Learn Tips on Walleye Fishing and More During DNR's Recreation 101 Events in August

Good anglers don’t often tell their secrets, but Captain Ken Clark of Fishmas Charters in Whitehall is willing to share tips garnered from years of successful fishing. Join him as he shares his knowledge on how to reel in the “big ones” during an Intro to Walleye Fishing in Michigan clinic taking place from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 5, at the Ludington State Park Boat Launch.

Captain Clark has been catching walleye in Michigan waters for over 25 years and will reveal his secrets to beginners through advanced walleye fishermen. Participants should bring a lawn chair and something for taking notes. At the end of the course, names will be drawn for three lucky individuals to go out on Hamlin Lake for an hour of fishing with the captain. Ludington State Park is located at 8800 W. M-116 in Ludington in Mason County. For details or to register, call the park at 231-843-2423.

The walleye fishing clinic is being offered as part of the Department of Natural Resources’ Recreation 101 program. Recreation 101 offers year-round programs that recruit top instructors and sports equipment vendors to provide free or inexpensive hands-on lessons with the goal of giving the novice sportsman enough skill and knowledge to begin a new activity.

Program offerings, ranging from fishing, birding and geocaching to hiking, biking and paddling, are set to take place in numerous state parks and recreation areas across Michigan.

“Don’t just watch other people have fun. Use the Recreation 101 demo clinics to try the many wonderful outdoor activities to be enjoyed in Michigan’s woods and waters,” said Ron Olson, chief of the DNR’s Parks and Recreation Division.

The following programs are available in August, and pre-registration is recommended:

Archery 101 
DNR Park Interpreter Ed Shaw will offer beginning archery classes from 3 to 5 p.m., Friday, Aug. 5, 19, and 26 at the Carl T. Johnson Hunting and Fishing Center at Mitchell State Park, 6093 M-115 in Cadillac in Wexford County. Learn bow safety, the different types of bows and how to use them, as well as the different types of accessories and arrows. At the completion of the class participants will shoot archery at the bow range. The class is for ages 8 and older. Children under 15 years old should be accompanied by a parent. For details or to register, call the park, 231-775-7911.

Bicycling 101 
Jake Whelpley of the Woodshed Bike Shop will be at the Hart-Montague Trail State Park at 4 p.m. Monday, Aug. 15, to explain different types of bikes and offer an overview of maintenance and pre-ride checks. Whelpley will also offer answer questions and offer tips on safe riding and accessories for biking. The clinic will take place at the Polk Road Trailhead (from US-31 exit take the Hart exit for Polk Road, go east one-quarter mile to parking lot on left). For details, call Silver Lake State Park at 231-873-3083.

Boater Safety 101 
Members of the Birmingham Power Squadron will offer a Boater Safety Class from 3 to 5 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 11, at Dodge #4 State Park’s boat launch area. The class will teach boating safety for a variety of ages and will cover life jacket sizing and use, what to do in emergencies, boat handling, knot tying, visual distress signals, and other general boating safety information. The park is located at 4250 Parkway Dr. in Waterford in Oakland County. For details or to register, call the park, 248-682-7323.

Disc Golf 101 
An Intro to Disc Golf clinic from 1 to 4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 19, at Newaygo State Park, 2793 Beech St. in Newaygo in Newaygo County will provide an overview of the rules of the game and instruction into the basic skills necessary to play. After receiving instructions on a variety of putting and throwing techniques, participants will be paired with an experienced player and compete in a round of doubles on the course. For details, call the park at 231-856-4452.

Fishing 101 at Dodge #4 State Park 
Two Fishing 101 programs are scheduled for Dodge #4 State Park in August. Learn the basics of fishing during a class from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12, at the park’s fishing dock. The course will be offered again from 5 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 23. The park is at 4250 Parkway Dr. in Waterford in Oakland County. For details, call the park at 248-682-7323.

Fishing 101 at Interlochen State Park 
John Griffin will offer the basics of fishing at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 6, at Interlochen State Park, located on M-137 in Interlochen in Grand Traverse County. Griffin will explain the different types of tackle, lures, baits, suggest where to fish, and how to clean and cook your catch. Participants may bring their own equipment and, if they have one, their own boat. Fishing rods will be provided if needed. Instruction should last about an hour, followed by a fish fry and, of course, fishing. For details, call the park at 231-386-5422.

Fishing 101 at Mitchell State Park 
Mitchell State Park Interpreter Ed Shaw will offer several Fishing 101 classes during August. Shaw will teach participants how to rig and use different lures, tie a variety of fishing knots to hooks, and identify minnows to purchase and use for fishing. Classes will take place from 10 a.m. to noon on Sunday, Aug. 7, and from 1-3 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 4, 11, 18 and 25 at the park, 6093 M-115 in Cadillac in Wexford County. The class can be taken alone or with friends or family. The class meets at the Carl T. Johnson Hunting and Fishing Center. All equipment will be provided. Children under 10 years old should be accompanied by a parent. To register, call the park at 231-775-7911.

Foraging 101 
Learn what may or may not be a good food source in the wilderness. Representatives from Wild West Michigan will offer a free introduction to foraging from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6, at Yankee Springs Recreation Area, 2104 S. Briggs Rd. in Middleville in Barry County. Guides will focus on introducing participants to edible plants such as berries, fruit and nuts. Bring a pair of hiking shoes and insect spray. Meet up at 10060 Gun Lake Rd. Pre-registration is recommended. To register, call 269-795-9081.

Great Lakes and Inland Kayak Safety 101 
Learn the basics in kayak design, equipment and safety considerations when venturing out on the water during a free, in-depth training session from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 11, at Straits State Park, 720 Church St., St. Ignace in Mackinac County. Sessions led by certified kayak instructors from Woods & Water Ecotours include on-land training from 4 to 5:30 p.m., and on-water demonstrations from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Class size for the on-land portion is unlimited and does not require an RSVP. Class size is limited for the on-water portion and reservations are required. For reservations, call 906-484-4157. For details call the park at 906-643-8620.

Hiking 101 
On Saturday, Aug. 13, join in an easy stroll through the lowland trails of the North Unit of Bald Mountain Recreation Area, 1330 E. Greenshield Rd. in Lake Orion in Oakland County. Nature subjects will be discussed along the way as well as hiking safety. For details including time, call the recreation area at 248-693-6767.

Kayaking 101 at Baraga State Park 
Steve Koski, owner of Indian Country Sports, will be at Baraga State Park from 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Aug. 6, to offer the basics of kayaking. Learn the different types of kayaks and try out kayaking on Keewenaw Bay. The park is located at 1300 US-41 South in Baraga in Baraga County. For details, call the park at 906-353-6558.

Kayaking 101 at Mitchell State Park
DNR Park Interpreter Ed Shaw will present the ins and outs of kayaking safety during four Kayaking 101 courses being offered from noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 7, 14, 21, and 28 at the Carl T. Johnson Hunting and Fishing Center at Mitchell State Park, 6093 M-115 in Cadillac in Wexford County. Learn the difference between kayaks, the different paddle strokes, and how to move your kayak sideways, how to stop your kayak and what to do if your kayak rolls. Participants will take a tour of one of the lakes. All equipment will be provided. Children under 10 years old should be accompanied by an adult. For details, call the park at 231-775-7911.

Kayaking 101 at Tippy Dam Recreation Area 
Ryan Baldwin of Manistee Paddlesport Adventures will offer a Kayaking 101 class starting at 4 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 20, at the Tippy Dam Recreation Area, 1500 Dilling Rd. in Brethren in Manistee County. Baldwin will offer basic instructions in how to paddle, steer, turn and exit a kayak. Participants should bring a swimsuit. The class is expected to take two hours and will take place in the backwaters behind the dam. For details, call the recreation area at 231-848-4880.

Kite Making 101 
Mike and Susan Castor of Air Fun Kites will show kids of all ages how to build and decorate a simple sled kite and fly it on the beach. The Castors will be at Charles Mears State Park Beach Pavilion on West Lowell Street in Pentwater in Oceana County, at 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 8 and Aug. 22. To register, call the park, 231-869-2051.

The Castors will also offer the same class at 7 p.m., Monday, Aug. 1 and Aug. 15, at Ludington State Park, 8800 W. M-116 in Ludington in Mason County. To register, call the park at 231-843-2423.

Model Airplane Flight 101 
Members of the Holly Cloudhoppers Model Airplane Club will hold an open house on Saturday, Aug. 6, at Holly Recreation Area, 8100 Grange Hall Rd. in Holly in Oakland County. For details, including time, call the recreation area at 248-634-8811.

Orienteering 101 
Representatives from Apex Outdoor Gear will offer a free introduction to orienteering from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Aug. 6, at Yankee Springs Recreation Area, 2104 S. Briggs Rd. in Middleville in Barry County. Master the use of a map and compass to navigate through a designated course with checkpoints. Bring hiking footwear, insect spray, a compass (some will be provided), water, snacks, as well as long pants and a long-sleeved shirt. Meet at 10060 Gun Lake Rd. near the corner of Hastings Point Road and Gun Lake Road. Pre-registration is recommended. To register, call 269-795-9081.

Outdoor Photography 101
Photographer Mark Hicks will be at Highland Recreation Area from 3 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 3, to offer tips on how to capture those great outdoor shots. The program will offer hands-on techniques and live demonstrations. The class will meet at the Lakeside Picnic area in the park, 5200 Highland Rd. in White Lake in Oakland County. For details, call the recreation area at 248-889-3750.

Snorkeling 101
Snorkeling provides incredible vantage views of lakes and oceans, some of nature’s most marvelous realms. Visit Holland State Park, 2215 Ottawa Beach Rd. in Holland in Ottawa County for Snorkeling 101 at 10 a.m. Monday, Aug. 15. Equipment will be available, but bring any wet suits, swim fins or masks you may have, as well as a bag lunch. Pre-registration is recommended. For details, call the park at 616-399-9390.

Storytelling 101 
Barbara Sims of Storybook Village will demonstrate storytelling techniques using puppets during Storytelling 101 set to take place at 6:30 p.m., Friday, Aug. 19, at Charles Mears State Park’s Friendship Circle. Allen Hunt, an Eagle Scout and a student at the University of Michigan-Flint, will tell African stories. Mears State Park is on West Lowell Street in Pentwater in Oceana County. For details or to register, call the park at 231-843-2423.

Windsurfing 101 
Get on board the exciting sport of windsurfing presented by Great Lakes Demo Tour. Instruction and gear will be provided at the following locations:
  • Aug. 9-10, Aloha State Park, 4347 Third St., Cheboygan (Cheboygan County). For details, call the park at 231-625-2522. 
  • Aug. 16-17, Petoskey State Park, 2475 Highway M-119, Petoskey (Emmet County). For details, call the park at 231-347-2311.



The Recreation 101 programs are free of charge, however, a Recreation Passport is required for vehicles entering the parks. The Recreation Passport has replaced motor vehicle permits for entry into Michigan state parks, recreation areas and state-administered boating access fee sites. This new way to fund Michigan’s outdoor recreation opportunities also helps to preserve state forest campgrounds, trails and historic and cultural sites in state parks, and provides park development grants to local communities.

Michigan residents can purchase the Recreation Passport ($10 for motor vehicles; $5 for motorcycles) by checking "YES" on their license plate renewal forms, or at any state park or recreation area. To learn more about the Recreation Passport, visit www.michigan.gov/recreationpassport or call 517-241-7275.

Non-resident motor vehicles must still display a valid non-resident Recreation Passport ($29 annual; $8 daily) to enter a Michigan state park, recreation area or state-administered boating access fee site, which can be purchased at any state park or recreation area, or through the Michigan e-Store at www.michigan.gov/estore.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to www.michigan.gov/dnr.

Our RV Camping trip to Montague, Michigan: Part II - Blue Lake, Silversides & Grand Valley

This is Part II of our RV Camping Trip to Montague, Michigan. "Part I - Getting There is Half the Fun" detailed how getting to our destination was delayed two hours when one of our camper tires sheered its bolts and ran loose down the highway, trying to pass us in the fast lane.

Part II - Blue Lake, Silversides, & Grand Valley

We arrived at our destination, White River RV Park & Campground in Montague, Michigan, at about 6 o'clock Saturday night. It's several miles off the highway, but the route is very clearly marked so it was not difficult to find in the least. The roads leading to it are paved, but also curvy so be sure to follow the speed limit.

Once we made it to White River RV Park we were very happy with choosing them for our campground. It can be somewhat dicey when picking out a private campground. We tend to opt for state parks whenever possible, but the nearest state parks, especially the very popular PJ Hoffmaster State Park and Muskegon State Park, were completely full that weekend. When choosing a private campground, I always check RVParkReviews.com to see what others had to say about that particular park before I make the reservation. Fortunately, White River RV Park lived up to its positive reviews.

It's a sprawling campground with its campsites arranged in several "pods" of distinct areas of several dozen campsites to as few as a handful. Several campsites were seasonal, but the camper trailers were of high quality and well kept. The far majority of campsites looked to be non-seasonal.

The bathrooms/shower buildings were about as clean as I've ever come across from a private campground. They were kept clean by the "Clean Team," which looked to be at least one pair of workampers who obviously very good at their job. A word of caution, they insist on keeping to their cleaning schedules, so plan your showers accordingly.

Other facilities include a large, heated pool, camp store, dump station, cabin and RV rentals, recreation hall, picnic shelter and plenty of playground equipment. I would suggest not choosing a campsite too close to the pool, unless you don't mind loud kids having loud fun.

The boys playing cornhole, the campfire just getting going
and a relaxing evening well on its way at White River RV Park.
Most campsites looked to be as spacious and level as ours. Our site, #323, was along an outer row, which we tend to prefer so we only have neighbors on either side and not in front or behind us as well. Narrow at the front, it opened out as you got deeper into the site. Mature pine trees looked as if they've been tended to, and their pine needle droppings acted like a carpet of sorts on the sandy ground.

The campsite included electric and water in the same location near the back corner of the site, right where you want them for easy hookups (other campgrounds have them in separate locations, or shared location between two campsites; making hook-ups problematic).

White River RV Park is part of the Best Parks in America network, and deservedly so. We would recommend them to family and friends, and we would not hesitate to camp there again.

The area attractions are plentiful. The nearby White River is serviced by the Happy Mohawk Canoe Livery, and the Lake Michigan shoreline, only 15 minutes away by car, features the Silver Lake Sand Dunes. Also, Michigan's Adventure, an amusement park operated by the same people who run Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, is just as close.

In fact, the highway exit for Michigan's Adventure is the same as it is for Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, which is the main reason we were camping where we were on that particular weekend. Our oldest son, Lucas, was finishing up a 10-day stay at band camp, and we were there to pick him up and watch him and his fellow campers perform at an end-of-camp concert. This was my first experience with band camp, and Blue Lake blew me away. If you have a son or daughter interested in music or other performing or fine arts, Blue Lake is worth investigating. They tapped into his enthusiasm for music, and grew it by leaps and bounds. What more could you want?

Ben and Luke outside the U.S.S. Silversides.
This happened on Sunday morning. By Sunday afternoon, we took off for the next area attraction, the World War II submarine the U.S.S. Silversides. A bit pricey for admission (about $15 for adults; $10 for kids), only the boys and I took the self-guided tour. It included a decent museum, a 17-minute film and a walk-through tour of the sub. A tour of a retired Coast Guard cutter also was included, but this was a definite downer due to its poor condition. The Silversides, however, was worth the price of admission. The sub was amazingly intact. Think of any WWII movie that included a sub, and you'd be easily convinced they used the Silversides for its set. Any trip to Muskegon ought to include a sidetrip to the U.S.S. Silversides.

That night we enjoyed hobo pies, or campfire pies, or pudgie pies (and whatever else they're called) over the campfire. A quick rain had us running for shelter, and a rousing game of Apples to Apples inside the camper. Our youngest son, Ben, won, by the way.

Hannah and Chelsea shucking corn on the cob.
The next morning we set a new record. We cleared camp and were on our way before 11 a.m. We had to leave early because on that day's agenda was a campus tour of Grand Valley State University. Our daughter, Hannah, and her friend, Chelsea, who was with us on this trip, are both going into their junior year in high school. We found GVSU to be extremely appealing. Everything seemed new, the programs seem solid and the student amenities were outstanding.

We left that afternoon, and, with all tires intact, we made it home without incident. So, despite a hairy trip there on Saturday, the weekend was a good one.

Bay City State Park Hosts 16th Annual Waterfowl Festival Aug. 6-7

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is hosting the 16th annual Saginaw Bay Waterfowl Festival on Aug. 6-7 at Bay City State Recreation Area. The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Festival activities focus on the ducks and geese, which depend upon the wetlands of the Saginaw Bay Watershed for staging, nesting and breeding habitat.

Visitors are invited to participate in a wide range of activities and programs, and learn about Michigan’s waterfowl resources, the sport of waterfowl hunting and conservation programs, which need volunteers to succeed. The event is co-sponsored by the Michigan Duck Hunters Association (MDHA), the Friends of Bay City State Recreation Area and the Frank N. Andersen Foundation. Last year over 10,000 visitors attended this popular event.

The festival’s main events include:

The Michigan Duck Stamp Competition — This event showcases the entries in the 2012 MDHA Duck Stamp Contest, which is open to all artists. This will be the only opportunity for the general public to view all entries for the 2012 Duck Stamp. The Michigan Duck Stamp Program began 34 years ago to raise money for wetland habitat restoration and habitat acquisition for waterfowl. A portion of every waterfowl stamp and print purchased goes toward Michigan wetland habitat restoration.

Waterfowl Calling Championships — The Michigan Goose Calling Competition and the Michigan Championship Duck Calling Contest are two of the festival’s popular events. The calling competitions include Master and Novice divisions. There will also be Junior Duck Calling Competition and a Junior Goose Calling Contest for youth ages 16 and under. The festival will also host a Team Duck Calling Contest, designed for teams of two hunters using working field calls, on Saturday. The Saginaw Bay Chapter of Delta Waterfowl will also offer youth and adult calling classes to improve your calling skills.

Hunting and Outdoor Recreation Expo — Over 100 exhibitors will be involved in the Hunting and Outdoor Recreation Expo, providing waterfowl enthusiasts with hunting, archery, camping, boating, wildlife watching and habitat enhancement products and wares. The expo includes a special Wildlife Art and Craft Show with fine art originals, prints, photos, carvings and crafts all inspired by the wonder and beauty of nature.

Dog Fun Hunt Trial — Bring your retriever to participate in the Dog Fun Hunt Trial. Learn tips from trainers on dog handling or find a new hunting buddy in "Puppy Alley."

Quack-Athalon — One of the increasingly popular events is designed to offer an opportunity for adults to mentor young hunters in a three-person team (one adult, two youth) competition. The "Quack-Athalon" is a contest of skill and timing in three events: canoeing, air rifle marksmanship and duck identification.

Special Exhibits — Displays by featured wildlife artists, including 1994 Duck Stamp artist David Bollman; wildlife carvers Jim and Margie Wicks; wildlife photographer Dan Klauss and Taxidermy by Dourlain taxidermist John VanSlambrouck. Visitors will also be able to judge the Wildlife Carving Show entries and the Wildlife Photography Contest entries.

For more details on these activities and information for exhibitors, visit www.michigan.gov/saginawbay; stop by the Saginaw Bay Visitor Center, located within Bay City State Recreation Area, 3582 State Park Drive in Bay City; or call 989-667-0717.

Michigan DNR Highlights Trout Fishing Opportunities at State Forest Campgrounds, State Parks

Looking for a vacation destination that combines great fishing, beautiful scenery, and affordability? Many of Michigan’s state parks and forest campgrounds are located on or near high-quality trout waters.

Michigan boasts more than 130 state parks and state forest campgrounds that are within one mile of a trout lake or stream.

The Department of Natural Resources’ Forest Management Division and Fisheries Division have teamed up with the Michigan Chapter of Trout Unlimited to collate and catalog these opportunities. Maps of campground locations and corresponding fishing opportunities are available online at www.michigan.gov/dnrrecreationcamping and www.michigan.gov/fishing

Campgrounds near trout fishing are located throughout the state. In southern lower Michigan, state parks provide the camping experience. In the Upper Peninsula and northern Lower Peninsula, there are camping opportunities in both state parks and state forest campgrounds. All offer a unique experience.

“State forest campgrounds provide an opportunity for anglers to enjoy great fishing in a rustic setting,” says Lynne Boyd, chief of the DNR Forest Management Division.

The state parks offer many fishing opportunities for everyone from the first-timer to experienced anglers, said Ron Olson, chief of the DNR Parks and Recreation Division. Trout fishing is available everywhere from Spring Mill Pond in Island Lake State Recreation Area to Tippy Dam on the Manistee River.

“The diversity of camping locations and the diversity of trout fishing experiences available are numerous, and would likely take any one person years to experience,” said Jim Dexter, acting chief of the DNR Fisheries Division.

Don't Forget You Need the Recreation Passport
The Recreation Passport has replaced motor vehicle permits for entry into Michigan state parks, recreation areas and state-administered boating access fee sites. This new method of funding Michigan’s outdoor recreation opportunities also helps to preserve state forest campgrounds, trails and historic and cultural sites in state parks, and park development grants to local communities.

Michigan residents can purchase the Recreation Passport ($10 for motor vehicles; $5 for motorcycles) by checking "YES" on their license plate renewal forms, or at any state park or recreation area. To learn more about the Recreation Passport, visit www.michigan.gov/recreationpassport or call (517) 241-7275.

Non-resident motor vehicles must still display a valid non-resident Recreation Passport ($29 annual; $8 daily) to enter a state park, recreation area or state-administered boating access fee site. Recreation Passports can be purchased at any state park or recreation area, or through the Michigan e-Store at www.michigan.gov/estore.

Our RV Camping Trip to Montague, Michigan: Part 1 - Getting There is Half the Fun

The spare tire with new lug nuts and bolts on the left, and the
old tire, with its ripped-apart rim and grease mess on the right.
Part I - Getting There is Half the Fun

Last weekend we took a camping trip to Montague, Michigan and it was filled with Danger, Excessive Heat & Humidity, and a Healthy Dose of WWII History.

The danger? A wheel came off our camper while we on the highway. Literally.

The main reason for the camping trip was to pick up our son, Lucas, from Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. He had spent the previous 10 days at this wonderful camp, staying with fellow middle schoolers at Camp Bernstein where he practiced, practiced and practiced his trumpet all day everyday. Besides music, Blue Lake also offers programs for theater, dance, song, visual arts and probably a few other things I don't know about. Luke's final assessment was that he thoroughly enjoyed himself, learned a lot, made many new friends and wished the food was better and more plentiful.

But we weren't going to be getting Luke until Sunday morning. We spent Saturday driving what was supposed to be just a 3.5-hour trip from our home to the campground, White River RV Park & Campground, in Montague.

I say it was supposed to be a 3.5-hour trip because it actually took us 5.5 hours. This is where the danger part of our weekend came into play. We were barely into our trip - just 20 miles on the highway, when I felt a slight tug from the camper. It was such a small tug I was the only one who felt it, but it was enough for me to immediately check the mirrors. You can imagine my shock, horror and absolute disbelief when  I saw one of my camper's wheels careening down the highway in the fast lane.

There are few other things that would be worse than to see one of your camper's wheels, no longer attached, trying to pass you on the highway.

"Oh #@%! One of our wheels came off the camper," I believe I said.

"What?!" my wife replied, thinking/hoping this was another one of my bad jokes.

"When's lunch?" my youngest son, Ben, chimed in.

Fortunately, we have a tandem axle and the remaining wheel carried the weight of the camper. Just as good was that the camper never felt like it was going to lose control. I think our Equal-i-zer sway control system might have a whole lot to do with that.

So I was able to bring her over to the side of the highway -- U.S. 23, between Dundee to the south and Milan to the north. As we were stopping, our runaway tire came to a stop in the ditch to our right, not far from us. So we crossed through some high weeds, stepped over the dry ditch bottom and was amazed at what I saw.

The tire's rim had been sheered open like a can opener. Where there should have been five holes for the bolts was simply shredded beyond belief. Regardless, I picked it up and carried it back to the Trailblazer. Although the rim was toast, the tire was a Goodyear Marathon with less than two years of use. I'll simply get a new rim and it'll be good to go.

What wasn't good to go, though, was the wheel drum back on the camper. The bolts had been sheered right off. The metal cap that keeps the grease inside for the wheel bearings also was gone, but that hardly compared to not having bolts. I had a spare tire ready, willing and able, but no bolts meant our little trip now had a significant delay, if not an outright cancellation.

What happened next saved our trip. I unhitched, removed the wheel drum and took it, the spare tire and the tire with the can-opener rim with us to find a business that could possibly be of help. We found exactly that at M-50 Auto, Truck & Tractor in Dundee, just a stone's throw west of the big Cabelas store. The store is a Napa auto parts retailer, and Brad Smith, one of the employees, took care of me. He cross-referenced and found the replacement bolts, pounded out the old ones from the drum, installed the new ones, outfitted me with the right lug nuts and threw in a few cotter pins so my wheel bearing assembly would work out. All for less than $20.

We drove back to our camper, which was patiently waiting for us on the side of the highway. I put the drum back on, put the spare tire on, hitched back up and we were on our way again. We stopped at the next exit, where I bought a new wheel for $100 from D.R. Trailer Sales in Milan, which is my new spare tire. I wanted to have a new spare for the rest of our trip.

The rest of the trip was uneventful. We rolled into White River RV Park & Campground at about 6 p.m., a full two hours later than what we were supposed to. No matter, we were there, in one piece, and the rest of the weekend was when all the real fun was to begin.

Side note: near as I can figure, the bolts were sheared off because I either tightened the lug nuts too much when I repacked grease into the wheel bearings earlier this spring, or I didn't tighten them all evenly. Or maybe the bolts were at the end of their life? Who knows.

I do know this: replacing a tire on the side of the highway is not for the weak-hearted.

Coming next: Part II - White River, Blue Lake, Silversides and GVSU

New RV Product: Safety Spair Flat Tire Repair System




Here's a product that bears further exploration. If it's as good as advertised, it's a must-have for RVers.

We RVers are a resilient group. If something needs fixing on our motor home or camper, as long as it's not something major most of us are more than capable of handling it ourselves. And replacing a flat tire with the spare tire is certainly one of those things most of us can do.

But this product, the Safety Spair Flat Tire Repair System, looks like it's something everyone of us ought to have. It's small, and a perfectly suitable option should you ever find yourself in a situation where you either can't, or would rather not, replace the flat tire with a spare tire.

A quick look at the manufacturer's website shows they have several other similar products, including one specifically for trucks, which I presume would be applicable for Class A motor homes.

I have put a call into the manufacturer and requested a product sample. If I can get one, I will test it out and report back on its performance.

Here's some more information from the manufacturer...

When faced with having to use a traditional spare tire, many people do not feel confident that they can repair a flat themselves. Those that can change a spare tire are not immune to the dangers the roadside presents. From the vehicle slipping off the tire jack to being struck by traffic, changing a spare tire exposes drivers to an array of risks.

As the worldwide leader in tire care, Slime decided to develop a better alternative to dangerous roadside repairs. In their flat tire repair kit, Slime and their Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) sister company Sealant Systems International (SSI) have modern solutions that make the spare tire look outdated.

“We knew that the spare tire was not the right tool and wanted to create a product that empowered drivers to repair a flat tire quickly and effectively," said Rodney Cegelski, Slime’s EVP of Marketing. "After watching market research participants change their spare tire and clocking a 45-minute average repair time, we knew something had to be done.”

After years of working with car manufacturers, the SSI brand Onboard Tire Repair System (OTRS) was born and sold into the OEM market. A few years later, the Safety Spair was born and sold at retail. Today, SSI continues to focus on supplying car manufacturers with high-quality sealant repair kits, while Slime brings this technology to the retail shopper with the Safety Spair.

As the name implies, the Safety Spair revolutionizes the way people repair flat tires by offering a safe, simple solution that gives every driver the confidence that they can repair a flat tire in just seven minutes. Today, Slime is still the only company to offer a push-button, complete sealant and air tire repair system that can be purchased in a retail setting.

Looking at the new vehicle market, it is plain to see that the spare tire is going the way of the cassette deck. According to www.Edmunds.com, in the past five years, there has been a 38 percent decrease (about 51 models) in vehicles that come equipped with full-size spares. The decision to omit the spare tire from newer vehicles reduces costs and decreases the weight of the vehicle, helping to improve gas mileage. This, in turn allows automakers to meet the fuel economy requirements mandated by Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards that require improved average fuel economy. With the CAFE standards in place, the spare tire will soon be a distant memory.

“After manufacturing sealant and air-based repair kits under the Slime brand for almost a decade, we have seen a growing consumer acceptance for these products,” said Cegelski. As a worldwide leader in tire care distributed in over 80 countries, Slime offers a full line of tire care products, including tire sealants and tubes, to retailers, distributors and customers. Slime is a California-based company dedicated to creating tire care products that are safe for users, tires and the environment as solidified by Slime’s Green Promise.

To learn more about Slime tire care products, visit www.Slime.com

Illinois DNR opens new boat access areas at Sahara Woods SFWA

Offers more Outdoor Recreation Opportunities for the Public

CARRIER MILLS, IL - The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) recently announced the opening of two new boat access areas at the Sahara Woods State Fish and Wildlife Area, providing new fishing opportunities at the Saline County site.

Anglers will now be able to use new boat access areas at the 100-acre Sahara Lake and the smaller 20-acre fishing lake at Sahara Woods.

“We are excited to announce the expansion of public recreation access to the Sahara Woods site by opening these two boat access areas,” said IDNR Director Marc Miller. “Sahara Woods has been a popular spot for archery deer hunting each fall. The completion of boat accesses and the opening of boat and bank fishing opportunities will allow even more people to enjoy the site.”

The ADA accessible boat access area projects include parking lots, concrete boat ramps, courtesy boat docks, security lighting, sidewalks, restrooms, and information kiosks. Funding for the $350,000 project includes 75 percent federal funds matched by state boat access funds provided through revenues generated by boat and canoe registration fees and marine motor fuel taxes paid by boaters.

Located west of Harrisburg on Illinois Route 13, Sahara Woods is a former mine site that was donated to the State of Illinois by the Sahara Coal Company. Mined land reclamation efforts at Sahara Woods, directed by the IDNR Office of Mines and Minerals, have included grading, covering and planting vegetation on eroded mine refuse piles located throughout the site; reclaiming mine roads; removal of mine buildings and other structures; and, tree planting to control erosion and enhance wildlife habitat. Some areas of the Sahara Woods SFWA remain off-limits to site visitors as mine reclamation work continues.

For more information about Sahara Woods SFWA call 618-276-4405.

Do you believe in Magic ... 'Magic Get Together' festival, that is

ABBOTT’S MAGIC TO HOLD 74TH ANNUAL ABBOTT MAGIC GET TOGETHER

Come witness the magical spectacular that will sure to be leaving you guessing

River Country Tourism Council is proud to announce that Abbot Magic Company will be holding its 74th Annual Magic Get Together August 3-6, 2011 in Colon, Michigan. Magicians, tourists and Colon residents will see over one thousand magicians in Colon, the Magical Capital of the World.

The magic lasts all week with performances by renowned magicians across the country. The show will open with the World Champion Magician in Manipulation, Yumi. Thursday starts with Rueben Moreland, from New York City, who has won many awards for his two hand and eight balls act. Experience Las Vegas right here in Colon as Fox TV guest magician, Aaron Radatz, performs his 6 month Clarion Hotel and Casino show. Following Thursday, a special act will be performed from 1940’s movie star and living legend, John Calvert and his wife Tammy. The two will be celebrating 50 magical years of marriage and also John’s 100th birthday. Kerry Pollack will also make an appearance Friday and dazzle audiences with his electronic magic act. Saturday concludes the week with performances by well-known comedy magician Rich Marotta, Joseph Young, Shin Jisun from Korea and Bill Bragg with his large illusion act.

Closing the show will be world-renowned magician, Dinmare from Las Vegas. He has spent the past 25 years performing all over the world in the best resorts, casinos and on magic TV shows. His act is sure to leave viewers in amazement.

Each night there will be a grand finale showing of comedy, illusions, animals and a variety of magic acts. The tickets are $20 for reserved seats and $15 for bleacher seating.

The Magic Get Together will not only display some of the best magicians but other entertainment as well. There are restaurants and bars for dining, the Annual Craft and Arts Fair, a cemetery filled with famous past magicians and a free firework show on Friday night. Throughout the week, Ken Mate as emcee, who has opened for the biggest names in the business, will entertain guests.

The River Country Tourism Council promotes travel to the greater Michigan St. Joseph County, which is located halfway between Detroit and Chicago in Southwest Michigan and nestled between I-94 to the north and I-80/90 to the south. For more information, visit www.rivercountry.com or www.magicgettogether.com or call 1-800-447-2821.

Area RV Parks & Campgrounds
The River Country Tourism Council lists several campgrounds on their website, including:

Leidy Lake Campground — Relax far from the crowd, but close to home. Offering RV and primitive camping. Water and electrical hookup available as well as cabins, beach and open campfire pits. Enjoy hiking trails, fishing, picnic areas or take advantage of the canoe and kayak launch. Just 10 minutes from Colon, the Magic Capital of the World! 29464 Colon Road, Colon, MI. Call 269-432-3311.

Amigo Park — Enjoy family camping at Amigo Park, an RV and tent park including a modern bathhouse, electrical hookups, swimming area, boats for rent, fishing, Sunday worship services and a playground area. Amigo Park is a ministry of Amigo Centre. Reservations preferred. 27091 Amigo Park Drive, Sturgis. Call 269-651-2734

Cade Lake Campground & County Park — Cade Lake County Park is St. Joseph County's newest Park. The park offers 97 acres on the Shores of the 32 acre Cade Lake. Both modern and primitive camping are available with 62 campsites. The park also features a swimming beach, fishing, boat rentals, picnic shelter, playground, hiking trails, and other family activities. For camping information, call (269) 651-3330.

Cranberry Lake Campground — Family operated since 1940. Nestled in the rolling hills, a magnificent lake view from almost every site, Cranberry Lake Campground is exactly what you have been searching for. Great fishing, store, onsite manager, game room, boat launch, dump station, play area, sandy swimming beach, horseshoes, laundry, shower house and flush toilets. Call 269-646-3336 for camping information.

Hidden Pond Campground — Hidden Pond Campground is nestled in on the Prairie River. With over 2,000 feet of scenic river frontage, our park is ideal for seasonal sites, canoers, kayakers, and fishing enthusiasts. Our campground offers a variety of activities to keep people of all ages entertained. Here are a few things that we have to offer our campers: sandy beach, water trampoline, paddle boats, basketball court, playground, laundromat, clean, modern facilities, convenience store, and Wi-Fi. We have hammocks and park benches throughout the campground making it perfect for those lazy summer days to read a book or just watch the birds. Contact us via email at hiddenpondcampground@yahoo.com or by calling (269) 467-8684.

Ohio DNR's 'Natural Resources Park' at Ohio State Fair showcases state's outdoor opportunities

8-acre park open daily during the Ohio State Fair from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Visitors to the Ohio State Fair will find a break from the hustle and heat of the midway at the Natural Resources Park, located in the southeast corner of the fairgrounds. Outdoor and indoor nature exhibits focused on hands-on learning will greet fairgoers as they tour the park-like setting of the area, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).

“ODNR’s Natural Resources Park at the state fair gives Ohioans the chance to discover the natural wonders Ohio has to offer,” said ODNR Director David Mustine. “We hope our visitor’s experience inspires them to explore all of Ohio’s amenities and continue to explore Ohio’s great outdoors.”

Beginning on opening day, July 27, visitors of all ages are invited to talk to a 15-foot-high Smokey Bear who has been greeting youngsters by name for more than 30 years. Smokey Bear will continue his tradition of sharing the importance of forest fire prevention and safety with all fairgoers.

The Natural Resources Pavilion, located next to Smokey Bear, will offer a variety of interactive exhibits promoting conservation and outdoor recreation, such as Explore the Outdoors and a demonstration dog park as well as a replica eagle's nest.

Visitors of all ages (at least 50” tall) are encouraged to explore paddle sports by grabbing a kayak paddle and trying the 7,000-square-foot kayak pond, located next to the pavilion. This hands-on activity, which is supervised by ODNR Division of Watercraft professionals, teaches children and parents alike about the importance of wearing proper fitting lifejackets and offers paddling basics.

The Natural Resources Park also features a 500-seat amphitheater where fairgoers will be treated to all types of entertainment every day from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. The long-time favorite, Great Lakes Timber Show, featuring log rolling and lumberjack contests, will be returning along with the Columbus Zoo and several musical acts. From cloggers to retriever dogs, jugglers to naturalists, there’s something for everyone at ODNR’s amphitheater.

Across the pond from the amphitheater is the extensive ODNR Division of Wildlife display area, home to the always busy kiddie fishing area. In addition to free fishing for the youngsters, families can try a number of outdoor sports including the free archery and BB gun ranges.

Other popular Wildlife displays include a collection of live native animals including a river otter, bobcat, wild turkeys and birds of prey including owls and eagles. After visiting native wildlife, fairgoers may enjoy a stroll through the colorful aviary and butterfly exhibits.

Another outdoor natural display awaits fairgoers at the authentic tall-grass prairie; a number of stunning prairie blossoms can be viewed along an accessible boardwalk trail. Nearby, an early pioneer cabin gives visitors a glimpse into life along the Ohio frontier.

In the Mill, fairgoers can explore Ohio's long history of oil and gas production. Exhibits will take visitors from the "boomtown" days of the late 19th century when Ohioans first struck oil to the contemporary production methods and regulatory requirements which protect our environment today.

Before leaving the park, fairgoers are encouraged to stop by the ODNR Information Booth to pick up pamphlets and other information related to ODNR lands and programs. The information booth is also an excellent place to ask ODNR-related questions while visiting the park area. Attached to the information booth, the Ohio State Parks Gift Shop is full of great gift ideas as well as State Parks merchandise for the entire family.

A brand new feature located throughout the Park this year will be QR (quick response) codes which will deliver information directly to smart phones. Scan any of the QR codes in the Park and fairgoers will get access to maps, schedules and other information including giveaways instantly to their phones.

ODNR’s Natural Resources Park is open daily during the run of the fair from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and entry is free with state fair admission (all activities are also free). Visit www.ohiodnr.com to access more detailed information about the ODNR Natural Resources Park or check out the daily amphitheater schedule which can be downloaded directly to your smart phone.

The Ohio State Fair runs from Wednesday, July 27 through Sunday, August 7. For more information about the state fair, go to www.ohiostatefair.com.

The ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR Web site at www.ohiodnr.com.

Report says Great Lakes National Parks already suffering from 'Climate Disruption'

Five major parks in or near Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin highlighted; Significant and growing impact on beaches, wildlife, tourism revenue and jobs detailed

Five major Great Lakes national parks are already feeling the impact of climate change in the forms of rising temperatures, decreased winter ice, eroding shorelines, spreading disease, and a crowding out of key wildlife and plant life, according to a major new report issued recently by the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization (RMCO) and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

Available online at http://www.rockymountainclimate.org/programs_13.htm, the new RMCO/NRDC report focuses on the five largest parks on the Great Lakes: Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore (NL) in Indiana (near Chicago); Sleeping Bear Dunes NL, Pictured Rocks NL, and Isle Royale National Park (NP) in Michigan (just offshore from Minnesota); and Apostle Islands NL in Wisconsin.

As “Great Lakes National Parks in Peril: The Threats of Climate Disruption” notes, the threats of climate disruption to the national parks in the Great Lakes are also threats to the Great Lakes regional economy. “The five parks featured in this report together drew more than four million visitors in 2010. Visitor spending in 2009 totaled more than $200 million and supported nearly 3,000 jobs. These economic benefits are at risk as a changing climate threatens the special resources that draw vacationing families and others to these parks.”

The report documents the following major impacts:

Higher temperatures. Summers in Indiana Dunes could become as hot by late in this century (2070- 2099) as summers in Gainesville, Florida, have been in recent history (1971-2000). Summers in Sleeping Bear Dunes could become as hot as those in Lexington, Kentucky, recently have been.

Less winter ice. Higher air and water temperatures already are reducing winter ice cover on the Great Lakes, a trend expected to accelerate. Lake Michigan may have some winters with no ice cover in as soon as 10 years, and Lake Superior may typically be ice-free in about three decades.

Major erosion of shoreline and related features. With less ice and more open waters, the lakes will have more waves in winter than before, especially during strong storms, increasing erosion threats to park shorelines and structures. The park staff at Sleeping Bear Dunes has expressed concern that the park’s signature perched dunes, atop towering bluffs above the shorelines, could be vulnerable to accelerated loss from increased erosion, resulting from a loss of winter ice and snow cover that keeps the dunes’s sand from blowing away and from more waves undercutting the bluffs on which the dunes perch.

Loss of wildlife. In Isle Royale, the moose population has declined, as have the numbers of the wolves that depend on them as prey. Other park mammals at risk as the climate changes include lynx and martens. Birds at risk of being eliminated from the parks include common loons and ruffed grouse, iconic birds of the Great Lakes and the North Woods.

“Human disruption of the climate is the greatest threat ever to America’s national parks. This report details the particular threats that a changed climate poses to our Great Lakes national parks — those within the lakes or on their shores,” said Stephen Saunders, president, Rocky Mountain Climate Organization (RMCO) and former deputy assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior overseeing the National Park Service.

Dale Engquist, former superintendent, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, and president, Chicago Wilderness Trust, said "change in nature is natural. But the changes we face with the accelerated rate of global climate change that our human activities have caused don’t allow millennia or even centuries for adaption; the changes now will take place in only decades without time for nature to adapt.”

“We need to head off climate change quickly to protect our Great Lakes parks, the iconic landscapes and wildlife that live in them, and our own communities," said Thom Cmar, staff attorney, Chicago Office, Natural Resources Defense Council. "Climate action is economic action in the Great Lakes. To protect the jobs and massive revenue that come out of these parks, Congress needs to either act on climate or get out of the way and let the EPA do its job to limit carbon pollution.”

Larry J. MacDonald, mayor, Bayfield, Wisconsin, said the issue affects his city as well.

“The City of Bayfield, as the gateway community to the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, faces the financial reality that climate change will bring tremendous economic challenges to our National Lakeshore-based local tourism economy," MacDonald said. "We need to continue to respect and protect Lake Superior. When the Lake is healthy, our community and the Apostle Islands will continue to prosper.”

The new RMCO/NRDC report also concludes:
  • The amount of rain falling in heavy storms in the Midwest increased by 31 percent over the past century. This is well above the national average of 22 percent. 
  • Winds over the Great Lakes already are stronger than they used to be. Lake Superior wind speeds have increased by 12 percent since 1985.
  • The waters in the Great Lakes are hotter, with their temperatures having increased more in recent decades than air temperatures have. Lake Superior’s summer water temperatures rose about 4.5 degrees from 1979 to 2006, roughly double the rate at which summer air temperatures have gone up over the surrounding land.
  • In Isle Royale NP, the moose population is down to about 515, half the park’s long-term average. Temperatures higher than moose can tolerate could be responsible—as in nearby northwest Minnesota, where the moose population has crashed in the past two decades from 4,000 to fewer than 100 animals, coinciding with higher temperatures. Also, warmer winters in Isle Royale enable enough ticks to overwinter and cause such a large loss of blood among the moose that they are more vulnerable to the park’s wolves.
  • Isle Royale’s wolf population has fallen, too. The park’s moose make up 90 percent of the wolves’s prey, and declines in the moose population threaten the wolves. The park now has only 16 wolves in two packs, compared to 24 wolves in four packs a few years ago.
  • Botulism outbreaks linked to high water temperatures and low lake levels now kill hundreds to thousands of birds a year in Sleeping Bear Dunes NL. There are so many dead birds cover the park’s beaches that the National Park Service patrols from June through November to clean up the bird carcasses.
  • In 2010, a tick of the type that carries Lyme disease was confirmed at Isle Royale for the first time -- a fact apparently being reported publicly for the first time in this report. Cold temperatures previously prevented the ticks that carry Lyme disease from reaching so far north, but their spread into the region had been projected as the climate gets hotter. The Lyme disease ticks also apparently have spread to nearby Grand Portage National Monument for the first time.

ABOUT THE GROUPS
The Rocky Mountain Climate Organization spreads the word about what a disrupted climate can do to us and what we can do about it. Learn more at http://www.rockymountainclimate.org.

The Natural Resources Defense Council is a national nonprofit organization with more than 1.3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world’s natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Livingston, MT, and Beijing. Visit NRDC on the Web at http://www.nrdc.org.

Summer Specials in August at Detroit Institute of Arts

Take advantage of Blue Star Museums program, Family Fitting Room

Two “summer only” offerings are in full swing at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA). Active military personnel and their families (military ID holder and five immediate family members) get free museum admission through Labor Day as part of the Blue Star Museums program. And, Wednesday–Friday from 10:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m. in August, take advantage of the Family Fitting Room, where staff will customize a tour based on individual interests.

In addition, residents of cities participating in the popular Inside/Our program, which brings reproductions of DIA masterworks out into the community, each have a designated free Family Sunday. Coming up in August are: Novi, Aug. 7; Rochester, Aug. 14; St. Clair Shores, Aug. 21; and Sterling Hts., Aug. 28.

Programs are free with museum admission unless otherwise noted. For more information call (313) 833-7900 or visit www.dia.org.

Guided Tours: Wednesdays–Thursdays, 1 p.m.; Fridays, 1, 6, 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays–Sundays, 1, 3 p.m.

Drop-In Workshops (for all ages)
  • Wednesdays, 11 a.m.–3 p.m. – Heraldry: Create your own miniature coat-of-arms.
  • Thursdays, 11 a.m.–3 p.m. – Artist Trading Cards: Learn about trading cards and create your own.
  • Fridays, 11 a.m.–3 p.m. –Cylinder Seals: Seals were used by people in Sumeria (present day Iraq) as a signature and to prove ownership. Carve a simple wax crayon to make your own personal seal.
  • Fridays, 6–9 p.m. – Uchiwa: Uchiwa is a style of paper fan common in Japan. Learn about the tradition of making Uchiwa and create your own fan.
  • Saturdays, Noon–4 p.m. – Book Arts: Japanese Stab Binding: Create a simple book using a traditional form of stitching.
  • Sundays, Noon-4 p.m. – It’s a Zoo in Here!: Create your favorite animal using crayons, markers, and decorative papers. If you’d like, we will post your creation in our community arts gallery.

Drawing in the Galleries (for all ages): Fridays, 6–9 p.m.; Sundays, Noon–4 p.m.

Detroit City Chess Club: Fridays, 4–8 p.m.
The club’s mission is to teach area students the game and life lessons. Members have won state, regional and national competitions. People wanting to learn how to play chess should show up between 4–6 p.m. There will be no teaching between 6 and 8 p.m., but visitors can play chess.

Family Fitting Room: Wednesday–Friday: 10:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m.
Stop by the Family Fitting Room in Prentis Court where staff will customize a visit just for you.

Wednesday, August 3
Summer Camp: Recycled Furniture (adults only): 10 a.m.–1 p.m.
Paint, collage and work with texturing and other surface embellishments to breathe new life into old treasures. Pieces should be small and easy to carry. Class is limited to 15 people. Members $36, non-members $48. To register, email registration@dia.org or call (313) 833-4005.

Thursday, August 4
Summer Camp: Printmaking: Scratching the Surface (adults only): 10 a.m.–1 p.m.
Take inspiration from the DIA’s rich print collection and explore simple printmaking methods from a selection of found and re-cycled materials. Class is limited to 20 people. Members $36, non-members $48. To register, email registration@dia.org or call (313) 833-4005.

Friday Night Live, August 5
Music: George Cole Quintet: 7 & 8:30 p.m.
George Cole Quintet’s superbly crafted and melodically sophisticated original music brings to mind George Gershwin, Johnny Mercer and Cole Porter. The group features Cole’s vocals and hot guitar playing and romantic duets with vocalist Molly Mahoney. The mix of high energy guitar playing, soaring violin flights by Julian Smedley and propulsive rhythm guitar creates a dynamic musical experience.

Detroit Film Theatre: The Man Who Fell to Earth: 7 p.m.
Available for the first time in years, the director’s cut of The Man Who Fell to Earth is a daring exploration of the boundaries of science fiction as art form and metaphor. Rock legend David Bowie, in his acting debut, eerily and movingly embodies the title role. For a detailed description, visit www.dia.org/dft/schedule.asp. Tickets: $7.50; DIA members, seniors and students, $6.50.

Saturday, August 6
Detroit Film Theatre: Nuremberg: 4 p.m.
The first major trial to prosecute crimes against humanity addressed questions of guilt and complicity in unimaginable acts, and the cameras captured the defendants as they admit only to “excesses.” Intended as a lesson for future generations, Nuremberg has become the prototype for tribunals prosecuting genocides. For a detailed description, visit www.dia.org/dft/schedule.asp. Tickets: $7.50; DIA members, seniors and students, $6.50.

Detroit Film Theatre: The Man Who Fell to Earth: 7 p.m.
(see August 5 for description and ticket prices)

Sunday, August 7
Summer Camp: Coil-Built Planters (adults only): 10 a.m.–1 p.m.
Make a clay pot that any plant would be happy to call home. Projects will be fired for pick-up at a later date. Class size limited to 20 people. Members $36, non-members $48. To register, email registration@dia.org or call (313) 833-4005.

Storytelling Performance: Sticks & Stones & Story Bones: 2 p.m.
Dawn Daniels creates a lively circle of warmth and enchantment for audiences of all ages.

Friday Night Live, August 12
Music: Paul King with Strings: 7 & 8:30 p.m.
Paul King with Strings is a combination of baritone vocalist Paul King with jazz trio and classical string quartet, performing the music of composer Matt Dennis. Dennis worked as a writer for Tommy Dorsey and wrote the hits Angel Eyes and Will You Still be Mine, among others. Arrangements are by pianist Scott Gwinell and performed by his trio and musicians from the Michigan Opera Theater Orchestra.

Detroit Film Theatre: Nostalgia for the Light: 7 p.m.
Director Patricio Guzmán travels 10,000 feet above sea level to the driest place on earth, the Atacama Desert, where the sky is so translucent it allows astronomers to see to the boundaries of the universe. In Spanish with English subtitles. For a detailed description, visit www.dia.org/dft/schedule.asp. Tickets: $7.50; DIA members, seniors and students, $6.50.

Saturday, August 13
Classes: It’s a Zoo in Here!: Mixed-Media Bug & Animal Sculpture: 10 a.m.–noon
Check out the exhibition It’s a Zoo in Here! then head to the art studio to create large or small imaginary bugs and animals from a variety of materials. Class is limited to 20 people. Members $24, non-members $32. To register, email registration@dia.org or call (313) 833-4005.

Detroit Film Theatre: DFT 101: Throne of Blood: 4:30 p.m.
Akira Kurosawa’s screen adaptation of Macbeth sets this story of ambition and murder in 16th-century Japan. Lady Macbeth goads her warrior husband into murdering his warlord and seizing the throne for himself. In Japanese with English subtitles. For a detailed description, visit www.dia.org/dft/schedule.asp. Free with museum admission and for DIA members; $5 for general public without museum admission.

Detroit Film Theatre: Nostalgia for the Light: 7 p.m.
(see August 12 for description and ticket prices)

Family Sunday, August 14
Classes: Sample It!: (ages 5–8 must be with an adult): Noon –4 p.m.
Come to the studio anytime between noon and 4 p.m. to try your hand at making a clay mask or a watercolor portfolio to hold your future DIA art projects. Clay projects will be fired for pick-up at a later date. Stay as long as you like. Each class is limited to 20 people. Members $12, non-members $16. To register, email registration@dia.org or call (313) 833-4005.

Family Performance: LaCompagnie: 2 p.m.
LaCompagnie invites you to join them for a musical experience that includes selections ranging from French and British Canada to the Appalachian and bayou regions of the United States. The audience is encouraged to sing along, dance or just relax and enjoy the fun.

Detroit Film Theatre: Nostalgia for the Light: 2 p.m.
(see August 12 for description and ticket prices)

Detroit Film Theatre: The Man Who Fell to Earth: 4:30 p.m.
(see August 5 for description and ticket prices)

Friday Night Live, August 19
Music: Stephanie Trick: 7 & 8:30 p.m.
Award-winning pianist Stephanie Trick is one of today's leading interpreters of stride piano and one of the few female stride pianists to mater this technically and physically demanding jazz piano style. She has been called “the next rising star in the stride world” and one of the finest interpreters of the music of James P. Johnson, Fats Waller, Willie “The Lion” Smith, Art Tatum and Donald Lambert.

Detroit Film Theatre: !Women Art Revolution: 7 p.m.
This “secret history” of feminist art illuminates this movement through conversations, observations, archival footage and works of visionary artists, curators and critics. Starting from its roots in 1960s antiwar and civil rights protests, the film details major developments in women’s art through the 1970s. For a detailed description, visit www.dia.org/dft/schedule.asp. Tickets: $7.50; DIA members, seniors and students, $6.50.

Saturday, August 20
Detroit Film Theatre: Knife in the Water: 4 p.m.
Roman Polanski’s first feature is a psychological thriller that many critics consider one of his finest films. When a young hitchhiker joins a couple on a weekend yacht trip, psychological warfare breaks out as the two men compete for the woman’s attention. For a detailed description, visit www.dia.org/dft/schedule.asp. Tickets: $7.50; DIA members, seniors and students, $6.50.

Detroit Film Theatre: !Women Art Revolution: 7 p.m.
(see August 12 for description and ticket prices)

Family Sunday, August 21
Puppet Performance: The Emperor's New Clothes: 2 p.m.
Join Roz Puppets for this humorous retelling of an old favorite. When a clever weaver convinces a vain emperor that he produces a magical cloth, the emperor pays him to make the most beautiful clothes in the kingdom. The only problem, the emperor can't see the clothes. What will happen when it comes time to parade the new clothes around the kingdom? Does anyone see the clothes? Find out the naked truth in this family friendly puppet performance.

Detroit Film Theatre: !Women Art Revolution: 2 p.m.
(see August 12 for description and ticket prices)

Friday Night Live, August 26
Music: Jeff “Tain” Watts and Haleem Rasul: 7 p.m. & 8:30 p.m.
The DIA’s collaboration with the Detroit Jazz Festival pairs drummer Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts with Kresge grant recipient Haleem Rasul and his break-dancing collective, Hardcore Detroit.

Family Sunday, August 28
Artist Demonstration: Oil Painting: Noon–4 p.m.
Tim Marsh explores nature’s dramatic patterns, bold shapes and vivid color palette, with oil as his main medium. Marsh offers a window into an uncommon world that humans rarely see in detail. Marsh enjoys the relationship between the elements within each painting, which can lend a touch of whimsy and a hint of a story that can change with each viewer. His goal is to create a porthole for the viewer to experience nature's awesome and unique beauty.

About the DIA
The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), one of the premier art museums in the United States, is home to more than 60,000 works that comprise a multicultural survey of human creativity from ancient times through the 21st century. From the first van Gogh painting to enter a U.S. museum (Self-Portrait, 1887), to Diego Rivera's world-renowned Detroit Industry murals (1932–33), the DIA's collection is known for its quality, range, and depth. The DIA’s mission is to create opportunities for all visitors to find personal meaning in art.


Hours and Admission
Museum hours are 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m.–10 p.m. Fridays, and 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors ages 62+, $4 for ages 6-17, and free for DIA members. For membership information call 313-833-7971.

Programs are made possible with support from the City of Detroit.

Learn about Creatures, Lakes and Critters at P.J. Hoffmaster State Park’s Nature Programs

Families can find fun summer adventures at P.J. Hoffmaster State Park in Muskegon, Michigan. The park features 10 miles of hiking trails, 2.5 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline, the Gillette Sand Dune Visitor Center and nature programs for families. The Visitor Center will be the meeting place for the Exploring Nature programs. Each program includes an activity or short hike. The following programs, offered each week, meet at the Visitor Center through Aug. 12:

Tuesdays
  • Time Travel: Forest to Beach Hike at 10 a.m. This naturalist-led hike explores the sand dunes. Total hike distance is 1.5 miles. 
  • Great Lakes Aliens at 1 p.m. Learn about Great Lakes creatures that are not native to our Michigan waters.

Wednesdays
  • Butterfly or Gardening Program at 11 a.m. Each week we will cover a new topic related to butterflies and gardening with native plants. Program will include an audio-visual program and tour of outdoor garden. 
  • Bats, Bats, Bats at 1 p.m. See a great bat movie, learn all about bats and make your own bat glider. Sorry, no live bats.

Thursdays
  • Little Creatures of the Dunes at 10 a.m. Help find tigers, lions and wolves! This is a longer hike for older children. No children under eight please.

Fridays
  • Fantastic Fish of Inland Lakes at 11 a.m. This is a wonderful program for children to enjoy with their parents. Learn some fishing basics, characteristics of panfish, types of fishing and how to prepare equipment for fishing. Participants will also learn about Asian carp.

P.J. Hoffmaster State Park is located at 6585 Lake Harbor Rd. in Muskegon. All children attending programs must be accompanied by an adult. Programs are free; however, a Recreation Passport is required for entry to the park.

Programs are sponsored by the Gillette Nature Association. For more information, contact the Gillette Visitor Center at 231-798-3573.

For a listing of other events taking place in Michigan State Parks visit www.michigan.gov/dnrcalendar. Program listing for P.J. Hoffmaster State Park can also be found at www.gillettenature.org or www.michigan.gov/dnrvisitorcenters.

Michigan DNR’s Recreation 101 Clinics

Learn to Master the Great Outdoors During DNR’s Recreation 101 Clinics

Stop envying the people with all the bikes, boats, kayaks and campers strapped to their cars. Experts at Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources are ready to assist even the most tentative beginner in taking that first step toward a life-long love of the outdoors.

The DNR Parks and Recreation Division’s Recreation 101 is a year-round GO-Get Outdoors program that recruits top instructors and sports equipment vendors to provide free or inexpensive hands-on lessons. The goal is to provide the novice sportsman with enough skill and knowledge to begin a new activity.

Program offerings, ranging from fishing, birding and geocaching to hiking, biking and paddling and even mushing, are set to take place in numerous state parks and recreation areas across Michigan. Don’t just watch other people have fun. Use the Recreation 101 demo clinics to try out the many wonderful outdoor activities to be enjoyed in Michigan’s woods and waters.


Bicycling 101
Join experts from the Wood Shed Bike Shop at 5 p.m. July 22 at Silver Lake State Park, 9679 W. State Park Rd. in Mears in Oceana County for tips on cycling. For details, call the park at 231-873-3083.

Great Lakes and Inland Kayak Safety 101 
Learn basics in kayak design, equipment and safety considerations when venturing out on the water during an in-depth training session from 4 to 8 p.m. Aug. 11 at Straits State Park, 720 Church St. in St. Ignace in Mackinac County. Sessions led by certified kayak instructors from Woods & Water Ecotours include on-land training from 4 to 5:30 p.m. and on-water demonstrations from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Class size for the on-land portion is unlimited and does not require an RSVP. Class size is limited for the on-water portion and reservations are required. For reservations, call 906-484-4157. For details call the park at 906-643-8620.

Hiking 101 
On Aug. 13, join an easy stroll through the lowland trails of the North Unit of Bald Mountain Recreation Area, 1330 E. Greenshield Rd. in Lake Orion in Oakland County. Nature subjects will be discussed along the way as well as hiking safety. For details including time, call the recreation area at 248-693-6767.

Kayaking 101
Crystal River Outfitters will be at Leelanau State Park, 15310 N. Lighthouse Point Rd. in Northport in Leelanau County at 1 p.m. July 30 to offer tips on kayaking including an overview of equipment, trip recommendations, and basic paddle strokes. For details, call the park at 231-386-5422.

Kite Boarding 101 
Experts from Motor City Kiteboarding will offer an introduction to the sport and teach a series of skills from noon to 2 p.m. July 22-23 at Tawas Point State Park, 686 Tawas Beach Road in East Tawas in Iosco County. For details, call the park at 989-362-5041.

Model Airplane Flight 101 
Members of the Holly Cloudhoppers Model Airplane Club will hold an open house Aug. 6 at Holly Recreation Area, 8100 Grange Hall Rd. in Holly in Oakland County. For details including time, call the recreation area at 248-634-8811.

Mushing 101 
A Mush Rig Training Session will be held from Nov. 4-6 at Fort Custer Recreation Area, 5163 W. Fort Custer Dr. in Augusta in Kalamazoo County. For details, call the recreation area at 269-731-4200.

Snorkeling 101 
Snorkeling provides some vantage views of lakes and oceans, some of nature’s most marvelous realms. Visit Holland State Park, 2215 Ottawa Beach Rd. in Holland in Ottawa County for Snorkeling 101 on July 22 and Aug. 1. For details, call the park at 616-399-9390.

Survival 101 
Learn how to build shelters and fires and to navigate during a Survival 101 session July 22-23 at Van Riper State Park, 851 County Road AKE in Champion in Marquette County. For details, call the park at 906-339-4461.

Trapping 101 
State-certified instructors will conduct a Trappers Education Class starting at 9 a.m. Sept. 10 at Brimley State Park, 9200 W. Six Mile Road in Brimley in Chippewa County. The class teaches trapping history, safety, rules and regulations, techniques and conservation. Students must be a minimum of eight years old, and an adult must accompany those students 8 to 10 years of age. There is no charge to attend; however an optional starter kit is offered for $10. Class size is limited. For details, call Charlie Maltby at 906-248-3422.

Windsurfing 101 
Get onboard the exciting sport of windsurfing presented by Great Lakes Demo Tour. Instruction and gear will be provided at the following locations.
  • July 26-27, Burt Lake State Park, 6635 State Park Dr., Indian River in Cheboygan County. For details, call the park at 231-238-9392. 
  • Aug. 9-10, Aloha State Park, 4347 Third St., Cheboygan in Cheboygan County. For details, call the park at 231-625-2522. 
  • Aug. 16-17, Petoskey State Park, 2475 Highway M-119, Petoskey in Emmet County. For details, call the park at 231-347-2311.
Don't Forget You Need the Recreation Passport
The Recreation Passport has replaced motor vehicle permits for entry into Michigan state parks, recreation areas and state-administered boating access fee sites. This new way to fund Michigan’s outdoor recreation opportunities also helps to preserve state forest campgrounds, trails and historic and cultural sites in state parks, and provides park development grants to local communities.

Michigan residents can purchase the Recreation Passport ($10 for motor vehicles; $5 for motorcycles) by checking "YES" on their license plate renewal forms, or at any state park or recreation area. To learn more about the Recreation Passport, visit www.michigan.gov/recreationpassport or call (517) 241-7275.

Non-resident motor vehicles must still display a valid non-resident Recreation Passport ($29 annual; $8 daily) to enter a Michigan state park, recreation area or state-administered boating access fee site, which can be purchased at any state park or recreation area, or through the Michigan e-Store at www.michigan.gov/estore.

New RV product: Blacktop 360 revolutionizes 'Outdoor Social Cooking'

For the RVer, BBQ Fanatic, Tailgating King & Foodie

Blacktop 360, a new company revolutionizing social outdoor cooking, announces the Award-Winning Party Hub Grill Fryer ($249), Pit Pan & Pit Grill ($19.95 each), both available for holiday 2011.

The company just launched its flagship product, the Blacktop 360 Party Hub Grill Fryer, winner of “Best Tailgating Product” and “Retailer’s Choice Award” at The 2011 National Hardware Tradeshow, thanks to its patented multi-tasking, round cook top that maximizes the cooking surface and offers 11 cooking functions including: grill, fry, griddle, warm, steam, wok/stir fry, boil, sauté, sauce pan, searing and fondue.

Adding to its line of innovative cooking equipment designed to be the center of the party, Blacktop 360 just announced the launch of the Pit Pan and Pit Grill, which is a pan on a long stick designed for fire pit and campfire cooking. www.blacktop360.com

All of the Blacktop 360 products represent new capabilities and features to let everyone tailgate in a way they simply couldn’t before. Inspired by the fun of any party, whether that is at a sports event or just in the backyard, Blacktop 360’s goal is to create products where the food is the center and people gather around. The Party Hub Grill Fryer, as well as the Pit Pan and Pit Grill, are available at The Sports Authority.

AWARD WINNING Party Hub Grill Fryer ($249): The Blacktop 360 Party Hub Grill Fryer is the first portable outdoor cook top of its kind, allowing tailgater’s endless menu possibilities with one unit. The Party Hub Grill Fryer has four distinct, porcelain enamel cooking areas including the grill, griddle, warming plate and fryer, making it possible to make burgers and fries, chicken wings and poppers, and just about anything else all at the same time. It also features an accessories rail that comes with attachable plates with integrated cup holders, tool holder and cutting board. Serious BBQ-ers will love the 30,000 BTU’s of cooking power, infrared burner capable of 450-650+ degree temperatures, independent fry, grill and griddle controls, and generous 16oz. capacity deep fryer.


Pit Pan ($19.95) and Pit Grill ($19.95): The Blacktop 360 Pit Pan and Pit Grill are durable, non-stick, coated steel pans attached to a long stick, designed for fire pit and campfire cooking. Fun to cook on for kids and adults, the simple, clever design features a 2-part pole for easy carrying and storage.

ABOUT BLACKTOP 360
Inspired by outdoor social cooking for tailgating and more, Blacktop 360 creates innovative products that are specifically designed for people to gather around, interact and have fun while preparing party food. With the Blacktop 360 Party Hub Grill Fryer and other products, the design is optimized for the cook and the guests to be in the center of the action, socializing and eating. Other products in the Blacktop 360 line include: the Party Hub Grill Fryer ($249), Pit Pan ($15.95), and Pit Grill™ ($15.95). All of the products represent new capabilities and features to let everyone tailgate in a way they simply couldn’t before. www.blacktop360.com

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3 million walleye stocked in Wisconsin waters

Nearly 3 million walleye, Wisconsin anglers' favorite fish, have been stocked in dozens of lakes and rivers waters over the last few weeks.

The fish, up to 2 months old and 2 inches in size, were harvested from the Art Oehmcke Hatchery in Woodruff, the Tommy G. Thompson Hatchery in Spooner, the Lake Mills Hatchery in its namesake community, and, for the first time in 20 years, Wild Rose State Fish Hatchery in Waushara County. Construction of new coolwater facilities at that century-old hatchery allowed fish crews there to return to producing walleye for the first time in a generation.

"It was a good year for small fingerling walleye production, and it's good news for future walleye fishing opportunities in Wisconsin," says Dave Giehtbrock, statewide fish production manager. "The longer winter led to later egg collection, which caused a logistical complication at some hatcheries, but the cooler water temperatures were good for the walleye, and we were able to pull off successful rearing at our hatcheries, producing the fish we needed to produce."

The walleye are stocked to provide walleye fishing opportunities where otherwise there would be none, and to help restore naturally self-sustaining walleye populations in the receiving waters. The vast majority of the state's walleye fisheries are naturally reproducing but stocking plays an important role in some waters. .

How long it takes these little guys to reach legal size depends on the water where they're stocked and regulations, but count on two to five years before these fish are likely to turn up in the frying pan.

For more information, click here to be taken to the Wisconsin DNR website for the rest of this article.

Summer Sun Safety

With summer in full swing, everyone's shedding layers and enjoying basking in the sun. But while absorbing some of the sun's rays will help your body produce Vitamin D, too much of the UVA and UVB rays can cause skin damage. Use these tips from the Federal Citizen Information Center to protect yourself this summer.

Avoid sunburn and excessive tanning: It's a well-known fact that spending lots of time in the sun could lead to uncomfortable sunburns and skin cancer. Slather on a layer of SPF 15 or higher if you're going to be outside for a long time. Don't forget to cover places like the tops of your feet, your ears and even the part in your hair. Those areas are easy to forget about, but burn easily. If you play in the pool or ocean or work up a good sweat playing beach volleyball, make sure you re-apply to get added protection. And remember, you don't need to get a burn to be at risk for skin damage, premature wrinkles or skin cancer. Unprotected time in the sun or in tanning beds can be just as damaging to skin as a sunburn.

Understand your Risk: Anyone can get skin cancer, but people with fair skin and eye color tend to be at higher risk than others. The National Cancer Institute provides a checklist of common risk factors. Check off the ones that apply to you to figure out what kind of extra precautions you should be taking to avoid skin cancer.

Check the UV Index: The UV index lets you know just how strong the sun's rays are so you can protect yourself, either by wearing sunscreen or staying in the shade. Just enter your zip code to check the UV index in your area.

Protect your eyes: The sun's rays can damage more than your skin. Excess exposure to the sun can lead to cataracts and other eye problems. Keep these at bay by wearing sunglasses that block UV rays. Just look for a label indicating the glasses block 99 to 100 percent of UV rays.

With these tips you can safely enjoy your time in the sun.