and dance throughout the year. The amount of detail was stunning.   http://www.keweenaw.info/national–historical-state-parks-60/

Calumet Opera House 2 Calumet Opera House 5 Calumet Opera House 7

Also within the National Heritage Site sits the Laurium Manor welcoming visitors to experience the opulence of the early 1900’s with modern amenities. The Laurium Manor Inn has been beautifully restored into an historic mansion hotel that has been welcoming guests since 1989. This copper baron mansion has 10 guestroom with private baths in its 13,000 square feet on four floors. A parlor, library, den, dining room complete with elephant hide chairs, and third floor ballroom. A stay here is the latest addition to my bucket list. Fun fact: At a time when miners were making 25 cents per hour, this house was built at a cost of $50,000 and $35,000 of furnishings were added! http://www.laurium.info/

Laurium Manor 2 Laurium Manor 4 Laurium Manor 8 Laurium Manor 9 Laurium Manor 11

In 1843, six years before the California Gold Rush, prospectors came to the Keweenaw not for gold, but for copper. In 1848, the Quincy Mining Company was established and became the second largest mine in the Lake Superior region by the late 1880’s. Today, visitors can explore many copper mines in the western Upper Peninsula. We decided to stop at the Adventure Mining Co. on the way home.

Whatever your vacation plans in the U.P. may be, be sure they include a stop by the Adventure Mining Company to boldly (and very coldly) go where no underground mine tour has gone before! The Adventure Copper Mine is one of the best preserved copper mines and it offers tours for everyone ranging from 1 hour walking to 6 hour tours that involve rappelling with a rope and harness. We had a very knowledgeable tour guide who held everyone’s attention but Gracie’s. She had a very good nap during the majority of the tour in spite of hanging bats and us turning off our headlights to experience the darkness. http://www.adventureminetours.com/

Adventure Mine 2 Adventure Mine 3

This piece of float copper weighs 1 ton!

This piece of float copper weighs 1 ton!

Adventure Mining Company logo

Adventure Mining Company logo

This is one of the bats seeking a nice place to hibernate for winter.

This is one of the bats seeking a nice place to hibernate for winter.

Now it’s time for the all too familiar feeling when the vacation is ending. It was a fabulous fall trip with my family and now we’ll work to acclimate back to everyday life. In the midst of this thrust to readjust to regular life, I’ll take time to reflect on our trip by sharing the details of our getaway with all of you. We learned a great deal about the lives of early miners in the area and will each take away special memories.

Sharing jalapeno carmel from Jampot while at Fitzgerald's for lunch

Sharing jalapeno carmel from Jampot while at Fitzgerald’s for lunch

Exploring Gorge Falls

Exploring Gorge Falls

Experiencing first snowfall of the season together

Experiencing first snowfall of the season together

By next week I can start planning again! I am already missing my family, but there’s no better way to cure a travel hangover than to pull out a map, do some research and get excited about the amazing adventures to come. What do you think??

Seeing God Across the Country: Denali

October 14th, 2015

You faithfully answer our prayers with awesome deeds, O God our savior. You are the hope of everyone on earth … Your formed the mountains by your power and armed yourself with mighty strength. Psalm 65: 5-6

I’m a member of “The Thirty Percent Club.” One of the 30% of visitors to Mount McKinley (now Denali) who actually see the towering mountain peak instead of the clouds that usually shroud it from view. Alaska summers are often drenched with rain, and McKinley is so massive that it creates its own weather. Which is why I went in April of 2005 to celebrate my August birthday.

Denali is the highest mountain in North America. Denali National Park covers 6 million acres filled with wildlife, boundless lands and unmatched tranquility in its vast wilderness. The park is located in the Alaskan Range about 170 miles southwest of Fairbanks. In spite of being remote, a whopping 425,000 people make the trip every year trying to catch a glimpse of one of the greatest mountain peaks in the world.

Even though odds are against a clear view of the peak, people still come, waiting and hoping for a break in the clouds so they can fill their eyes with the most grand and glorious mountain in the United States.

We all need glimpses of such greatness because we live so much of our lives consumed by annoying minutiae. We become overwhelmed by a thousand little problems, frustrations and personal roadblocks that keep us from living on a higher, more satisfying level. A much needed vacation and a glimpse of a mighty mountain can certainly bring some temporary relief to our souls. Spending time with the One that formed Denali with His hands, and filling our eyes and hearts with a fresh gaze at Him can bring relief that will last a lifetime.

I don’t know about you, but I look forward to setting aside my problems and concerns long enough to fill my thoughts with His greatness as often as possible. Our God is a mighty God. Hallelujah! Give Him the chance to clear the clouds in your mind, because we need to see Him.

Mount Denali

Mount Denali

Dall Sheep in Denali National Park

Dall Sheep in Denali National Park

Denali National Park

Denali National Park

Grizzly Bear in Denali National Park

Grizzly Bear in Denali National Park

Bull Moose in Denali National Park

Bull Moose in Denali National Park

Sunday in Michigan

October 11th, 2015

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula provides a wonderful setting for leisurely fall leaf peeping drives. Fall has signaled its arrival with the sweet smell of slow turning of leaves in the air. Michigan’s 19 million acres of woods are near the peak of their crescendo into vibrant crimsons, oranges and golds, finally exploding in their stunning annual blaze of color around every bend in the road.

A good choice for U.P. leaf peeping is the Watersmeet area. This scenic area is a blur of woods, wildlife and, of course, water. Watersmeet is where the Ontonagon River flows north into Lake Superior, the Wisconsin River flows south into the Mississippi, and the Paint River flows east into Lake Michigan. Fall color is abundant in this area with its spruce, balsam, maple, birch, and aspen trees, many of them 300-400 years old!

Bond Falls 1 Bond Falls 4 Bond Falls 6

My surprise was following autumn finery to find Bond Falls tumbling 50 feet over a thick belt of fractured rock, dividing it into numerous small cascades. Turns out Bond Falls is one of those “best kept secret” spots on the Western Upper Peninsula that you want to make sure you don’t miss. This beautiful water fall is located on the middle branch of the Ontonagon River near Paulding. Although it doesn’t get the press of the famous Taquamenon Falls, it’s been listed as one of the most scenic natural places in the world! http://www.michigandnr.com/parksandtrails/Details.aspx?id=412&type=SPRK

Bond Falls 9 Bond Falls 10 Bond Falls 14 Bond Falls 17 Bond Falls 21 Bond Falls 23 Bond Falls 24

It was a splendid fall day with crisp air and vibrant fall foliage. When I returned home to upload the photos from my phone I was shocked to see that I had captured a glowing light in one of them. This has never happened before so I zoomed in and the glowing orb was definitely there. I was actually disappointed because it distracted from the foliage. Later I was researching Bond Falls and read that others have seen strange lights in Paulding that rises out of the night forest, hovers, and disappears.

Paulding's Light?

Paulding’s Light?

I was near Paulding, but not in town and not at night. Yet, I was to witness the “Paulding Light,” without knowing what it was. Is it a ghost, gases or car lights? Theories abound. One story tells about a man out late one night carrying a lantern looking for his lost little boy in the woods. Supposedly, the man was hit by a train and his ghost continues to search for his son! The conclusion is yours.

Meanwhile, may you be awed as you dwell in the magical beauty of this season.

Bond Falls 18

Friday Funnies

October 9th, 2015

My brother tried to warn me. He’s had experience with the dangerous white tailed deer. Let me pass the word: The wildlife up here can be dangerous.

There are more deer in the Upper Peninsula than humans and many of them seem to be determined to commit suicide on the grill of your vehicle. Serious! I speak from VERY close encounters over the past 2 months with deer, one that was close enough to my driver’s window I could have kissed it. It was almost as if the deer would earn special deer points if it managed to get through my window.

It’s something to think about when driving on the narrow roads with dense forests on both sides. Which pretty much describes all the roads in this region of the U.P.

You may be thinking I’m exaggerating. After all, I’m a traveler attempting to write a funny blog post and probably making up deer stories. I promise I’m not.  The term “deer caught in the headlights” exists for a reason. Although they might look cute, deer are the dumbest animals in the Upper Peninsula. Here are some tips on how to avoid hitting them.

Understanding deer behavior is one of the first and best ways to avoid a deer encounter. Deer are social animals, so if you see one, youbetcha there are more. Because they travel in packs, deer operate on the follow-the-leader principle: Once one animal crosses a road, the others are likely to follow. They also tend to make split-second decisions: Just because a deer seems perfectly happy on one side of the road as you approach doesn’t mean that it won’t change its mind and dart across at the very moment you drive by.

Deer are most active from dusk until dawn. This means they’re most active when your eyes are least equipped to spot them. Thankfully, deer come factory-equipped with a reflective glowing eyes. Scan the darkness constantly for two shiny greenish-yellow dots looking your direction. They’re either deer or an alligator.

deer-in-headlights

There are, of course, devices that are said to ward off deer.  My family’s favorite, the “deer whistle”, is stuck to nearly every vehicle bumper in the U.P. It’s supposed to work by using wind to generate a high-frequency sound that scares the deer off, but I’m not so sure it works. My defense is to play it safe: Anticipate a visit from these hooved idiots, assuming that they’ll probably wander into my path at the worst possible time.

P.S. There were no deer injured to create this funny/informative post. I think deer are beautiful to watch. Just stay away from my car!!

Seeing God Across the Country: Williamsburg, Virginia

October 7th, 2015

For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Romans 15:4

Colonial Williamsburg, one of my all time favorite places, holds a special place in my heart. Regardless of the season, I enjoy it. I’ve been asked if it’s like a museum. No, I wouldn’t really call Colonial Williamsburg a museum. It’s more like a living re-creation of one of the most important and dynamic eras of our nation’s history. This very popular Virginia attraction covers over three hundred acres and includes houses, shops, and other public buildings that have been lovingly reconstructed on their original foundations. The historical area also includes eighty-eight original structures dating from 1699 to 1780. The idea behind this restoration isn’t just to preserve buildings and artifacts, it’s an attempt to capture the atmosphere, flavor (peanut soup is a personal favorite) and ideals of this vital era.

Visitors can choose between guided or self-guided tours, meeting people in authentic eighteenth-century garb and viewing buildings like the courthouse, jail, capitol building, governor’s palace and individual colonial homes. Along the way, you might have a chance encounter with famous patriots like Patrick Henry. It’s so easy to get caught up in the lives and routines of colonial people, shopkeepers and want to stay! (As I write this I realize I really need to get back. It’s been too long since I’ve been to Williamsburg.)

Williamsburg 1

In the same way, the Bible contains a great deal of history, but is so much more than a history book. In fact, it’s alive! The New Testament tells us that “the word of God is alive and active…” Somehow, though the sixty-six books of the Bible were written through divine inspiration thousands of years ago by different people living in different eras, they all come together as a living, breathing whole.

Just like in Colonial Williamsburg, readers can wander the streets, alleys and pathways of Scripture, pause in courtyards, peer into windows, walk into different rooms and find real people interacting with a real God. And everything you see, hear, and touch will have some application for your life now in the twenty-first century.

A walk through Williamsburg is delightful, interesting and will inspire anyone who visits. A walk of faith through the Bible may turn your whole life upside down with insights that reach into eternity and this very moment of your life.

More on Colonial Williamsburg: http://www.history.org/

Sunday in Michigan

October 4th, 2015

Hailed as the “Best Festival in Wisconsin” by Wisconsin Trails Magazine and one of the “10 Best Fall Harvest Festivals in the Nation” by USA TODAY, the annual Apple Festival is a celebration of the autumn harvest in Bayfield I was not going to miss. But what exactly makes it so great? Is it the charming small town atmosphere? The famous Pipes and Drums of Thunder Bay? The countless booths of fresh apple pies, tarts, caramel apples, ciders and other fall treats? Well … YES!

I would suggest to anyone planning on attending the festival next year to arrive early on Saturday morning to enjoy Bayfield’s Pipe and Drums wakeup concert. I was thrilled to have the chance to see them play. Pipes and Drums is one of the oldest traditional pipe bands in Canada and was established in 1912. Since then they’ve won numerous marching awards and been a favorite addition to the Apple Festival for several years. This was a highlight of my day at the Apple Festival.

Pipes and Drums of Thunder Bay

Pipes and Drums of Thunder Bay

Saturday events also featured an apple peeling contest, orchard tours, more food, classic cars, bands and the Apple Queen Coronation celebration. I wouldn’t trust myself to peel an apple like the contestants did. They seemed unfazed by onlookers and cold hands as they quickly trimmed the apple skins into thin spiraled scrolls. Fun fact: the longest peel recorded in this contest was 387 inches!!

Apple Peeling Contest

Apple Peeling Contest

There were also over 60 food, art and craft booths lining Rittenhouse Avenue all strategically placed to encourage visitors to shop in the many unique Bayfield shops. And shop people did!

Bayfield Aoole Fest 36

Warren Nelson who’s songs bring to life stories of the region

Bayfield Aoole Fest 17 Bayfield Aoole Fest 18 Bayfield Aoole Fest 22 Bayfield Aoole Fest 23 Bayfield Aoole Fest 26 Bayfield Aoole Fest 27 Bayfield Aoole Fest 28 Bayfield Aoole Fest 29 Bayfield Aoole Fest 35

A mass band comprised of regional high schools students playing in unison.

A mass band comprised of regional high schools students playing in unison.

Crowds aren’t my thing, so I preferred to venture off to a few orchards. I started at Hauser’s Superior View Farm to watch apple butter being made over an open wood fire and purchased a jar of apple butter to take home. There were also famous apple dumplings, apple pies, tortes, caramel apples and fudge available. The smells were indescribable! As if that weren’t enough to entertain the children, they could enjoy pony rides, face painting, getting lost in a straw bale maze, paint a pumpkin or spend time in a bounce house.

Bayfield Aoole Fest 5 Bayfield Aoole Fest 9 Bayfield Aoole Fest 10 Bayfield Aoole Fest 32 Bayfield Aoole Fest 39 Bayfield Aoole Fest 42

Wherever you are, celebrate the joy of fall and make the most of what the harvest season has to offer.

Friday Funnies

October 2nd, 2015

I agreed to travel to the Upper Peninsula February – May and again late July – October for strategic purposes. Insects. I hate bugs.

Bug season in the U.P. extends from May to September and features several relentless insects, in overlapping hordes. I left in May just in time to miss their pesky blackflies. But they found me in Maine. Undeterred by repellents, they like wet areas with creeks and rivers. Michigan and Maine are geographically similar in that way. A neighbor once told me blackflies work better then Botox for eliminating wrinkles. Cheaper too.

The most evil critter that both states share is the wood tick. I hate them and nearly ceased all forest hiking in Maine due to the stealthy tick. They jump right on you, and then bury themselves under your skin and suck your blood. You don’t even realize it! Best to stay away from the U.P. May, June and most of July rather than risk an encounter with a wood tick.

However, they don’t have a single mosquito up here. No siree. They’ve all married and had thousands of children! I repeat, best to stay away from the U.P. May, June and most of July until the wood ticks go dormant and the mosquitos have waned to nearly tolerable levels. Yes, there are some very strong bug dopes to use, however if I put something on my skin that can be measured in my liver within the hour, I tend to stay away from it. That might explain why some of the local population is somewhat unstable. LOL

Be sure to visit during September – May when life in the Upper Peninsula is absolutely spectacular!

Tamara's Journeys

Journeys as great as the destinations.