Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.


What am I doing?

I’m off on a grand adventure. Well. An adventure of some sort anyway.

My adventure land for the first two nights.

Have you ever wondered what people do all day when they’re camping? Since I grew up camping I never considered that a question. It’s always been obvious to me. You do stuff.

Mostly what I’ve been doing.

On my current adventure I’ve been reading. And entertaining this guy who tried to climb into my lap on several occasions.

I think he’s had plenty of snacks already.

I haven’t gone exploring or walked the trails. I’ve been here before, many times, usually with Katie. At this exact site. So I spent a lot of time staring up into the sky and talking to her.

Hey girlie, remember all the times we spent here together?

And crying of course. Because I miss her so much. She was definitely with me these last couple of days at site #43.

Katie’s just around that next bend. I’m sure of it.

But mostly what I have been doing is waiting for it to get dark. And hoping that the sky will remain clear. So I can do this.

Maybe I was overrun by aliens. Or shooting stars. Or not.

Well, not exactly this….on this shot the center pole decided to slowly sink and swing the camera around in the middle of the 15 second shot. Still, it’s cool.

No, I was working more toward this.

This was one of the first shots, just to figure out where the Milky Way was.

But not exactly this either. I took a lot more, and I’ve only processed a couple of the images from that first night under the stars.

Actually there’s only been one night under the stars. Because the second day it poured rain.

In between the downpours I ventured into town to get gas.

And when it wasn’t raining I sat and worked on the images from the night before.

Wishing it would stop raining.

I thought about where I’d be going next. I knew it was across the bridge.

Beautiful even in the rain.

I’d never been to the state park I was headed to over there before so I was kind of excited. Not so excited that I wanted to drive across the bridge in the pouring rain though.

So I waited.

On a rainy afternoon might as well go for a hotdog. Actually, no I didn’t.

And waited. And waited But the rain never stopped so eventually I took a deep breath and slowly drove across the bridge to the Upper Peninsula. Where it was raining.

It will clear up soon. I’m sure.

So what happened next? I can’t tell you because I need to take a shower and check out of my hotel room.

Stay tuned.

There might be a barn or two involved.


Let’s take a vote, people!

Katie here. (Who else would come up with a title like that?)

As most of you are aware (but I was not), mama went camping up north at one of my favorite parks and in my all time favorite camp site. WITHOUT ME!

This was mama’s camp, site 43 at Hartwick Pines.

I thought she was just taking a really long time at the grocery store or something. You know she’s getting older and sometimes she wanders around for ages doing not much of anything. And other times she gets lost (she calls it exploring), so I wasn’t all that concerned that only daddy was feeding me and stuff. Cause mama is always around somewhere.

This was up at Pigion River Forest, where she was scouting out places to do photography.

Heck, lately I’m used to falling asleep right next to her and waking up to find she’s moved to another room! It’s hard to keep track of her, so sometimes I just don’t try.

She had beautiful weather, except for Monday night when it poured for hours.

But this time she was gone for 28 dog days! (That’s four days in human terms.) After awhile I got sort of sad, thinking I’d never see her again. I kinda like mama. But daddy is fun too, so like I said I wasn’t too worried.

There were lots of these pretty little blue flowers.

And then one afternoon I saw a shadow at the door and I knew daddy was right next to me on the sofa and I wondered, could it be, could it be mama came back to me??

One of the little lakes. Mama thought the stars would be pretty reflected here. But she didn’t go out there at night by herself.

And it was! And she smelled like smoke and marshmallows…and…and…she smelled like camping! CAMPING without ME?!?!?!

But it was pretty in the daylight.

I was all wiggle butt when she first came in and she picked me up and hugged me and then I realized the truth and I wanted down. I wanted down and I wanted to bark at her so I did.

A lot.

This trail is too long for me, so mama took advantage of not having me to hike it. Isn’t it beautiful?

Mama started unpacking the car and it became obvious that she had a great time and that great time had not included me so I barked at her some more. She got sort of annoyed, but not too much because she knew she was guilty.

Yep, my mama is always looking for light on things, even deep in the woods.

She said she didn’t pet any other dogs (as if that lets her off the hook) and she missed me a lot. She even said she got all teary eyed one evening remembering all the fun we have had camping in that very spot!

I don’t think mama was missing me while she was eating this!

She said the whole trip was sort of shadowed by the fact I wasn’t there, and she said the only reason I wasn’t was because it was so hot and she didn’t have an air condioned tent. She said I would have been miserable.

It’s a big park, up there, and I love to explore. Mama does too.

Sure mama.

Well. Maybe she’s right. Maybe she was only thinking of me.

I hope mama is reflecting on the error of her ways.

Let’s take a vote, people! Let’s hear from you! Do you think mama should not go on any more camping trips unless I get to go? Or do you think it was OK that she left me with daddy in my airconditioned house with my doggie beds and my special frozen banana treats?

Of course mama stopped to get a picture of a barn on the way home. More delays while I waited at home for her.

I’ll tabulate the results and present them to mama. (I’m pretty sure I’m going to get a camping trip out of this.) I’ll try not to make her feel bad, but that won’t be easy. She says she already feels really guilty.

She thought this was beautiful too. I say, no sheltie? Not pretty. Yep that’s what I say.

I think that’s fair. Don’t you?

Get those votes in everybody! This princess needs your support!

I think mama forgot, this is MY tent.


Celebrating summer…one last time

Katie here. Mama says you’re probably tired of reading about my adventures, but I say that’s ridiculous! Who could be tired of me? Though even I have to admit that I’ve had quite a few camping adventures this summer.

Our beautiful campsite.

Our beautiful campsite.

Mama and I have been to Harrisville, on Lake Huron, and Leelenau way up north, and we even camped close to home at the Holly Recreation Area just up the road. But I didn’t think that was enough. Oh no, not at all! So I begged mama to take me on one more far away adventure and she did!

Let's go mama!

Let’s go mama!

We went up to Hartwick Pines again! We went there two years ago, it was my very first real camping adventure, but the mosquitoes were so bad we spent most of the time hiding in our tent! And we were there a couple of winters ago when it was so cold that we could only run into the woods and back out again before my feet froze up!

But this time it was perfect! Hardly any mosquitoes and not too hot and not too cold! We struck the camping jackpot!

These ferns are taller than me!

These ferns are taller than me!

Do you want to see what we did? Well…follow me and I’ll give you a tour!

We got to explore the beautiful old forest that grows protected at the park. Our first day we walked in the woods on trails that are used for cross country skiing in the winter. These are the same trails mama and I walked on in that below zero temperature winter vacation. This time it was more fun.

Early morning run!

Early morning run!

Hartwick Pines is a beautiful park, with many campsites surrounded by birch and white pines, ferns and wildflowers. I liked to walk in between the sites on pine needle covered paths. Our first two nights hardly anyone else was there so mama and I explored the campground a lot. I liked the shorter walks and the good sniffing.

Asters and morning light at our campsite.

Asters and morning light at our campsite.

But we also went on longer walks, the prettiest one was a paved path back to a logging camp museum. Early in the morning mama and I wound through the old forest, between huge beautiful trees, and hidden way back in the woods was a pretty little log chapel!

Do you see it back there?

Do you see it back there?

We were there really early in the morning and the light just streamed through the window on the east side of the building.

The sun fills the inside of this beautiful little sanctuary.

The sun fills the inside of this beautiful little sanctuary.

Mama let me explore while she was busy taking pictures. Then she noticed that I was sitting in a pool of light. She said that God was shining His light on me because I was special…but then again all dogs are special so I shouldn’t let it go to my head. Of course not, I was just happy to be sharing such a special place with my mama.

Me and God.

Me and God.

Eventually we got back to the logging museum grounds. No one was around. Mama made me sit next to all this logging stuff.

This wheel is LOTS bigger than me!

This wheel is LOTS bigger than me!

I especially was not happy to sit in front of this big snow rolling thing. What if it moved and rolled over me? Sometimes mama doesn’t have any sense.

I don't want to sit here mama!

I don’t want to sit here mama!

I didn’t mind sitting near this guy though. I thought he was kind of cute, in a cold sort of way. He didn’t even want to pet me! I mean…what was the deal? Everyone wants to pet me!

Me and Mr. Logger-Guy.

Me and Mr. Logger-Guy.

In fact I met several people including a whole passel of kids that wanted to pet me and I let them all rub my ears and pat my back. I guess I’m finding out that most people are pretty nice and I don’t have to be so shy all the time. Plus I know my mama always has my back.

Definitely taller than me!

Definitely taller than me!

But you know one thing I did not like? Bluejays! We had a gang of them that hung around our campsite and they started squawking really early in the morning! They woke me up! Don’t they know I’m a princess and I need my beauty sleep! The only one allowed to wake anyone up around a campsite is me! It’s my job to get mama up early, and if I decide she can sleep in those stupid birds should let us all sleep! And do you know what else? When we came back from one of our walks through the beautiful woods one of them was on my picnic table stealing my dinner!

Stop that thief!

Stop that thief!

I was outraged! So I ate all my dinner up at one time just to show them! Huh! They better not come around again! I’m keeping my eye out bluejays! Anyway…what we did most on our camping trip was wander sedately through the big trees.

Everything is bigger than me in this woods!

Everything is bigger than me in this woods!

It was so beautiful. We hardly saw anyone else out there. I got to practice some of my obedience skills. Mama said I did very good. I reminded her that was because she didn’t forget the treats this time.

Good mama!

Good mama!

Mamas can be taught things even though they are old.

Anyway…we had a wonderful time. I love camping. Lots of napping while mama is reading. Lots of walks around the campground and in the woods. Lots of sniffing wonderful new stuff. I even like the car ride because we get to stop at rest stops and those always have great smells! I recommend camping to every dog!

Me and my tent.  And the sunlight.

Me and my tent. And the sunlight.

I don’t know if we’ll get to camp one more time this fall before it gets cold. I told mama not to put the tent away for the winter just yet. But she says camping is a lot of work and maybe this was our last adventure for awhile. I think I’m going to need all of you to put pressure on her to take me again just one more time before it snows.

I know I can count on all of you, my loyal subjects, to let her know that it’s too soon to pack the camping gear away! I’ll rest up while you get to work.