Oct 18, 2020

How to Winterize a Sprinkler System

Unfortunately I live in the north and we need to winterize our sprinkler system so the valves, lines and sprinkler heads don’t freeze and crack. Many of my neighbors pay a service to have this done. It’s not a bad alternative especially if you hire a reliable established business. They often times guarantee their work, if there is a problem in the spring they’ll repair it if their winterizing was at fault.

I’ve been winterizing my system myself for years. It’s not hard but you will need a compressor and some quick disconnect air compressor fittings which you can get at any home improvement store.

Here are the steps I follow to Winterize my Sprinkler System:

  • If you haven’t already, install quick disconnects in you back flow valve for the compressor connection.
  • Turn off the water supply valve to your sprinkler system.
  • Set your sprinkler system controller to your first zone.
  • Turn on your air compressor to fill the tank with air.
  • Connect the quick disconnect on the compressor to the fitting on the sprinkler system check valve.
  • Turn the screw valve on the fitting to start compressed air flow into your first zone.
  • Water should spray from your sprinkler heads.
  • Repeat the process for each of the zones in your sprinkler system.

You may want to double check and make sure the main line shutoff valve actually shuts off. I have problems where a slow drip can fill the line on the outside of the house, freeze and crack the pipes.

Oct 13, 2020

Visit Mackinac Island this Winter

Mackinac Island is one of my favorite destinations in Michigan. For those of you who haven’t been there or don’t know anything about it. The island is Lake Huron between the upper and lower peninsula’s of Michigan. It’s about four square miles and requires either a boat, ferry or airplane to get there. Once your are on the island, they don’t allow motorized vehicles and so in the summer bikes and horse drawn carriages are the main mode of transportation. In the summer every day if full of tourists that come for the day to ride, hike and tasty fudge of all flavors.

After October fall colors, most of the tourists leave and the island is left to a few hundred full time residents.

Winter on Mackinaw Island

Winter can bring a whole new charm. Being in the middle of the great lakes bring plenty of snow for cross-country skiing, snow showing and fat tire biking. Snow doesn’t stop the the horse drawn carriages so grab a blanked and cozy under for a old school carriage ride around the island. They also have Christmas and New Years festivals. Most of the hotels and restaurants are closed for the season so plan ahead. Transportation can also be sketchy in winter. The Straights of Mackinac can freeze over and prevent the ferry from running to the island so an airplane is your only other option, unless of course you have a dog sled.

Stay Warm!

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Oct 11, 2020

Travel to Alaska, Summer, Fall, Winter or Spring

Insert Alaska Picture

Years ago we took our family to Alaska in the summer time. We rented a motor home to avoid the duplicate cost of hotel and large van for all of us. It was a great adventure and summertime certainly gave us long days to do whatever we wanted to do.

What’s the right season for your travel to the last American Frontier?

Summer in Alaska

  • Summer in Alaska can be warm enough to swim during the day 60–70’s, but can cool down into the 40’s at night.
  • 19 Hours of daylight during mid summer months give you plenty of time for hiking and site seeing.
  • Humpback whales return to Alaska so head to the Inside Passage.
  • Summer is a great time to enjoy a cruise to Alaska

Fall in Alaska

  • Temperatures cool down through the fall.
  • Most visitors leave with less travel on cruise ships.
  • Enjoy the splendor of fall colors.
  • You can often times find end of season travel deals
  • Head to Denali and do some animal spotting and you may see sheep, bear or moose.

Winter in Alaska

  • To Darn cold for me in the Winter. 0 F or colder, I’ll take Florida. But for you winter lovers…
  • You have a better chance fo seeing the Northern Lights, especially with the long nights
  • Great Skiing, where the snow start falling in October
  • Ice Sculptures and Winter Festivals

Spring in Alaska

  • In the spring you can expect dryer conditions and less rain than later in the summer
  • You can still snow ski into April so think about spring sking
  • Fewer visitors to Denali National Park in the spring
  • Bird watching starts in spring with many species returning to Alaska
  • Spring marks the start of whale watching season

Share you thoughts on your Alaska Seasonal Travel