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Sunday, April 17, 2011

April is the cruelest month...

Greetings from Cascade Bluff, where TS Eliot is proven right -- April really IS cruel! Here we are hoping for spring and anticipating mud season...

We arrived late Thursday night April 14 and found that the road was quite passable, because it was basically frozen! The view of the big lake in the distance shows how bare the land looks up here in Cook County in early "spring."


By the east side of the garage, in front of the propane tank, you can see the side of our woodpile from last fall. We ran out of room, autumn weather and energy for splitting those rounds lying haphazardly... one of this year's projects... This woodpile had been completely hidden by snow on our last visit. Welcome back, woodpile, path to the garage, rocks, etc!

Oops... next day, Saturday April 16th, and the woodpile disappeared again...

Now you see it...

Now you don't! How do you like our particular brand of Northern Magic?
All we can say is, jeez, enough already!

We trekked down to the Cascade River as it cuts across our property and found the water really high, the highest we've seen in 4 years...

Cascade is running fast and deep, and the pictures don't do the rushing sound any justice at all. We can hear the river running all over the place up at the cabin. Sounds wonderfully woolly!

On Friday even before the big snow came, we ran into our neighbor Stan Poole and his brother Scott who were at their cabin overnight. They were trying to get out before the storm came, and we were trying to get into our place! One brother's vehicle was perpendicular to the road, and the second brother's vehicle was spinning on the icy hill....


So, Babe the Blue Jeep (with her handy Trax to conquer all gnarly road conditions) arrived with her winch! We are Wenches with a Winch!
(And that's just one of the nice things people say about us up here...)


A little tug, a little push...

She's movin'! We were happy to help out the Brothers' Poole... what are neighbors for? Snow just isn't going to stop a determined gardener. Here is Kathy marking the future garden spot on her GPS...

One might ask, why do you need to GPS your garden site? Are you planning on losing it? Well, no, the answer actually is, that Kathy is a total geek and loves her GPS... Other favorite landmarks on our land include the sauna, the lookout, the location of the white pines, and the biggest honkin' cedar we've ever seen, known as "Mama Cedar"....

Some of these cedar logs, cut and peeled last year, will be put to use building the raised beds...

We had plans to lay down a layer of straw, or newspaper, or landscaping paper... But tarps will work just fine! This will be the veggie garden, and we want to get to work smothering all those nasty weeds!

...and finally, this is an interesting and new view looking back up toward the house (hidden above and to your right) from the garden spot. Look for this view again and watch for changes that might actually herald REAL springtime in the northland!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Not Quite Spring At Cascade Bluff Yet!

Over the first weekend in April, we headed up to Cascade Bluff for a long weekend of R and R!
Here is Val enjoying the early spring sunshine on our deck... Oh yeah!

The white stuff was melting like crazy, and rocks we forgot we had showed their craggy heads...

Nice view up the hill -- blue skies, melting snow, a great solar power day!

We had a nice stroll, keeping an eye out for signs of black bears waking up from their slumber... didn't see anything so far....


Cascade River is open and rushing along... It is that dark stripe in the middle...

And then....

Ol' Man Winter ain't quite done with us yet!

Another 10 inches or so of really wet, heavy white stuff landed on us from Sunday to Monday, April 3 to 4. When we got ourselves out of there on Monday and headed home, we hit Hwy 61 and found NO new snow at all, in fact, hardly any snow left! Talk about micro-climates! Cascade Bluff, Pike Lake and Deer Yard Lake should have their own weather station!

We will be heading up again on the evening of April 14 for several days, and the report from friends is MUD season is just starting! Can't wait! Babe is READY!!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Blogging Bother

Okay, so the nice photo posted for the last couple of weeks was a street in Antigua, Guatemala known as "Arch Street", and wasn't that a fabulous volcano in the background? So what the heck was a picture of Guatemala doing on our blog anyway? Well, we were there from March 13th to the 20th doing some volunteer work with a group called "WINGS" and I had big plans for a blog entry all about our trip and including info on the organization... but I am having Bloggodyslexia or the dreaded Bloggy Mountain Spotted Fever or something, and can't make this site bend to my will! So, keep checking periodically, I hope to have not just one but two posts soon, the first will be a sunny travelogue of Guatemala and the second will demonstrate (as evidenced by the new front page photo) that Winter has not let us her grip on the north country! We just returned from Cascade Bluff where it snowed another 8 or 10 inches. Thank goodness (I guess) for Trax -- otherwise we'd have been stuck up there... uh... and had to miss work and everything... uh... maybe those Trax weren't such a great idea after all...

Stay tuned!