Dwight Peck's personal website

Summer 2022

A photographic record of whatever leapt out at us

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.

Rainy days on the lake, and the tangly horrors of the canal

We've been to see Duluth (in Minnesota), definitely worth a visit (especially if you've got the hotel on Marriott credit card rewards), and now we're back cavorting on the lake in Wisconsin.

More rain, and still more rain, but . . .

. . . we don't care (unless there's lightning involved).

Rob's got an old plastic bag from Walmarts to cover up his iPhone and camera. Oscar doesn't. (But I do.)

A less rainy day; we're passing round Tigertail . . .

. . . to pay another visit to the little cove on the far side of the Tigertail.

The object of our attentions is this newly collapsed victim of some of nature's vicious processes, which doesn't seem to be nestled on the lakebed as would have been recommended. What's going on here? (We're none the wiser now.)

The arboreal praetorian guard at attention across the cove. (We have from time to time heard this little cove referred to as 'the cannabis cove', as it was conveniently inconspicuous and popular with some of our lake-dwellers back in their younger days.)

That seems to be a new watercraft joining us on the lake this summer, a 'wake boat', specially designed to create enormous waves for thoughtless sporting purposes, with terrible consequences for the lake's eroding shoreline.

Speaking of thoughtlessly harmful watercraft, these aren't among them. These are just healthy fun.

This is the islet called Baby Leigh, state-owned because of a failure to pay taxes on it years ago. It's known as a nesting spot for the loons, who last year produced two juveniles for the first time in some years. This year various people reported seeing two chicks in a nest somewhere here, but they haven't been seen again for many weeks. (And have likely been et, we fear.)

In any case, we're here trying to find where the nest is, or was, or had been, and see what's left if anything.

Supposedly, last year's loon nest was right on this point, but nothing seems to be here now.

In all, no luck; no nest to be found now. A pair of adult loons have been hanging out all round the southern part of the lake, and there appears to be a lone loon frequenting the northern end, but no juveniles to be seen. There had been reports of two more chicks seen at the far southern end of the lake, but no sign of them either. It's another unproductive loon season, evidently.

Baby Leigh island, which always reminds us of a pirate ship. There's a faded old state sign on it that says 'No Camping' -- as if!

Our hydro-outing continues on choppy waters.

Back at Mussent Point, there's a friend of the family showing off his magical hydrofoil.

Once he gets it up to speed with his handheld controls, it becomes more or less airborne. Here's an advertiser's picture of how the hydrofoil works:


We'll stick to reliably predictable hydrobikes.

Even if these two gentlemen are unwilling to bustle over the sandbar as we have just done, reasonably successfully.

The Canal of All Frustrations

It may arguably be time for another venture into the ancient canal to the neighboring lake, 25 July 2022.
(The signpost is meaningless, evidently left over for the past few years by some summer camp activities coordinator aimed at scavenger hunters teamed as 'Jokers' and 'Clowns'.)

Until last summer, we were normally able to find at least one turtle sunning on these wrecked trees (and once, a snake), but not last year and not, so far, this year either.

Like some supernatural dead thing emerging out of the dark forest

The first part of the canal is relatively free of obstructions, but this second part, especially with a slightly lowered water level, has become . . . frustrating. That's a healthy stand of the noxious invasive weed purple loosestrife, and we will ignore it.

Under the road, the culvert, with its ancient, rotting pilings.

A fine sunny afternoon, and a quarter of a mile obstacle course to our destination (then back).

This new barrier to progress could not be tugged out of the way, but was partially neutralized over to one side.

Everything's happening in slow motion, with propellers half up.

Route-finding through fallen trees can require a little trial and error.

The sluice gate at the end of the canal. The super-huge next lake stretches out before us, tauntingly.

But now we get to struggle home again.

A few years ago, that tangle of wire fencing and barbed wire was upright along the bank; now it's reaching out, yearning for us to come too close.

Here, as perhaps everywhere, infrastructure just seems to be collapsing on us.

Stuck -- all the tiny branches reach up to wind themselves around the propeller, the larger branches reach up and immobilize the pontoons. All one can do is rock back and forth and vow to fund a monastery.

Surprise . . . it all worked out, as so far it always has, and we're rounding the point out of Tomahawk Bay onto the main lake . . .

. . . where we're entertained by some strange filamentary sorts of clouds.

Just two days later, however, the Heavens open up upon us, back here in the South Bay under the bridge, and we've scurry-pedaled under some trees along the shore for shelter.

The kind of downpour that will beat you to the ground, or knock you off your hydrobike, as it might be.

It seems that it will never stop -- it's been going on for nearly five minutes already.

Now the rain's over, or it's paused, and we find that we're firmly stuck in the underwater detritus and may have to stay here, well, forever! But Cousin Rob remembers his trusty emergency-pole, wangles himself out, and just manages to reach back and pull us out as well.

The rain resumes and we hurtle towards the highway bridge.

Another long delay -- it's never going to stop. This just has to be done.

Drenched, but happy.

Someone in the general festive crowd at Mussent Point would like to go water-skiing (a less frequent request these days, with our aging population), and the skiboat's being got ready.

Choupette is deciding whether to come along, though, in any case, the engine isn't starting up.
One keeps at it until, finally . . .

. . . it starts. 30 July 2022.

Off they go, with a burbling roar, round Mussent Point to the main dock.

Who's skiing? Who's driving? Who's spotting? Who's coming along for the ride? So much to be discussed and agreed upon before anything can actually happen.

Discussions continue, and appropriate equipment (i.e., water skis) are sought for. We, on a hydrobike, must leave them all, alas, but subsequent reports tell us that all went well.

This is a quiet little cove just south of George Island, very nice people, tucked in here behind . . .

. . . this beautiful little point. On this occasion, as one of us was beaching to clear weeds off the propeller, the owner was describing how, after years of shoreline protection from wind-driven waves, the wake boats had created huge waves nearby that bend right round the point and attack the sheltered dock area.

The hydrofoilist again . . . but no, it's our athletic friend Claire having a go at it.

An oopsie on the first try, but . . .

. . . back up again immediately. The hydrofoil's owner claimed that he'd never seen anyone master the thing so quickly.

In the interests of finding a more convenient docking place for our bike, we're resolved to clear out a channel past the débris of the fallen tree by the boathouse. 1 August 2022 (Switzerland's National Day).

Now we've got most of it thrown up in a pile by the shore, and a fairly suitable channel created, but . . .

. . . in an access of speculative over-confidence, we gave a mighty heave to this hefty tree trunk, and hobbled about painfully bent over for the next week. The perils of hubris.
(And it's still there, and always will be.)

Adjidaumo is the main island in the lake, and from time to time, pedaling by, we spy out the big eagle's nest that's somewhere up there in the center of it. Once in a while, though, we like to plod up and try to find the nest from closer up.

Securely tied up (reluctant to be marooned out here), we venture ashore.

Having battled through some vestigial tag alders and fallen trees along the shore, we ascend an ancient path towards the high point on the far end of the island.

Gaining a little height

A very pleasant path

To the high point, where the old cabin was during the lumbering days in the very early 20th century. There was a dock and more convenient path up to the cabin just below here, facing west towards the sawmill at Point o' Pines, 440 meters away.

Now we've curved round the impassable middle part of the island and are plodding along the southern side, to reach a point just . . .

. . . underneath the eagles' nest, just where it's always been (for as long as I've been coming here).

The size of a Volkswagen Beetle. But no one's home at the moment, it seems.

A big mistake, trying to cross back across the middle of the island, very nasty.

Until we get back to our original path downward.

Next up: a few days on Lake Superior

Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 26 August 2022.


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Olympic National Park, 2004