Posts Tagged With: Michigan

Back in the Deer Blind


I grew up hunting and fishing in the great state of Michigan. But as Claire and I have moved around the country during the past eight years, I rarely uncased a gun or fishing rod. So I was excited when a good friend invited me to join their deer camp on Beaver Island!

Beaver Island is not the place to go if you are intent on shooting a deer. The herd is relatively small and since it is a deer management zone you can only shoot a buck with at least three points on one side. After three days of hunting, I was the only member of the camp of four hunters who actually saw a deer. Opening morning I had a nice little four-point meander by my heated blind. Not a shooter, but fun to watch.

As I said, deer camp on the island is not about shooting big bucks, but more about hanging out with the guys, eating and drinking too much, laughing, and telling tall tales. It was great to get back into the woods with a rifle and a deer tag. I am definitely looking forward to many more Michigan hunting and fishing adventures now that we are back in the mitten!

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There was snow on the ground when we arrived, and it snowed every day of deer camp!


The week started at the sight in competition where islanders shoot and have a dinner together.


This is the lovely couple who host the sight in event. Great people!


Sighting in a 50 yards…


Ken won the competition!


As the winner of the competition, Ken is honored as the first in line for dinner…


We are not exactly roughing it at this deer camp …


I spent my days sitting in Ken’s heated deer blind.


My view from the blind.


A black squirrel provides a little entertainment …

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Not many deer camps with this kind of view …


Our camp chef, bogey, makes some amazing meals!


There was even a deer camp cake!


Getting off the island can be a challenge this time of year. I made it just before a white out shut down the airport!


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Time to Update the Blog!

Old Blog

We originally started this blog to share our experiences living in the Seattle area.  We did blog on and off during our three years there, but the next life adventure has brought us back to Michigan!  Now that we are settling in and building our home here, we have updated the look, feel, and title of the blog.  We also expect the tone of the blog to evolve as our lives evolve and we pursue new passions and adventures….

Stay tuned!


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Going Home

Road Trip

On the last day of July, 2014 we awoke in Seattle for the last time. We spent the night at Matt and Deb’s, since all our belongings were now on a truck headed for Michigan. Our last official duty was to meet the realtor at the house for a final “inspection” and then we hit the road! Since it was just after rush hour and we were heading east out of town, the traffic was relatively light. However, I breathed a sigh of relief when we crossed over Snoqualmie pass and drove out of the Seattle congestion for the last time.

We hadn’t gone but an hour when a bald eagle swooped down not 50 feet in front of the truck and grabbed some fresh road kill from the middle of the highway. That bird looked as big as a private aircraft as it flashed across the windshield!

Two hours later as we approached the eastern state line of Washington State, a car 100 feet ahead of us lost control and began cartwheeling down the highway at 70 miles per hour. The dust cloud that suddenly enveloped us was a bit disconcerting, as we didn’t know where the out of control card came to rest. We pulled over and checked the highway mile marker so that Claire could call 911 while I ran back along the shoulder to assist the occupants of the car. It had come to rest upside down on the left hand shoulder. I arrived at the car along with two other passersby. The passenger’s door was sprung open and the driver (the only occupant of the vehicle) was lying on the ceiling of the car. The older, heavyset woman was conscious but dazed.   Luckily and off duty EMT technician was one of the other people who stopped and he took control of the situation. We made sure there was nothing else we could do, and then continued our journey.

The trek across the northern United States took us through eight states. We intentionally chose a route so that we could make stops at Devil’s Tower, Mount Rushmore, Sturgis (it was bike rally week,) and the Bad Lands. Other than a massive rainstorm in Wisconsin that washed a big rock off a train trestle into our windshield, we had no more drama on the trip. The weather was great, the sights were amazing, and when we crossed the Mackinac Bridge into the lower peninsula of Michigan we knew we were finally home.


Ever since I saw the movie Close Encounters, I have wanted to get an up close look at the Devil’s Tower …


Since it was the beginning of the bike rally in Sturgis, a lot of fellow travelers on their Harleys were also checking out the local sights.




Objects in my camera lens are larger than they appear …


Driving through Sturgis during the bike rally was pretty cool, but I was jonesing for my Harley.


For the record, Claire took this picture… Also, this was pretty tame for Sturgis…


I have seen so sights around the world, but never got a chance to see Mount Rushmore. It was worth the wait!


Claire Bancino for President!


We know where we are heading!


Wall Drug is the best marketed tourist trap in America. Not my first time there, but Claire wanted to see it. I warned her …


The Bad Lands were pretty cool. I want to go back on the Harley!


Bad Lands panorama …


Almost home as we enter the upper peninsula of Michigan!


Crossing the mighty Mackinac Bridge into the lower peninsula!


View of the bridge from Mackinaw City.


Nothing like Michigan beaches!


It is good to be home.

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