Our Late Autumn Visit to the Trailer
We didn't visit our trailer in Baldwin all summer. The last time we went up there was when it was snowy, in March. (Was that when I roasted the oh-so-tasty roadkill pheasant?)
The kids finally had a day off of school, on Super Tuesday, so we got away up north, taking Monday off to make a 4-day'er of it.
I thought maybe it was way past the peak for leaf-peeping, and it is, in a way, but, darn, there are still WONDERFUL trees everywhere. The oaks are only now coming on strong with their russets and deep oranges and reds. Not so bright but strong. And the woods are a bit "open" now---but the beeches are rockin' yellow and really stand out amid the greys. And the woods floor has plenty of color. And some types of maples are STILL hangin' in there. Really, it's just lovely everywhere still. My favorite time of year! Each day just kills me. Really, there's something piercing about it. I'm afraid it'll be gone the next day.
Yet I also love the chill grays of November! All these months remind me of my best days, of my teen years and everything else. Really, fall is all about hunting, with its roaming and rumpushing, and which segues into November which was about trapping, with all its roaming and rumpushing. Fresh air, hard work and opportunity. Dang!
I've really enjoyed my outdoor times for the later months of the year...as well as my indoor times. The rest of the year is rich, sure, but the richness meter is pegged for me from Oct 1 to snowfall...when a whole new vibe kicks in. Darn!
The trailer was in fine shape. We always wonder what we'll find! It's such a lovely trailer yet it seems fragile and it's out there in some very wild woods, woods that have a reputation for meth and arson. But those are the bad OLD days. We've only had good times in our years up there.
I sparked up the gas lamps in the trailer for the first time. They look so OLD and old-fashioned up there on the walls. Yet I know that EVERYTHING worked PERFECTLY when we bought the trailer off of the elderly lady. We tied on mantles and gave 'em a whirl: what wonderful light! Perfect indeed!
The kids are getting better at helping do things like fetch kindling. We enjoyed nice bonfires whenever we were hanging out at the trailer.
After our first night we got up and got going and went out for a canoe outing. We were the only folks out and about on the river. We did meet a fisherman on his way out.
We put in at Gleason's Landing---a very popular fishing campground right on the Pere Marquette River. There were dozens of huge dead salmon for the next 10 minutes paddling downstream. After that we saw very few. I suppose they were casualties of long, hard fights after being hooked then breaking off but being too tired to survive.
Martha saw her first pileated during our chilly picnic on the riverbank midway along our canoe outing.
This was a self-sag, so I biked back to our van then went and got the family.
The next day we did a long hike on a section of the NCT (North Country Trail) near Big Star Lake. I thought that 5 miles would be a nice way to spend a few hours and a lunch. It turns out that it was probably more like 7 miles and that our pace was more like strolling than I'd expected. The family and pet bailed out at the halfway point and started strolling along a dirt road headed to the van while I fast-hiked the rest of the way and got the bike. We again self-sagged. So I rode and caught up with them after they'd hiked another mile or so. They then sat on a log and waited for me to get the van.
The only bummer there was that the hiking wasn't that striking when we were all together. But after the halfway point, when I was no longer sightseeing and was on my own, the scenery burst forth with color and hill and dale. It's all federal land and there were quite a few 2-tracks that I crossed as well as a dozen brush-pile deer blinds of unknown relevance. It looked like fun land to tent on or trailer on, for sure.
I often wish that we had our old Town Car again, so the whole family could ride along as we pulled the trailer. We use the trailer now like a cottage but, darn, there's no reason not to move it around. ...Except that I slipped it into our lot on a hillside between some trees with a miracle-move. And I don't want to cut out the most offensive oak.
Also, I've messed up some of the systems in the trailer, not that that would be a problem on woodsy federal land. Still, it burns me up that it used to be perfect. It had an electric water pressure pump. It had hot and cold running water. Shower and toilet. Fancy propane/electro-ammonia frig. Electric lights as well as gas lights. A TV antenna, a solar panel. Actually, it wouldn't take much to get it all rockin' again. It's a lovely little house on wheels.
I fantasized again about the Ultimate Dare Adventure Rig: it would be a mini-pickup. Some early 4-cyclinder Toyo that gets 30mpg. I'd saw out the roof and install grommets for a snap-on rain cover. This is a 2-track rig, so you gotta have it be a fresh-air ride most of the time. I'd nail up a box canoe rack in the bed---throw a tarp over it for a tent. Then I'd like to get some kind of 4-stroke 70mpg thumper moto and a plank to ride it up into the bed. Then I'd like to trailer along a Wayfarer sailboat with oars and little outboard. Cooler, guns, fishing poles. Be ready for everything! (I think there'd be room for two moto's in the back, in case someone wanted to come along.) I figure $1K for the truck, $1K for 2 moto's, $1K for boat, motor and trailer. Just a fantasy... (But ya never know...someday!...)