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.
Upper Michigan, mid-September 2021
Back from a quick trip into town, we leave Lakeshore Dr and journey just 800m down Four Mile Rock Road, and . . .
. . . turn in on Bear Creek Dr for another mile eastward to the family's 'South Beach' cabins.
We're traveling down the old forestry railroad grade from way back in the lumbering boom. And as we contemplate all this extremely green scenery, the thought comes to us -- 'why don't we hike down the beach to the Four Mile Rock'.
A smashing idea -- we can wait to get our togs on and fill up the water bottles, and get going.
First, of course, we need to find a suitable place for clambering down onto the beach. This one, as it turned out, wasn't a graceful descent.
But off we go -- this is a brand-new generous expanse of sandy beach just in front of our cottages, where yesterday there was nearly nothing.
Our itinerary to Four Mile Rock should be just about one mile, half an hour each way in effect, and zero risk of getting lost.
A fine day for an exhilirating jaunt on the squishy sand
We're reminded of yesterday's lesson about how the thin surface of topsoil and roots can be undermined by the washed-out substructure of sand and folds down over it.
More trees just beginning their long journey into driftwoodness out to sea.
Nature's obsession with inconveniencing beach strollers
There may be more tree under the surface than above it.
The tree-casualty rate for this year may well be more disheartening than usual.
We're probably about half way to Four Mile Rock, o frabjous day.
There are probably frequent very good times not to be standing on this shore admiring the scenery.
More inconveniences for beach strollers . . .
. . . like this.
We're not sure what that's all about. A NSA surveillance station? A disused NORAD listening post? A couple of ice-fishing shacks?
The tip of the sandberg
It's so hard to find affordable housing these days.
That's the Bear Creek, failing in its mission to drain into the lake.
Beachwalkers beginning to run out of beach
We have to become amphibious beachwalkers.
Sensible parents, with kids who think that rollicking in a half-frozen lake is fun
There ought to be some profitable use for this stack of huge odds and ends.
An open-air graveyard of defunct trees
A former supertangle of underground roots, now revealed to the light of day
We've done it! The end of Four Mile Rock Road. We congratulate ourselves; 'high-fives' all round. But where's the Four Mile Rock?
Not that, surely.
Nor those pathetic little excrescences
Subsequent researches, too late to make a difference until next year, have revealed that the Four Mile Rock, properly understood (46.9010515°N, 89.2576387°W), is actually 597m (1,959 ft) farther on, and not exactly on the coast.
But why spoil the fun? We should have skipped the research part, and gone with that little rock just offshore, though it's only noticeable on calm days.
Now it's our turn -- this might not be pretty.
We're recalling that top soil/sand bank thing again . . .
. . . as the foldover is sometimes pretty dramatic. More falling trees are definitely on the menu.
A cosy spot to relax whilst watching Bear Creek not make its way to the lake. The sign behind the three chairs says 'EAT', hand-scrawled.
Back past the supertangles
Topsoil -- Sand bank -- Foldover
-- What's that horrible screeching sound?
There it is, the horrible screecher, surveilling for dead fish and maybe tiny shrews and voles
A noble eagle, perhaps, but still loathsome
But with at least one fan
We continue, almost home
And now home, and looking for a dignified way up the sandbanks
An antiquated welcome mat
Sleep is where it comes upon you.
Time for cleaning up for our successors, vacuuming, dishwashing, etc. -- and still more etc.
And what little packing up needs to be done
As much predatory fun as she's had here, Choupette is ready to go home.
And making sure she's one of the first things packed up in the car
A final look at the scene of our adventures . . .
. . . presently with a convocation of gulls
Oh, sorry to disturb!
We can't forget to put the lawn chair away (since it's in the middle of the driveway).
We're slipping silently out of Ontonagon -- you never know these days!
A ca.2 hour drive, back through Wakefield, MI, with its Nee-Gaw-Nee-Gaw-Bow wooden head of a Chippewa 'leading man' on the shores of Sunday Lake, 'carved from a single tree by sculptor Peter "Wolf" Toth in 1988, part of his "Trail of Whispering Giants" that left big Indian heads in all 50 states' (source).