BRIEF UPDATE…..After press conferences, a visit by Michigan’s Governor Jennifer Granholm, structural testing of the bridge on the road we had to take to get 30 miles north to our cottage we finally made it one day later than planned. Power and phone service had been restored to Big Bay in the morning and the roads were opened up at about 1:30, but required security to pass upon to avoid looky loos and looters.

We were one of the first allowed back on the road from Marquette to Big Bay and we witnessed the devastation of a lot of formerly pristine land. Gone are hundreds of acres of public land and my trained eye also detected a very “in the background” presence of Federal agents who have come to the scene to quietly investigate the cause of the damn break and test the water for any contaminates.

Since we arrived a day late, there has been little time to do anything but coordinate the work that needs to be done at camp and get back on schedule. I have, however, taken many pictures of the surprising find of icebergs in the bay. I have never seen ice in the bay, but this winter was so cold ALL of the Great Lakes completely froze — the first time that has happened in 20 years.

Tonight I am writing in the living room of Pete and Aggie, or neighbors near a warm fire in a stone fireplace amidst beatiful wood panelling, deer trophies and snowshoes hanging on the walls with other antique artifacts of this area. There is not a cloud in the evening sky as the sun sets and colors everything a reddy brilliant. The water is calm and relaxing and if the leaves up here had come out yet it would look just like summer. And the noise of seagulls singing outside as they fly is in the air.

But everywhere there is still a thaw in progress. Runoff streams have created water falls all over the place and the millions of frogs are singing in the hundreds of acres of swamp land. Last night I walked out to the dirt road in the dark and just listened to them for about 15 minutes. There were hundreds of them, either just grown from tadpoles or singing their mating call — I couldn’t tell which.

But I sit with a rare opportunity to “get connected” as we have no phone in our cabin except for the cell phone my mom and dad have. Tonight, I am dropping a note in the form of an update. I could write stories of the trip but it is not yet complete. I have taken many good pictures, some of which I plan to post soon. But I have to download them when I get home.

My six-mile power walk through the forest and intense power raking today have left me physically exhausted but feeling great. There is finally the relaxation that this spot brings in the air. Fellowship with the locals and each other are now moving into the “vacation” mode.

But this will be a short-lived trip. More work tomorrow and then the long drive back on Monday and back to the newspaper on Tuesday.

Nothing is ever as we expect it to be. Life is full of twists and turns. The disaster we witnessed first-hand here is but another tale in The Vinman’s travels. I will write more of it. But for now, I believe I will go enjoy the sunset, rising of a one-day past full moon in a cloudless sky and go listen to the frogs for awhile.

It is Zen for me and I am thinking of you who stop by here as well — hoping you have found your own Zen for tonight whatever it may be.

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