Monday, April 30, 2012

Parking Lot Shock

On Saturday my heart stood still.  My breathe became hasty and shallow.  My stomach knotted up.  My brain was paralyzed for a moment.  There were cars everywhere!  What is going on????  Why are all these people here???  It's only April!!!

And there I stood, watching all the cars pull in and out of the General Store -- some on the side of the road because the lot was full.  My body was in shock like it was July.

Breathe, Amanda, breathe.  I told myself.  It's okay.  You don't have to go to work and serve all these people.  It will all be over soon.  After a few deep breaths, I relaxed to my normal self (Ha!  "Normal self" is an oxymoron).

I was reminded later that it was the weekend that Michigan Tech and Finlandia University graduate.  Whew!  Just a bunch of college kids and their parents and families.  I'm doing much better now.

But that brings me to wonder: if  I feel like that for a few seconds just because the Gas Lite and the Mariner's parking lot are full,  HOW DO I SURVIVE THE SUMMER WHEN IT'S LIKE THAT ALL THE TIME???  

You might think I'm being dramatic.  You are entitled to you're own opinion.  But let me tell you, it's moments like today, when nobody is around, that I wholly appreciate the spring time.  I can do whatever I want in this beautiful land and be myself.  Be free.  Be in solitude.  Ahhh, I just can't get enough.  So if you'll excuse me, I'm off to the woods!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

From what I Remember...

Oooooo, new signs of wildlife are around us in da Harbor!!!  

So far I have sighted flowers of Trailing Arbutus, Hepatica, Marsh Marigold and Periwinkle.  I have seen leaves of Harry Vetch, Common Tansy and Wood Anemone.  As for fauna, the Sandhill Cranes have been heard gluttering around these parts.  They make one of the wildest sounds.  Well, maybe I think it's wild because it's one of the only birds I can't figure out how to imitate.  I keep trying, though!

Then there's the drumming Grouse.  Have you ever heard a grouse beating its wings in the woods?  It's such a neat sound.  One of my favorite times to hear them is while I'm on a climb during a mountain bike ride, and I stop.  All I can hear is my pulse beating through my head (hey, it's some tough climbing up here!).  Then all the sudden, my pulse starts beating so fast that before I think I'm about to explode, I realize that sound has switched to a Grouse's wings accelerating.  That gets me every time.  I love it.

I must say, this is my favorite time of year in da Harbor (besides early fall and a winter powder day and a summer day spent in the woods).  I mean, nobody is around.  It's just us locals, and people seem to be in high spirits.  Today has been a little warmer as well, and the buds are nosing their way out a little farther.  I am at such a nice peacefulness today, that I am grateful for this time of year.  I have a whole month before I start working full time.  Though I have lots of projects to do in that month, I really don't have any worries.  Ahhhh.  I do love the spring.

I apologize because I had so much to tell you, but now, as I sit and type, I believe I have forgotten much of it.  Hopefully, if it was worth it, I'll weave it into a future post.  Thanks for your patience!  

One more thing, the Isle Royale Queen IV is on her way back from the Portage Canal right now!  I can't wait to wave her in!!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Surreal Spring -- A Photo Essay

I did it.  I went for an adventure yesterday.  Good thing because today is rainy and gloomy as can be.

While on my adventure, I was thinking about you.  I feel like I have been letting you down lately.  I really wish I could post more often, but I can't always seem to make it happen.  You probably know me as a once-a-weeker anyway.  Twice if I'm lucky.

That said, I wanted to make it up to you.  Yesterday's journey on the double lakeshore loop was quite surreal, as spring was frozen in time.  The following are pictures I took along the way for your viewing pleasure.  Think of this as your bouquet of flowers as my make-up gift to you.  Enjoy!

Lake Superior's beach rocks looked so perfect

Maple buds

They lived and died together... in a tiny pool

Fanny Hooe Creek

The geese footprints were as big as Duce's

Fresh budcicles

Icy ridge along the shore

Icicles under the rock shore

Two dead moths chillin'

Rocks in a puddle up on the basalt

Cottonballs of snow in the pines

And the snow-covered trail back to my house

Remember, I'm not a great photographer, but I sure have an imagination!  See you next week!

Monday, April 16, 2012

What do April Snowflakes Bring?

This morning I woke up to a rainy day.  Oh, great.  Yesterday was rainy too.  But Mother Nature sure wouldn't want to bore me.  Here is what she left on my back porch by the evening.

Snowfall April 15, 2012

I can't complain, though.  Nobody wants to here it.  But I am going to have to man up and go for an adventure soon.  I already stayed in two days in a row (though yesterday was due to the residue from my bachelorette party).  I probably won't seek building a new snow fort, but there is fun to be had in the blowing snow -- I do it all winter!

It just seems a little odd that I was sweating in the car on my way up from Milwaukee on Saturday, and Monday is a blizzard.  Keeps life interesting, I suppose.

I may as well tell you why I went to Milwaukee this time.  Two girlfriends and I went to see Rodrigo y Gabriela at the Riverside Theater.  Have you heard of them?  They are amazing musicians.  Here is a video of them playing a song they played for us.

That was one of the best shows I have ever seen live.  I jingled my jingly skirt the whole time.  I was definitely in my element.  I hope to see them again next year, since Milwaukee gave them such a strong welcome and applause.  I hope you enjoyed too!

Well, I have the whole day free tomorrow, so hopefully it will bring a magical adventure!  It's all up to me!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Representing Copper Harbor

Gosh, I should have told you that I was leaving for six days.  Did you miss me?  

Aaron and I went down to Milwaukee, Wisconsin for the big Wheel & Sprocket Bike Expo Sale.  We went to represent the Copper Harbor Trails Club's fantastic trails, and sell raffle tickets for our huge, summer long fundraiser.  Here are our first and second place prizes.

The grand prize trailer and second prize bike

The first day we got there, we parked the trailer in the expo center, ate breakfast at the Pancake House and noticed it was only 10 am.  What do we do until we can check in to our hotel?  Luckily, we both come from da Harbor.  There was only one thing to do.  Find a park and a trail to hang out in the woods.  

We did just that.  However, hiking next to a drainage doesn't tap the same sense of awe that Lake Superior does.  Oh well.  At least we weren't in traffic!

For the next four days we were cooped in a no window, concrete floor, florescent light buzzing warehouse-looking building -- filled with bikes.  Road bike, comfort bikes, hybrid bikes, mountain bikes.  Hundreds of bikes.  It was cool.  I wish I took a picture of that.

We chatted with lots of people from that area who were interested in vacationing up in Copper Harbor or winning our sweet teardrop trailer.  Hopefully we'll bring some first-timers up this summer because, as you well know, they always come back.

And now I am back in this quiet little town.  Chilly too.  And gray today.  But that's okay because yesterday I went for my first mountain bike ride on the CH trails.  Oh, it was just what the doctor ordered.  Especially since I just blew all the leaves off of them all!  Once my bike seat sitting area doesn't feel like it's bruised, I'll do it again.

Ah, it's nice to be home.  Especially because I have to go to Milwaukee next weekend with three of my favorite girls, so we can dance our tushies off!