Everthing Is Just Beachy

Superior Sunset with One Dark Spot

Dave is back in Boston, mostly. I had to mail his iPad to him today. I then went to Meijer’s. Shopping there feels safer than shopping at Walmart these days. These are the only two choices. Not that we normally frequent Walmart, but now that we’re on Medicare, Anne may need to go there to fill a perscription or to exercise her cute girl privileges.

Anne, Dan and Brit finished a jigsaw puzzle today, in record time. This 1,000 piece puzzle that Brit had bought is entitled, “Age of Discovery” and features a British ship-of-the-line sailing vessel. It was an interesting puzzle for a couple of ancillary reasons. The pieces were a cardboard-wood laminate, making the fit between pieces very crisp. The other novel feature was that the puzzle was back-printed with a matrix of the letters A through H. We started only using the back to confirm that a piece was placed correctly, but that was a slippery slope. Since, each of the eight letters identified which quadrant the piece belonged in, we soon had sorted the remaining pieces into their appropriate piles. This greatly expedited the puzzle’s completion. Anne plans on trotting out the Redwoods puzzle again. She, Jay and Carl had solved it, but it should be good for one more play with Dan and Brit. Besides, it is unlikely that she will be able to entice them with the only other alternative, the Thomas Kinkade puzzle, even though it features NYC Central Park, because Dan loathes him as an artist.

The weather has been unusually fine here, since Dan arrived on Friday. Since, Dave and Maren were here for only a very short time, I’m glad that their brief stay was marked by good weather. What makes the weather here so nice is the wind. It has been a wee bit cool here, but I’m fine with that. We’ve enjoyed a fairly constant 10+ knot wind that has kept the bugs away. I can’t remember the last time that I got a mosquito bite. I could under deep hypnosis, because I have probably repressed all those memories, but why bother. The Perseids meteor shower is supposed to peak tonight and with the wind the way it is, their viewing would be ideal, but unfortunately tonight’s forecast looks rather cloudy. Clouds to make for better sunsets though. Maren gets credit for today’s pic.

Finally, A Beach Day

Cabin Steps Portrait

“A beginning is the time for taking the most delicate care that the balances are correct.” (Dune, Frank Herbert) This weekend was one such a beginning, an important one and one that went swimmingly well, even if I do say so myself. But all good things must come to an end. Today, Dave and Maren left the cabin and headed south again to Ann Arbor. They have an oh-no-dark-thirty flight to catch and plan on being back at work tomorrow. Dan and Brit are still here and will stay a week more. As is tradition, everyone in the cabin posed for a picture. Kudos to cousin Anne for snapping the photo. Bubs and Harry were probably the most excited about doing this family portrait. Unfortunately, we discovered too late that the camera’s lens needed to be cleaned. Dan is not really in a fog.

Yesterday, “the kids” hiked the trail between Tahquamenon’s lower and upper falls, or about five miles. Anne and I met them at the terminus of their hike, at the upper falls. We lunched at the brewery there. It has been pretty windy here and a wee bit cold since before the kids arrived here on Friday. Good weather for the hike, but not so much for sunning on the beach. Today, was different though. The wind had died. The sun came out and people went swimming. I think that we all got our full dose of radiation exposure.  

We’ve been living pretty high on the hog this weekend. For example, this morning for breakfast, we had scones from Sugar Daddy’s, both chocolate and Maple sugar. For second breakfast, Anne and I took the kids out to eat at Jack’s Pub and Grub. Dave had some of their Polish cuisine, a pierogi based omelets. 

Summertime

A Lazy (Photoshop Haze Removed) Summer’s Day

The boys are on the move today. Dan leaves NYC by car and Dave flies from Boston. They should make Ann Arbor sometime tonight. Then tomorrow they drive up here to the cabin. Everyone is looking forward to seeing them. When they arrive, I will no longer be the baby of Curmudgeon Court. That’s OK.

Yesterday, we feted Harry for his birthday. Because it was his birthday, he was entitled to torture his wife, by first piling most of the furniture from the Great pretty good Room in front of her on the hearth. He then threatened to also add the couch that she was seated on. In the end, it was the whine of the vacuum that drove her from the cabin, but because it was his birthday, he was entitled. Anne made her now legendary hummingbird cupcakes. There should still be plenty left to share with the boys. We took Harry out to dinner at the Great so-so Wall, a Chinese buffet. In the evening, I asked him if he had had a good birthday. He said, “Yes, there were no arguments.”

The photo is from one of the nicer parts of yesterday. Afterwards, thunderstorms in the form of a marine warning rolled across the lake making for a dramatic view until this line of storms rolled over us too. In the evening, it became quite still and a bit oppressive, but at sometime during the night, the wind came up and today we are experiencing quite a blow. Cabin weather, as Anne calls it. 

USS Niagara

The USS Niagara sailed by us today and I almost completely missed it. I only managed to photograph it, after it had already made the turn and was heading away. The first photo above is from today. The second one is from two years ago, when it also passed by. I had already missed the Denis Sullivan, a three master that I tracked to Whitefish Point, using a marine app. The app lists its destination as Kenosha, WI. As of writing, a third tall ship is still on its way, the Appledore V. We saw its sister ship, the Appledore II, earlier this year, when we were vacationing in Key West. Anyway, soon after the Niagara passed by, it sailed straight into a squall that was coming across Whitefish Bay, but it looks like it hunkered down and weathered the storm just fine.

I checked Wiki and apparently this Niagara is the same Niagara that fought in the War of 1812 battle of Lake Erie, over 200 years ago. In Canada that war is remembered as the War of American Aggression. In that battle, the American fleet led by Oliver Perry fought and defeated the British fleet. Perry’s original flagship became incapacitated and via a rowboat he transferred his command to the Niagara, which went on to defeat the British. In 1820 the Niagara was intentionally sunk off of Presque Isle. A century later it was resurfaced and refurbished. Subsequent refits have replaced so much of the original ship to pose the question, is this the original boat or is it a recreation? 

4 Egrets

4 Egrets

We were walking the beach one day and I happened to look up. My first thought was that those are some really white seagulls, but upon closer inspection, I saw that they were egrets. Egrets are pretty common around Saint Louis, but on Lake Superior they are rarer. When we walk the beach are eyes are naturally drawn to look out over the water, but for bird watching the tree line behind us is where we should be looking. Birds looking down from above like to use the trees as a blind to hide behind. On another walk, on another day, we spotted a mature bald eagle that was skimming along the tree tops. Anne snapped a picture of that bird, but I liked my egrets one better.

Today was laundry day, which Anne and I performed without incident. We’re getting pretty good at doing it. Practice makes perfect. After laundry we met Bubs and Harry at Penny’s Kitchen for lunch. While eating there we got a group text from Dan. He was at work and the Gordon Lightfoot ballad; The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald was being played on the radio and saw it as a herald for his impending trip here. I cautioned him to drive carefully. To which he said, “I will do everything in my power to avoid the November storms on the drive.” At this point Dave chimed in, with a rather wry quip, “Sometimes the gales of November come early.” We are looking forward to the boy’s arrival this week.

As seen on a sign in the Penny’s Kitchen restrooms:

Employee must wash hands.
If an employee is not available,
feel free to wash your own hands.

After lunch, Anne and I walked down to Portage, where the Soo Art Fair was well underway. I bought a raffle ticket that the Les Cheneaux Historical Society was selling. They are raffling off a wooden boat, a gorgeous 15’ Chester Yawl. While not quite a sailboat, it is still a beautiful boat. Anne found a gift or two and then we headed over to t-shirt row, but did not find one that met our needs. Meijer’s was next and then it was back to the cabin. It was a long day in town.

Stormy Weather

Lime EZ

This morning, Anne went to yoga and I went for a bicycle ride. She had set an alarm and had gotten up early, while I just blithely rolled out of bed after she left. I had made arrangements to go cycling with CJ, a neighbor on the beach. When we hooked up this morning, he confirmed his willingness to still ride.

I hadn’t checked the weather, but I should have. The original plan was to ride out to the lighthouse, but when we got to the Dancing Crane coffeehouse, we heard thunder and there were dark clouds to the west. We ordered coffees, which we sipped without any great sense of urgency. I was of the mind to let the storms roll over us, while we were having coffee, but the weather wasn’t moving as fast as I had thought and after a while we grew restless and decided to take chance it and race the weather back home.

The new pavement through the Res has an extra wide bike shoulder, but only on one side of the road. We rode with the traffic on the way out, but I decided to try riding against the traffic on the way back. I found that seeing the cars come at you was disconcerting. I’m used to always riding in the direction of traffic and even though I have rearview mirror, seeing the cars come at you was a little bit scary. Especially, when some of them weaved across the line and on to our shoulder. All of this was happening while I could see ominous black clouds in my bike mirror and they were gaining on us.

We made it dry through Brimley, where we kicked the speed up a bit, but the storm finally caught us, with just a few more miles to go. It got dark and there was thunder. Most cars had their lights on, which wasn’t all that reassuring. I was just starting to feel drops, when we turned off of 6 Mile. At that point I was so relieved to be off of the road with the fast traffic that I really didn’t mind the rain anymore. Which was a good thing, because at that point the storm was beginning to pass us. It began to grow lighter, but also to rain more hard.

We both got soaked. CJ had invited me to tour his new house, which is pretty fancy, with a three-story “lighthouse” tower, but I told him that I would take a raincheck on that offer. That got a chuckle out of him. He turned off at his driveway and I continued on. When I got back to the cabin, Anne, Harry and Bubs were there to greet me. Anne had been worried about me. Really, we were pretty lucky, because after it passed over us, it blossomed into a full fledge thunderstorm, with high winds and hail. I’ve been hailed on before while biking and it is no fun at all. Those helmet vent holes that let the cooling wind pass through also let hail through too. Expecting another round of storms tonight.