Peck's personal Web site
Wisconsin when the ice is off it
Lakeside fun in the Northwoods
The Bearskin Trail
You may not find this tangibly 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.
The Bearskin Trail is an 18-mile private lumber railway right-of-way from the great age of the Timber Looters of the late 19th and early 20th century (before they upped sticks and moved on to rape Oregon), now polished up for recreational use. And snowmobiles in the winter, vroom, vroom.
The depredations of the timber industry removed approximately 100.00% of the old forest, but left behind these old straight-line, flat railroads, which (tracks pulled up and some new greenery sprouting up) make exceptionally fine, and easy, bicycle paths.
Beautiful bridges and trestles like this one cross any number of creeks and swamps, with signage along the way describing favored beaver dam spots and ghost towns left behind by the Lumber Barons.
We're on doctor's orders to stay off bicycles for a few months, so today we're out for a pleasant jaunty walk with Kristin . . .
. . . taking care to stay within the markers and not drop off into the swamps and sink.
The right-of-way can be monotonous, but in terms of getting anywhere before you've grown old and died, it's better than the alternative.
Kristin, like my own good self, on the Tamarack Trestle, is getting tired of walking in a straight, flat line.
So we're trudging a few miles back to the car now. Wishing we were on bicycles. Or golf carts.
There's meant to be a ladies' room just round here.
This is my work space for six weeks or so in Kristin's cottage on the lake.
This is another work station in the next room.
Back on the Bearskin, this time we're doubling down and doing it with bicycles -- but first filling out our triplicate forms and paying in our US$ 4.00 each for the daily pass on the trail. A bargain. The price of a Swiss cup of coffee.
Kristin's off to an exuberant start along the trail, with her bicycle pump hanging off the back.
A brief pause to check the tires. A serious cyclist stopped to marvel at our pump hanging off the back and showed us his emergency tire pump, a compressed air canister about the size of your thumb.
Skip ahead if you hate swamps, as I do as a rule, but they're better in photos than knee-deep in them.
We've been promoting wetland conservation professionally for almost twenty years and still find wetlands mostly icky.
I'm replicating here a series I took in the same place for the Ramsar Convention's website back a decade ago.
Nothing much has changed, swampwise, but we're replicating ourself here, too, back when the bench didn't groan in protest.
The Wayback Machine, same venue, 2000.
Tuna sandwiches divvied up. One for you, two for me. One for you, two for me.
Off again, still southward
Passing the rich people's golf course, we were counting on this coke machine! Nobody had refilled it. Nada!!
The private sector just can't be trusted anymore.
One of the last trestles on our southward route before the end of the Trail at Highway K.
A good pump-up won't go amiss as we start back northwards.
Dinner at the country club, we never pass up such an offer, as cute animals laze across the lawns below
Big news: There was another huge Global Warming storm overnight, and a big tree was heard to fall somewhere on the property, roundabout midnight. Kristin and her siblings are setting out to find out what's what.
Yikes, big tree.
Brother George inspecting the point of insult
Kristin, two brothers, and one brother-in-law inspecting the damage and determining that it's technically all on state land, not ours.
No wonder the thing fell over, the woodpeckers have eaten it through. Why can't the Government put a stop to this woodpecker scourge? "Government is not the solution -- it's the problem!" (Matthew, 22:21).
-- No way to get that tree back up.
and suggestions are welcome if positive, resented if negative, .
All rights reserved, all wrongs avenged. Posted 30 September 2010.