Archive for June, 2017

Cedar Valley Golf Course and Amusement Park

Friday, June 30th, 2017

Again this summer my family took a day trip to the Cedar Valley Golf Course and Amusement Park located in Comins Michigan. I was reluctant to write about it last year after our visit in fear that I would let “the cat out of the bag” and the place would be over-run with vacationers and locals having the time of their lives!  For reasons unknown to me that has not happened, even though the amusement park is better than ever!

We had three of our daughters and one son and their eight children in tow and were later joined by a fourth daughter and her girl!  We actually visited the place twice so my late arriving daughter could enjoy the park.  The rest of the grandkids were all to eager to go back for “seconds” on the rides and the great putt-putt golf course in the midst of all the antique rides.

Mike and Rebecca Harrington manage Cedar Valley for the owners John and Carole Kulhavi!  The setting in the middle of pines, maples, oaks, and aspens is almost unbelievable!  You have to ask yourself the question “How did this vintage ride amusement park, putt-putt course, batting cages, midway games and snack shop slip under the radar of Northern Michigan visitors?”  Good question?  The park is still a work in progress with a roller coaster, huge slide, and tilt-a whirl on the agenda for possible late Fall!  John and Carole have a vision and Mike and Rebecca are doing all they can to make that dream become a reality.  It is the only amusement park in the United states with all vintage antique rides.  The Merry Go round was built in 1951 and my 3 year old grandson loved it!

when we arrived the first thing we did was over-run the putt putt golf course!  What a fun and unique course it is with many detailed wood statues and carvings throughout!  Rides were next as the kids enjoyed the spinning, twirling, and going up and down not to mention the bumper cars!  Talk about a “blast from the past!”  There is even a little train ride that they all climbed on with 3 year old Jeremiah sitting in the engine seat!  Next was the batter cages (fast pitch and slow pitch) which future professional Kyle Pafford smacking the ball to all fields!  One of the booths is set up with b-b type guns where you try and shoot the center out of a paper card in order to win a stuffed animal. We bought some drinks and popcorn took lots of pictures and came close to shutting down the place at quitting time.  The staff are all kid oriented and Skyler was great with all our grandkids.

The rides are open Friday from noon till 10 p.m.- Sat. 10 a.m. till 10 p.m. and Sunday 12 noon till 7 p.m.  The prices for everything are very reasonable and the experience is priceless.  If you go get the word out about this hidden “jewel” of the North country.  It’s located about 5 miles north of Fairview and within easy reach of Mio and lewiston and the surrounding area.  You owe it to yourself and family to build some great memories there and if your a golfer the Cedar Valley Course will beckon you back time and time again.

The last photo in the group is Mike and Rebecca Harrington and their very helpful daughter!

 

Mike

Michigan AuSable Valley Railroad

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

This past week the Ansel crew were recreating around the Luzerne, Mio, Fairview area, and one of our favorite things to do is take the family on the AuSable Valley Railroad ride!  What a fun and unique experience is waiting for all that venture into this hidden jewel of the North woods!  The miniature railroad line is located about 4-5 miles East of the blinking light in Fairview. You would hardly think that such a wonderful and meticulous setting could be hidden amongst the maples, oaks, and pines of the AuSable Valley.  It took 5 loving years to construct, and includes a tunnel (kids get a kick out of the dark ride) and a 25 foot high trestle, and many hidden animals along the way.  There are also animated talking characters and a beautifully restored Ford truck stopped at one of the crossings with a waving driver.

At the depot there is popcorn and an old fashioned ice chest with cold drinks.  There is also a quaint little gift shop full of railroad/train t-shirts, hats, toys, and various other gifts. You purchase your tickets at the depot and get them collected by the Conductor once on the train.  On most occasions the twin engine (to exact scale) electric train will pull the passengers around the winding wooded and scenic trail, but on special occasions a steam locomotive may be used!

The train Engineer and the Conductor are husband and wife, and they own this little “happy spot!” They take great pride and delight in making sure you have a memorable ride on their railroad line.  If your ever in the Mio/Fairview area you owe it to yourself, kids, and grandkids to take a ride on the Michigan AuSable Valley Railroad.  The memories will always bring a smile to your face I guarantee!

The address is 230 S. Abbe Rd. Fairview Michigan 48621.  Phone numbers are 989-848-2229 and 989-848-2225 and the internet connection is www.michiganausablerailroad.com

Mike

Black Bears Kill Two!

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017

Recently two people were killed and one partially eaten by black bears in Alaska!  Both attacks happened on the same day which is very unusual in it’s self!  Black bears do not have the reputation of brown or grizzly bears, and in most cases are far smaller than their bigger cousins.  That being said there have been black bears shot that have weighed in the 600 pound range, which is a monster for the species!

I have witnessed the raw power of black bears as I have hunted them in the hills of Marquette for over 40 years.  From tree stumps, cabin doors, and even car doors and windows not much will stop a hungry bear who smells a free meal!  The two very unfortunate victims were no match for the 250-300 pound black bears that decided to “cross the line” and take on a human as prey!  One of the young men was a runner in a cross country race and veered off course and got himself turned around in the bush.  He used his cell phone to call a friend and tell him there was a black bear chasing him.  That is the last he was heard from until the rescue party found his remains with the bear standing guard over the body. The bear was shot, but retreated into the bush and as yet has not been found.  A 250 pound black bear has the strength of several “buff” men, and will have his way with you in a one on one situation.  I always carry a sturdy sheath knife with me while in the bear woods, and when appropriate have a sidearm along!

Details about the other attack are sketchy, but again it seemed to be an unprovoked attack with the human not standing much of a chance.  You may get away with punching a juvenile bear in the snout or picking up a sturdy branch to defend yourself, but a mature bear is another story.  I have had some close encounters with sow’s with cubs, and also some very big powerful boars.  In each incident I was very aggressive toward the bear, and to my delight they turned tail and wanted no part of me, at least on that day.  One never knows when he may encounter a bear with an attitude just itching to take “you” on.

It’s always a good idea to have a pre-set plan before venturing into bear country. You don’t want to be the statistic that crosses the path of “old blackie” with a chip on his shoulder!

Mike

A Bad Day of Fishing is Better Than a Good Day of Honey Do’s!”

Saturday, June 17th, 2017

Today my brother Darryl and myself were fortunate enough to be asked out on a fishing yacht for a chance to take some Lake Erie walleye.  We arrived at Toledo Beach Marina at 7:15 a.m. with the anticipation of two 13 year olds.  Captain John and First Mate Jason met us at the dock.  Snacks, and drinks, were secured and Captain John went over the do’s and don’ts of running a 50 foot vessel.

We left the channel at 8 a.m. and soon discovered there was much more of a “chop” than expected!  Three to Four footers beckoned us into Erie’s shallow waters, but the twin German build 800 cubic inch diesel engines lifted the bow and crushed those “wimpy” waves!  About 2 miles out we made our first set up with 5 rod’s on either side of the boat doing duty off planner boards. The first two fish were “sheephead”, but the third was a keeper walleye!  Darryl and myself then fought two 8-10 pound sheephead that had the adrenaline pumping until they broke the surface!  After another sheephead and a white bass we decided to go to a little deeper water (from 20 to 25 foot deep.)

We fished for 1 hour with not even a false alarm and the Captain said “Time to move boys!”  We ended up just past Stoney Point, but the Mayfly skeleton’s floating on the surface and the seaweed made for some tangled messes in the lines.  So after 4 hours of fishing we only had one fish and Captain John turned the bow back to port!

There was some chatter on the radio and it seemed that those fishing Ohio waters were doing much better than we were. Darryl and myself did not possess an Ohio license so that left that out.  Ohio waters are deeper and cleaner than Erie’s southern basin so next time we will have an Ohio license.  No matter even a “bad day of fishing is better than a good day of “honey do’s!”

Thanks Captain John and Jason for a wonderful ride and a good time on Lake Erie’s waters.  And thanks for those walleye filets!  They were delicious!

Mike

Grizzly Attacks Three Kids in Alaska

Thursday, June 15th, 2017

EAGLE RIVER, Alaska — Three juveniles were mauled Wednesday after coming across a grizzly bear and her two cubs while they were hiking in a heavily wooded area just north of Alaska’s largest city, in an area were two aggressive bears have already been killed this week.

Anchorage authorities said four young people were hiking in the woods around the Eagle River campground when three of them were injured after running into the bear and two young cubs.

Officers found all four teens and brought them to safety, CBS affiliate KTVA reports. Ambulances were on hand to take them to the hospital for treatment. While officers were searching, the bear again attacked again — charging at the officers.

Police said in a release that the juveniles were taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. The fourth youth wasn’t injured.

“It’s possible this group just surprised a mother brown bear,” Alaska Department of Fish and Game spokesman Ken Marsh said. “She reacted defensively, pretty much in brown bear fashion.”

When the bear charged at officers, they shot at it, Anchorage police said. The bear took off into the woods, and armed game officers took up the search, Marsh said.

The officers followed specks of blood up a river, but the trail dissipated. Marsh said that indicates whichever bear was shot was not mortally wounded.

The search for the bears was called off after about three hours and would not resume. Instead, he said signs warning people of bear activity in the area would be posted.

A Decade of Blogging Post

Tuesday, June 6th, 2017

 

Random post from the last decade of blogging!  More to come!