Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.


Hilltop summer afternoon

Katie here.

Pretty flowers mama. Now can I have a treat?

I don’t suppose it actually qualifies as an adventure, but after spending weeks and weeks doing nothing at all I’ll take what I can get. Sometimes even a Princess can’t be picky.

You’ve all seen mama’s fun with her family, and I liked it a whole bunch when my Uncle and Aunt came to visit me. But I didn’t get to go on any adventures and then she went away for ten whole days! That’s about 70,000 days in dog years!

So you can see why I’ve been bugging mama to take me somewhere now that she’s back home. Somewhere mama! She keeps promising but nothing ever happens. Why I even had to raise my voice today to get her attention! And trust me, a sheltie-girl like me knows exactly how to do that!

This is not the way to treat a Princess!

But I guess it’s true that the squeaky dog gets the grease! (And I’d like mine to be bacon please mama!) After barking at her for hours she finally took me to a park today! And I even got to ride in dad’s truck! Mama says not to get excited about that, I only got to ride in the truck because our car is broken.

Whatever mama.

So we went to a park not too far away and I sat under a picnic table for awhile, just sniffing the park air. It’s definitely different and better than my own backyard air. Lots and lots of interesting things to smell at the park!

You done reading yet mama?

Then mama got done reading and said we were going to walk up this big mountain! Really mama? Remember I’m ten and a half, a senior doggie you know!

Hey mama! Running down this hill is fun!

But it was OK. We stopped along the way and mama took pictures of me in the pretty flowers.

And once we got to the top there was a lovely breeze blowing and I got to run around off leash! Mama says that’s because we could see where all the other people and doggies were from up there and we had the mountaintop all to ourselves. (OK, it’s not really a mountain, it’s just a sledding hill, but it’s huge compared to me!)

You called?

Mama took lots of pictures of me up there and on the back of the hill when we walked down the other side. We even sat in the grass together and just chilled out. I acted like a puppy, all excited to spend time with her, just her and me.

I’m just going to walk over here, OK mama?

Now I’m doubly excited because I got her to set up the tent in the backyard! I supervised while she put it up and made sure she put in my favorite pillows just for me. It’s going to be a beautiful night and I’m going to spend it hanging out with my mama. I can hardly wait for it to get dark outside.

This is my tent. I let mama share it though.

Gee, now that I think about it, I guess I don’t have so much to complain about after all.

It was a good day mama!


Nothing to see here

What to say, what to say. There’s nothing happening around here, yet I feel a need to share photos with you. Photos of regular life in summer here in Michigan.

Little League at Katie’s park under a summer sky.

The grass is growing, the birds are sucking down food from the feeders, trees are fully leafed out and the afternoon skies are often filled with clouds.

It’s been pretty amazing.

Though we’ve seen lots of storm clouds we’re really short on rain. The yard is already turning brown. Watering the gardens will soon be a daily if not twice a day ritual. We’re not even to July yet.

No rain in these clouds.

It’s finally warm enough at night to camp and Katie and I have been on one adventure, but plan on scheduling a few more before the leaves start to turn. It’s still an adventure if it’s scheduled – right?

Hey mama! No rainfly!

For now we’re enjoying the air conditioning and watching the oriole feeder right up next to the window. Lots of things besides orioles visit.

Got any more oranges lady?

They all apparently watch for me to fill the feeder and then rush in to get their share. Or more than their share, depending on their size and boldness.

There you go Mr. Woodpecker!

The flowers have been beautiful so far this season. But now we’re moving into the dry heat of summer so we’ll see. A lot will depend on our watering habits.

Lantana smiles every day.

Really, so little to say, so much to show you. Guess I need to take you on a more formal walk sometime. Lots of beautiful places to go; what would be your choice? A lake? A woodsy park? The back yard? A bike path?

Wonder where that path goes?

All good choices, but each will require me to leave my comfy chair. And I can’t do any of them until I get some weeding done.

Still weeding is better than working a job…so I can’t complain.

Katie can, and does, but it’s all in fun.

Hey mama!


Being in the woods

Usually Katie-girl tells you about our latest camping adventure. But she says we didn’t do anything exciting so she’s willing to let me talk.

This time.

Spring has been fickle here in Michigan, Cold and rainy and then sunny and hot. When the weather people said we were going to have a couple of days in the 80s (26.6C) with nights in the 60s (15.5C) I thought we should head to the woods for this season’s inaugural camp.

This is a pretty good site mama!

I was lucky to score a site that, though small, had a spot to tuck the tent under some shade trees. It lacked grass, but that’s the price you often pay to have shade. And Katie, though she’s a princess, doesn’t mind hanging out on dirt.

I didn’t make a list of things to take. I just sort of grabbed things as I thought of them and piled them all up next to the front door in the days preceding our scheduled trip.

Katie watched intently.

On Wednesday, as I began to pack the car she stayed under my feet, “helping” me get everything stowed. Even with her help, however, I forgot the bug spray, the sunscreen and the broom, all important things on a camping expedition. I blame her.

Still, even without important essentials it was heaven to be under the trees, enjoying the breeze and reading, then going for a walk, helping ourselves to a bit of a snack. Then a nap and repeat.

Hey mama! These are pretty!

On a Wednesday afternoon I was privileged to be sitting under a blue sky watching the leaves dance in the wind and the light move across the landscape. Not at work, not at the grocery store, not doing laundry, not vacuuming.

Just being.

Katie is very good at just being, but me? Not so much. It’s an acquired skill, I think, the art of just enjoying where you are when you’re there without worrying about what happened yesterday or might happen later in the day.

Let’s go explore mama!

Our first night was perfect, not too cold, not too hot. I slept great, and even Katie lounged around until after 6 a.m. Thursday the sun bore down on us and the winds were strong. I watched the tree limbs above our tent flail about and pictured them crashing down. The temperatures rose, the wind roared.

Katie and I went for a drive in the air conditioned car, she sitting in the front seat with her nose in the air conditioning vent. We headed down to the lake where were we could watch the clouds skip across the blue sky and the waves rush to shore.

Hurry up mama! My fur is getting messed up!

We enjoyed walking on the trails too. The wind wasn’t too bad back in the woods.

Cool stump!

Later that day we went back to the lake to see the sunset, and even though there wasn’t much of a show we enjoyed being out there, though the temperatures were dropping fast.

Waiting for the sun to set.

Our second night in the tent was miserable. For me anyway. Temps dropped to 43 degrees (6.11C). I wore all my clothes, doubled up the blankets, pulled the sweatshirt hood up over my ears. Still it was too cold to sleep. Katie, on the other hand, thought it was perfect and snoozed the night away.


Lucky girl.

By morning I was more than ready to go back to civilization, with pillow topped mattresses, heat, running water, toilets closer than a half mile away. But the drive home was disconcerting. People were driving to work, fast and furious. I could feel stress begin to build just watching them dart around me.

And then I remembered. I was driving home to a hot shower and breakfast. Not to work.

Lucky me.

Hey mama! Let me show you how to entertain yourself!


School and camping!

I love to run through tunnels!

I love to run through tunnels!

Katie here. I know! It’s been like forever since my mama let me have her blog to tell you all about me! And as we all know, everything is all about me. Me, me, me, me!

It’s all about me because, as you know, I am the princess. Well, some of you might not know as you are new to my mama’s blog. Just to get you up to speed, I am the center of the universe and once in awhile my mama lets me tell you all about it. I tell her all about it daily. Sometimes hourly. I’m a sheltie you know. We like to talk.

But I digress.

So as most of you are aware, I retired from competition a couple of years ago. I got my CD (Companion Dog) in AKC obedience and I figured that was plenty. Especially because I got my Novice and Advanced titles in Rally too. And mama was all stressed out at work, so we stopped going to school, even though I love school (mostly cause of the treats you know). We never did go get my Excellent Rally title, and mama has always been sort of sad about that.

I didn’t care, because I already know I’m Excellent!

Mama started me up last winter in a nose work class which I loved, loved, loved! All you have to do is sniff a few things and treats arrive from mama’s pocket! It’s the greatest thing since gravy! Then mama and I got all busy with traveling and camping and stuff and we couldn’t make the class. She says we’re going back tonight though! I am stoked! I remember everything about how to do this and I’ll show her that we shouldn’t have ever stopped!

Then, last week we started up another class with my friend who used to come walk me. She’s teaching rally and some agility and some obedience. I’ve been to two classes and mama is amazed that I remember so much! I don’t like to heel, but I never did like that. Mostly I’m having fun getting out and about and seeing people again. Mama is OK, but it’s fun to be told by lots of other people how beautiful and smart I am! I try to look indifferent but secretly I really like it.

Sometimes mama forgets to give me enough attention, you know?

And for even more fun mama and I have slept out in the back yard in her tent the last two nights! It’s been so warm here that we couldn’t resist giving camping one more go before winter sets in. I was very very good and slept straight through the night both nights! I think we get to do it one more time before it gets too cold here. I’m going to miss camping this winter, but if mama keeps me busy with school it will be spring before I know it!

That’s what she says anyway. I’ll believe it when I see it.

So I guess that brings you up to date with me. I know you’ve been wondering. I’ll let you know if we decide to do any competition for Rally or Nose Work. I think I’d nail it.

What do you think?

Hurry up mama!  It's time for school!

Hurry up mama! It’s time for school!


Last time

Katie is sleeping off her camping hangover. Both of us always come home from a camping trip feeling a bit hungover, head stuffed with sights and smells, sleep deprived.

A little damp.

Don't laugh at me.  Mama's hair looked like this too.

Don’t laugh at me. Mama’s hair looked like this too.

Since she’s unavailable I guess it’s up to me to tell you about our latest camping adventure. It was less adventure this time, given we just went up the road to our local state park. Still, our site was secluded and the park was mostly empty the first night, so we could imagine it was just us out there in the woods. We even heard coyotes yipping far away.

We were glad they weren’t any closer.

Just like camping in the deep woods.  Sort of.

Just like camping in the deep woods. Sort of.

High above our tent was a tree filled with wild grapevines heavy with ripe fruit attracting lots of robins. We enjoyed watching them fly up there to eat. We also had a tree right next to the tent that was a squirrel jungle gym. It was full of the little guys running up and down the trunk, then out onto the branches to eat acorns. Lots of acorns also fell (or were thrown) on us and the tent.

Looks like a good lunch up there!

Looks like a good lunch up there!

Katie and I were both entertained. It doesn’t take a lot to make us happy.

Down at the park headquarters someone planted a whole lot of sunflowers. Katie and I noticed them as we drove in, so we went back there the next morning to see them up close.



They were simply amazing. Some of them had been eaten by deer down to little sunflower stumps. But hundreds had grown to maturity, their heads following the sun. I particularly liked the way the sun looked shining through their petals. The shapes were beautiful, even from behind.

Following the sun.

Following the sun.

And during our campout we had visitors too! Peep and her mom Wendy stopped by for a walk. We always have a good time when we get together.

Hey Katie!  Does your mom always take this many pictures?

Hey Katie! Does your mom always take this many pictures?

It’s obvious the chairs were meant for the girls to enjoy. So they did.

Later in the day we wandered down to the beach to see if there would be a sunset. We got there about an hour before official sunset, but the light was already pretty.

Looks like fall visited this tree early.

Looks like fall visited this tree early.

I took a ton of photos as the sun dropped. The clouds turned a lovely pink and were reflected in the still water.

Reflections of a beautiful day at the park.

Reflections of a beautiful day at the park.

And while that was happening, further to the west the sky was turning gold.

The sun leaves a bit of gold behind.

The sun leaves a bit of gold behind.

It was hard to choose what to shoot. So I quickly took pictures of it all. Including, of course, my Katie-girl who waited patiently for me to finish.

This light is perfect for a princess mama!

Ready for my closeup mama!

She only huffed at me a little bit and then only because I hadn’t spent enough time focusing on her in the golden light. A princess knows when the light is perfect and will show off her best features.

Once it began to get dark Katie and I headed back up the hill to the car. I was loading her into her crate in the back, when glancing over my shoulder I saw this:



Obviously Katie had to be patient again. Even she was in awe of the moon, and she didn’t huff once.

I think this was our last camping adventure for the season. Time to put the camping gear away for awhile. We’ll have to be satisfied with dreaming about next year’s adventures.

Katie says she can’t wait.

What do you mean the season's over mama??

What do you mean the season’s over mama??


Star gazing night two

It’s getting better, my night photography. Not by much, but there’s some progress. I studied white balance and made an adjustment. I think it helped.


Once again I slept in the tent in the backyard. Set my alarm for 3:00 a.m. and fell asleep with the camera on the tripod, ready to go. It was a hot and muggy night, but I fell asleep right away and didn’t wake until the phone began it’s gentle song.

Groggy, I pushed my sweaty hair out of my eyes and glanced up through the tent roof. I almost hoped the sky had clouded over, that the stars were hidden so I could go back to sleep. But as my eyes adjusted I had to admit there was a mix of stars and clouds up there.

Enough stars to give it a try.

So I crawled out onto the freshly mowed lawn and set up what I was hoping would be a less pink version of the sky.

High thin clouds obscure the stars.

High thin clouds obscure the stars.

I think the white balance is better on these shots than those I took the night before. But I also know I should start thinking about shooting in RAW. If I did that I could adjust the colors in post processing.

I looked into that last summer, and once, out on a walk with Katie the dog, I managed to get my camera into RAW (If I remember right it’s not difficult, but I just can’t remember anymore how to do it.) and took a couple pictures like that, then changed it back and took the same shot using my regular settings. But when I downloaded those photos the RAW shots didn’t download.

So I gave up. But clearly I should be able to figure this out. I need to go out and take more photos in RAW and try again.

Meanwhile, on night 2 of the great star shoot experiment I set up an image of my tent lit up, and hoped I got a bit of sky above. It turned out OK..lots of room for improvement…but it was fun to try.

Camping in the wild back yard.

Camping in the wild back yard.

So what have I learned?

Lots of things. Like…remember to take your glasses with you when you crawl out of a tent into the night to take pictures. Because without them you have no idea if what you’re doing is working. And don’t forget to do something with the focus. Just setting it to manual is not good if you haven’t actually set it to infinity or focused it on anything. And make sure the tripod is actually locked so it doesn’t sink in the middle of a 30 second shot. And for heavens sake, go find that remote thingy where you can hit the shutter without shaking the camera.

And mostly….it’s a lot more fun spending an hour outside after midnight in the winter when there aren’t any mosquitoes. And when sweat isn’t running into your eyes.

Stay tuned. This adventure is not over yet.

Humid night.

Humid night.


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.




On the road again…

I can’t let this summer slip away without one more camping trip with the princess. So we’ll be on the road again very soon. Can’t tell you exactly when. Can’t tell you where. But when we get home Katie-girl promises to let you know how it went.

Where are we going mama?

Where are we going mama?

She’s napping now in preparation of her grand adventure.

Are we there yet?

Are we there yet?


Pretty stuff from up north for your viewing pleasure

Katie did a good job describing our latest camping trip. But she left out some of the pretty shots, probably because they didn’t highlight her. You know how she is. So here’s a few of the other pretty things we saw up there. Well. She didn’t see all of it, because she napped a lot.

Hope you enjoy!

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Camping is awesome – even in the rain

This is my campsite!

This is my campsite!

Katie here. What? You thought mama likes camping in the rain? I guess she’s not opposed, as long as it’s a nice gentle rain that stops by morning and then the sun comes up and dries everything out before we have to pack it into the car. That kind of rain.

But of course that’s not what happened.

I’m getting ahead of myself though, let me start at the beginning. Last Monday we drove all the way over to Leelanau State Park; it’s way up at the tip of the little finger of Michigan, just north of Northport, one of mama’s favorite towns.

We went there so that we could visit a bunch of people, some of whom had never met me! The first person we hung out with was Karen, a friend of mama’s from years ago. They used to work together in the Upper Peninsula in the 80s. We had dinner at her house and mama and I ran up and down the 46 stairs to the beach a bunch of times while mama took pictures of the sunset that night.

I'm not scared of these stairs mama!

I’m not scared of these stairs mama!

Mama has figured out that I’m not exactly telling the truth when I say I don’t do stairs. I ran down those 46 stairs no problem each time. And the first time back I forgot, and ran up halfway before I asked to be picked up! Bummer! Mama’s on to me now!

Sunset light makes me extra beautiful in my beach chair.

Sunset light makes me extra beautiful in my beach chair.

That night her friend came up and camped with us at our site. It was fun to have her hanging out with mama, though I have to admit I went to bed as soon as we got back to camp while mama and her friend drank wine and talked.

The next day mama and I went into town and visited Dog Ears Books in Northport. I didn’t get to meet the resident dog Sarah, because she wasn’t in that day, but I got to meet Sarah’s person Pamela, and I got to wander all over the store with my mama as she picked out a few books.

I like this store!  Support your independent book seller!

I like this store! Support your independent book seller!

We visited the marina too. I enjoy walking out on the docks and looking at all the beautiful boats. I imagine what it would be like out on the big lake on a sunny afternoon.

This one's for sale mama, want to buy it for me?

This one’s for sale mama, want to buy it for me?

It would be perfect as long as my mama remembered to bring the treats. Which she forgot a lot on our walks during this camping trip. Just saying.

Back at our campsite mama noticed a big beautiful cloud out over the lake. This park doesn’t have a beach, just a lot of bushes that grow in the water. So mama hiked out through those bushes and into the water to get a picture of the beautiful cloud and some sailboats.

The 'path' back to camp.

The ‘path’ back to camp.

She figured her feet would get wet, but that was OK. When she finally came back to camp I had to say “I told you so mama!” because of course she got more wet than she expected. Mama never pays attention when she’s trying to get a good picture. Silly silly mama.

Really mama?  You couldn't keep your shorts dry?

Really mama? You couldn’t keep your shorts dry?

She changed her shoes and her shorts and spent the rest of the day moving the wet things around the campsite, following the shifting sun. When we went to bed they were still pretty damp.

That night the whole campground was full! Most every single site had one or more tents in it. We had lots of crazy screaming little kids on one side of us and a whole big group of teenagers on the other side. It was a lot more noisy than before. But I was tired from all our exploring so I went right to sleep.

Peterson Park has a giant tree!

Peterson Park has a giant tree!

Mama had hoped she could try some star photography, so she set her alarm for 1:00 a.m. so she could go out and check the sky. Of course she got me up then too, to go do my jobs. She thought that by doing that I might let her sleep later than 6 a.m. It’s always good to have hope.

So at 1:00 we were outside, mama checking the sky, me checking for pee-mail. She said the sky wasn’t good for star shooting; to the west it was totally dark and there were clouds and stars just above us. Out over Lake Michigan it looked dark…like fog. Or something.

We walked about three campsites down the road so I could pee, and then mama felt weird being out there alone so late, and she tugged me back to our site. I didn’t want to go back into the tent but she insisted. And as she turned around inside to zip the door shut she noticed that the young tree on the other side of the road suddenly bent over in strong wind! That seemed odd because it hadn’t been windy when we were out there. And it wasn’t windy where our tent was only a few feet away.

So she watched. The tree whipped around, over and over, the waves began to crash, but the wind was louder than the waves. Mom was worried. Then the rain hit.

It came down in sheets, hard against the tent. Mama hoped the weight of us inside would hold the tent down. She worried about what she might have left outside. Like her shoes. And the tent bag. And who knows what else. I slept through the whole thing.

It rained hard from 1:10 a.m. until 6:00 a.m. Mama stayed awake through most of it worrying. But at 6:00 it seemed to stop, and she had to go to the bathroom (I guess listening to all that water will do it to some people!) so she woke me up and we crept outside. Things seemed to be OK. Her shoes were soaked, but other than that we were good. So we headed to the toilet. We were halfway there when the rains came back. Mama debated what to do. Go back to the tent? Or keep going? She decided what the heck…we were going to get wet either way, so we kept going. By the time we got to the toilet it was just pouring. We got soaked!



Back at our site she gave up trying to keep anything inside dry, we just dove back into the tent. I was a mess. Mama was a mess. She dried me off with our last dry towel. Turns out I thought that was fun, almost like a game, so I made mama laugh even though she was dripping wet too. We went back to sleep. Well. I went back to sleep. Mama lay there worrying about how she was going to pack up the campsite in this pouring rain. She had to be out by 11:00 a.m.

Then guess what? The rain stopped at 8 a.m.! Really! It just stopped! Mama had already decided that she was going to pack up at 8, regardless. So she got up and got moving fast. I got put in my crate just to keep me from tracking more mud into the tent. I was not happy.

Not fair.

Not fair.

I am never happy when she packs up our tent. It’s my tent and I want to stay longer! Even if everything is soaked! It’s not fair that she put my in my crate in the car where I couldn’t see anything. But she says it’s just faster without me running around after her barking and getting under her feet.

I don't want you to pack up mama!

I don’t want you to pack up mama!

I guess she’s right, because she got everything packed in an hour. We stopped on our way out to toss the garbage in the bin. It was about 9:10 when she popped out of the car to toss the garbage. The rain began again in earnest at 9:11. I swear, we were soooo lucky to get it all packed up in that one hour.

Through the rain we drove south around Traverse Bay, and then north along the other side. We were going to visit Gerry up near Eastport. I met Gerry a couple of years ago, along with her dogs the Cowboy and Miss Sadie. She lives near the water too and has a lot of stairs up to her house.

I'm not walking up all these steps mama!

I’m not walking up all these steps mama!

Once again I had no trouble going down the steps but I made my mama carry me up every.single.time. After all, I am a princess.

Once inside her house I noticed immediately that there was a sofa! And I spent most of the evening napping on it, or Gerry’s chair. And mama and I got to sleep in a real bed! Gerry was very nice to offer us her spare room, especially since everything we had was wet!

Hey mama!  A sofa!

Hey mama! A sofa!

I had a great time at Gerry’s house. We went for walks through the woods and we visited her neighbor and I got to nap while they were talking. I napped a lot on this trip. I think that’s one of the best parts about camping, all the naps.

What?  I was just resting my eyes!

What? I was just resting my eyes!

The next day we went for one more walk and then it was time to head home. I don’t know about mama, but I was exhausted!

Sure is pretty 'up north!'

Sure is pretty ‘up north!’

We stopped at my favorite park in Greyling, and a couple of rest stops, but most of the way home I was asleep. Don’t tell mama, she thinks I’m vigilant all the time.

At the little park in Greyling.  It's not raining!

At the little park in Greyling. It’s not raining!

It took mama two days to get everything totally dried out once we were home. I’m already asking her when we’re going again, but she says she’s tired. She slept a lot yesterday. Even more than me! I suppose I should let her rest for at least a couple more days before I bug her about our next adventure. Maybe we could stay in a hotel. I have to admit I did like sleeping on the bed that last night. We’ll see. I can always count on my mama to come up with something fun.

She says she has lots of pretty photos to show you and she’ll do that sometime if I ever finish this blog which she says has gotten way too long. Obviously she forgets I’m the princess of the house.

My mama. Secretly I think she likes camping a lot too.

Even when it rains.

Traverse Lighthouse!

Traverse Lighthouse!