Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Northwest Wisconsin

By Jen.

Dates: 2021/07/27 to 2021/07/30

Upon returning to Wisconsin, we decided to hit up the area that we skipped earlier when searching for water. So first up was Blackjack Springs. The path was rather overgrown, and had a lot of deadfall. And by the time it reached the lake near the spring, we couldn’t even find the path anymore. Not interested in bushwhacking, we turned back.

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The spring is somewhere in that direction.


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From there, we went hunting for albino deer at Trout Lake, but couldn’t find any. Fortunately, just a short drive away was Powell Marsh.

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 Monarchs on milkweed. Makes you want to grow some, doesn't it?

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We’ve been seeing these spotted green frogs all over the north.


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A funnel web.


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Two sand cranes! We could hear these guys talking to each from quite a distance.


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American goldfinch, I think.


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I think these are red-breasted mergansers.


The next day, since we camped nearby, we made a stop at Thunder Mountain County Park. It’s a cute little local park, good for a diversion or two if in the area.

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Blends in well, doesn’t it?


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Sunday, October 3, 2021


By Jen.

Dates: 2021/07/25 to 2021/07/26

From Tahquamenon Falls State Park, we went to Whitefish Point, where there is the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum. When we arrived, fairly late in the business day, the parking area was packed. I chickened out and decided to come back in the morning. It was an interesting museum. But heed my warning, don’t call your vessel “the finest,” “the best,” or unsinkable. It doesn’t seem to end well.

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You can see why the museum was located here.


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I love Fresnel lenses. They are so pretty (and practical). This is a 2nd-order lens.


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Another one of those hand-operated air pumps and diving suits. These were often used to recover remains from the ships.


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The lighthouse interior had been restored.


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Can you imagine having to hand pump your water? At least they didn’t have to go outside.

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They also had an area dedicated to the US Life Saving Service, which became today’s coast guard. Check out their fancy self-bailing boat that saved many lives!

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That’s a massive rudder!


From there, we made our way to Sault Ste Marie’s Soo Locks. These were fun! They fill fairly slowly, but the before and after are pretty dramatic. We’re engineers, of course, we find this bit of engineering interesting.

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This is with the locks raised.

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The gate has raised, and the boat can exit.

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Can you see the water-height differential?

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Notice the water on the left, but none on the right?

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Just a little bit of leaking…

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Duck and duckling waiting to use the locks.

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The height of the water after it’s been let out.

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Hahahahaha, remember that boat from earlier? You can only just see its topmast! I’m sure they did that on purpose.

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If you don’t know, now you know. It’s pretty ingenious.

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These are moose prints from 1987, when a wild moose visited the city.

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Manistique’s square, red lighthouse.

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We stopped at Palms Book State Park’s Kitch-iti-kipi Big Spring. It was a beautiful color, but filled with people trying to take the boat across. Ironically, before it was turned into a state park, the local lumber camps had simply used it as their rubbish dump, turning it into not much more than black hole. Glad it isn’t like that any longer!

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Finally, a brief excursion to Peninsula Point Lighthouse ended our first loop through Michigan. 

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Life in the van. Jonathan’s trying to relax. I’m trying to exercise, and Sasha’s trying to inhibit me (this time by blocking my view of the screen, though most of the time it is by running through my legs).