Settling In

We’ve lived in the new place in Traverse City for just over a week now. There are still a few boxes to unpack, but we’re really in the final innings now. We have a few loads of things to donate, and we have pictures to hang, but I think all the furniture pieces are in their final resting places. Since we gave up quite a few square-feet with this move, it’s been interesting to figure out just how things fit. I’ve gotten creative with some of the organizing, but so far the house doesn’t feel small – and I don’t think it will. I know I promised you photos, but that’ll have to wait until I feel like the house is ready for company 😉

Historically I’ve been a total task-master about completing the move. I’ve tried to lighten up a bit and just enjoy the new location some this time. In the midst of all the packing, unpacking, and nesting, we’ve gone on dozens of miles of walks – one of the things we most looked forward to with this relocation. Petey and I start each morning with a trek around two miles. There have been just a couple mornings when I didn’t feel up to facing the lake breezes, but otherwise we’ve started our days by walking to the bay. It’s a great way to begin.

It’s also a great way to end 😉 (All photos from our walk tonight to get ice cream and then visit the bay.)

 

 

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A Perhaps Extended Stay

You might have conjectured about my absence of late. Or you might not have noticed I was gone. I was. I’m back now, but I won’t even pretend to suggest that it’ll be a long stay. Perhaps I’ll make more frequent visits to the blog, but don’t count on it just yet.

You see, spring has happened Up North. The weather has finally taken a sharp turn for the better, and I am having trouble staying inside.

Also, we finally closed on our new house in Traverse City. We’ll be moving sometime, but we are still not sure when. Part of the deal included the installation of hardwood floors upstairs, and to redo the staircase as well.

And that might have already been done, except the house was built in 1895 and is heated with cast iron radiators that require a specialist (team? I dunno, but they’re exceptionally heavy) to move and replace them. Tony thinks we’ll probably move next weekend, but I’m ever the optimist and am hoping for this weekend.

Petey Hikes-2

Petey doesn’t care as long as he gets to play outside. With a friend or 20 would be best.

Petey Hikes-3

Meanwhile, I’m packing some things and am just grateful that it’s warm enough for the ice to have melted! (All these photos are from our hike this evening over at the south end of Lake Skegemog. I did actually wade through slush up to my knees last night for a photo. Youch! It was painfully cold.)

(Before I go, I should also say sorry for not checking in on your blogs. Work has also been crazy, and part of it required an operating system update on my laptop that I’ve been avoiding. Now the reader that I use to check all your blogs says I have almost 600 things to read, and I haven’t gotten it fixed yet. I’ll be around to your blogs soon though!)

A Skegemog (Mis)Adventure

Because we had gallivanted on Saturday, Tony and I decided to stay closer to home on Sunday. Plus we had a house showing (they’re not interested) right in the middle of the afternoon, which would’ve spoiled any potential plans. We’re still thrilled with the warmer weather, so we decided to take Petey for an evening hike on one of the nearby Skegemog trails.

I was last over there by myself with Petey, and while the trailhead parking wasn’t clear, it was passable. Things looks similar as we pulled up, and I advised Tony – who was driving – as such. Too bad I was wrong. As soon as we cleared the initial hump of snow into the parking area, we slid down and sideways into deep mushy snow fit only for snowmobiles. Thankfully, we were only a few feet off the road, and some careful back and forth work with a bit of pushing freed us. Much better than a couple years ago.

This was on our way back, so it’s dark, but I thought this post needed a photo break 😉
trail-Petey

The sky was fully covered in clouds when we set off, so I left my camera in the car. Petey was an absolute wild man – a veritable friskopotamus. He was pretty responsive, but you’d never have guessed he’d had a big day of adventures on Saturday.

Still running hog-wild after over 1.5 miles on lightly packed snow
Petey-on-Skegemog

Of course, the sky opened up a bit as we approached the frozen lake. I lamented not bringing my “real” camera. My phone died a couple of times in the cold, so I had to borrow Tony’s for a few of these. It was probably a good thing I didn’t have the Nikon – we’d never have left 😉
Skegemog-sunset

Eventually we did go, though. Partly because the wind across the open lake was freezing us, and partly because night was swiftly approaching. By the time we returned to the car, twilight was upon us, and Petey had calmed somewhat. Again, I am so grateful for the many places we can escape to the great outdoors!

You can embiggen this one if you want 🙂 It’s a 180-degree pano of Lake Skegemog.
Skegemog-Pano

Taking Advantage

Temperatures were in the 20’s yesterday and today, so we took the chance to get out and explore. Since we have day jobs, we’re a bit limited on our mid-week options, but we are fortunate to have some hiking trails nearby. It snowed heavily on us today, so I left the camera at home, but yesterday the sun joined us (and so did the camera).

Tony and I have been working on Petey’s recall and calming down after major excitement. Happily, he hiked nearly five miles off leash yesterday with just a few minor incidents – both involving birds that he had no hope of catching. (Thankfully, he did not approach the coyote we saw at the end of our first hike. Instead, he walked contentedly behind me back on his leash.) We’re confident he’ll get his prey instinct under some kind of control – he just needs some training and patience. Which is to say we need patience.

Skegemog Petey-3

We’ve worked on behavioral modification in the past with great success. It wasn’t very long ago that we’d have to drag him out onto boardwalks and decking of any kind. It’s been worth the effort. I’m happy that his fears haven’t shrunk his world, and it’s wonderful seeing him not tremble as he steps foot onto these surfaces.

In addition to generally enjoying our outing, you can see that Petey practiced posing.
Skegemog Petey-6

He even practiced when I was simply trying to take pictures of the scenery sans-Petey. Clearly I missed the memo about the need for a Pete in every picture. “A Pete in Every Picture” sounds like a fundraising initiative, don’t you think? 😉
Skegemog Petey-7

Before the sun had entirely set, we trekked out onto the frozen expanses of Lake Skegemog. As always, Petey followed the path of a previous hiker. I made my own tracks. Not that I’m a trailblazer – it’s just easier to walk in fresh snow than the uneven footing of an obviously taller first hiker.
Skegemog Petey-8

That’ll be all from me for a few days. Friday is supposed to be in the teens, but otherwise we are expecting several days with single-digit highs. Brrrr!

Ice Hunting

My friend Lisa invited me out this afternoon with one of her friends, so I brought Petey and we all went ice hunting.

We met up at The Dockside – a boating restaurant perched where Clam Lake flows into Torch Lake.

still Torch Lake

The lake was about as still as I’ve ever seen it, and we found our first hunt success on Torch’s shores.
ice on Torch

But we didn’t linger long – Lisa had a new favorite place to share with us. After a quick stop-off in Bellaire (where she surprised me with a Christmas gift, thoughtful gal that she is), we landed on the eastern edge of Lake Bellaire.

Click to embiggen
icy Lake Bellaire panorama

A clear sheet of ice covered the full expanse of the lake. Well, except where someone broke through at the boat launch.

The very edges of the lake were frozen solid enough to walk on. I didn’t venture out far – it’s unnerving standing atop icy water, and more so when you can see just how deep that water is. So I didn’t go far, but I did venture out.

On my belly…which might sound crazy, but I know a thing or two about the relationship between pressure and area. It’s odd being face to face with ice on the lake, but I was far more likely to stay on the lake rather than ending up in the lake this way.

spoon ice

Petey’s not much better than me. As you can see, I had to call him back from the edge a few times, and he insisted on climbing out on this tree. Not that he saw me do it first or anything. Mmhmm.

Petey didn’t just spend his time testing the ice and climbing trees. He was a real help, too.

After shooting every molecule of ice on Lake Bellaire’s edges, we opted to return to Torch Lake for the sunset.
Torch Lake sunset

The skies promised a show, but the sunset got trapped in the ice. And then, the color faded from the day.
sunset trapped in ice

Happy with our afternoon’s captures, we packed in our gear and headed home. I think we bagged our limit for the day – but no worries, it’s a long ice hunting season 😉