Caution: if you suffer from ophidiophobia or a deep fear of snakes, stop here and catch up with me in a day or so. (Three images)

Yahoo! Time for our annual trek to Camp ZZ tucked deep in the heart of the UP. Four days of no electricity and no wi-fi, it is true, but a generator, pump, marine batteries, gas-driven fridge…you get the idea. Roughing it? Yes. Will CBS schedule “Survivor: U.P.” at this locale? Not so much. But there is no Starbucks within a hundred miles.

And I did draw a top bunk this time. There’s a weird time travel thing going on here: the guys who own the camp bought the bunk beds from Northern Michigan University in Marquette and installed them at camp. We all lived in the dorms at NMU mumblety-mumble years ago (the earth was still flat) so it is POSSIBLE that I have travelled all this way in my life just to climb into the same bunk I slept in as a 20-year-old.

This is a same-but-different aside,  but I have never returned to the house I grew up in since it was sold. It’s my understanding that it has been turned into a Ribs-to-Go joint. Wabi Sabi has an inventive mind, but even she could not fabricate that little detail.

We got up close and personal with a couple of the fulltime residents of the camp who are in charge of rodent and critter management: the pine snake or western fox snake (elaphe vulpine.) Three of them, actually, though I was assured that they do not travel in packs. Everything that I have read since I came home says that the snakes are from 3 to 5 feet in length. Huh! The first fellow shown here is 10 feet long, there is one checking in at 8 feet and then one at the prescribed 5 foot mark.

Even if snakes DO scare you spitless (and truly, I am not a big fan) put that aside for a moment, click on the images for greater detail and marvel at how beautiful their skin is against the wood.




  1. sedge808 says:

    ophidiophobia (not me. i love snakes).

  2. David says:

    Oh my, I’ll be waiting over here.

  3. SwittersB says:

    Truly beautiful and I still hate them. Great shots!!!!

  4. Karen Taylor says:

    They are beautiful from afar. It was such good fun. Next year the snakes might be even bigger!

  5. Lignum Draco says:

    The bunk bed situation sounds a little freaky. Let’s hope the mattresses have been changed. 🙂

    Indiana Jones and I share something in common… We’re both ruggedly handsome. 🙂

    Good to see you back.

    • The mattresses came with the bunks, but for sure the linens were NOT original issue, so there is comfort there. Let’s pretend the mattresses were replaced many times over the years.

      Let’s pretend really really hard, now.

      Well, of course–I’ve ALWAYS assumed that you would edge out Indiana Jones in any manly-man competition, beginning with the ruggedly handsome thing. 🙂

  6. jlheuer says:

    Nope, those are too close for comfort. Get the kids, we’re leaving!

  7. andykidd says:

    I would be disappointed if Wabi Sabi ever spilled a drop of wine … “and I never shpilled a drop!”. Love the patterns, scales and color.

    • Thank you, Andy.
      Now, “back in the day,” Karen and I could embark on great and daring adventures, spilling nary a drop, but, alas…we’ve lost our edges.
      Or gained our senses.
      Traveling a narrow washed-out logging road…we ended up wearing as much as we drank. 🙂

  8. Mcclure-Lukens, Barb says:

    Thanks for the serpent alert


  9. Love snake but yes spiders ! enough said.

  10. Ps.
    Look up ‘Camel Spider’ and you will see what I mean – horrible things. I know they are closer to the Scorpion but hummm

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