Nov/Dec. 2018 Ontonagon

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November/December 2018


COUNTRY LINES Ontonagon County Rural Electrification Association

The UP200 Sled Dog Racers

MUSH ON Nominate Local EntrepreneursÂ

Sweet Bait For Fish And Fishermen Artisan Endeavors Create Second Chapters

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In This Issue November/December 2018 || Vol. 38, No. 9

Michigan’s Electric Cooperatives michigancountrylines

Executive Editor: Casey Clark Editor: Christine Dorr Copy Editor: Heidi Spencer Design and Production: Karreen Bird Publisher: Michigan Electric Cooperative Association Michigan Country Lines, USPS-591710, is published monthly, except August and December, with periodicals postage paid at Lansing, Mich., and additional offices. It is the official publication of the Michigan Electric Cooperative Association, 201 Townsend St., Suite 900, Lansing, MI 48933. Subscriptions are authorized for members of Alger Delta, Cherryland, Great Lakes, HomeWorks Tri-County, Midwest Energy & Communications, Ontonagon, Presque Isle, and Thumb electric cooperatives by their boards of directors. POSTMASTER: SEND ALL UAA TO CFS. Association officers are Robert Kran, Great Lakes Energy, chairman; Mark Kappler, HomeWorks Tri-County Electric, vice chairman; and Eric Baker, Wolverine Power Cooperative, secretary-treasurer. Craig Borr is president and CEO. CONTACT US/LETTERS TO EDITOR: Michigan Country Lines 201 Townsend St., Suite 900 Lansing, MI 48933 248-534-7358

6 ENERGY Resources For Home Heating Assistance Programs 7 SAFETY Tips For Decorating Safely This Holiday Season 10 MI CO-OP KITCHEN ‘Tis The Season For These Festive Recipes

ON THE COVER The UP200 is one of America’s premier, 12-dog, mid-distance sled races and draws mushers from around the United States and Canada. Pictured is Musher Sally Manikian of New Hampshire. Photo by Mitch Rusch.

Christin McKamey & Our Readers

Our Guest Chef Chili Recipe Will Warm You Up After Winter Adventures Enter Our Recipe Contest And Win A $50 Bill Credit!

Win $150 for stories published!

14 FEATURE The UP200 Sled Dog Racers Mush On

Guest Column

Emily Haines Lloyd

18 MI CO-OP COMMUNITY Best Of Michigan: Snowmobile Trails Grab a friend and hit these recommended trails for a new perspective on winter. Guess Our New Mystery Photo And Win A $50 Bill Credit!

Country Lines invites members to submit their fond memories and stories. Guidelines 1. Approximately 350 words 2. Digital photos must be at least 600 KB 3. Submit your guest column at under the MI Co-op Community tab

Statement of Ownership, Management and Circulation (Required by U.S.C. 3685) 1. Publication Title: Michigan Country Lines. 2. Publication No.: 591-710. 3. Filing date: 10/1/18. 4. Issue frequency: monthly, except August and December. 5. No. of issues published annually: 10. 6. Complete mailing address of known office of publication: Michigan Electric Cooperative Association, 201 Townsend St., Ste. 900, Lansing, MI 48933. 7. Complete mailing address of headquarters or general business office of publisher: 201 Townsend St., Ste. 900, Lansing, MI 48933. 8. Full names and complete mailing address of publisher, editors, and executive editor: Craig Borr, Christine Dorr, Casey Clark, 201 Townsend St., Ste. 900, Lansing, MI 48933. 9. Owner: Michigan Electric Cooperative Assoc., 201 Townsend St., Ste. 900, Lansing, MI 48933. 10. Known bondholders, mortgagees, and other security holders owning or holding one percent or more of total amount of bonds, mortgages, or other securities: None. 11. Tax status: Has not been changed. 12. Issue date for circulation data below: Sept. 2018. 13. Extent and nature of circulation: Avg # of copies each issue during preceding 12 mo.

CHANGE OF ADDRESS: Please notify your electric cooperative. See page 4 for contact information.

The appearance of advertising does not constitute an endorsement of the products or services advertised.

A) B) C) D) E) F) G) H) I)

Actual # of copies of single issues published nearest to filing date

Total No. of copies .......................................................... 221,033 ........................................... 241,500 Paid and requested circulation........................................ 221,033 ........................................... 241,500 Total paid and requested circulation ............................... 221,033 ........................................... 241,500 1) Free distribution by mail .................................................... 188 .................................................. 188 2) Free distribution outside mail ............................................ 920 .................................................. 920 Total free distribution .......................................................... 1,108 ............................................... 1,108 Total distribution ............................................................. 222,141 ........................................... 242,608 Copies not distributed ............................................................... 0 ...................................................... 0 Total................................................................................. 222,141 ........................................... 242,608 Percent paid and/or requested circ.................................... 98.7% .............................................. 99.7%

16. Publication of statement of ownership: November 2018 17. Signature and title of editor: Christine Dorr, Editor






500 J.K. Paul Street Ontonagon, MI 49953

Web: Phone: 906-884-4151 Toll-free: 800-562-7128 After hours: 866-639-6098 OFFICERS & DIRECTORS Calvin Koski, President Aura District 906-524-6988

George Rajala, Vice-President Chassell/Keweenaw Bay District 906-370-0416 James Moore, Director, Secretary/Treasurer Boston District 906-482-0465 Wayne Heikkinen, Director Pelkie/Herman/Aura District 906-353-6496 Paul Koski, Director Ewen/Trout Creek/Lake Mine District 906-988-2593 Frances Wiideman, Director Green/Firesteel/Toivola District 906-288-3203 Vacant Lake Linden District


Debbie Miles, General Manager Fay Hauswirth, Billing Clerk Bill Tucker, Line Superintendent


Date of Incorporation: Sept. 30, 1937 Fiscal year-end: Dec. 31 Ontonagon County REA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. Join us on Facebook.


What’s In It For “We?” Debbie Miles, General Manager

One of the most attractive features of cooperatives is that we answer the popular question, “What’s in it for me?” with “What’s in it for we!” Cooperatives are formed when the market fails to offer a good or service, with decent quality, at an affordable price. Ontonagon REA was formed in 1937 because, when investor-owned utilities realized there was not enough profit to be made in our community, they refused to offer electricity. The founding members of Ontonagon REA went door-to-door to collect $5 in order to raise a portion of the original investment the co-op needed. Those go-getters realized the only way to get electricity for “me” was to get it for “we,” the whole community. Cooperative ownership is in the hands of the people who use the co-op’s goods and the services (not investors), so not only do co-ops start out answering the question of “What’s in it for we?”—they continue to answer that question for as long as they exist. These days, we often hear about companies that abandon their local communities and move overseas in search of cheaper labor. This negatively impacts the community through job loss, a decline in housing values and school closures. Because local residents own a majority of cooperatives, they are less likely to leave their community. In fact, it would be impossible for Ontonagon REA to leave the Upper Peninsula. The co-op is a critical part of what makes the community a community. The way co-ops continue to answer the question, “What’s in it for we?” is critical to their survival. It is imperative that we keep you—our members—as the primary focus. Keeping rates as low as possible is one major part of that focus, but ensuring that we provide real value as your trusted energy advisor is also extremely important. By maintaining that focus with your help and support, we will continue to be able to serve the “me” and the “we” in our community long into the future.

Fuel Mix Report The fuel mix characteristics of Ontonagon REA as required by Public Act 141 of 2000 for the 6-month period ending 06/30/18

Comparison Of Fuel Sources Used

Your Co-op’s Fuel Mix

Regional Average Fuel Mix

Regional average fuel mix used Your co-op’s fuel mix

Fuel Source Coal















Renewable Fuels












Solid Waste Incineration







NOTE: Biomass above excludes wood; solid waste incineration includes landfill gas.

Emissions And Waste Comparison lbs/MWh

Type Of Emission/Waste

Your Regional Co-op Average*

Sulfur Dioxide




Carbon Dioxide




Oxides of Nitrogen



High-level Nuclear Waste

0.0000 0.0083

* Regional average information was obtained from MPSC website and is for the 12-month period ending 12/31/17. Figures for Ontonagon County REA are based on those of its principle power suppliers, Wisconsin Public Service and WE Energies.




SUBMIT A NOMINATION TODAY! Michigan Country Lines is on the hunt for entrepreneurial movers and shakers to showcase in our March 2019 magazine. We know co-op members are awesome and there is no shortage of pioneers, innovators and leaders in our service territory. Featured entrepreneurial endeavors can be small start-ups, large operations or anything in between. If you know a friend, neighbor or coworker we should consider, nominate them by December 31 at Self-nominations are accepted. MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES


Home Heating Assistance Programs 2018–2019 Season Winter Protection Plan

Contact: Your Local Utility Company Income Guidelines 2018–2019 # in Household 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

150% Poverty Guide Maximum Income $18,210 24,690 31,170 37,650 44,130 50,610 57,090 63,570

The Winter Protection Plan (WPP) protects enrolled seniors and low-income customers from service shut-offs and high utility bill payments during the winter months (Nov. 1–March 31). If you are eligible, your utility service will remain on (or restored with the WPP) from Nov. 1 through March 31, if you: • pay at least 7% of your estimated annual bill each month, and • make equal monthly payments between the date you apply and the start of the next heating season on any past due bills.

the following requirements: • are age 65 or older, • receive Department of Health and Human Services cash assistance, including SSI, • receive Food Assistance, • receive Medicaid, or • household income is at or below the 150% of poverty level shown in the Income Guidelines chart at left. Senior citizen customers (65 or older) who participate in the WPP are not required to make specific payments to ensure that their service will not be shut off between Nov. 1 and March 31. Service for seniors can be restored without any payments.

When the protection period ends (March 31), you must begin to pay the full monthly bill, plus part of the amount you owe from the winter months when you did not pay the full bill. Participation does not relieve customers from the responsibility of paying for electricity and natural gas usage, but does prevent shut-off during winter months. You qualify for the plan if you meet at least one of

Note: All customers 65+ are eligible regardless of income. Customers are responsible for all electricity and natural gas used. At the end of the protection period, participants must make arrangements with their utility company to pay off any money owed before the next heating season.

You can apply for a Home Heating Credit for the 2018 tax year if you meet the income guidelines listed at left (110% of poverty level) or you qualify based on alternate guidelines including household income, exemptions, and heating costs. Additional exemptions are available for seniors, disabled claimants, or claimants with 5% or more of their income from unemployment compensation.

If you qualify, you may receive assistance to help pay for your winter heating bills. Forms are available mid-to-late January wherever tax forms are provided or from the Michigan Dept. of Treasury (517-636-4486, or The Home Heating Credit claim form must be filed with the Michigan Dept. of Treasury no later than Sept. 30 each year.

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a refundable federal income tax credit for low-income, working individuals and families who meet certain requirements and file a tax return. Those who qualify will owe less in taxes and may get a refund. Even a person who does not generally owe income tax may qualify for the EITC, but must file a tax return to do so.

If married, you must file jointly to qualify. File Form 1040 or 1040A and attach the EITC.

State Emergency Relief Program (SER): mdhhs You do not have to be a DHHS client to apply for help with a past due bill, shutoff notice, or the need for deliverable fuel through the SER. This program, available Nov. 1–May 31, provides most of its utility assistance during this crisis season.

However, limited assistance is available outside the crisis season.

You may be able to receive help with weatherizing your home to reduce energy use if you meet low-income eligibility guidelines (200% of poverty guidelines) and funding is available. Weatherization may include caulking,

weatherstripping, and insulation. Contact your local Community Action Agency for details. Visit to find one in your area.

2-1-1 is a free phone service operating 24 hours daily to provide information about help that may be available in a

particular area with utilities and other needs. Dial 2-1-1 or visit to find available services.

Contact: Local Utility Company

You are protected from service shut-off for nonpayment of your natural gas and/or electric bill for up to 21 days, possibly extending to 63 days, if you have a proven medical

emergency. You must provide written proof from a doctor, public health or social services official that a medical emergency exists. Contact your gas or electric utility for details.

Shut-off Protection For Military Active Duty

If you or your spouse has been called into active military duty, you may apply for shut-off protection from your electric or natural gas service for up to 90 days. You may request

extensions. You must still pay, but contact your utility company and they will help you set up a payment plan.

Michigan Veterans Trust Fund Emergency Grant Program

The Trust Fund provides temporary assistance to veterans and their families facing a financial emergency or hardship

including the need for energy assistance. Contact the Michigan Veterans Trust Fund at 517-284-5299 or

Michigan Energy Assistance Program (MEAP) includes services that will enable participants to become self-sufficient, including assisting participants in paying their energy bills on time, budgeting for and contributing to their ability to provide for energy expenses, and being energy efficient. Shut-off protection is provided Nov. 1–April 15 for all residential

customers. The MEAP is supported by the state’s Low Income Energy Assistance Fund (LIEAF). An electric utility that chooses not to collect for the LIEAF shall not shut off service to customers for non-payment between November 1 and April 15. For a list of electric providers that opt-out of collecting the LIEAF go to

Add $6,480 for each additional member.

Home Heating Credit Contact: Mich. Dept. of Treasury # Exemp.

0–1 2 3

Max. Income

$ 13,354 18,106 22,858

# Exemp.

4 5 6

Max. Income

$ 27,610 32,362 37,114

Add $ 4,752 for each exemption over 6.

Earned Income Credit

Contact: • U.S. Treasury Dept., Internal Revenue Service • Michigan Dept. of Treasury

Crisis Assistance Program Contact: Local Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)

Low-Income Home Weatherization Contact: Local Community Action Agency

United Way

Contact: Call 2-1-1 or

Medical Emergency Protection

Contact: Local Utility Company

You may claim a Michigan earned income tax credit for tax year 2018 equal to a percentage of the federal earned income tax credit for which you are eligible.

If you receive a DHHS cash grant, you may vendor part of it towards heat and electric bills. Contact your local DHHS or call the Home Heating Hotline, 855-275-6424.

Contact: MI Veterans Trust Fund

MI Energy Assistance Program Contact: Utility or 2-1-1 in late November


Dial 2-1-1 for more information on heating and other human services programs.

SAFE DÉCOR FOR A HAPPY HOLIDAY SEASON It’s almost time to deck those halls! Statistics show that home fires and electrical accidents typically increase during winter months, so keep these holiday lighting tips in mind for a safe holiday season.

Carefully inspect all electrical decorations before you use them. Cracked or damaged sockets and/or loose or exposed wires can cause serious shock or start a fire.

Consider purchasing LED lights, which use less energy and run cooler than traditional incandescent lights.

Never mount or support light strings in a way that might damage the cord’s insulation.

Make sure that cords are not pinched in doors, windows or under heavy furniture, which could damage the cord’s insulation.

Always unplug electrical decorations before replacing bulbs or fuses.

Turn off all indoor and outdoor electrical decorations before leaving home or going to sleep.

Source: Electrical Safety Foundation International

Practical Holiday Gift Ideas:

Think Energy Efficiency! Looking for the perfect gift for someone on your list? Energy-saving electronics and devices provide superior quality, convenience and utility bill savings for years to come. Plus, you can receive cash incentives from the Energy Optimization program to help make holiday shopping more affordable!

ENERGY STAR® TV Look for the ENERGY STAR when purchasing a TV. ENERGY STAR certified models are tested and verified to use at least 25 percent less energy than regular TVs.

ENERGY STAR Personal Computer Many people leave computers on for hours or days at a time—using a substantial amount of energy. Gift your loved one with an ENERGY STAR computer that uses an impressive 60 percent less energy than standard PCs! NOTE: Laptops do not qualify for the cash incentive.

Wi-Fi or Smart Thermostat Wi-Fi enabled and smart thermostats allow occupants to adjust indoor temperatures remotely, from a mobile device or tablet. For the high-tech individual: Smart thermostats can program themselves as they “learn” behavior patterns and desired temperatures for certain days and times during the week.

ENERGY STAR LED Bulbs Is anyone on your list still using incandescent bulbs? LEDs make a great stocking stuffer! LEDs last up to 25 times longer than traditional bulbs and, by replacing the five most frequently used bulbs with ENERGY STAR LEDs, a household can save up to $75 per year on utility bills! For a full list of incentives available from the Energy Optimization program, call 877-296-4319 or visit

GIVE THE GIFT OF ENERGY SAVINGS Treat your loved ones to energy-efficient electronics and devices that will help them save money for years to come. You’ll save too! Shop by December 31 to receive cash incentives for:


& bright

• ENERGY STAR® TVs • ENERGY STAR computers • Smart thermostats • LED bulbs P H O N E : 877.296.4319 ONLINE:

Energy Optimization programs and incentives are applicable to Michigan electric service locations only. Other restrictions may apply. For a complete list of participating utilities, visit

Photo Contest Celebrations 1. A fun family celebration on our old Finnish farm. This photo was taken on the steps of the farm’s restored cabin (circa 1865). By Jeanne Houle Peters 2. Celebrating becoming a big sister! By Jaclyn Johnson 3. Celebrating the abundant plum harvest that we share with our local neighbors and friends. Plums are located on the Heikkinen Homestead on Askel Hill. By Oscar Heikkinen 4. Celebrating the small things in life, like jumping into the ice cold water at Calumet Waterworks Park. By Kevin Kruger


2 3

Submit A Photo & Win A Bill Credit!

Ontonagon REA members whose photos we print in Michigan Country Lines will be entered in a drawing. One lucky member will win a credit up to $200 on their December 2019 energy bill!

Enter to win a


energy bill credit!

Our upcoming topics and deadlines are: • Cutest Kids due November 20 (January 2019 issue) • Food and Spirits due January 20 (March issue) To submit photos, and for details and instructions, go to We look forward to seeing your best photos!




Holiday Favorites ‘Tis the season for these festive recipes! Photos—Robert Bruce Photography

Winning Recipe!

Red Velvet Cookies With Dark Chocolate Chips And Cranberries Michele Smith, Ontonagon County REA 2¼ cups all-purpose flour 1 (3.9 ounces) box instant chocolate pudding mix 1 teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon salt 1 cup butter, softened ½ cup granulated sugar ½ cup brown sugar 2 large eggs ½ teaspoon vanilla

½ teaspoon white distilled vinegar 1½ tablespoon red food coloring (use “holiday red” for a brighter red) 1 (12 ounces) bag dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips 1 (3 ounces) bag dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Mix together flour, pudding mix, baking soda and salt; set aside. Cream butter and sugars using an electric mixer; add eggs, vanilla, vinegar and food coloring. Gradually add flour mixture until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips and cranberries. Roll dough into 1½ inch balls and place 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Bake for 10–12 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Store in an airtight container. Watch a video of this month’s winning recipe at


Kris Kringle Christmas Cookies Bonnie Langworthy, HomeWorks Tri-County 1 cup butter 1 cup sugar 2 large eggs 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2½ cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon salt 1 cup white chocolate morsels 1 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 375 F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with mixer until light and fluffy. Blend in eggs and vanilla. Add flour, baking soda and salt; mix well. Stir in white chocolate morsels and cranberries. Drop rounded spoonfuls (about 2 tablespoons) of dough, 1½ inches apart, onto baking sheets. Bake for about 9 minutes. Cool on baking sheets for about 1 minute and remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Mashed Cauliflower Jane Ellison, Great Lakes Energy 1 1 1 1 1 •

head cauliflower stick butter 12-ounce package cream cheese cup shredded cheddar cheese full tablespoon horseradish salt and pepper, to taste


Upper Peninsula resident, Jessica Racine, offers up this delicious chili perfect for warming up after a day of dog sledding or cheering on the teams. Each spoonful is sure to fuel you for all your winter adventures.

Cut cauliflower into just bigger than bite-sized pieces. Steam the cauliflower for 30–35 minutes (if boiled, it will be too mushy). Drain the water from pot. Add all ingredients to the pot. Use a potato masher to mash and combine. Top with additional cheddar cheese and serve.

Chocolate, Coffee And Oatmeal Pie Violet Glas, Great Lakes Energy 1 3 ¾ ¾ 3 2

refrigerated pie crust eggs cup sugar cup dark corn syrup tablespoons coffee-flavored liqueur tablespoons butter, melted and cooled ¼ teaspoon salt ½ cup quick-cooking rolled oats 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips Preheat oven to 450 F. Prepare pie crust as directed for one crust with the baked shell using a 9-inch pie pan. Do not prick crust. Bake for 9–11 minutes or until lightly browned. If the crust has raised center, press down gently with the back of a spoon. Cool for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 F. Meanwhile, beat eggs in medium bowl with wire whisk. Add sugar, corn syrup, liqueur, butter and salt; mix well. Stir in oats and chocolate chips. Pour filling into crust-lined pan. Cover edges of crust with strips of foil to prevent excessive browning. Bake for 45–55 minutes or until top is golden brown and center is almost set. Cool at least 3 hours before serving.

Trailside Chicken Chili

1 package of chicken chili mix (stirred in 1 cup water) 20 ounces cooked chicken (2 cans, about 10 ounces each, or fresh chicken) 1 can of mushrooms, drained (reserve liquid) 1 can of Mexi-corn, drained (reserve liquid) 1 can Great Northern beans, undrained 2 tablespoons sour cream 5 ounces pepper jack cheese or white cheddar, shredded

Place all ingredients in a slow cooker.

Ultimate Burgers: due December 1 Easy Weeknight Dinners: due January 1 Submit your favorite recipe for a chance to win a $50 bill credit and have your recipe featured in Country Lines with a photo and a video. Go to for more information and to register.

Enter to win a


energy bill credit!

Add another cup of water or use some of the drained water from the mushroom can and corn in place of water. Cook on low for a couple hours, being careful not to let it come to a boil. Serve and top with more sour cream and pepper jack cheese. Read the full story about the UP200 Sled Dog Race on page 14, and find this recipe and others at


et Bait e w S For Fish And Fishermen By Yvonne Whitman


hen Bob and CJ Kennard moved from Wichita, Kansas to Channing, Mich., in 1997, they weren’t exactly sure about their next steps. CJ’s elderly parents needed some assistance and Bob, a retired firefighter, felt the couple had a blank slate for the future. After exploring several employment opportunities, a building that had once been the American Legion came up for sale in 2003. “We bought the building because I was bored,” Bob said. They originally considered opening a Laundromat, but when longtime friends Pat and Lorna Carey offered to help with starting a bait shop business, they bit. After some considerable remodeling to the 1920s building, Midtown Bait & Tackle opened in May 2009. It was just in time for the opening of walleye season. With space in the back of the building, they started to consider other business options. “The BP gas station had been selling ice cream and stopped,” CJ remembers. “It 12 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018

left a hole in the community, and we said, ‘We have to do it.’ John Jilbert got us set up and we started selling cones.” Selling homemade pies came about a year later when CJ started to explore the art of pie baking and began serving it to family and friends who gave her rave reviews. That’s when selling pies with ice cream turned into the Back Room Bakery & Ice Cream Shop. The first pie the Kennards sold was a pear caramel pie, and it remained their best seller for quite a while. Today, the shop sells 21 different pies, with Michigan Mix Pie ranking as their current best seller. Their Bacon Maple Cheesecake retains the title as the current top seller among the many cheesecakes served. To keep flavors interesting, the Kennards host a “tasting party,” attended each spring by invitation only, to pick different pie combinations and to test new recipes. While they both are good bakers, CJ says, “Bob makes a mean cheesecake and has perfected it to where his are better

“They are just the most giving people and are always willing to lend a hand to anyone who needs it. And, on top of that, their pie is to die for.”— Deann Johnson than mine. He has secret things that he does to them.” Because CJ works full time elsewhere and Bob is running the bait shop, the baking is done in the early morning and evening. Locals know that to guarantee a pie, it is best to place an order a day or two ahead—although on any given day there are pies for sale.

Michigan Mix Pie

It’s important to get there early as pies are usually sold out by noon. “We sell as many as we bake every day,” Bob says. Along with their retail business, the Kennards have catered the dessert for seven weddings. “Can you imagine the parents of the bride and groom when they tell them, ‘We are going to get our wedding dessert from the Midtown Bait Shop,’” CJ says with a grin. As if running a successful business didn’t keep them busy enough, Bob and CJ are active in the community. Along with being involved in the town’s Community Improvement Association, the couple hosts a Christmas dinner each year at the bait shop for anyone who is alone or would just like to come. “Last year we had 20 people attend,” Bob recalls. “We had such a good time.” According to longtime friend Deann Johnson, “Bob and CJ welcome everyone into their shop and to Channing. They are just the most giving people and are always willing to lend a hand to anyone who needs it. And, on top of that, their pie is to die for.” Deann concluded, “I would do anything for them.” It doesn’t get much sweeter than that. For more information, visit their Facebook page at Midtown Bait & Tackle and Back Room Bakery or contact them at 906-542-7080.

Recipe for Pie Crust: For one crust: 1 cup all-purpose flour 2 tablespoons sugar 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/3 cup butter flavor Crisco 1 tablespoon white vinegar • Water Mix the flour, sugar and salt in a medium bowl. With pastry cutter, cut in Crisco until mixture resembles coarse sand, with no shortening bits larger than a pea. Toss mixture with white vinegar, and then add water, one tablespoon at a time, until dough begins to hold together and all flour is slightly moistened. Gather dough into a ball, and wrap in waxed paper, flattening it to form a disc. Roll out within 1/2 hour, and place in a 9 or 10-inch pie pan, turning under and crimping edge. Alternately, rewrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to two days, or freeze for up to two months. Makes one single crust; recipe can be doubled. Pie filling 3/4 c. sugar 3 tablespoon cornstarch Mix together sugar and cornstarch together and pour over: 11/2 11/2 11/2 1

Ben, Robert, Maddy, and Aubrey Applekamp are frequent visitors to the ice cream shop. Each cone is always served with a gummy worm in the bottom of the cone. Any child who brings in a photo of themselves with a fish gets a free cone.

cup blueberries cup tart pie cherries cup sliced apples teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 425 F. After tossing to coat fruit with dry mixture, place in unbaked pie crust. Cover with top crust, and cut slits in crust to vent steam. Brush lightly with milk; sprinkle with large (raw) crystal sugar, and dust with granulated sugar. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Cover edges with foil, turn oven down to 400 degrees, and bake for approximately 45 minutes more or until filling begins to bubble. At that point, bake for 5 additional minutes. A crumb crust may be used in place of a top crust. MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES 13

The UP200 Sled Dog Racers

MUSH By Emily Haines Lloyd // Photos by Mitch Rusch and Carly Antor


he image of a bundled and booted individual on the back of a sled pulled by a dozen magnificent dogs seems like a scene out of the movies or a bygone era. However, on a snowy Friday evening in February, spectators can make their way to downtown Marquette, Mich., and take a step back in time and into all the wonder and romance that is sled dog racing. In the Upper Peninsula, finding ways to more than survive the cold and snowy months of the year, but actually to thrive and enjoy oneself, has always been an important part of the lifestyle. Skiing, sledding, ice fishing, fat tire biking and even luging have gained popularity, but the majesty of sled dog racing takes winter to a new and exciting level. It began back in 1988 when Marquette residents Jeffrey Mann, Scott and Elise Bunce, and Tom and Sarah Lindstrom struck up a friendship only to discover they each had a common interest


Remy LeDuc of New Brunswick, Canada entering Grand Marais during the UP200 1/2-way point.


or experience in sled dog racing. What started as a friendly conversation turned to serious planning and, in 1990, to the cheers of 10,000 spectators, the mushers of the first UP200 Sled Dog Champion race bounded down Washington Street in Marquette and into the wild. For years to come, the UP200 and other local sled dog races have been successful reminders of the power of one person and their team of dogs. “I was there for the first race back in 1990,” said Darlene Walch, Upper Peninsula Sled Dog Association (UPSDA) president. “It was a remarkable thing to see. I started volunteering right after that, started mushing recreationally, and eventually started racing.” For the rigorous UP200, racers and their teams kick off their three-day 230-mile journey in Marquette to their first stop in Wetmore. This is a distance of approximately 64 miles on the upbound leg, then they go on to Grand Marais, where the teams turn around and continue their journey back to Marquette. Mushers encounter inclines, creek crossings, and isolation while tackling trail conditions ranging from fast hardpack to deep snow. A total rest time of 16 hours is required to ensure mushers and teams receive ample downtime, food and water breaks.

exude off of them, encouraging the musher and inspiring the crowds. “These teams are made of athletes,” said Walch. “We, the mushers, are just the coaches. We’re looking to improve on strengths, keep our team injury-free and help the team work together.” With 30 years under its belt, the UP200 continues to bring the joy of viewing worldclass athletes work in unison to accomplish something remarkable, delightful, and truly awesome to behold.

While many mushers race as a way to set personal goals, engage in the supportive community and simply enjoy the invigorating sport—others have sights on additional goals. The UP200 is a qualifying event for the Iditarod, coined The Last Great Race, which is certainly Alaska’s most well-known sporting event. The Iditarod is widely considered to be a critical part of saving the sled dog race culture and promoting the beautiful sport.

While the UP200 is certainly the Upper Peninsula’s longest race, sled dog lovers have several options to see these amazing teams in action.


230-mile race with 12-dog teams February 15–17, 2019

“The UP200 is an excellent litmus test for those interested in the Iditarod,” said Walch. “Mushers need to demonstrate the ability to manage a team over distance and manage unassisted checks. It’s an important race for mushers from the East Coast or Midwest, as many qualifying races are in Alaska and not a viable option.”

Midnight Run

90-mile race with 8-dog teams February 15–16, 2019

Jack Pine 30

While competition is certainly a big part of the sport’s make-up, Walch and others in the community will tell you that it is the dogs who are the heart and soul of each race. These dog breeds love running in the snow like Labradors love jumping in lakes and swimming. With each run, the joy and enthusiasm of the team

26-mile race with 6-dog teams February 16, 2019

Visit for more information. Musher Kris Sampson of Ontario, Canada.

Fran (left) and Carol standing in their gallery with some of their creations.

Artisan Endeavors Create Second Chapters By Yvonne Whitman  //  Photography by Emily A. Prehoda

Creating art from upcycled materials such as old clothing and reclaimed glass is in the DNA of Copper Country sisters Fran Kastelic and Carol Hocking. Both sisters did not begin their artistic endeavors until later in life, as working multiple jobs and raising their families took priority in their younger years. However, when their schedules eased up in the late 1990s, they started exploring their options. Carol began oil painting in the early 70s and in the early 2000s, when she expressed an interest in learning about stained glass, her late husband, Clarence, encouraged her to give it a try. “It started a whole new chapter in my life,” Carol recalls. For Fran, her love of fiber is rooted in her genes. “Our Finnish grandmother made rugs, so it is part of our heritage—part of our past,” she explains. “I always wanted to do something like this. I’ve always been drawn to sewing, knitting and crocheting. I’m into fiber.”


In 1997, Fran learned about an upcoming weaving class in Eagle Harbor. “They had some old Finnish handmade looms,” Fran remembers, “and they were giving lessons. I couldn’t sign up fast enough.” Today, she estimates she has made approximately 1,800 rugs, and at one time she owned five looms. While she insists she is “not much of an artist,” Fran’s finished products indicate otherwise. Each rug is a one-of-a-kind piece of fiber art—vibrant with color, pattern and texture. The sisters sell their wares from Carol’s home which doubles as a gallery, but both emphatically state in unison, “This is a hobby, not a business.” Fran jokingly says, “The gallery is Carol’s fault. I started by making rag rugs just for fun. I would make them and roll them up and stick them under a bed in the guest room. When my kids would come home to visit I would say, ‘Well, there’s a bunch underneath the bed. If you want, you can

“The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without the work.”—Emile Zola take some.’ Carol found out about that and thought she should also take some. She took them to her house, and I haven’t had a rug under the bed since.” While the rugs are still referred to as “rag rugs,” they are now made from whole textiles. “Our Finnish grandmother used rags, because that was all that was available,” Fran states. “It was grandpa’s Sunday shirt where the collar was gone and his old tattered coveralls. She would cut them up and use them.”

One of Carol’s beautiful creations featuring a piece of reclaimed glassware in the center.

Today, Carol is the material shopper because, according to Fran, “She has a super eye for color.” Carol frequents thrift stores buying bedspreads, towels and old shirts, but only 100 percent wool and cotton is purchased. No rayon or polyester is ever used. All fabric gets washed, pre-shrunk and color tested to make sure the material won’t bleed or shrink after weaving. Material is hand cut into strips and then sewn together. As for Carol’s art glass creations, “They are inspired by nature and whatever interesting glassware I see at a yard sale,” she says with a chuckle. When asked if she makes a plan or mocks up a drawing for the stained-glass design, Carol states she is more of a free spirit. “I noodle on a vague idea but each piece evolves from start to finish as I don’t use pre-made patterns.” Like her sister’s rugs, each stained glass piece that Carol creates is unique.

Fran and Carol in front of Carol’s unique and cheery car. She gets a lot of compliments and questions whenever she is stopped at a gas station or store.

The most important artwork the sisters have created happened following the death of their sibling. Their eyes and voices soften as they describe their most meaningful project. “Our brother Daniel passed away,” Fran said, “He always wore flannel shirts, so we took them and made four rag rugs.” Carol concluded, “We made one for his wife and one for each of his daughters and a granddaughter. We had always teased him about his wild shirts and then we were able to use them in a way we never expected.” The sister’s creative endeavors have resulted in unexpected joys discovered later in their lives—just going to show that it is never too late to find and pursue one’s passion. The gallery is located just off Hwy M-26 at 16970 Academy Road, South Range. For more information call 906-482-3792 or email

Each completed rug includes small fabric strips of the original material used in constructing the rugs.


Guess this photo and enter to win a



4 5

energy bill credit! 2


Where In Michigan Is This? Identify the correct location of the photo above by November 20 and be entered into a drawing to win a $50 electric bill credit. Enter your guess at countrylines. com or send by mail to: Country Lines Mystery Photo, 201 Townsend St., Suite 900, Lansing, MI 48933. Include the name on your account, address, phone number and the name of your co-op. Our Mystery Photo Contest winner from the September issue is Gail Cook, a Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op member, who correctly identified the photo as Eagle Harbor Lighthouse in Keweenaw County. Winners are announced in the following issues of Country Lines: January, March, May, July/August, September and November/December.

September 2018

Best Snowmobile Trails The opportunities to experience a pure Michigan snow day are endless, and a day on a snowmobile is a perfect way to explore the winter scenery. With more than 6,500 groomed snowmobile trails that stretch from the Keweenaw Peninsula all the way down to Michigan’s southern border, there is plenty of opportunity for a snowmobile adventure. Along the way you can speed across frozen lakes, wind through forests and stop in snowmobile-friendly communities for a hot meal and good company. Start with some of the trails below suggested by fellow members.


Michigan’s Upper Peninsula A journey on a snowmobile across Michigan’s Upper Peninsula should be on every snowmobile enthusiast’s bucket list. There are more than 3,000 miles of groomed trails in the U.P. alone, featuring epic views. Get a new perspective on destinations like Tahquamenon Falls State Park and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore or make your way to Eben Ice Caves or Grand Island Ice Caves to explore this unique destination.


White Pine Trail Cadillac has a trail system with over 200 miles of groomed trails. Trails include the White Pine Trail at Fred Meijer White Pine Trail State Park. The trail is 92 miles long with an 88-mile section open from Cadillac to Grand Rapids. Jeff Dorr, Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op


Thumbs Up Snowmobile Trail Sanilac County has around 100 miles of groomed trails, all on private land. Enjoy the “Thumbs Up Snowmobile Trail” and take in the beauty of an eastern Michigan winter! Be sure to visit the Sanilac Shores Underwater Preserve and the picturesque Port Sanilac Lighthouse. Calvin Foster, HomeWorks Tri-County Electric Cooperative


Grand Marais Check out the Grand Marais area. The groomers do a wonderful job keeping the trails clear. This trail features wonderful trails and sights all around. Ivana Enright, Alger Delta Cooperative Electric Association


Northeast Michigan and Presque Isle Northeast Michigan, Presque Isle and the adjoining county trails have a lot of well groomed trails. John Houk, Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op 18 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018

Best of Michigan Up Next: Best Burgers In Our Great Lakes State Help us create a “Best Burger” bucket list. We will publish this satisfying list in our February 2019 issue. Submit your favorites at under the MI Co-op Community tab by November 20.

Ontonagon County Rural Electrification Association


From the battleeelds of Gettysburg to the halls of Congress in Washington, D.C.,

Youth Tour will explore the leadership

lessons of our nation’s history and immerse you in the cooperative spirit. Learn more about this FREE leadership travel opportunity, sponsored by the electric cooperatives of Michigan, at

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