Saturday, September 23, 2006

Tractor Shows

Have you ever been to a tractor show? Its kinda like going to a toy train show, without the pedofiles...

Matt's first excursion was this summer with my dad and the kids to an antique tractor show in West Branch. Mind you, my dad grew up on a farm and sold farm equipment at the family hardware store probably before he could drive, so this is fun stuff for him, but for city slicker Matt...its a different story... here is Matt's photo journal from the tractor show...note the general lack of tractors.

Not sure about this one, but doesn't look much like a tractor.

Granny got all gussied up for the big tractor parade.

Who knew Santa was a tractor enthusiast? Or a hippy for that matter?

Corn dog + elephant ear = amigo sooner or later.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Hunting Thoughts

Matt bought his own Christmas present last week. It is a tree stand. Mind you, he already owns 4! How many tree stands does one man need?

In other hunting related news...
We made a stop at Camp Osto on Sunday so Matt could put out approx. 1000 more pounds of sugar beets, carrots, and corn. He also accidently exposed the film in the trail cam...oops.

Lots of bow practicing going on these days...gotta love the Walker Sportsman Club! Maybe I'll go skeet shooting soon?

Camp is looking great this time of year, I love the fall. It almost makes me wish I was a hunter. Maybe I'll get one more weekend up there this fall.

Speaking of hunting...Tyler caught this small mouth bass with his Papa Bob at our family cottage in August. Its definitely worth posting.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

The Spider

Thought you might enjoy this awesome spider who graced the sedum plant in my yard last week. She is truly the largest spider I have ever seen in Michigan. It is a Black and Yellow Argiope and her body was about an inch and a half without her legs! Super cool.


Labor Day Weekend 2006...our first trip from Camp Osto, where we pushed off and ended at the River Country camp ground downstream. Matt and I had no idea how long it would take, so we packed our beer and munchies and set out for the great adventure.

But first...we had to drop the canoe off, drop the truck off, drive back to canoe...and then we were finally on our way! (How did the Indians get their canoe's back upstream?) The weather was gorgeous and sunny, but the water was freezing. It was interesting to see what types of cabins were on the river and what types of yahoos were out and about, drunk in canoes and tubes. It took about two hours to travel to our destination, just about right for me. Lots of fun!

...and much better than our first canoe experience on the Muskegon. . . let me recap for you.

It was June 2005, just getting nice and warm. Me and Matt at Camp Osto, no kids. We headed up to the Old Log Resort (OLR) where they took us upstream for a four hour float back to the OLR. The guide told us it was a very rustic part of the river without a lot of civilization, so we were hoping to see some wildlife - maybe a deer or eagle? He said by the time we reached a cottage, we would have about 45 minutes left in our trip. Great, let's go!

Off we pushed and things were swell. Matt was in the back, I was in the front. We had a cooler, beer, our suits on, plenty of sunscreen and Deep Woods Off. We saw a turtle, a bass, a Kingfisher. Then all of the sudden, we were swarmed by deer flies.

(feel my pain)...According to the Ohio State University Extension..."Female deer flies are vicious, painful biters. They feed on the blood of cattle, horses, mules, hogs, dogs, deer, other warmblooded animals, and even humans. These flies cut through the skin with their knife-like mouthparts and suck the blood for several minutes...Biting deer flies frequently attack humans along summer beaches, near streams, and at the edges of moist, wooded areas.

Needless to say a feeling settled over me that I can only describe as *panic*. We could not escape the divebombing. Matt is in the back paddling so furiously that I am fearing whiplash with every stroke. He was dropping the F bomb right and left. Then the rain came and we hoped that it would shoo them off, instead it made it worse. We were wet, it turned muggy and we were COVERED in even more deer flies. All you could hear was Matt swearing and a sick slapping sound. At one point I dared to turn around and he had at least 50 flies swirling around his head. He did NOT stop paddling one time. Of course, I got the giggles (I think my panic manifested into crazy laughter) which only makes things worse. We continually sprayed the Off and swatted. I must have been bitten 40 times. Stroke, stroke, swat, stroke.

I don't think we looked right or left once on that trip. We were focused on one thing only - getting out of the frickin' canoe. Finally we saw the cottage - we knew we only had 45 minutes left. How long had it been so far? Who knew as we left our watches in the truck, but it seemed like an eternity! Finally the OLR rolls into view and we sprinted to the finish, pulled the canoe up on shore. The guide greets us with a shocked expression and says how quick we were - turns out we made the 4 hour trip in 2! By the way he says, "Were you using Deep Wood's Off? That only seems to attract them!" OF COURSE.

Next day = sore.

Canoe trip #2 was heavenly.