Wednesday, August 30, 2006

See highlights from me and Gerk's entire trip to Big Island Lake in the Superior Peninsula.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

A delightful video from one of our favorite bands, The Wrens with their song Faster Gun.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

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Dennis gives some pointers to our Gerkins. Dennis, as his daughter, are crack shots.
From here, after a hearty breakfast we left the comfortable digs of our friends and drove south to Hoosier Land.

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Sunny Clear Sunday, Mid August, Chippewa Lake, Michigan:

Stoic deer in the back twenty between the bog and the shooting alley.
We stayed a night with our long time friend Amy, and her cool parents, Dennis and Prudy. We got to visit a nice pub, I think called the Chippewa Lake Lounge.

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Labatt Blue, Miller Genuine Draft, Bud, Molson Ice, aaaahhh, Bell's Two Hearted Ale. Yes.

Oh, this tree is on Michigan highway 131. The Leetsville Shoe Tree.


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bg dddy brdge:
Saturday, Mid August heading Home via Chippewa Lake, Michigan

Th e Mackinac Bridge

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Upper PeninsulaCulture:

If you are looking for the culture of the Superior Peninsula, you might as well begin with the pasty or pastie.

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Late Afternoon, Friday Mid August Mid Lake:

The croak and drum of the ravens and the sandhill cranes. Strange warbles and screams of the loon. Sharp chirps the 13-lined ground squirrel. The loud thwack tail splash of annoyed beaver. Frogs and toads everywhere. The painted turtle's silent descent to the tea-dark depth.

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Gerk eyes what he thought might be the Lake Superior State University Womens Rowing Team but turns out to be the only other visitors to Coattail Lake during our trip, a man and his three children. The venison sausage must have turned.

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Friday Afternnon, Mid August, Townline Lake:
For a fishing novice like me, I was content if we caught at least a few fish. Well, that is about what I did. With Gerkee doing most of the catching and me doing most of the smoking (cigars, not fish). It wasn't like we were going tp starve. Jeezel Pete, I packed enough food. Along with choice alcoholic bevs and the remainder of Abby's smokes (she has quit).

Here is a small Northern Pike that Gerk caught with a bucktail. This one, too small, got thrown back.

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A couple of times of day, the resident loons of Coattail Lake would alert us to a bald eagle that patrolled the lakes. At other times they would all disappear under the lake the surface going after the numerous small fish that schooled below.

Friday morning, Mid-August, Big Island Lake Wilderness

  Posted by PicasaIn early summer Gerk asked if I had some extra vacation time available. He had some extra time and wanted to know if I wanted to go to Boundary Waters up on the Minnesota border. I said I would love to go there but didn't think I had a whole week available. So we decided on a long weekend.

Thinking of a place a bit closer I looked at Michigan, and then the Upper Peninsula. Big Island Lake Wilderness looked good on the map. West of the great Seney Wildlife Refuge, the wilderness area is about half way between lakes Michigan and Superior. It was actually everything I was looking for. The place is surrounded by forest and marsh, deep in the Hiawatha National Forest. No motorized craft are allowed in the wilderness, and in fact, nothing at all with a wheel. Four feet of winter snow pack feed the twenty-three lakes of Big Island, nine of them connected by portage trails. A thick second-growth of hemlock, spruce, paper birch, aspen and tamarack cover the low hills. Whether on the land or in the lake, plants cover everything.

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Snag on Big Island Lake, Hiawatha National Forest.

We met some smart guys from Green Bay, Wisconsin up there. They snagged one of the campsites closer to the trailhead. Nice guys, better dressed than me and Gerkins. While I were my Firestone bill cap and the usual t-shirts and shorts, and Gerkins were his cut-offs and wifebeater, these dudes were dressed as the gentleman fishers, straw hats and tropical shirts. They also had better fishing equipment and canoes. Gear may not make the fisherman, but it was helping these guys out.

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Thursday, Mid August, Coattail Lake, Hiawatha National Forest.

Trusty old MC0447SF. Or we like to call her, Hefty. She takes abuse, and stoically gives it back. -Jeep

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Mid Afternoon on Mid Lake. Big Island Lake Wilderness, UP Michigan.
Sandwiched between Townline, Big Island and Coattail Lakes, Mid Lake don't get no respect. Shaped like a sausage, it is the murkiest of the lakes we canoed. The locals say that's because it is spring-fed. Whatever, it was still a beaut. -Jeep

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Wed. Mid-August, Twilight.
Coattail Lake, Big Island Lake Wilderness Area, Hiawatha National Forest, U.P. Michigan, U.S.A.

We arrived at the trailhead, paddled three lakes which included three portages.
After setting up our camp, we went out on Coattail Lake for some fishing. Somehow the sunset looked different up there above the 45th Parallel.

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After picking up our hunk of solid aluminum, they called a canoe, from the friendly folk at Northland Outfitters in Germfask, we drove up and around the Seney Wildlife Refuge. At the corner of 77 and 28 we spied this defunct ice cream shoppe.

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Still at the Cut River Gorge Bridge, U.P. Michigan, my breakfast cooking already has Gerkins looking for a toilet. Unfortunately this mysterious door under the bridge was barred to Gerk's efforts.

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Wed. Mid August.
US 2, Cut River Gorge
Out on the road heading toward Germfask to get our canoe Gerkins and I stop for a smoke and a lookee.

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Wed. Mid August 2006. 7 am.
North shore of Lake Michigan,
After driving up through the Lower Pen, and over the Mag Earwig Magdad bridge that links the two Michigans, the massive fantastic Mackinac Bridge, we settled into a national forest campsite squeezed between US 2 and Lake Michigan. MY GOD THE STARS. With no light pollution from either shore, you could see the bottomless black behind the clusters of dust.

Here, a perfect specimen of Gerkus Buggus. Freshly awake. Cold. Needing a Dew.

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Tuesday, Mid August:

Last week Gerkins and I left our l(w)ives behind and headed to the wilderness of Michigan's Superior Peninsula. The goal was back country canoeing, fishing and beer drinking. On our way, up past Fort Wayne, near Angola, Indiana we passed this heavily be-stickered truck.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

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Ab and me out for some exercise on the University of Indianapolis Campus. Late July.

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Cambridge City, Indiana, US 40, the National Road, July 4th Weekend:
A great sign near the library that houses the Museum of Overbeck Art Pottery. The Overbeck Sisters were pretty dabnab prolific artists. Worth a trip.

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