Exploring our surroundings

Mark’s first order of business this morning was to unload his Harley from the back of the truck.  I don’t believe I’ve ever talked about what goes into this process.  Here’s the story in pictures:

Mark takes the battery box out of the bike and hooks it up to the winch

Mark takes the battery box out of the bike and hooks it up to the winch

He lines the bike up with the ramp.  The board next to the ramp is for Mark's feet.

He lines the bike up with the ramp. The board next to the ramp is for Mark’s feet.

He hooks a strap from the bike onto the cable from the winch

He hooks a strap from the bike onto the cable from the winch

I push the button that lets the cable out.

I push the button that lets the cable out.

Once the bike is on the ground, Mark pulls on the cable while I reel him in.

Once the bike is on the ground, Mark pulls on the cable while I reel him in.

Then he unhooks the battery from the winch and puts it back in the bike.

Then he unhooks the battery from the winch and puts it back in the bike.

Now the bike and the bicycles are housed in the "garage" Mark made for them.

Now the bike and the bicycles are housed in the “garage” Mark made for them.

Once that important matter of business was accomplished, we got in the truck and went to see the area we’ve landed in.  We started with Rowleys Bay which is a quarter mile up the road from us.  Rowleys Bay is on the east side of the peninsula, facing Lake Michigan:

Rowleys Bay has a population of 75, until the tourists come in the summer!

Rowleys Bay has a population of 75, until the tourists come in the summer!

Parked on the edge of Rowleys Bay.

Parked on the edge of Rowleys Bay.

From there, we turned and went to the tip of the peninsula; Gills Rock.

We had heard about this windy road that Mark can't wait to take on his Harley!

We had heard about this windy road that Mark can’t wait to take on his Harley!

This is why it's called Green Bay.  You can see the rocks on the bottom and the water is green.

This is why it’s called Green Bay. You can see the rocks on the bottom and the water is green.

A pair of pelicans

A pair of pelicans

We started noticing in Gills Rock that most of the touristy places aren’t open yet.  They will be opening sometime in May.

Same with Ellison Bay, on the west side of the peninsula.  There was still plenty to look at though:

The ivy tower

The ivy tower

A flower bed

A flower bed

The stoneware shop was open, and Jean was very friendly.

The stoneware shop was open, and Jean was very friendly.

The Pioneer Store was open.  I guess you could call it our nearest grocery store.

The Pioneer Store was open. I guess you could call it our nearest grocery store.

It was kind of old fashioned; I liked it but the cashier wasn't too friendly.

It was kind of old fashioned; I liked it but the cashier wasn’t too friendly.

Anyone know what this bird is?

Anyone know what this bird is?

This looks very trusting, although there aren't any bikes there currently.

This looks very trusting, although there aren’t any bikes there currently.

By far, our greatest find today was a place called The Clearing.  It was started in 1935 by a man named Jens Jensen who had a landscaping business in Illinois.  He bought this property and at the age of 75 he brought his students with him to landscape it and build it into a place for people to come and reconnect with nature.  He died at the age of 91 and the Friends of The Clearing and the Farm Bureau raised enough money for The Clearing to become a non-profit in 1988.  It now offers classes in the arts and fine crafts, humanities and natural sciences.  The Clearing is famous for their week-long classes where the students live on campus and are immersed in nature.  They also offer one and two day classes that I’d love to take.

There were no classes on campus today, so we were allowed to wander around and look at the place.  What a sense of peace fell over us!

The main lodge and visitor center at The Clearing.

The main lodge and visitor center at The Clearing.

The classroom in the lodge.

The classroom in the lodge.

A place for Mark to rest

A place for Mark to rest

A meditation labyrinth

A meditation labyrinth

I walked the labyrinth and felt at peace with the world.

I walked the labyrinth and felt at peace with the world.

The star gazing circle

The star gazing circle

An inhabitant of the star gazing circle

An inhabitant of the star gazing circle

A tree near the labyrinth

A tree near the labyrinth

An inviting path

An inviting path

A meeting area between cabins

A meeting area between cabins

Bluebells and moss

Bluebells and moss

Paper leaves

Paper leaves

The council circle overlooking Green Bay

The council circle overlooking Green Bay

A boat way out on the bay

A boat way out on the bay

A selfie

A selfie

Even from high up the water is clear and green

Even from high up the water is clear and green

I didn’t want to leave The Clearing.  We sat for a while near the council circle and listened to the waves lapping at the shore and a breeze stirring the trees.  When we did finally leave, I practiced not making a sound as I walked.  It’s not easy to do.

We did a little more looking around after we left The Clearing, but we got home just about dusk.  Kathy is done painting the sign out by the road and this is what it looks like:

The newly painted sign

The newly painted sign

After we got home Mark built a fire in our fire ring and cooked a piece of salmon over the open flames for me.  Then we roasted marshmallows.  What a life!

Cooking over a campfire

Cooking over a campfire

I’m so glad we got here before the other Workampers and the tourists.  Today was the essence of all that’s good!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.