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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Guests and Worker Bees


Welcome to morning at Cascade Bluff, the weekend of August 13-16!
Our first day brought just a hint of fall in the misty air...
...but the light was perfect, and the temperature couldn't have been better.

Sunlight on the cliffs of "Cascade Mountain" to our west.
Randy the generator guy and Morgan, the dog that can convince even Val, the non-dog lover, that some dogs really are wonderful...


Our entryway is shaping up. A few details, hard to notice: we have rain gutters! And, some curvy lines in the wood trim over the doorway have been shaved down to more geometric shapes, at our request.

This new structure is going to be our stairway on the outside that will lead right to the deck. This platform is also a nice little deck with a great view of the northern sky. We brought blankets and pillows out there one clear night and caught the tail end of the Perseid meteor shower! 6 meteors in 20 minutes... but no aurora borealis... yet...



We've had a wonderful series of guests! Here are Nick and Kent, Grand Marais friends from a visit earlier this summer...

Parker and Sharon Palmer, enjoying the sunshine, the view, and the conversation...

Steph and Joel Smith, and their three young 'uns...

Hey Mom, we love you!

An afternoon storm blew over the lake, but missed us... at least, this storm missed us. We had all sorts of interesting weather!

Sunday and Monday we put our guests and friends, David Strand and Bridget Duffy to work helping us create and improve trails. David, are those chaps you're wearing?

Here's Bridget breaking her back for us...


Here I am taking a break from weed whacking and tree trimming to build a rock cairn...

...which is one of my favorite things to do!
David and Val have just removed a monster deadfall tree that was blocking our trail. If you listen closely, they are singing "We are lumberjacks and we're okay!" For those of you Monty Python fans who know the rest of the lyrics, you'll have to contact David privately and discuss with him.

What a glorious trail! Did somebody say something about 4 lanes?


A pair of cairns marks the entrance to our new trail to the river!

David and Bridget enjoying the fruits of their labor.

We all took a nice break by the stream...

David went off in search of the east boundary marker... never found it...

And we all enjoyed the murmur of the Cascade at her shallowest time of year...

Now that's what I call tailgating!

...and a nice topper to a wonderful day. Cheers!

One bonus of removing dead trees from the trail is some wood for the stove for the coming winter! Now we just have to get that splitter...


On our final evening we were rewarded by a stupendous sunset... Pictures say it all..



Here is a link for you to copy and paste into your browser. This is for Google maps with the satellite image of our land! Scroll in and out to get oriented, and if you zoom in really close, that rectangle in the middle of a cleared area is our garage! This picture must have been taken about a year ago, as our garage went up in July of 2009. Wow!

http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=47.757129,-90.524396&z=17&t=h&hl=en

Val and I are heading north to Cascade Bluffs again on August 27, so look for more posts as details continue to fall into place and we enjoy our New World.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Our Fleet, Our Muffler, Our Cabin, Our Home


Greetings, Cascade Bluff Blog followers and friends, and my apologies for not posting for SOOOoooo long! Here's the latest -- and then some -- from our continuing adventures at Kathy and Val's New World!

So, this perky guy, Dave, is smiling because he's just sold us that luscious red vehicle, a 1998 Ford F-250 with many thousands of miles on 'er. Her name, by the way, is not settled yet -- any suggestions? Here's a hint -- what's red, tough, and very noisy?
'Cause as you see here, our "new" truck's muffler rusted through and came crashing down to earth, right in the middle of the I-35 construction project in Duluth, MN, on the way north a week or so ago. Poor Val, she was on her way up by herself (I was 80 or so miles behind her with a loaded van) and "bang!" She thought a tire had exploded at first, but a quick inspection revealed the muffler, impaling the hot sticky asphalt, during rush hour (of course) and in the middle of a detour...


...Several phone calls and a noisy ride through Duluth and a few hours later, and we met up at The Muffler Clinic...



Overnight in Duluth at the Day's Inn (it ain't Cascade Bluff, but there was a Starbuck's across the street so we lived!) and the fleet was intact. Here's a shot of 3/4ths of our fleet: Panzerbruinen on the left, Babe in the middle and the as yet unnamed red truck... Kinda crazy, we know -- two ladies, four vehicles (the Prius, AKA "Cloud Pine" is back in Minneapolis) but, but, but... we NEED all of them! We LOVE all of them!
The Ford F-250 and the Jeep live up north now, one in the rental garage in Grand Marais and the other up at Cascade Bluff. For you future visitors, you can take your pick -- the back of the truck is a mighty fun ride!

Now here are the latest shots of progress on the Cabin In The Middle of Nowhere. Here are the finished interior stairs... beautiful craftsmanship.



Nick working on the finishing touches for the loft stairway...


The cabinets in the Mistress Bathroom...


Who the...!?! Oh, yeah, that's Stephen, cabinet-maker extraordinaire...
Get out of the way, Stephen...

Here's his handiwork, the upstairs bath cabinets...

And the kitchen! We love it!



We finally have a great place to display some of the pottery and baskets we've acquired over the years, from art fairs and travels to flea markets to inheritances!

No kitchen is complete without a pair of lucky Elephants (these are salt and pepper shakers too) with their trunks pointing toward the door... which in the case of Cascade Bluff, is in pretty much any direction...

Our first loaf of artisan bread baked on site... Mmm...

Cookbooks... Including one appropriate for our age group...

...and the pantry, not yet filled up with staples...

All cooking and no relaxin' makes for very dull grrlls, so here's the greatest deck in the world...
Close ups of the deck cable railing...


Summer in Cook County is Art Fair season, and these are some new art-y things from the Hovland Art Fair of 2010... A mobile of old spoons and funky beads...

...and some brilliantly colored glass bowls... We do like primary colors!
And at the end of a long, wonderful day, there is the sky. Ahhhh, bliss!

Thanks for your patience, and we're heading up again next weekend, and hope to post more photos of the newly finished garage, some exterior stairs, maybe a screen porch... and who knows what else. Stay tuned!