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Dodging downed trees in the sticks

October 8, 2011
By Kelly Fosness ( , The Daily Mining Gazette

If it weren't for chainsaws, my co-pilot and I would have never made it out to Camp Kukkamunga last weekend, following Thursday's windstorm.

With my camera in one hand and the steering wheel in the other, I must have captured eight monsters - sawed off and dumped along the side of the logging trail. While we packed everything but our Husqvarna, someone was gracious enough to clear the way. Kudos to them.

Of course, there were a few deadheads we had to drag away. Like tug-of-war with a maple, we were on the losing end of the tree and decided to chance swerving around.

I sent Jen out in front, and like an air traffic controller, she guided my treads as they teetered on the edge of the muddy embankment.

Times they do get tough on my camp road, especially when you're driving a car not the best set of wheels for Thayer's Lake.

I always tell myself "go big or go home." Not to mention, we were itching to head into the woods to soak in the fall season.

We got going early Friday, heading to the grocery store for our camp eats around noon. Jen and I are what you'd call meat- and-potatoes kind of girls. In that case, we hit up the Vollwerth's bin for ring bologna, which I fondly like to call "mukkada."

You may, on more than one occasion, hear me say "Holy mukkada."

Equally important was finding dinner for Saturday night, so we wheeled over and snagged a T-bone and ribeye.

I've mentioned in a previous column the odd snacks I munch on, so you can only imagine how random the cart appeared to the friendly checkout lady.

Steak beep.

Camp soda beep.

Pickles beep.

Mushrooms beep.

Beef jerky beep.

Olives beep.

And, along with all that, I nabbed the last giant bubble wand. It was pink. Beep.

Some $40 each later, we pushed our rickety basket on wheels to the trunk, packed it to the gills and headed toward Mohawk.

Naturally, we forgot the most important ingredient ice. So we stopped at the BP in Allouez for that, a quick pump of air in the rear driver's side tire and hit the road again.

I couldn't have picked a better weekend to take Friday and Monday off. The winds were still gusting but the sun was high in the sky.

The drive from Fulton to camp is one of my favorites this time of year. The leaves are at their brightest, the air is crisp with the scent of apples and the treetops create a reddish-orange canopy over the pavement.

Unpacking is always fun, better than packing up, I say. One of the first things I pull out though is my super radio (that's really what it's called). The darn thing takes six D batteries, which are pricy if you're buying them at the grocery store, and has a huge speaker. It was my grandpa's and I think it'd be safe to say it came from "Monkey Wards." Ultimately, I made a special trip to Houghton just for the batteries.

Hard to believe we picked up stations out of Marquette from our plot in the sticks.

Inside the camp, my dad hooked me up with a neat radio system remember we don't have electricity.

He took an old Walkman AM/FM radio and wired it to a set of speakers I had back in college.

You're probably wondering why the heck I don't stick to a tune box that takes a measly four AA batteries.

Well, it doesn't reach outside and, wherever I?go, the radio goes.



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