Dwight Peck's personal website

Winter 2023-2024

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.

Two midwinter weeks in the Wisconsin Northwoods (with virtually no snow)

15 December 2023 - 1 January 2024

Melvin preparing for further explorations along the lake shore, 21 December 2023

A fine vista over the lake on this clear sunny day, but . . .

. . . the next morning -- huh?

Northern Wisconsin, renowned for its four-foot snowbanks (thanks, Exxon)

It's not much of a view now, aesthetically speaking, and we won't be planning any ice skating expeditions anytime soon.

Evening activities at sibling Liz's and Kirk's house, 23 December 2023

And simultaneously, some tiring activities at the main cottage

Rigged up for Christmas, uncountable numbers of Xmas stockings hanging off the mantel

The door to the corridor of guest rooms

The diningroom and the slender, slightly shaky spiral staircase up to the study

What a waste of a good ice skating venue (at least for those who've learnt how to ice skate)

'Frog Bay' seen from the boathouse dock

A vision of grey desolation

A little shoreline exploration

For quite a few summers we've been pedaling past the vintage lakeside cottages and grander new houses and wondering what they really look like a bit closer up. Now's our chance!

The great majority of the cottages are summer homes unoccupied over the winter months, so if we sneak in a bit closer and have a look round, who's going to be the wiser? Our next door neighbors' place we know well, though -- they're in Chicago, but we'll send them this photo to reassure them that it's still all in one piece.

The grand plan is to walk the shoreline a ways, if possible, and photograph a few mementos as souvenirs. So there's Mussent Point, that's one down.

That's the next one along, with expansions or repairs or something underway, and a lot of trees cut down all round the place, can that be legal?

Odd relics of an abandoned past

And another

The next one along on our little bayshore, and now . . .

. . . turning the corner. It's time to find a way across this intervening swampy mess.

That's our next destination . . . step carefully. Squish.

The next one looks less like a family cabin than something like a summer camp.

Whenever it's occupied during parts of the summer, there are a great lot of children racing about, and lots of ski boats and canoes out, etc.

We sneak out by the driveway into what amounts to part of the town centre here, and that's the former community centre, replaced down the highway by a newer, more suitable facility. This is in private ownership now, we've been told.

Back down towards the shoreline: this is one of the super-cottages at Point o' Pines, descended from the sawmill beginnings through the other branch of the extended family.

From the waterside, this looks humongous, and now we know why.

It's owned by or assigned to one of Cousin Rob's older family members, whom we've met once or twice, but it's very seldom in use.

Across the lawn, that's a sort-of hub of Point o' Pines, called the Annex, shared by Cousin Rob and his brother in alternation.

We're circumambulating this one, though.

It's hard to say why this large conglomeration looks so intriguing.

The shoreline and one of the boathouses on the property

Now we sneak through the wooded driveways for a few minutes, and . . .

. . . then it's decision time. We'll go right . . .

. . . and come up on this one, perched near the point on the west side of the little bay across from Mussent Point (no. 5 on the map below).

The older buildings round the lake always look more comfortable, or at least more authentic, than some of the 1 and 2 million dollar McCottages put up in more recent years.

A path down to 'Pradt's Point' (our name for it) . . .

. . . with heaps of firewood made from fallen trees.

Nature's handiwork. The stack of logs looked like this before they just gave up and fell over and got turned into a stack of logs.

Now we can see Mussent Point again.

A secondary dock by the point -- the owners' main dock is back near their cottage.

On careful examination, there does appear to be a vestigial path along the shoreline from here, visible in some places, not in others.

Near the next cottage around the bay, a dock that has been left to its own devices

Oh well, how Time marches on

A very nice old cottage in the grand tradition, roomy, quiet elegance, probably no winter heating

The next cottage, and then . . .

. . . a third one as we're nearing the turning of the bay shore.

It's a small pleasure to say that throughout our whole walk round the northwestern shore of the lake, there's not a single 1 or 2 million dollar McCottage. The far northeastern end of the lake is riddled with them, many up for sale and periodically lowering the asking prices.

Mussent Point peeking out at us across the sloshy icepack.

Near the corner of our little bay . . .

. . . and back to the big house, scrutinizing . . .

. . . this mushy mess for a sanitary way across the swamp.

The answer's right in front of us, a semi-muddy little creek bed running out to the lake.

Easy game from here on, and . . .

. . . back to Mussent Point.

Next up: 'Granny' Kristin presents the newest member of the clan . . .

. . . with a few more days by the lake and, on the way back to Virginia, a good look at Manitowoc and its submarine.

Mussent Point is shown by the red dot.

Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 5 February 2024.

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