Jilly the Cow

Jilly the Cow

Since today’s outdoor time involved stacking firewood (who’s surprised?) I am going to share about last night’s adventure.

We traveled  north to Houghton/Hancock and ran our usual errands before driving to the backwoods beyond Atlantic Mine to visit an old friend and his family.  Except for a brief “hello” at the Aura Jamboree last summer, I hadn’t seen David since the early 1990’s when he worked with my husband.  Now he’s aiming toward a doctorate at Michigan Technological University and has a wife, three daughters and a beautiful cedar-shake country house.  He also serves a great Greek Pizza!

But first things first.  If you live in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, it’s probably a good bet that you’ve seen Jilly the Cow.  She parks herself at county fairs, carnivals and parking lots to advertise Jilbert’s Dairy, a milk company in Marquette.  Since most locales probably do not boast a giant trailered cow, I thought she might interest some of the blog readers.  Do other communities trailer around huge plastic animals?

Coast Guard boat docked in Houghton

Coast Guard boat docked in Houghton

As we drove through Houghton, we noticed a rather large Coast Guard vessel along the Portage Canal.  Ever in search for photos, I implored Barry to pull over and explore.  We shot about seven pictures, none of which appeared entirely satisfying.  The boat contained at least a half dozen buoys which will be placed out in Lake Superior.  The craft, the Hollyhock, hails from Port Huron, Michigan.  I wanted to strike a conversation with the crew, as my hometown lies in that vicinity (and I get to visit there next week!)  However, the opportune moment for chatting did not present itself and we drove toward our family dinner date in Atlantic Mine.

Old wooden carved fellow

Old wooden carved fellow

After following directions to turn left, turn right, don’t go straight…we thankfully discovered this small piece of the Upper Peninsula never before seen by our eyes.  We enjoyed talking with David’s wife, Tracy, and their three girls who ranged from eighth grade to four years old.  After dinner we wandered around outside, following a trail behind their house into the woods and swamplands.  We heard tales of a recent visiting black bear. 

Now which one took that perfect shot?

Now which one took that perfect shot?

Barry played basketball with two of the girls after dinner and had a great time.  David covered the tender plants in the garden, a necessity at this time of year, due to the cold temperatures at night.  You never know if it will freeze.  The thermometer always seems to be hovering somewhere near 32 degrees and we must constantly debate:  cover or not cover?

David covering the garden plants

David covering the garden plants

I loved the look of this old garage or shed.  It looks so rustic and appealing as it ages…

Old garage or shed

Old garage or shed

For the final photo, I keep debating:  gleaming-eyed chickens in the rafters of the barn or a pile of bikes?  It’s simply too challenging to decide, so you shall have both, even though it’s far too many photos to fit in one blog.  (Do you know they start charging you at WordPress if you surpass an allotted limit of space?  I’m afraid, due to the high number of photos, I’m going to have to upgrade by the end of the year.  Heck, maybe by September!  But who cares?  This is so much fun, probably I should be paying!)

This family loves to bike!

This family loves to bike!

And finally…don’t these chickens look like their dancing on the rafters?  How funny!

Chickens strutting their stuff

Chickens strutting their stuff

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