back in the UP

As we rolled back into Copper Country last week, we happened to catch the most thrilling radio ever yet heard by man. It was out of the White Pine area, which is pretty much in the middle of nowhere. It was the results from the annual big buck contest that happens across the region. Basically a bar or gas station in a small town takes results from deer hunting season, keeping track of everyone’s kills. Basically the radio show consisted of two grown bumbling their way around a radio station, mostly talking too far from the mic, or calling people on the phone, only to get their voicemails and leave a rambling message for all their listenership to listen in on. It was hilarious and a good welcome home. As the show continued, they read off the winners of the contest, including the weight of the deer and the points. They tallied the scores while we listened to songs by Da Yoopers. You can pick up their latest discs, which in theory would include the song about diarrhea that we got to listen to, here. When someone called in for a request, they accidentally played a song they had played 5 minutes prior and let me tell you, none of these songs do you want to hear more than once. Anyway, they tallied the scores by adding the weight of the deer killed plus the points. While I recorded audio of the hilarious conversations with the bar owners for you to hear, sadly, wordpress will not allow me to upload audio. I’m sorry you can’t be charmed with their yooper accents (and I say that realizing that despite having been born in New York, that I have a northern Minnesota accent that sounds strikingly similar to these men’s) and the strange stories the old timer from the Bruce Crossing gas station told.

Anyway, it was good to be back in the UP! Circular Lodgic was in good shape, Xena was very happy to see us, and we had a day to clear snow and get things put away before talk of the big ass storm to come started up. The yurt is now in icicle making configuration!



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Now that we’ve endured our first big snowstorm at CL sans snowplow and the yurt is still up, the driveway is maneuverable (after a little call to a professional snow removal man), we can both relax a little.

The day the big storm started up, we hadn’t gotten our snowplow assembled, despite trying desperately before dark set in every day after school. It’s tough getting things like that done without a garage as dark sets in and the snow comes pouring down and you’re handling little nuts and bolts!

We planned to use our snowblower, The Handyman Special, but the day of the mega snow, it wouldn’t start. Every school in Houghton and Keeweenaw Counties was closed, so my sub job was a no go. Bryan set off for school, leaving me at the yurt with no way to clear snow or leave and an inch an hour rolling down around me. I called Tony the super nice snow removal guy I had had give an estimate on clearing our driveway this winter. We couldn’t afford it, but he told me if we got in a bind, to give him a call.

So, on the day of the mega snow, I called him, knowing full well how annoying it must be to get a million calls now that the snow is flying, despite having not hired him in the fall. Remembering our sketchy driveway, he said he would try but couldn’t guarantee he’d get up it! So, I went about shoveling and shoveling and shoveling two tracks down the whole 1/4 mile driveway to help the chances that he’d be successful. When he arrived, I was ecstatic when on the second try he made it up. It was good to be able to watch him plow once too because we haven’t the foggiest idea how to do it and it’s our newest job now!

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Today we finally finished assembling the plow and gave it a whirl. It’s pretty nerve-racking business since we live right on a highway. We got stuck in the snow pile we were creating at the bottom of the driveway, but other than that, it was a success (thanks in large part to Dad and Jesse for the TLC the Danger Ranger got in Mankato to get it plowin’ ready)!

2 thoughts on “back in the UP

  1. Deb Mann says:

    oh my…that is a lot of snow…which is great if you don’t have to move it. I cannot believe you shoveled the whole driveway tracks….that is a long long way..

    i hope things are better now…would it be possible to put a small woodstove in the a-frame too or is it too late or not enough room to do that?

    We love you and wish for some easy solutions….


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