Sunday, September 12, 2010

The end of the earth...

Well this is where I have been for the last week and a half. We decided at the last minute to take a trip up to my parent's cottage in the Upper Peninsula. Yep, all the way to the end of the earth in the Keweenaw Peninsula- about as far north as you can go without a passport. The cottage is about 20 miles south of Copper Harbor on an inland lake called Gratiot Lake. It sits in a valley and is completely surrounded by trees. All the way around except where there are cottages and the cottages are only on the west and north shores- the rest is all nature. The weather was beautiful during the day but very chilly at night which had already started to turn a few trees into their beautiful fall colors. It made for some great evenings around a roaring bonfire and yes there were smores. I especially look forward to the evenings up there because of the stars. I swear when you walk out of the cottage is it like you just stepped into a planetarium. The stars can be seen from the opposite shore all the way behind you where the tree line is. Being so far from any town the sky is pitch black so there are thousands of stars to be seen. I love laying back in a chair and watching the satellites and shooting stars. I try to get up at 3 or 4 o'clock in the morning just to look at the stars. The mornings were just as beautiful with the mist on the lake from the cooler nights and warmer water. You can see a few of those pictures further down.
It was my son-n-law Brandon's birthday so I tried to keep it masculine when I made his card. I used Tim Holtz'z paper Vintage Shabby and a few strips of scraps to add some color. I layered the designer paper onto chocolate card stock but it looks a bit more rusty in the picture- turned out better in person. I had been looking for small sentiment stamps and I found a bunch at the convention in Novi last month. The happy birthday is one of them.

Onto some more vacation pictures. You can click on any of the pictures to get a larger view. See how the fall colors are already starting. You can even see the reflection in the water. Two ducks just happened to get in the photo. My dad and taken the DH and I for a nice slow boat ride around the entire lake. The sun was shining and it made for a perfect ride.

This is just a picture to show you the trees up behind my parent's cottage. Like I said the lake sits down in the valley and when the trees are in their peak fall colors, this hill is breathtaking. The sun was just starting to set so it dabbled the trees with a bit of sunshine. Notice how calm the water is in the evening.

I went out on the dock with my coffee and camera one morning and took this picture of a fisherman getting ready to head out to do some fishing. The misty morning is a favorite of mine.

There are a few family of loons on the lake and they put the finishing touch on a beautiful evening around the fire with their calls. There is nothing more relaxing than staring at a bonfire and listening to the loons. If this piece of heaven wont take away the stress then nothing will.

I also caught this fellow at the foot of the dock looking for his breakfast. I sure am glad I didn't have my toes in the water that morning.

We spent an evening picking apples in an old abandon copper mining town called Central. We used to do that as kids and I really cherish the memory of being able to do that again with my dad. I'm sure my mom was somewhere looking down on us. Back in the 1850's it was a roaring town of about 1250 people. My grandmother would spend her summers up there in her younger days. There are a few of the old houses still standing (barely) but guys use them as hunting camps for deer and bear season. Yes I did see the tell tale poop piles of bears. I felt safer since we had the dog, until I turned around and saw him sitting up at the road next to the car waiting to get in- some watch dog!

After picking apples we headed through the woods to Eagle Harbor. This is the Eagle Harbor Light House out on the point on Lake Superior. You can just see the white light coming around in the tower.

And here is another wider angle picture as the red light is coming around. Breath taking, isn't it? The long grey building on the left side of the picture is a hotel and dining called The Lake Breeze. My mother and grandmother used to work there in the summers when my mother was a teenager. My grandmother was the cook and my mother waited tables and helped with the rooms. My grandfather died in 1950 when my mother was only 14 so my grandmother had to work and she did what she did best-cook. She sure made a great pasty.

I really hate the drive up there. It takes us 10 hours in good weather but I am always thankful I did when I get home. There is no place like it. Everything is richer and more colorful and life seems to move a bit slower up there. Just the place I needed to be.

Have fun and enjoy!

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