Dwight Peck's personal website
A visit to the USA, summer 2013
More annual lakeside fun in the Northwoods
You may not find this terribly rewarding unless you're included here, so this is a good time for casual and random browsers to turn back before they get too caught up in the sweep and majesty of the proceedings and can't let go.
Lowell and Sheila's northward trek to the Porkies
Our favorite former teammate and flatmate in Kansas has visited us in Europe frequently over the years, and he and Sheila came up to see us in Wisconsin two years ago as well. They liked the family cottages on Lake Superior so extravagantly that lo! our prayers have been answered and they've come back.
Bunchberry cottage. Lowell and Sheila have driven up from Madison this morning, and then onward with us to the cottages, so everybody's exhausted -- we'll just lay in supplies at Pat's IGA in Ontonagon, Michigan, go out for a short walk on the beach, and then throw something on the grill.
The tiki bar on Lake Superior
Brother Eric and friends celebrate a prolonged mid-summer party here every year, and this year they used their exuberant idle time to great advantage.
The tiki bar late in the day, 3 September 2013
Lowell admires the tiki bar.
It's inspired, down to the details. But it will never make it through the winter.
Kristin leads us out towards the Flintsteel River.
We're strolling in a relaxing manner and planning tomorrow's hike in the Porcupines . . .
. . . and tonight's dinner.
Sundown at the cottage
Sheila tends a bunch of our friend David's lamb on the gas grill (which were Wisconsin state fair prize-winning junior sheepsies just a few weeks ago); Lowell is watching and learning.
Kristin seeking perfection at the grill
The main cottage in the evening
Lowell leapt to grab the short straw for the washing-up (with water hauled up from the lake by human beasts of burden). Tomorrow, we're off!
Bright and not-too-early the following day, from the Escarpment carpark in the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park ("home to the most extensive stand of old growth northern hardwood forest in North America west of the Adirondack Mountains"), above Lake of the Clouds, we're proceeding at speed down the Big Carp River Trail.
Sheila, Kristin, Lowell on the Big Carp River Trail
We're up here on the Big Carp River Trail. That's the Big Carp River.
The Lake of the Clouds with not a cloud in the sky so far
Time for lunch
And now . . . resuming our breakneck pace down the Escarpment ridgeline towards the Lake Superior shore
Hardy hikers in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (the "UP")
Regaining the correct trail
That's a beautiful foresty ridge to contemplate in the distance, but our prepositioned car is over the far side of it.
Lake Superior in the distance
Finally, we're descending down off the escarpment ridge . . .
. . . into beautiful forest ("hemlock", I've been informed).
We're crossing the Big Carp River at last, and that's a sign of progress.
Now we must proceed briskly up the far side of the main ridge towards Mirror Lake . . . and the Little Carp River.
Finally! Mirror Lake
We're confirming that we haven't gone hopelessly astray.
Crossing the Little Carp River to join the Beaver Creek Trail and get us out of here.
The Little Carp River. There are no carp qua fish -- the name is a corruption of 'escarpment'.
Some hours later, a sunny morning on the beach with still another improving book (the Porcupines Escarpment can be seen on the horizon)
And then off we go on the Speakers Cabin Trail from the South Boundary Road down a small river of mud to the Lake Superior shore . . .
. . . grateful for any short lengths of dry path we might find along the way.
Trail signs along the way can sometimes be discouraging.
Making new trails in a wilderness of mud
Mind your head.
We've passed Speakers Cabin and now we're on the Lake Superior Trail, just inland from the shore, for a few miles.
Wisely, Kristin dismisses the proposed "bridge" and finds her own way across the creek.
Down another mudslide
Here we're arriving at Presque Isle on the lake shore, at the end of the Little Carp River Trail.
The Little Carp River at Presque Isle
Across the Little Carp, and up the "West Trail" to our prepositioned car on the South Boundary Road
The East Trail on the Presque Isle is a little rough; the West Trail is largely a boardwalk.
Waterfalls all along the way
They all have interesting Ojibwe names beginning with M (like Manido, Manabezho, etc.) and they're all photogenic, but orange-ish, presumably because of iron in the water.
And so now southward, stopping for dinner at Smokey's in Manitowish Waters, and home by 22:00. Lowell and Sheila are bolting off back for Kansas in the morning, with an overnight visit to their daughter, a professor at the university in Madison, but a monstrous long drive nonetheless. (We'll have to reciprocate to Kansas someday.)
Back at the lake, Kristin hotrodding convincingly
Crucial seconds before docking at the shore station
Winding up this year's visit to Wisconsin, we're participating as viewers/supporters in the venerable Birds in Art festival in Wausau, sponsored in part by branches of Kristin's family -- first the birds, in the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wausau, then a dinner-for-a-thousand-devotees in the Jefferson Street Inn.
Kristin is prepared to spend a hour or so, before we drive north, at the annual arts festival in Wausau, timed to coordinate with the Birds in Art.
Several blocks of artisanal wares and art works. At the moment, we're just looking for breakfast bagels (and a ham and cheese sandwich for me).
Kristin spent her early years in Wausau, so there's that. But left early, so there's that, too.
But against expectations I'm starting to look forward to a visit to Wausau, and the Jefferson Street Inn, and Birds in Art, briefly, once a year.
But next, if brother Eric will consent to devote a day to driving us to the airport in Madison and himself back, we're going to Virginia, USA.
and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, .
All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 26 October 2013.