We returned home last night from two weeks off the grid in Northern Michigan. Two adults, four kids, and two gun dogs in one big pick up truck for fourteen hours and two turnpikes (under construction). Fun.
It’s normally eleven hours but a serious accident on the Pennsylvania Turnpike had traffic blocked for miles. The upside was that we were near Somerset and given the opportunity to explain the significance of Flight 93 to the kids as we passed the memorial. Very fitting as we celebrate our freedom from tyranny and the birth of our exemplary nation this holiday weekend.
But being on the turnpike with ambulances and police cruisers flying by as we stood at a standstill was actually less decibelled than the first night at camp in Northern Michigan.
It was midnight in dirt road paradise. Everyone was dead asleep under mounds of 70’s-era wool blankets in cool 50 degree temps…nothing but a fly-swatter gauge metal screen door partitioning our family from forty acres of untouched nature.
All was well in our rustic digs until the camp became a make-shift boxing ring for an altercation between a three-hundred+ pound black bear and two rather brazen coyotes.
At first came the howling–alerting our dogs to spring like jackalopes, bark like mad, and scratch at the windows, trying to get outside. Then came loud screeching, roaring, more howling, and breaking branches under heavy paws that made me wish for a diaper. Everyone was beyond scared except for my husband, who incidentally, would like a bear rug for the cabin floor. He thought it was cool to have a backwoods throw down right out front.
The next morning my husband checked his trail cams, each one strategically placed among felled wood and lush native ferns. Uploading the memory cards to his laptop, he squealing with delight. The cedar forest was alive with activity, day and night. Triggered by motion sensors, his camocams had snapped some action shots of the coyotes chasing the black bear through our camp, a smaller bear, grazing turkeys, a bobcat, a doe sharing a snuggle with her new fawn, and a really great looking libertarian.
Needless to say, later that day I was out shooting clay pigeons with my .275 in case the not-so-shy predators paid us another too-intimate visit and my husband snores through it.
Here are some fun photos we got…not super clear, but you can make out the animals pretty well:
The second coyote is behind a tree in this photo.
Mama love.
Thanksgiving Dinner 2016
Nice sized Bobcat.
And a specimen Libertarian minding his own business, not bothering anyone…

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