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. 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...

Monday, May 27, 2019

A Song of Fire and Water


With this blog backpost reboot, I will be starting with our Spring Shag Lake trip, moving forward and backward in time, and forego the usual chronological journal format. Instead we'll favor subject focused posts summarizing related events over the course of the trip. Anyway, that's the theory.

The number one Shag Lake subject of the 2019 spring trip is the record high water. Harlan was here in February to document the record snow, and with continuing rain, the high water continues to rise. How high is it?  A few short years ago, after an extended multi-year drought, we were wondering whether we would even have a lakefront property as our bay appeared to be drying up.

That was then. This is now:

Front Yard - Fall 2010
Front Yard - Fall 2012
Front Yard - Spring 2019
Note the fire pit and birch tree have not moved. In less than ten years, the volume of water in the lake more than doubled. Yes, I just made that statistic up. Prove me wrong.

The first challenge presented by the wild swing in water levels, is what to do with the dock. After decades of mounting the dock in exactly the same place, in recent years we've relocated the dock at least half a dozen times, added sections, removed sections, built rock paths through and boardwalk bridges over the mud. Most of which was underwater and useless this spring. This year it was my turn to undo and redo some of the work that had gone before and with some senior guidance from the deck, figure out what dock configuration works in this spring of 2019. Robyn documented my efforts from ShagCam.


I got it started, but needed reinforcements to finish. Later in the week Harlan and Jonah were pressed into duty over Memorial Day weekend.



With  their assistance we added a third section to the main dock, fine tuned the 2019 configuration, and relocated the mud bridge boardwalk to the south side of the property.

Who wore it better?

The second, and arguably greater, challenge presented by the high water, is how to build the traditional bonfire, when the fire pit is underwater. Harlan took on the challenge:


I'm still not exactly sure how he did it... but facts are facts.




The following weekend, after Harlan & Jonah departed, on our last night at Shag - Robyn, Jeff and cousins Judi, Hanna wanted a sendoff bonfire, so we needed to try again.


Fortunately, we had help. The flood water brought a section of someones dock floating on our shore.


After an appropriate time attempting to locate the owners and permit them time to find and reclaim it, we invoked the law of the sea and it was consigned to the bonfire.




It just happened to be the exact length needed to bridge the water gap and built another fire on the drowned fire pit.



It worked. That's 2 for 2...


Now that we know that a bonfire can be built on a drowned firepit, the precedent for the year is established. We will not be building any new fire pits this year. Anyone wanting to build a bonfire at Camp this year must build it on the drowned fire pit. Deal with it. 

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Getting There: SFO => MDW => Big Shag Lake


The usual post "getting there" from San Francisco to Big Shag Lake. First Uber to SFO...



... and some SFO killing time posts...




... including a traditional checkpoint on the departure day news of the day.

Another day, another Trump administration outrage. 
Then arriving in Chicago to start the trip reconnecting with relations and traditional Chicago culinary delicacies. Here enjoying a Gold Coast Char Dog with nephew Jonah at MDW, and an Italian Beef with cousin Howie at Irvings, also demonstrating the yin/yang of Wallach hairlines.




Finally prep, pack and drive to the U.P. with Dad ....



... stopping outside of Milwaukee to meet my newest relation, pick up my dog Bowser and ...

Sidney, Sydney and some other people.
... continue through the Wisconsin Heart of Darkness...

There is a bad smell here.
...to arrive at the lake and contemplate the days ahead.