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Saturday, October 3, 2009

B.B. & B......Blogger Buddies and Bears!!!

Hi everyone!

Sorry I haven' t blogged in a few days...we have been "on the road" again capturing U.P. photos of our wonderful color season here...and best of all....meeting another Blogger Buddy!!

Cathy Clementz, of Yooper Yarns graciously invited us over to her wonderful campground near Newberry, Michigan so that we could finally meet before she totally deserts us Yoopers leaves in a few weeks to go to North Carolina.

If you haven't been to her blog, make sure you click on both the campground link and her blog link above to check both out! Her blog always makes me smile with her stories of past and present adventures with her hubby, Dan...and she always comments on my blog and makes me laugh then too!

So, I packed my cooler of hotdogs, buns, hotdog sticks, pop, chips, coffee, towels, etc. etc. and off we went to go "camping" at her wonderful campground.

We were going to cheat, however, and not tent it or use a camper.

You see, she has a couple of comfy cabins and we opted to stay in there instead of "roughing" it.

(With age, comes wisdom).

I could hardly wait to get there...we knew we would love her and her husband Dan because her personality shines through all of her blogposts...along with her humor.

We weren't disappointed!!

Just LOOK at her cute face:
(She is on the left, and yours truly is on the right):

I took a wonderful photo of her and her husband Dan, too...but Dan is being shy and doesn't want me to post his picture here on the blog.

He probably didn't want to dazzle the ladies.

Whatever, DAN!!!

I will get you next time, my pretty...

Anyway, I digress...

We talked a bit and then toured her wonderful campground.

The color there is just beginning, but look what a nice place it is!:

We settled in the cutest cabin, and unpacked and then, upon her recommendation, we decided to go directly to nearby Oswald's Bear Ranch, because it was the last day it was going to be open for the season, and I wanted to get my camera on some bears!!

We recently saw a bear in the wild woods, but he ran away so quick, I didn't get a shot of him with my I didn't want to miss the opportunity to get some shots of bear again!!

But before I end this post with the shots of the trip to Oswald's Bear Ranch, I wanted to show you the morning after we stayed the night.

We had some COLD weather during the got down in the 20 degree range!!!


Here is a shot of our adorable cabin when we woke up and saw that Mr. Frost had visited during the night:

The frost was so thick on our Blazer that I had to use a spoon to write this on the windshield:

We had plans to roast hotdogs and sit at the picnic table the night before, but by the time we got back from the Bear Ranch and had a yummy pizza with Cathy and Dan, it was TOO COLD!!

Just look at the frost on this picnic table!!:

But, despite the cold, we had a GREAT time staying in the cabin at her wonderful campground and chatting together. Isn't this world of blogging wonderful, when you get to meet folks who are genuine, caring and warm and you feel like instant friends when you get to meet in person?

Now, on to the Oswald Bear Ranch experience!:

When you get there, and pay at the office, they tell you there are several areas of fenced in parcels of bears, and you can walk the perimeters and see the bears in their natural habitat.

We liked that they were not stuck in tiny little cages and looked like they were well taken care of.

Only the baby bear cubs are kept in cages until they are big enough to "graduate" into the larger parcels of land where they can roam freely.

So, off we went around the first large fenced area..hiking and chatting in the beautiful autumn day.

Until my hubby grabs my arm and says.."Umm..don't get scared but look down!:

There on the path right in front of my right foot was THIS:

Oh, you say you want a CLOSE UP?

Well, alrighty then:

So of course I took his picture...because dang it...I was at the Bear Ranch to take pictures, after all!

We went all the way around the first enclosure without seeing a single bear.

I think they were in the middle of the woods having a kegger or something.

So off we went to hike around the second large enclosure.

Bingo! We saw our first lovely bear.


She was pretty big!

I saw more, but I couldn't get shots of them through the chain link fence..there are only a few spots where they cut out the links so you can put your camera in the holes and get clear photos.

But, I loved this Bear who was obviously into licking its own Icey:

For $5.00, you could get your picture with a bear cub.

I didn't want to make the little cub do stupid things for my benefit.

But another couple decided to go ahead and get their photo with the cub.

When they were done posing, they put Fruit Loops on the cub's belly and left it on the chair and it just sat there and ate off its stomach. (That will be what I look like in another five or ten years in my recliner, just sayin')....

Just look at this large bear just hangin' out over the culvert pipe:

And just look at this FACE!!!:

(I don't think I want to get that close in the woods to one, though.)

This guy is yawning and saying: "Geez, already, are you done yet with the dang photos? It is almost my dinner time, you know....!

So, we said goodbye to the bears and headed back over to Cathy's and Dan's again for the before-mentioned yummy pizza and an equally wonderful visit.

Thanks again, you guys for hosting us at your awesome campground...

it was so nice of you.

Now, when is it that you said you would come and visit us at Lake Michigamme??

As soon as you return from your North Carolina adventure, we hope....


Insanitykim said...

OH MY GOSH! *Picking chin up off the floor* and I am from ALASKA and I am still like, woah!!!


~Cheryl said...

Aha! Big bears in their shiny winter coats sure beat the snake in the grass. Very cute cabin you stayed in; that's my idea of camping, too!

Brian Miller said...

very cool. we saw a bear up close on our honey moon 13 years ago. walked across the road right in front of us, right by my window. your pics are amazing though. love to just watch animals in the their rcliners at their

Eva Gallant said...

Looks like you had a great time! Love the bear pics. I was hoping to see some at Yellowstone, but had to settle for buffalo and elk!

Wanda said...

Those are the best bear photos I've seen...the oh-so closeup of the bear's head and tongue and one resting on the culvert were great.

The future Joan lounging in a chair made me laugh!

Cathy Clementz said...

Your photos of the bears turned out pretty good! Well, that and the snake too! And the frost, the cabins, the campground! And us! HA!

We do hope you had a good time and hope you will post other photos that I KNOW you took!!

Glad you enjoyed your stay!! And thanks for the kudos!!

Your fellow blogger....

The Retired One said...

Insanity Kim: Aren't bears magnificent? I could have stared at them forever!

Cheryl: We used to camp..started out tenting, then bought a tent camper, then a small hard-sided camper, then a medium camper, and then a large one. Then, the kids grew up, left home and we sold it. Now, we stay at motels. ha

Brian: Maybe a bear crossing the road in front of you is a good omen...look how good your marriage apparently is?? ha
They are amazing animals!

Eva: I would love to see an Elk...I have seen a buffalo in person, but it was at a buffalo farm, not in the wild.

Wanda: That little bear cub was so cute! And hey, I really like Fruit Loops too.. :-}

Cathy: You are welcome..I meant every word of our thankyous. Don't worry, I will be posting Crisp Point lighthouse, whitefish point and Taquemenon Falls over the next few days..stay tuned!

DJan said...

What wonderful photos! Bears are beautiful animals, and it's heartwarming to see these taken care of and not in cages. I loved your story, and I've learned that I might indeed one day meet some of your blogging buddies, as you have. Cathy is a sweetheart. Great pictures of the brrr! frost.

Aria said...

It looks like y'all had a fantastic (freezing) time, despite the snake, cause I'd have mad-dashed it right back to the cabin at that point... Then again, I'm not an outdoorsey type... I'm more of a room service kind of girl. And yet I wound up in the country. God has one heckuva sense of humor, huh?

grannyann said...

someone asked me the other day what I hated and I said spiders but on second thought I hate snakes more!!!
Loved the baby bear in the chair and the adults are so interesting.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Wonderful bear photos! It was really cold there..but it looked like a cute little cottage! It is nice to meet fellow bloggers! :)

L. D. Burgus said...

You are quite a wild life photographer. Great job. The snake shots were great, but keep them up there. The bear photos are wonderful. The last one made it look like he was going to eat you. Thanks for sharing.

The Retired One said...

DJan: Yes, in fact I am thinking of organizing an upper Michigan blogger meeting to help meet more, too.

Aria: I have learned to love the outdoors so much more now that I am delving into photography..such wonderful scenes out there to capture on film. Hope you are feeling better!

Grannyann: Yep, spiders and snakes still frighten me some..but I can take them with my zoom, so I don't have to come up close. ha

Far Side: yes, it was wonderful to meet them...I hope to meet more blogger buddies soon too.

L.D.: Thanks..I am behind reading your blog and other's blogs though because I have been gone so much taking my photos...but I will catch up some this week as we are getting rain here.

J.J. in L.A. said...

Great pics! My favorite is the bear hanging over the culvert.

Lazy bum!

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

How fun to get to meet another blogger. The cabin and campground look like a lot of fun. That would be my idea of camping too.
Great shots of the bears!

Joycee said...

Loved the blog today, hey I always love to hear what you are up to. Wow is right, frost on the pumpkin is early this year! The bears are too cute...

The Retired One said...

J.J.: Yeah, that cracked me up when I saw him lazing over the culvert too!

Catherine: Thanks! Yes, it was fun meeting another blogger...I hope to organize an even bigger group in our area before long to meet.

Joycee: I am up to being gone alot lately...I am trying to get outside a lot for pictures before all the leaves fall off the tree! ha

ashley folkema said...

Glad to see you were able to visit Cathy! Brrrr.....looks like you had a very chilly morning. We hope to be able to visit her too.

Judy said...

Gosh, what a wonderful trip and you got such great photos. That snake would have scared me to death. Your friend has such a great place. The cabin looks so cozy. I will check out her place. Have a great week.

The Retired One said...

Ashley: yes, it was chilly all right...the wind was whipping pretty hard, but it was worth it!! I didn't know you were planning on coming to the U.P...if you do, PLEASE let me know, I would love to arrange to meet you too!

Judy: Thanks! The cabin was cozy and her campground is really cute...close to many things to see, too. If you come to the U.P., make sure and let me know!!

Shelley said...

How exciting you got to meet Cathy! I hope to meet both you ladies some day! Wonderful photos as always!

SquirrelQueen said...

I love the photos of the bears, the close ups are great. I also like the close shot of the snake, he is so cool.

The Retired One said...

Shelley: Yes, I was so glad to be able to meet Cathy and Dan. They are terrific people. I can't wait to meet you too.

SquirrelQueen: I loved the bears, and was happy to be able to get some closeups of them. The snake? Not so much. Ha.

Joanna Jenkins said...

The frost on the car is a hoot but the bear! WOW.
You and Cathy look beautiful :-)

The Retired One said...

Joanna: are so sweet! Neither Cathy and I think the picture is a good one of us (because personally, I feel 20 years younger than what it came out as. ha), but you are nice to say that. Those bears were something else. Really neat!

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I retired in June 2008 and started my blog in November 2008. I worked at several jobs as a Registered Nurse prior to retirement. I LOVE being retired! Blogging has offered me a whole new venue to start writing again and to share new hobbies such as gardening, birdwatching and sharing my nature photography. If you like my blog, PLEASE click on "follow this blog". Having a lot of followers reading my blog gives me incentive to continue to do photography and to continue to write. I also LOVE comments, so I encourage you to leave me a comment after you read my posts. Thanks everyone, for taking the time to read me!!

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