Mike’s Wild Ride


As a recent blog post stated, our Broker Mike Raymond is a pilot. The moment I learned that he takes folks out for such things as moose viewing and fall color tours, I have been secretly wanting to hop on one of these rides. This week, I got my chance. I got the call mid Tuesday afternoon to meet at the airport. I had been a little nervous and anxious most of the day as I had never flown in a small aircraft before. As I sped up Devil Track Road, my anxiety turned to excitement as I neared the airport. A few minutes after arriving, I heard the hum of an engine and watched as Mike and the green and white Cessna appeared from around the corner. We chatted for a bit as we waited for John, our photographer for the trip. John appeared and we loaded up. The interior, which Mike referred to as “avocado” was quite comfortable. Seat belts and headsets on, we taxied down the runway, as Mike spoke into his microphone in pilot language I could not understand. In the blink of an eye, we were off, gently gaining altitude above the vast boreal forest. It was surreal, watching the trees decreasing in size, seeing ponds, lakes and streams from a viewpoint that most do not get the opportunity to witness. At the same time, my stomach started giving me the dreaded feeling of motion sickness. I brushed it off, taking a few quick pictures on my cell phone. We soared over the harbor, over the city streets and homes that looked like something I can’t describe. Stunning, different, small. Then Lake Superior, which was again indescribable. We circled an area of the shore, as our photographer took photos of one of the most fantastic lots we currently have offered for sale. Mike then announced we would be heading over to Caribou Lake before returning to the airport. And then what I most feared happened. I had been trying to ignore those icky feelings that were swelling in my body. Ignoring them no longer I glanced around, eyeing a Ziploc bag in the pocket in front of me. Thank god I hadn’t had a big meal that day. And thank god the sights were so stunning that no one appeared to notice my mortifying condition in the back seat. I managed to glimpse from time to time the surroundings, including my treasured piece of property near Pike Lake. Before I knew it, we were getting ready to land, which I am sad to say I missed watching. Mike expertly landed the small aircraft, gently coming to a stop. In a flash, Mike was out of the plane, beckoning me to exit. Since there was not a hole in sight for me to crawl into, I gathered up what was left of my bruised ego and climbed out of the back seat of the plane, Ziploc bag and all. Would I do it again? In a second.




Waves of September

I’m not sure how our distant neighbors in the more southern regions are fairing this fall, but when I walked out the door yesterday morning the first thought that came to my mind was “BRRRR.” I had really begun to take the warmish weather for granted. Sure I knew it was going to be short lived, but the overnight drop was a little startling. Along with the cold winds came monster waves on our Lake Superior. For those of you who don’t know, our Red Pine office is perched on the beach near Artist Point in Grand Marais. And as it so happens, right smack dab in the middle of wave central. The waves were so powerful that they touched our office building, pushing and pulling the beach rocks and debris with them. Next door at Sydney’s Custard the waves were also caressing their beach front dining area. Out came the plywood, temporarily protecting our wonderful glass view of the big lake. A few of our agents were nervous, watching those big waves come across the beach and to the outside of the wall where they sat. Sydney’s owner, Bruce, paced nervously in addition to our dear broker Mike Raymond as he lamented on the fact that our building no longer has shutters. All this excitement and I was working out of town! Previous experience tells me that I will have a chance to see such sights again, and probably sooner than one might think. The only evidence from the picture below of such calamities is a bit of beach debris. Hmmm.




First Colors of Fall

Earlier today I received a call from a nice man who is thinking of moving to the area. “Are the winters as hard as everyone says?” he asked. “No” was my quick reply. We continued to discuss how long I had lived here, and the difference of living inland versus near the big lake. Lake Superior tends to keep the heavy snowfalls at bay, but graces us with cold gusts of wind. Inland, massive snowfalls seem frequent, but with that snowfall comes free insulation. With fall quickly moving into what is left of our “summer” I have already begun lending my thoughts towards the upcoming winter. In all that hustle and bustle, I often remind myself to stop for a brief moment to take in all that is around me. The first red maple leaves of the season. The way the dew coats the dirt roads in the morning. The crisp fall air and the decreasing length of days. Ah, yes, that is why I live here. Are the winters hard? Some parts, yes. But without that winter, we wouldn’t get fall’s treasures. And the terrific feeling of being alive, here in Cook County, breathing in the cool fall air while admiring nature’s colorful majesty. You might just have to take a trip up north and see for yourself. You won’t be disappointed.