Northwoods in November – Part 2
On November 29, 2015, I towed my little utility trailer to the northwoods in Burnett County, Wisconsin, for storage. I had to get another vehicle in my driveway, and with the continued success and inventory of my wife’s wedding and event floral business called Julia’s Blooms, space is at a premium in our garage and in our house. On top of that, the first snow storm was bearing down on Minnesota and Wisconsin, and if I didn’t get that trailer up north, we would have been stuck with it for the winter.
As I described in Northwoods in November – Part 1, I made some stops in Danbury, Wisconsin. Something about the crisp, clear day and the frost called to me. I took several photos around the two canoe landings in town (while secretly scouting out areas for future canoe and kayak adventures) and at the local canoe rental store. I was struck by how the dusting of snow and frost created an interesting look, especially on the rocks, trees and blades of grass. The ice flows crackling against the rocks and tree limbs just added to the beauty.
I drove east to my destination and completed my business. Natural curiosity got the best of me, and headed down to the lake. It was a calm, clear day with very few ripples on the lake. The ice had started to form, but it was too thin for humans and stretched only partially across the bay. Even with the ice forming, the water was so clear that you can see the sandy bottom in these pictures. It was very quiet there, with only the birds keeping me company.
When I was younger, we had come to the northwoods cabin in the dead of winter, and I had stood in this very spot in the middle of the night. It was so quiet that my ears were ringing, looking for any small noise in the distance. After a few minutes of complete silence, a great horned owl would hoot from somewhere across the lake, his call would echoing in the darkness. Other times, a string of snowmobiles would race across the ice as the riders would head from Voyager Village to bars called Lamplighter, Cabaret, Roamer’s Landing or Lumberjack.
I talked briefly with some people walking on the road near the cabin, and then I began the drive home. I drove the back roads, mainly because I wanted to see some of the other lakes along the way. Lake 26 Road that connects Webb Lake to Danbury was fairly icy, and given the twists and turns of the road, I had to proceed with caution. After all, I don’t have the greatest tires on the 2003 Ford Taurus!
As I drove through the northwoods, I noticed that a front was starting to move in from the west. The wispy clouds began to thicken and turn grey. This was probably the edge of the much larger storm that supposedly would deliver 10 inches of snow over the next couple days. It made for interesting and dramatic pictures at Lake 26, however.
I stopped at Little Round Lake, which was just down the road from Lake 26. This small lake had completely frozen over, and I stopped briefly at the small boat landing to take a couple pictures. Just before getting back into the warm car, I noticed that the weeds, brush and trees were coated in a layer of frost. I took a couple quick pictures with my GoPro Hero4 Silver before speeding away in the car.
Creeks and Rivers
For over 20 years I have driven this road, always heading to or from the cabin, passing these lakes and creeks without stopping. Today was a new day, however! I stopped at Burlington Lake, which is east of Danbury. I walked to the small wooden bridge and down by the creek. Looking at the calm and quiet water, I figure it might be worth a trip in my canoe or kayak this spring or summer. This creek connects to other lakes to the north, and looking at the current, I don’t think it will be too challenging to paddle upstream and do some exploring.
The weather was changing in the northwoods: the clouds were getting heavy, and the temperature was dropping. With a distance ahead of me, I left Burlington Lake and kept on my way. I will be back to explore those northwoods waters in the future.
As I drove along Highway 48 in Minnesota, I saw the Kettle River Bridge stretching in the distance. Intrigued and needing one more break, I stopped the car at the landing and took a few quick photos of the dark water and ice floes. This would be my last stop in the northwoods as I needed to get back to the Twin Cities and get some other things done before the start of the work week.
You never know what you will see when you slow down and smell the roses. I took some great photos on this jaunt and found some new places and water to explore in 2016. I can’t wait to explore those places in the northwoods, and I will take you along with me since those places will be the subject of future blog posts.
[tweetthis]Slow down. Stop running. Take it all in. You only get one life; experience it instead of rushing through it.[/tweetthis]
Learn. Do. Grow.