Sunday, September 23, 2007

Living in Da Yoop Part 1

As my father worked on building I-75 and in the winter the B-52 Bomber runways at Kincheloe Air Force Base, he had our mobile home (an 8x32 ft. trailer) moved from Cass City to a farm 1.5 miles south of Rudyard. Until this time we had lived in a rental cabin a few miles north of St. Ignace.

Across the road from the cabins and south a few hundred yards was a tourist trap built like an old wooden fort called the "Trading Post" it had all kinds of souvenirs and trinkets, many made by the local Indian's and some interesting displays. A real kids paradise. Now it is someones home.

Behind the cabins, about 1/2 mile was Lake Huron and north about 1/2 mile along the shore was a large hill with a huge rock face that faces the lake called "Rabbit's Back" because of it's shape. Many locals claim it to be bigger than the famous "Castle Rock" just a few miles away.

My brother John and I spent many hours playing along the lake and climbing Rabbit's Back, sometimes with the cabin owners children. We also discovered that in the treeline a few hundred yards from the sandy beaches grew some of the best blueberry's we ever had. Tons of large sweet berries on low full bushes. We picked so many that we soon grew tired of blueberry pies, muffins, pancakes and whatever else mom could think of to make them into. On our many trips to town (St. Ignace) I would always beg to stop at the "Indian Village", another tourist trap, but what made this one different was that they had teepee's and wicciup's outside with "REAL INDIANS". They were local tribes folk actually dressed in costume and making some of the items sold inside the store. My favorite was the old Chief. He never seemed to tire of answering questions and telling old tribal stories all the while keeping his hands busy carving totem poles or making miniature birch bark canoes or whatever. I could listen to him for hours and his tales of "The Land of the Great Turtle". He reminded me of my great-uncle Joe Baker and his love of children and telling stories (but that is for another time). I think my dad had to pry me away from that place many times. It still exists, but all of the Indians are gone and all of their handicrafts are now made in Japan, Tiawan, or China.
This is a view I can still remember very well, it is climbing the trail up the very end of the Rabbit's Back. From where the flag is, looking in the same direction you would have a grand view of the lake and islands, and a long long drop to the beach. However when I made those climbs there were no steps to cross the crevasse or flag and platform, so this old penny postcard was probably made after I was there as I don't remember the trees.

1 comment:

farm mom said...

Keep 'em coming dad! Enjoying your stories, and this is one I'd never heard before.