Tag Archives: The Accidentals

Sleeping Bear 2018

July 29 – August 14, 2018

We are happy to be back in Leelanau County, Michigan for the months of August and September.  We will be volunteering for Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.   As we did for Oregon State Parks, we will be working as Interpretive Volunteers throughout the park.  Our duties include working in the two maritime locations, the visitor center, and as narrators on bus tours of Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive.

Campsite

As compensation, we are given a campsite at D.H. Day Campground.

We came in a few days early and camped at Leelanau Sands Casino, just north of Suttons Bay.  In order to stay there, we had to sign up for a Players Club card.  First time cardholders are given $10 in free slot play.

Leelanau Sands

I had a pretty lucky night.  The machine I was playing started going wild!  The guy next to me was laughing, as he thought I was doing pretty good for a 30 cent bet.  When I informed him I was playing on the casino’s money, his jaw hit the floor.  By the time we walked out, I was over $180 in winnings.  Not bad for someone who doesn’t frequent casinos!

Before we headed to Sleeping Bear, our friends Linda and Steven came and stayed next to us at Leelanau Sands.

Linda and Steven

We all went to Patti and Lane’s house for dinner, along with Rod and Mary.  We also went out to eat a few times and checked out Peterson Park.

Peterson Park

We love the view from up there, as it’s possible to see four islands on a clear day.

We also went kayaking on Little Traverse Lake with Lane and Patti.  Here they are heading back out after we had to get ready to go back to our camp.

Patti and Lane

Pretty soon, it was our first day on the job….which also happened to be out 36th anniversary!

First day Sleeping Bear

Here we are in the Cannery, which is a fruit processing plant turned boat museum.

Cannery

The boat I am sitting in front of is identical to the one from the movie, The Finest Hours.  It is self-righting, self-bailing, practically unsinkable and the diesel engine will run upside down.

The other maritime location is the 1902 lifesaving station.  The boathouse is said to be the most completely equipped station in the United States.

Boathouse

Here I am letting one our visitors feel how heavy the Lyle gun projectile is.  That particular gun would shoot a line over a disabled ship in order to establish a lifesaving zipline, then called a breeches buoy.  The Lyle gun was the only cannon ever developed to save lives, instead of taking them.

Surfboat

We also have two open surfboats on display.

Heroes

And every afternoon, the park puts on a program called Heroes of the Storm, a reenactment of how a Lyle gun rescue works.  Seven children are pulled out of the crowd to serve as surfmen.  The sailors they save from the ‘ship’ are Raggedy Ann and Andy.  It’s really fun.  🙂

And on Thursdays, the park fires off a real Lyle gun.  It is a sight to see!

Lyle Gun 1

The initial blast…

Lyle Gun 2

…pushing out the flame and the projectile.

Lyle Gun 3

As the projectile gets dragged by the shot line coming out of the blue box, it turns around and heads out over the water….

Lyle Gun 4

…eventually landing 200 yards out, dragging the shot line behind it.  The surfmen back in the day could launch the projectile up to 600 yards.

We also worked at the Port Oneida Fair, which is a celebration of the early 20th Century rural culture. Living history activities were held at several of the historic farms, as well as the school house, that are a part of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

Laundry 2

Diana worked at the washtub station, teaching children how to do laundry.

Laundry

When the local TV station started filming, we  decided to watch the news that night.  Not only was she on there…

Corn Sheller

…so was I, teaching kids how to run a corn sheller.  🙂

Dulcimer

One gentleman was even teaching youngsters how to play a hammer dulcimer.

Blacksmith Shop

And who is that in the Blacksmith shop?  Well that is Diana, providing lunch relief for the blacksmith and keeping the fire going, while explaining the role of the blacksmith in the town of Glen Haven.  🙂

Northport

We also were visited by our friends Jodee and Bill!  Here we are at Music in the Park in Northport.

Gravels and Belisles

We also checked out Sleeping Bear and the Old Mission Peninsula with them….

Tessa selfie

…and their sweet fluffy dog Tessa.  🙂

Our last night with them, we managed to get tickets for The Accidentals.  We have been following this trio for several years now.  Their latest album Odyssey has been played in our CD players from Oregon to Florida to Maine and back to Michigan.

The Accidentals

Diana and I have seen them perform twice in the past at outside venues, but it was great to see and hear them inside an auditorium.   The four of us were blown away, hooting and hollering throughout the show.  If you ever have the opportunity to see them, don’t miss it.

Well, that gives you an idea of what we’ve been up to the past few weeks.  Stay tuned for our next post as we continue to find new adventures to share with you.  Until then, safe and happy travels to all!

 

 

 Workin’ Hard and Playin’ Often!

It is remarkable how a simple answer to a question can be the impetus to overcoming an obstacle.  So it was with Site 94 at Wild Cherry Resort.  A project to build an upscale Class A site had reached the point of laying the pavers.  None of us had ever done that sort of work before, and not much was happening as a result.  When our newest work campers, Rod and Mary, showed up in mid-June, the question was asked if Rod knew how to do pavers. Mary replied “Yes he does”, and Rod was immediately appointed to be the foreman.  🙂

  
First day on the job, Rod started rounding up the tools needed and put us to work.  Here he is manning a rake, with Paul on the compactor.

  
Jim S. (the owner) started running sand with the Truckster.

As the week wore on, the crew kept at it.  I missed part of the work when we made our previously scheduled trip to St. Louis.  Our goal was to have the site finished for the July 4th weekend.

  
Rex, our longtime mower, kept the rest of the park looking great while we were tied up on the site.  Rex celebrated his 91st birthday last week with happy hour at his and Nellie’s place.  The only thing that keeps Rex from mowing is an invitation to go salmon fishing on Lake Michigan.  🙂

  
After the pavers were laid, we spread a sand/concrete mix over the top and Rod shook it in with the compactor.  

  
We then swept off the excess and Rod sprayed the site with water to set the mix and the pavers in place.

  
The site also features a lower patio, which Mary did the landscaping on.

   

 
From left: myself, Dave, Rod, Mary, Rex and Paul….
  
…and the owner of Wild Cherry, Jim.

After working our tails off, we welcomed the first motor home onto Site 94 on July 2nd.  🙂  Time to play!

One of the many things we took in since then was Paddle for Pints, which I have previously posted about.  A few days later, Diana’s cousins Reed and his wife Emily, and Nancy and her husband David came over from Luzerne to visit.

  
We took them to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and hiked up to Pyramid Point.  Here is Reed and I looking out towards North Manitou Island.  After we completed the hike, we had a nice lunch at Hearth and Vine at Black Star Farms.

And then there are evenings on the patios of the local wineries, which feature local musicians.

   
Here we are with Camilla at Aurora Cellars, listening to Drew Hale.

  
Mary noted on a later visit that Drew has a Zac Brown influence.  I also detected a little Keith Urban in his voice.

  
And here is singer/songwriter Blake Elliott at Shady Lane, an event we also attended with Camilla. Blake is often compared to Traci Chapman but, per Robert Downes from Northern Express, is as “hard to pin down as liquid mercury”.  Crazy good, for sure!

  
And here are The Accidentals at Blustone.  We showed up later here with Rod and Mary after listening to Drew Hale again with Paul and JoAnn.  Camilla is out in the crowd already.  🙂   If you haven’t heard of The Accidentals, chances are you will someday.  Fresh out of high school and Interlochen, their list of accomplishments is amazingly long.  The girls play 12 instruments between the two of them. Best described as indie/folk/bluegrass….uh, well…they really defy description.  🙂

And it is cherry picking time!

  
Before the mechanical shakers came in, we were told we could pick some for ourselves.  Here is Diana picking some black sweet cherries.  Oh, my….they are delicious!

  
And while Jim S. and a few others were picking cherries, I was driving the Truckster around, picking up golf balls.  Always a nice way to spend an hour.  🙂 I’ve also been tackling a fence painting project, along with my normal duties on my work days.  Diana has been very busy with the office, which is a huge job.  As is evident, we are working hard and having fun!  We are fortunate to be part of a great group of people, both workers and seasonal residents.  The weather is outstanding…low humidity and temperatures just below 80 for highs.

If you are looking for a place to spend a nice vacation, come on up and see us!