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 weeks in the Northwoods, and some views of Manitowoc

15 December 2023 - 1 January 2024

Granny Kristin with her newest best friend

Young George is learning how to play the 'How Big Is Baby' game.

Clearly a very quick study


Choupette observes someone sneaking towards her scratching post.

It's okay, he's family.

He'll be walking soon. Then watch out!

More weird winter harbingers of the climate crisis hurtling towards us

A sentry (who never falls asleep on the job)

A Christmas Day visit to Rob and Elke

[Cousin Rob, a trained architect, made that house himself and helped many others design theirs.]

Another Christmas gathering, Young George and some of his friends

George notices the photographer.

Another seasonal get-together with the extended family and friends at Point o' Pines. That's the other Point o' Pines boathouse.

We're at Leigh and Bert's cottage -- we're early, everyone's coming.

Including Young George

Musician Kim is coaching Ihor to accompany him on one of his signature songs.

Cousin Rob and Kristin's sister Liz

Every morning the cats assemble at the kitchen window to watch herds of grey squirrels chasing all round before the new day gets under way.

A little more snow overnight -- welcome, but not enough.

Both of the newest family members, Owen and George, discussing issues of right of way in the guest room corridor

The next day -- the grey squirrels are at it again.

Melvin is intrigued by the ice, impervious to cold obviously, and always curious.

That's a fallen tree underneath the ice, but he probably can't know that.

-- Hey, wait, Melvin! Don't go there . . . no, Melvin!

-- Oh Melvin, PLEASE!
(He trotted out on his own five minutes later.)

Another shoreline walk, with Kristin and Kim (we've got two Kims round here).

Kristin, and the Adjidaumo island in the distance

We can't wander through the rooms, but we can peek in the windows.

The end of our visit -- time to pack up our little work room.

Views of Manitowoc, Wisconsin

Four hours south, and now we're checking into the 'Inn on Maritime Bay', Manitowoc, WI, 29 December 2023.

Manitowoc is the Wisconsin port of the Badger ferry, across Lake Michigan from Ludington, MI. Kristin's taken that ferry often, over the years, and we took it across the lake in June 2022 . . . it was fun.

As you stand on the foredeck with your little camera ready, all you see as you approach the Manitowoc harbor is sewage treatment plants and enormous industrial installations. So now we'd got a little time and would like to investigate a little further.

One thing we notice: there are some very kind people here. (We had lunch there, it was great.)

Well, that's not just an industrial installation -- there's a real town stuck in behind it.

From the hotel carpark, that's a view of the lighthouse at the harbor entrance.


Across the mouth of the Manitowoc River, looks like sewage treatment works. Maybe not.

Industrial installations

Manitowoc was first legally established in 1835 by Andrew Jackson and established itself as a ship-building facility for the Great Lakes and St Lawrence River. Especially for warships of various kinds, it seems.

According to Wikipedia, there are about 35,000 inhabitants in town, and lots more roundabout.

Actually, Manitowoc has a rather interesting history. For example, on 5 September 1962, a 20-lb piece of the Russians' Sputnik 4 satellite crashed on North 8th Street. Before the Soviets came along to get it back, the town had made a cast of it, which is apparently the centerpiece for the annual Sputnikfest festivities.

For that reason, and probably for many others, in December 2022 the city was designated as a World War II Heritage City by the National Park Service.

Industrial installations. That one there, that's a very imposing malt and ingredients company ('All Natural Since 1876')

And there's more to it than just some colorful silos.

Manitowoc happens to be the county seat of Manitowoc County, WI. See?

That's the Wharf bar and restaurant on the riverside -- we'd thought to come along later for dinner, but the loud music emanating from all its pores just now has put us off.

At least it's got a pretend pirate out on the patio, and a big flapper overhead.

That's the Wisconsin Maritime Museum, with its signature exhibit, the USS Cobia, 'an authentic combat submarine similar to those built in Manitowoc during the war', of which during World War II there were 28.

Looking upriver

Downtown in late afternoon

Imaginative decorations

That's the USS Cobia. It was launched from Groton, CT, in 1943, sank two Japanese ships bound for Iwo Jima in 1944, including a troop transport carrying 28 tanks. It was brought to the museum here in 1986 and renovated in the 1990s. Guided tours of the interior are part of the museum's programme.

Running conning tower laps

This thing was built in 1943 at the Electric Boat Company in Groton, CT, well-known to those of us who spent vacation summers on Groton Long Point way back in the day.

The plaques along the railing give technical details on each the 28 World War II submarines that were built here in Manitowoc's shipyards.

Downtown Manitowoc across the river

Very nice

Shopping round for a suitable restaurant; we looked in at a few with extremely loud country music (and a lot of long beards), but Brix on S. 8th St proved amenable -- decent food, a live singer, mostly old covers, but fun.

They're plotting something.

Welcome to the Big City -- we're in the happy lane. On the far side, they're at a standstill for miles.

The Drury Inn in Lafayette, Indiana, and another dinner at Mountain Jack's, becoming a favorite.

Resting up for tomorrow's interstate ordeal, a seven hour trek to Hurricane, WV, near Huntington . . .

. . . but if it's got to be done, then 'twere well it were done quickly. Choupette's ready.

Back to Staunton

We're fortunate to have got back to Staunton in time to view the Christmas displays all round Gypsy Hill Park, set up by churches, youth groups, local businesses, and various local organizations. Like this one.

Next up: The Lake Sherando 'cliff trail', in reverse

An unwelcome footnote: Our extremely dear friend Cousin Rob passed away peacefully on 6 January 2024.

Feedback and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, . All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 8 February 2024.

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