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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Cannabis Camp by Ben Horner

By Ben Horner
Houghton Lake

            As I drove over the Zilwaukee Bridge I felt mixed emotions about the weekend ahead of me. It happened to be father’s day weekend, so the thought of how much I was going to miss my children made me sad and a little lonely.  Luckily I had Max, my trusty four-legged friend to keep me company. The route up M55 is lush with rolling green landscapes picketed with rows of pine, maple and oak trees.  I rode the whole way there with the windows rolled down, enjoying the fresh air, clear skies, and warm weather that demands that you wear shorts, tank tops and a smiling face.
            I arrived at the White Pines Canoe Camp Ground, which is located just west of Houghton Lake. (My Good friend Hoss gave me the simple directions: follow M55 past Houghton Lake west of 127, then take Jeff road south and follow the canoe camp signs. You can’t miss it!)  Uncle Pete, master of ceremonies at Cannabis Camp, greeted me as I entered camp with a joint, which was well needed after the long trip. I broke out one to match and quickly the core group gathered to partake. I was in heaven. Great tunes jammed out of a sound system at the center of camp. Everyone was so friendly; they even set my tent up for me.  Some of the local teenagers ran up to the store for me and brought back split firewood and showed me where to get the water. There is this mystical natural spring well, that one must use at camp. This artisan well has been flowing for over 65 years and tastes better then any water I have ever tasted. The welcome was absolutely refreshing.
            That night two boys, Les Older and Dan Patch pulled out the guitars and jammed for hours. By the end of the evening I was spent. I didn’t wake till after nine, and after breakfast we took canoes down the Muskegon River. The ride down the river lasted 4hours, and my back was sore by the time I was done. Just some advice if you get partnered with Kevin, don’t let him steer the boat, because if you do he will haze you.  The winding river was beautiful and relaxing, regardless.  When I got back the band was starting. Uncle Pete kept everyone entertained as he zipped through camp on his green mini bike. When he was done riding he began to sing with the band, encouraging all to join him in dance and other displays of merriment. I made chicken enchiladas in my Dutch oven with culinary friends Marlin and Max. Everyone ate well and enjoyed the music. Les Older played one of his original songs called, As the River Follows, which was quite fitting for the occasion. I fell asleep after enjoying an infused chocolate milkshake, loads of hash and more joints then one could possibly require.
            Waking up on Sunday, I was still numb from the night prior. Folks were arriving that I had not seen yet, many of whom brought large bags of trim that they emptied collectively into an oversized glass jar.  Uncle Pete made sure all of his caregivers put up their donation.  Soon the container was full with buds and frosty sugar leaves. As the group worked together to prepare the Simpson Oil, I was introduced to Amy, a cancer patient that the oil was being made for. Simpson Oil is recognized as the most effective way to use cannabis to combat tumor/abnormal cell growth, nerve damage and a host of other medical conditions.  As the medicine cooked down, folks gathered around Amy and watched Pete and Joe work. I couldn’t help thinking that this is the spirit of compassion that we often speak of, but many fall short of. I don’t want to sound corny, but I really didn’t want to go home!
            If you are interested in going to cannabis camp or want more info just call Uncle Pete himself, you can contact him at 989-359-1792.


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