Saturday, January 28, 2012

Get Your "Little Slices" Today!!!

My dream has come true!  My first book, Little Slices of da Harbor is now available for sale!!!

Get a sneak peek inside:
Just click here.

You can purchase it:
Through me (personalized autographed copy) for $12 plus $2 shipping.  Email me at (amandak114 at yahoo dot com) with your address and who to pen it to.  Once I receive your check, I will mail it out.  Special rates available for multiple copies; just ask.

At the Laughing Loon or the Gas Lite General Store in Copper Harbor.  At Copper World in Calumet.  At Book World in Houghton.  Books retail for $12.95.

Online at

Come see me read!
I used to want to be an actress.  Reading my work to others it one of my favorite things to do.  This is what will make me famous :)  Find out where I'll be reading next here.  Or suggest I come to a town near you!

Thank you:
Kevin Blackstone for your wonderful illustrations and patience.

To my family and friends in da Harbor for all your support.

Angela at Booklocker for printing this for me.

To YOU for purchasing your own copy!  "Like" it on facebook and stay updated.

I hope you love it as much as I have enjoyed writing it!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Snow Covered Stretch

Here is a video I took while driving to work at the Bear Belly in Lac La Belle two days ago.  I was awed by the beauty in the trees.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

250 Foot Tower on Brockway Mountain? You Decide.

You are probably well aware that, when you come to da Harbor, your cell phone does not work.  Either you love the fact that you can turn it off, so no one can bother you, or you hate the fact that you can't stay connected in case of an emergency.  Personally, I like the fact that this area is free from cell tower radiation.

But my opinion is irrelevant because plans are in place to put a couple towers up.  Copper Harbor will have cell phone service through Verizon.  Possibly by 2013.  This fact doesn't really bother me -- technology is inevitable (and hey, maybe the internet will be faster!).

If you click on the photos below, you will see a photoshopped version of what bothers me, and most others who love their unscathed vistas while driving into Copper Harbor and along Brockway Mountain Drive.

If this bothers you too, you can sign a petition to let Keweenaw County know that they should investigate other options besides a 250 tower on one of the historic landmarks of America.  A few smaller towers could be used, for example.

Here is the link to the petition.  I have signed it myself.  Let's help da Harbor keep it's natural beauty!

In the mean time, Let It Snow!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Over the Nose of Brockway

Okay, I lied.  When I woke up on Saturday, it was no longer snowing.  I was too late to get to Mount Bohemia for first chair, so I decided to skip it.  I figured it would get skied up pretty quick; there were lots of tourists around.

Instead Mr. Butters and I snowshoed up the Nose of Brockway Mountain.  We crossed Hwy. 41 at the Garden Brook Trail then headed straight up the ridge.  I have never done it from the south side before.

The thing that surprised me the most about this ascent was the number of valleys I crossed on the way up.  Valleys!  It was nice to have a break during the climb, but it was even more awesome to discover the unique terrain.  Here is a picture of rocks at the top of one of these valleys.  Yes, I climbed up it.

Large boulders on the south side of Brockway.

Finally, with the help of tree trunks and juniper bushes, we made it to the top.  One section close to the top was really steep.  Duce even whined as he looked around for a possibility up.  I let him climb over me for traction.

At the top, we had this view.

Overlooking the Harbor and Lake Fanny Hooe.

Lots of snowmobilers were up there too.  I could hear them coming around the corner of the Nose and in the distance on the opposite ridge by Clark Mine Road.

Cautiously, we crossed the snowmobile trail and began our descent.  It was pretty flat and open at first.  A little too flat and open.  But that all made sense when we got to the cliff.  Yup, the cliff.

It was pretty much straight down.  Luckily, there were lots of trees for me to grab onto as gravity took over.  I literally had to hang on to a tree trunk or two, then let myself slide down to where I could either grab another tree with my hand or stop myself with my snowshoe.  I desperately wanted to take a video of this for you, but I realized I would probably hurt myself really bad if I tried to do it one-handed.

At only one point did I think I was in really deep doodoo.  I slid too far and ended up sliding headfirst out of control.  Hoo!  Was I glad when I stopped and regained control!  I looked up and Duce was whining again, “Mom!  I’m too scared to go down like that too!”  So I braced myself, and held out my arms to him.  “Come on down, Bud!  I’ll catch you!”  And I did.  

We made it down safely, but I had to pick some branches out of my snowshoes, and one of my boots came untied.  Could have been worse, I suppose.  When we hit the snowmobile trail at the bottom of the Nose, I looked up to see what we just came down.

Did we really just come down that?

Ah, yes.  Another somewhat dangerous adventure under our belts.

As for today, I shoveled four inches of the heaviest, wettest snow I've seen all winter.  Nice.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Copper Harbor Playground

It's snowing!  SNOWING!  For days.  I love it.  Hello, Winter!  Glad you made it to da Harbor!

In this snow, I've been playing.  I've been cross country skiing twice and gone on a wonderful snowshoe with friends since I posted last.  Tomorrow I plan to snowboard at Mt. Bohemia.  Yes, the snow is so good, I'm going on a Saturday!

The world is my playground.  I can go where I please on whatever gear is most suitable for the conditions and my imagination.  Well, some fine folks in Copper Harbor also want to create a playground for the school kids, families that come up in the summer and all the babies that are being born around here.

TV 6 News did a nice blurb on this project the other night.  Click here to watch that video.

They also have a website where you can keep updated on their progress and donate to help them reach their goal.

So if you're ready, come out and play!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A Snowshoe with You!

This post contains FIVE VIDEOS for your viewing pleasure.

Yesterday I went for a snowshoe on my double lakeshore loop.  And guess what, you came with me!!!

I took a video in five different spots along the way of this 2 1/2 mile (give or take) stretch.  So you can see all the wonders I saw without getting cold or sweaty!  My special guest, as always, is Mr. Butters.

All the links are below.  Best if watched in order from top to bottom.  Enjoy!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Shreddin Some Pow

It has been snowing almost consistently for about 48 hours.  Yesssssssssssss!!!

That made me want to go snowboarding at Mt. Bohemia.  Yesterday was the first time I've gone since they opened 6 days before.  Aaron and I got there right away for first chair.  The snow was glorious, and I made lots of runs down the front side before I even went to the back side in the Bear Den.  And the snow was even better back there!!!

I rode by myself for most of the day, but I almost prefer that (although the chair ride up gets a little chilly!). All in all I made 16 runs down in the time we could be there.  Made lots of turns, took a couple diggers, shivered my buns off and saw some friends.  It was lovely.

Now I'll just wait for a few more inches to fall and all the weekend tourists to go back home.  Then hopefully I can do it again next week!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

My Book is Almost Ready...

To my delight, the UPS man pulled over and handed me my book while I was on my way to check the mailbox for it.  I told him he made my day.

It really turned out nice.  I wish it was all ready to go, but you know (or maybe you don't know) how you can always notice more mistakes in text when it's on paper instead of on the computer.  Oh yes, I found some of those.  So they shall be corrected, and that shall take more time.

In the meanwhile, here's a picture of me being ecstatic with my first printed copy of my book, Little Slices of da Harbor.

My book and I.  So happy together.

I'll let you know the moment it's ready to rumble.  Thanks for your patience!


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Attack on Fort Juniper

I did all I could to make sure no one found my secret hideout.  It is not visible from the trail, and I always cover my foot tracks when I leave.  

Whenever I go back to work on Fort Juniper, I always tell it Thank You for still being there.  Yesterday my gratitude was premature.

Yesterday's melting roof tops, slushy parking lots and blue skies told me the snow would make impeccable packing.  I took my big red shovel, a window for the north wall, snacks, water and a PBR to the site.  I knew I would be there all day.

I was a little hesitant at the fact that I would have to bust down part of my north wall in order to install the window at the proper height, but I knew I could rebuild that section quickly enough.  When I got there, however, I realized someone already busted that wall for me.  Mr. Sun was the culprit.

The attack from 40 degrees and too much sun on Fort Juniper.

So at least I was mentally prepared for the damage.  That part of the wall was going to come down anyway.  This also taught me a valuable lesson about building snow forts.  As I stared at it in the sun, I knew I had to redo all the walls twice as thick and twice as dense.  Mr. Sun would NOT ambush Fort Juniper again.

I got busy right away and reinforced everything.  I even changed the floor plan.  I honestly surprised myself with how quickly I worked, but I knew that the next day would bring more cold weather, so I had to build as much as I could that day.

But construction was efficient.  Instead of packing on handfuls of fluff, I was pressing on shovelfuls of solid snow.  I used quite a radius of ground snow for material.  This is how I left it.  I know, I didn't even get the window in yet!

After the rebuild.
I know, it doesn't look that much bigger, but hey, it's tougher!

As the winds turned colder, I packed up to go home.  I was soaked anyway.  On the way I took a loop around to Lake Fanny Hooe and caught this sunset.  

Pink skies over Lake Fanny Hooe.

The snow has been melting for the last two days, but today we got just over an inch.  I have only three words for that: LET IT SNOW!!!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Up and Down the Mountain

It's a beautiful day in da Harbor with patchy sun and temps in the 30's.  Although, a beautiful day in da Harbor would also be 20 degrees, white skies, 15 mph NW winds and snow falling an inch an hour!  I'll keep the latter on my wish list.

I just got back from Fort Juniper.  Since the temps rose, I thought the snow would be nice and packy for building.  However, the air is still dry, and my snowbricks were crumbly.  Oh well.  I laid in it for a while and listened to the wind blow in the trees.  It's a pretty calm day, but the breeze sounds nice.  The lake is also beautifully blue and calm today.

Mt. Bohemia is forecasted to open this Saturday.  Then my friends and I can take the chair lift up!  Throughout the week, we have already skied it up pretty good by skinning up and skiing down.  

I have only done this for two days since 1) I am not that great of a skier... I'm a snowboarder!  So the way down often uses as much energy as the way up.  2) Have you ever climbed Mt. Bohemia?  It's hard enough in the summer with boots, let alone skis on your feet and a backpack on your back.  But maybe I am just a wuss :)

It was fun, though.  I definitely learned a lot, and my legs are getting stronger.  Thank goodness for my patient friends!

Me and Tiki half way up the front side.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A Wintery Collage

Happy 2012!  Make it a good one!

Today I saw an ermine running along the snow bank.  Duce saw it too, and he chased it through its tunnel in the snow and right up a cedar tree.  I took a couple pictures, but he was so snowy white that he just looked like a snowball in the branches.  Cute and quick little guy.

I did some more work on Fort Juniper today.  My goal is to build up the north wall first since that is where the coldest winds blow from.  It's coming along, all right.  It was so nice to lay in there on such a windy day and not get pelted by what's blowing!

Other than that, I took a few wintery pictures yesterday that I thought you might enjoy.

Five inches of snow on Fanny Hooe.  Looking toward East Bluff.
Compare this to the picture in "Skating Rink.")

A panoramic view of the snowy trees on Fanny Hooe.

Superior's shoreline looking west from inside the Harbor.

I particularly like the bank of clouds behind this freighter.

Ice on the west end of the Harbor.

Let it snow!!!