Stuff I See in the Woods

As the title of the article implies, I see a lot of very neat things in the woods of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Dealing with recreational and investment acreage in one of the most remote portions of this great country certainly has its perks. Whether I am walking every square inch of a potential listings or taking potential buyers around every square inch of property that’s for sale, I see some great things while I’m out. As some of you may know, I also work as an exploration geologist, both occupations assure that I spend virtually every single day in the woods. In fact, I know some of the long forgotten logging roads up here better than I know the layout of my own office building… and I’m not kidding.

Anyway, back to the things I see. In just these past two weeks from the date of this article, I’ve seen moose, several black bears, countless deer, coyotes, foxes, and wolves. I’ve also seen sandhill cranes, bald eagles, owls, osprey, pileated woodpeckers, geese, ducks, grouse, wild turkeys, etc. I’ve also seen (and caught a couple) trout, pike, bass, perch, salmon, and the numerous other hybrids and baitfish. I’ve even came across a few frogs, toads, snakes, and salamanders. That virtually covers everything in the wildlife kingdom the Upper Peninsula has to offer… pretty neat stuff!

Also, just in these past two weeks, I’ve seen a famous man’s old hunting camp, active and abandoned fire lookout towers, old logging camps, remnants of countless dwellings, farms, or camps, etc. I’ve even seen a few things that I’m not quite sure what they were… maybe an old railroad repair station? Those things may not seem that interesting to many, but the neat stuff I find around those areas may change a few minds. I now have an extensive collection of stuff that I find. I have many old beer cans that are in surprisingly good shape (many brands I’ve never heard of). I also have old pots, pans, and glass bottles. I’ve also found old oil cans and coffee cans. I have a couple old saws from way back when, countless railroad spikes, old animal traps, etc. Some of these things are worth money, others are worthless. But, I have a great decor in my house and it all matches. And, my wife and I can tell you a story about almost every piece we have (lot cheaper than Pier 1 too).

Another fantastic aspect to getting out in the woods is the unnamed creeks, tributaries, and lakes that I come across. There are so many lakes I know of that most old timers have never heard of that I just don’t keep track of them anymore. Most of these lakes and creeks are clearly visible from a map, but very few have ever been to them in person.

From all of my outdoor adventures I have developed a great library of things I’ve found and places I’ve seen. If I want to fish and not see another soul for days… I know where to go. If I want to watch wildlife with my wife… I know where to go. If I want to see a waterfall… I know where to go. If I want to cool off on a summer day… I know where to go. If I want to show my nieces or nephews an old logging camp… I know where to go. If I want to… well, you get the point.

The greatest thing about this little article that I’m writing is that I found virtually everything I’ve mentioned by having absolutely no idea where I was going.

The point of this article is to encourage folks to get out there. Many folks searching for recreational land, a hunting camp, or just some vacant land to hold on to for the future, all seem to want everything that I’ve mentioned above on their property. Though it is always smart to buy good land that meets your needs… it is not necessary, and often unpractical, to have absolutely everything on your acreage. Michigan’s Upper Peninsula has more public lands than any individual could ever explore (though I’m trying). In my opinion, your recreational acreage should be thought of as more of a base camp, rather than a place you never leave. If you think you need to spend way more money than you have to get that really expensive waterfront property, you may find that an inexpensive forty can make you much more happy in the long run. It’s about the feeling you get up here, the memories you make, and the adventures you have. You just never know what neat stuff you’ll see in the woods…

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1 Comment

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  • David,

    Great article! Although the ‘stuff’ we see in the South is different, the internal result is much the same…

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