Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Sunshine and Big Bay

Today continues another streak of sunny days.  Just like the week before last.  And if you don't count the wind chill, the temperature is in the double digits.  Last I checked it was 12 degrees F.  We should see a couple days in the 20's this week.  It will surely feel like a heat wave.  Can't wait.

Yesterday I trekked out to ye old site of Fort Juniper.  Up on that ridge, I realized that if I still wanted to built a fort up there, I would just dig one out instead of building one up.  I didn't get to check the actual depth, but I didn't see any juniper bushes there.  Just the tip of a little spruce tree.

Though it was nostalgic to be back there in the winter, the wind was blowing through me, and the single digit temps would not let me linger.  Duce decided to head down the ridges toward the frozen harbor.  We walked back home from there.  

This last weekend I got to go somewhere new: Big Bay, Michigan.  Have you ever been there?

Big Bay is at the red "A"

While first glancing at this map, I thought, Great!  It's even before Marquette!  But I was wrong.  Turns out, a person has to drive to Marquette, then head back northwest on 550 to get to Big Bay.  Well, at least there was no city driving involved.

It's a very small town on Lake Superior.  While there, I resided at Bay Cliff Health Camp.  A really neat place for being so far out.  Big porches, hardwood floors, fireplaces and other cool amenities.  And guess why I got to go.  I was sent on an assignment from Traverse Magazine to report on the DNR's Becoming an Outdoors-Woman event!

73 woman from as far as Alabama came out for this chilly weekend.  They each got to take three classes of their choice ranging from indoor activities (power tools, fly tying, self confidence, wilderness first aid) to outdoor activities (snowmobiling, ice fishing, dog sledding, winter camping, backcountry skiing).  It was a great event all around.  Here are a few shots I got while I was there.  Remember, I take terrible pictures.

Inside the four-woman dorm room

Women hang out in the auditorium before introductions

The dining room set for our first dinner

A woman posing in a class-made quinzhee (winter shelter)

I could go into all the details, but I am currently writing the article about this, and I feel like that would create more work than I need to do.  When that article comes out next winter, I'll let you know.  Maybe you'll even want to take the class (if you are a woman, of course).  I would highly recommend it.  What a great opportunity.  I'm grateful I got to be a part of it because I didn't even know about it before!

The Copper Dog 150 was held this weekend, but I was gone, so I can't really tell you how it went.  I heard it was cold, but enjoyable.  That weekend always seems to fill up like the 4th of July -- just like that.  All the sudden there's cars everywhere, and motels and people's houses are bursting at the seams.

People are getting a bit ornery about winter, however.  These cold temps are quite out of the norm.  People are going through their wood piles and propane faster then ever.  We are darn lucky the sun is shining.  That keeps spirits up just enough....

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