Welcome to our Adventure!

Al and I are thrilled that you have found your way to our blog. We hope you enjoy reading our journal and viewing our photographs of the natural wonder of our United States of America. Let's hit the road together!
Homer, Alaska

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Thanks for your patience!

It's been several days now since I last posted, and everything is fine. I'm still finding it difficult to fit everything into the day! I had planned on daily postings, but I do see that while we are working, there is still a time problem. I will my best however :-).

Saturday and Sunday we continued our new positions, Al going solo as a ranger now, and I am still working on getting the store ready to open. It will be officially open this coming Friday, but with limited hours until memorial Day weekend. In the meantime, I am still working on updating the inventory and getting supply orders ready to go in. I want to start with an accurate inventory count. Its kind of interesting, going through the orders from the last two years, seeing what sold (what we don't have any of in the store right now) and what apparently didn't sell, as there is plenty of inventory still on the shelves ;-). I'm definitely getting an education in candy though. My tastes are pretty old-fashioned; Hershey bars, peanut butter cups, M&M's. Do you know kids want stuff with names like Ooze Tubes, warheads, and Toxic Waste, of all things! I had a discussion with the activities director about what candy kids like, and he told me that if it was gross, disgusting, or turned their mouths blue, they want it! Well, all righty then :-).

I had some new visitors to the bird feeders as well on Sunday..only the one day, but I was thrilled to see them.

These are rose-breasted grosbeaks. We had one at our bird feeder at home on Long Island last yea, but again, it was only there the one day. They must be just migrating through.

We have been taking the dogs for a walk around the lake each morning, and have found a few spots where they can jump in and go for a swim. It's far away from the campground that we can let them off-leash, and throw tennis balls out into the lake for them to go fetch. It's good exercise for them, and gets some of their energy out ;-). I keep forgetting to grab my camera, though, and was so disappointed when we saw a pair of sandhill cranes on Monday. I wasn't sure that's what we saw, because their bodies were brownish rather than the gray I've seen in Florida, but they had the distinctive red forehead. When I looked it up, however, i found that here in Michigan, because of the high iron content in the water that they preen in, their feathers become stained brownish. Interesting. I hope to see them again, when I have my camera.

Monday was a day off for both of us, and we had a few things to get done. I needed blood work done, and sent back to my doctor so I can get my cholesterol meds renewed. I found a Quest Labs about ten miles from here, in the town of Fenton. There's a state park near there, Seven Lakes State Park, so we planned to go there after my appointment. A quick breakfast at Tim Horton's ( very nice place with excellent breakfast pastries wraps and donuts ) and we went to explore the park. It's very nice, seven lakes, several hiking trails, a nature trail, and a nice beach/picnic area.
The beach/picnic area on Big Seven Lake. There's a nice playground right at the beachfront for the kids, and dozens of picnic tables with BBQ grills at each on. There's also large shelters for group picnics that can be reserved in advance.
The boat launch area at Big Seven lake. It looks like a really nice lake for fishing and boating.
It's springtime, and the geese are raising their babies, We saw several families swimming around.

We drove back to the Dickinson shelter area, and picked up the beginning of the green loop hiking trail. This is the beginning of the trail, along Dickinson Lake. I found a really nice web site that lists many of the trails in the state parks, with detailed maps and descriptions. Very helpful!
The fishing pier at Dickinson Lake. This is an easy and short walk to get to, and is suppose to be popular with the kids for fishing. We did see several small pan fish swimming around.
Down at the Dickinson Lake boat launch I caught sight of this Baltimore Oriole flying around us. It was pretty far away, so this was as good a picture as I could capture.
Wildflowers blooming along the trail.
You can't keep the pups away from the water; as soon as they get near any stream, they immediately want to get in it!
Big Seven Lake from the other side, looking across at the beach area and boat launch, where we were earlier.

These white flowering trees are all starting to bloom right now, it looks really pretty.
Casey looking over Little Seven lake, waiting for the three of us to finish taking a break before finishing he hike.
The turtles were quite enjoying sunning themselves; I took this picture just before they all jumped off into the water because Casey came crashing down there :-)!
I saved this picture for last; isn't it creepy how the snake seems to be holographic??!! Luckily, we did not see any, or hear any rattling, while we were walking. This is an endangered species, the eastern massasauga rattlesnake. It is Michigan's only venomous snake, and this state park is one of it's habitats. Its supposedly a very timid snake, preferring to remain out of sight and moving away from any disturbance to it's location, and that's fine with me! The hiking trails in this park are nicely maintained, wide, cleared of debris, and the grassy areas mowed with wide paths allowing plenty of visibility while walking. Dogs are required to be on leash, and we also kept them quite close to us as well. So it was a nice walk :-).

Tuesday I needed to go back to the lab, as there had been a problem with the prescription, and until they received clarification from the doctor's office, I had elected to wait so as to have no problem with insurance. It wasn't as nice a day, and I had a ton of laundry to do, so we came back to the campground. I also had a meeting with my boss in the afternoon to go over the orders and inventory. We were also a bit tired, as there had been a truly wicked thunderstorm early Tuesday morning, lasting about 2 1/2 hours, that had started around 3am and Chelsea was NOT happy about it at all! So it was pretty much a hang around the campsite, dreary laundry afternoon.

Today, Wednesday, we took a field trip :-). It was a nice day, overcast but warm, and we had seen the Tulip Time Festival was taking place this week in Holland Michigan, about two hours from here. But that story will come tomorrow, after I have time to get the pictures sorted and filed and ready to post :-). So until then, have a great day tomorrow!


  1. Looks like a good day trip and I know the pups must have loved all that water,our lab Annie loves the water and can smell it a mile away.

  2. Great post once again, Karen. Love all your stories. Be real careful with the rattlesnakes. I know someone down here that came across one, killed it but was surprised that he hadn't heard the rattle upon seeing it. At closer examination, he realized that the snake's rattle was broken which is why he didn't hear it before he saw it. YUCK!!!
    Enjoy Holland. It is a beautiful town. Visited there in mid September a few years ago and was told by one of the local shopowners that it is not uncommon for them to get 100" of snow each year. They also heat the downtown main street so that the snow doesn't stick. Too much snow for me. Enjoy your visit and keep up the great posts.

  3. I can only say that I hate (fear)snakes and I am always on the lookout for them on hikes.

    The Tulip festival is a great time. Have fun.