MW Mobile Blog

For friends, family and the random search engine visitor. This blog started as an experiment in mobile blogging from my Palm TREO 600, 700, Prē, HTC Evo, Samsung 5, Pixel 3. Now it serves as a simple repository of favorite activities. Expect bad golf, good fishing, great sailing, eating, drinking, adventure travel, occasional politics and anything else I find interesting along the way including, but not limited to, any of the labels listed here...

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Spring Shag Lake Summary

This post is a placeholder. After three weeks at Big Shag Lake, I'm back in EssEff and determined to properly document all aspects of our (un)usual spring sojourn to the family lake house. Between this summary post and the first post showing pandemic preparation and the D-Day-like logistics needed to pull the trip off, I intend to fill in the gaps with more detailed posts of food, fish, family and dogs. But for now, in the interest of expediency, a simple selection of pics and video highlights to be linked with detailed posts later (maybe):



Harlan Dad with Stringer








There are stories here... but they'll have to wait. 

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Camp In The Time Of COVID19

The 2020 COVID Camp Crew

I've been remiss in my blogging duties over the last six months or so. Many excuses, the most recent being the Coronavirus pandemic. However, I'll use the same catastrophic event as motivation to get back on the blogging horse. I'll take the first step back posting recent events but, as always, I'm traveling a road paved with good intentions to back-fill missing posts that should be part of this ongoing journal. TBD.

"Camp" is the colloquial U.P. name for a summer place on a lake or river. This is usually the time of year that I travel to Chicago, pick up my Dad and drive to the family lake house - aka "Camp"- in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  This year the trip was obviously problematical, and there was a lot of family debate of the wisdom of even attempting it, given I am in a high risk category and Dad is in the highest of high risk categories.

But, when our 98 year old WWII vet Dad says he wants to get out of the house and go fishing at Camp, I figure we have to figure out a way to make it happen.

So... I got tested in SF (negative), analyzed COVID-19 per capita infection and death rate trends in SF, Cook, and Marquette Counties, and compiled an arsenal of anti-virus weaponry. 

Then, on Memorial Day I ran the air travel gauntlet with a red-eye on a wide body 787 hoping there would be fewer, spread out passengers and United would keep their promise to avoid anyone in center seats and make everyone where masks.

I took all the usual precautions (mask, wipes, sanitizer, strapping my arms to the arm rest so I couldn't touch my face) and landed at O'Hare early morning after the overnight cleaning with fewer people in the airport. My sister Wendy picked me up and dropped off our dog Bowser.

Bowser is amazed at the low gas prices
Then into Dad's car and drove 6 hours to Big Shag Lake where I self-quarantined a few days and got tested again (negative).

Two for Two
One concern was whether reasonable precautions were being taken by the locals. For the most part, no problem - even Sasquatch was wearing a mask...

UPDATE - 6-7-20
Long / short - After a suitable delay the family decided it was safe to let my brother Harlan and brother-in-law Jeff drive up with Dad. We get to spend some quality time fishing, eating, drinking, boating and generally enjoying ourselves.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

A Walk Ride In The Woods - 2019 Edition

Eighteen years after the last harvest in 2001 and two years after our most recent walkabout, last year we surveyed and marked the family commercial forest in Baraga for a selective cut. Ken, the forester who worked with us on the last cut and authored our Forest Plan retired. We hired a new forester - Justin -  to work with the family on this go-round (with Ken's recommendation and counsel).  The property was surveyed for a selective cut, put out to bid last year, and a logger selected. Logging operations have yet to commence, so it was a good opportunity to have Justin give us a guided tour of property and, in particular, educate us on the process and decisions made about the trees selected for harvest.

Emily and Ko'Wayne joined me for the excursion. They brought their ATV and Justin brought his so we could cover a lot of ground in our limited time on the property.

We met at a "Park and Ride" across from the Michigamme Market, towed the ATV's until we could drive no further, then then unloaded, mounted and rode the 4-wheelers into the woods.

For the first time in the family history, we approached the property through neighboring forest land on the West property line as opposed the usual route over neighboring forest land along the East property line.
The beaver pond from the other side. Watched a big buck scamper along the tree line.
The significance is that this is the route that the loggers will take, and since some road work will be needed for heavy trucks and equipment access, it's possible that we will be able to drive all the way in once logging operations commence. Certainly easier than hiking over the top of a beaver dam.

Justin provided a Master Class in tree selection and markings, the property lines, logging issues, stumpage from prior cuts and expectations for the next cut. We got the right guy for this job.

Weather was a pleasant surprise for this time of year. Comfortably in the upper seventies, and the bugs were not too bad - although we had one casualty. While avoiding a fallen tree, Ko'Wayne drove over a hornets nest and a hornet stung Justin as we followed him around the stump. There is no Instant Karma in the North Woods.

Having done a few of these tours over some decades, the most gratifying aspect for me is seeing and hearing a forester's reactions as we tour the property that has been in the family for generations. Like Ken and other foresters before him, Justin expressed his admiration and appreciation for the health of the managed forest and the stewardship of the family in maintaining and managing the land.

Some more pics from the day...

Ko'Wayne sets up his new trail cam and salt lick.
The trail cam has photographed moose, deer, and bear.
We didn't see any moose on the "Alces Trail" this time, but did see plenty of moose shit. 
We again found the ruins of an old camp that predates the family purchase...
... which we believe was primarily used for maple syrup production.
As has become a tradition for me after one of these excursions, Emily, Ko'Wayne and I wrapped up the adventure with a cudighi at a local watering hole on the way back.

Cudighi and Two Heart Ale on tap at Jerzi's 41
It was a great day and great experience. We all learned something, including how not to back up a trailer with a loaded ATV.