Unplugging, a Preface

I am sitting next to my wood stove, in a wooden Adirondack chair, listening to my children play in an attached greenhouse.  Our cabin is quite large (just over 2000 sq ft) yet very rustic.  This stove is the only source of heat right now, and I must admit it’s not quite enough when the temperatures dip.  Right now, though, as the sun warms the forest outside, it is perfect.

Our cabin sits back from the road, hidden, on 80 acres of creek-riddled forest.  The largest creek comes in somewhere at the top of our property–I haven’t determined its source yet, but I think it burbles up from the ground and is fed with melting snow–and tumbles down in a wild, graceful, gently-sloping series of waterfalls and streams.  In places, it flows underneath boulders and trickles out from beneath trees.  It has carved little caves out of rock, caves that now contain the last bits of ice and snow, and in one place, a horizontal crevice full of icicles.  I explored this with my 6-year-old Lion Cub the other day, and I know that the next time we explore, it will be familiar yet slightly changed.

The tumbling creek flattens out to a marshy field on one side of a raise backwoods road that used to be a railroad track.  In one spot, it has eroded the road, and the property’s previous owners have filled in the missing road with a pile of logs in the form of a rudimentary bridge.  The water flows underneath these logs and keeps going on the other side of the road into some more swampy land which we have yet to explore.  Rumor has it that the lower 40 acres are swamp now but will dry up in the summer.  The wetlands area continues beyond our land until it hits the Sturgeon River.  I dream of when we are ready to have horses here so I can explore my favorite way–on horseback–and ride all the way down to the river.

Speaking of horses, from our large kitchen windows off to the right of where I sit, I can see where they will be pastured.  If I were to stand up, I could see our large fenced-in garden area and our small but sturdy barn.  The fences all need work, but the barn is in good, strong condition, albeit somewhat unfinished.

We have a lot of work ahead of us, and only a fraction of that is behind us.  I look forward to sharing our homesteading journey with you.  But to do that, I think I may  first have to answer the question everyone asks in one form or another: how did you end up in the UP?  (For those of you not from the Midwest, the UP is Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.)  So consider this post the preface to the series where I somehow explain the answer to that question.  Until next time…


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