As usual, we drove up on Thursday night after work, getting us in after midnight. We slept a little later than usual but got up and started in right away. Dave had to go into the hardware store and I got to work on the back porch. Let me tell you, I almost didn't know where to begin in there it was so nasty. I made three piles, keep, sell and throw away. I know, it sounds like an episode of Clean Sweep, but I think this place would make even that crew run away screaming! At the bottom of all the junk I ended up finding 3 mice skeletons and 1 squirrel skeleton (shudder). By the time Dave got back I had the porch empty except for the shelves and the freezer. We then proceeded to take down the shelves and put them in the throw away pile (there was no re-using these elsewhere).
Dave and I loaded the throw away items into the trailer and decided we had room for the stuff in the garbage cans. The stuff in the garbage cans was from our last trip up, from me cleaning the kitchen and clearing out the mostly OLD canned goods. Little did we know that water had got into the cans, leaving them smelling like a sewer. Dave dumped the first can right where we were standing and it was AWFUL. He was gagging and getting pissed, while I was trying not to laugh at him. After all this we decided we would empty the freezer on the porch and take the stuff to the dump. We have no idea how long this "stuff" has been in the freezer, or if it ever defrosted due to a power outage...yuck. We got it all loaded and off to the dump we went. Forty dollars later, and we have an empty porch and have whittled down the garbage on the property.
We got back and took the freezer out of the porch and put it with the scrap pile, which my dad is supposed to come up and take away. This brings me to a funny story about the scrap piles. A couple weeks ago we received a letter from the insurance company, notifying us that we needed to move the LP tanks that are by the house, and remove the debris pile. My reaction was "Which one?!" My aunt and uncle took care of the LP tanks and Dave had to make a call to the insurance company regarding "the" debris pile. He makes the call and says "I have a question and you're probably going to laugh, but which debris pile?" The lady's response was "There's more than one?" with laughter in her voice. Dave had to explain that we aren't bringing items onto the property but cleaning it up and organizing stuff into piles. She agreed to call the underwriter to request and extension, and to let them know that theses aren't permanent piles and will be removed. It is very difficult to describe the sheer amount of "stuff" there is.
While I worked on the porch Dave was using his new toy in the yard. We bought a gas powered weed whacker, because there just is not enough extension cord available to take care of business in this yard. He was like a kid in a candy store, actually enjoying the work. He was also pruning trees, especially the ones hanging into the drive. He got as much done with the pruners as he could...or, until the handle snapped...and came to the conclusion that our next purchase needed to be a chain saw. By the time he's done with all that it was evening and time to stop for dinner.
We decided to clean up and go into town for dinner. It was his birthday after all! We went in to Rogers City and decided on a place called Waters Edge. We sat out on the deck, which overlooks the lake. Wonderful view, good cold beer and the weather was perfect. That's where the good ended. The service was horrible and the food was lacking. Oh, well...we still enjoyed ourselves, and the drunken crowd next to us was entertaining. Back home for a good nights sleep.
Saturday morning we're up and at it again. Dave went out and sprayed the driveway with weed killer while I get started in the master bedroom. We usually don't like to use chemicals if possible but the driveway is gravel we need to keep it clear of weeds or they'll take it completely over. After he was done with that he fired up his tractor and got going on the mowing.
The master bedroom....well, again it's filled to the ceiling with junk. I start in the closet and then move on to the dresser drawers. We decided to bag up all the clothes and donate them to a thrift store. I counted 23 bags of clothes and some linens from the one room.
In the closet was a lot of ammo that everyone uses when they come up hunting. For the hunters, we're talking about eventually making an apartment in the basement for them to stay. This will help get all the ammo and hunting gear in one place, and when we're living there it won't be too crazy. The hunters are usually my dad and brother, and sometimes they bring a friend or two. Since there is already a kitchen (so to speak) down there it wouldn't be that hard to do.
Around lunchtime I went out to Dave and told him I just don't have the fire to keep going. I did get about 3/4 of the room done but I was just not feeling it. We had already agreed that we need to do something fun when up there, or we'll end up resenting the house and property. So, knocking off for the day and having some fun was the agreed upon plan. I suggested geocaching so that we could do some sight seeing. Don't know what geocaching is? Check it out here http://www.geocaching.com/ We enjoy this because it gets us outdoors, and going to areas we might never have been to otherwise.
After getting cleaned up we headed out and hit a few geocaches. One of them led us to a place that Dave used to go to with his family when he was a kid, which they called simply "The Ranger's Grave".
After that we drove by the cottage that his family used to own, for nostalgia's sake. He said that it looked exactly the same, it just has a different family name on it. Then we decided to go Atlanta, MI for dinner. We found a nice little bar and had a wonderful burger and a couple beers, while dropping quarters in the jukebox. Great time, and just what we needed! On our way to dinner we stopped at Clear Lake State Park. We quickly learned the reason they call it Clear Lake...it really is crystal clear. The color of the water reminded us of the Caribbean. It's fabulous. The campground on the other hand has very small sites and it didn't look like it had too many bathroom/shower houses. We figured the lake makes up for all that. We also stopped at the sink hole observation area. Yeah, that wasn't what we expected. The one we went down was just a deep (very deep) valley. Dave counted the steps on the way back up...217! I had to stop half way up to catch my breath, that's all I remember! The other one we checked out was basically a lake and it was clear and quiet, very nice. We'll probably go back and hang out there in the future. Back to the house, then, for another good night of sleep.
Sunday, time to wrap things up and get on the road. I loaded all the bags of clothes into the trailer and we hit the road. Seven plus hours later and we're home, time to order pizza! The perfect ending to a very productive weekend.