When I'm off on a Road Trip it's usually not the known destinations that make them fun...it's the accidental finds. Sometimes it can be a complete enigma. Other times I see something from afar and have it pegged right away. As I drove near Horicon Wisconsin I saw this along the side of the road and said "Classic Supper Club. Fallen on Hard Times". And so it was. And so it has.
Friday, April 16, 2021
Wednesday, April 14, 2021
A couple of years back I posted on an unusual variant of "Tree Shaped Tombstones" that I'd encountered in the area of Beaver Dam Wisconsin. And so far nowhere else. Obviously when I'm over that way I keep an extra sharp eye out, and even route through more of the small, off the beaten track communities that are numerous in eastern Wisconsin. Such as...Randolph. This is a nice little village of 1,800 current inhabitants and of course has an area on the edge of town for former ones....
Here's two of the "Beaver Dam" style tombstones, one in front of the other. They are from two individuals with the name of Davis.
David Davis, born 1857.
And William Davis, born 1887. Presumably two generations then? It's a bit unusual to have His Wife be 15 years older. And were Edith and Margaret siblings of William? Tucked back behind is another small, tragic mystery.
Infant mortality was so common back then. Were some children who lived only a short time not even named? Some tragedies of course were impossible to minimize in this fashion. Elsewhere in the cemetery...
Our babies. Two deaths in the spring of 1884. Age 2 days and age 4 years. Very unusually with a memorial over a century old, there are still flowers, albeit plastic ones, being placed on it.
Monday, April 12, 2021
But that was in an earlier, simpler time. Back then I needed a constant supply of parts for Machines Behaving Badly and for other DIY robotics projects. Now things are more precise, more organized. Actual....engineering. Most of the scavenged robot parts from years past have gone to recycling.
Friday, April 9, 2021
Historian, raconteur and my good friend Pete Savin recently posted one of his videos on the ruins of Aescica, a fort along Hadrian's Wall. Good stuff, and a reminder of green fields that are for this year out of reach for me.
It features prominently a landmark that I've been to myself, a Roman altar still standing in the middle of the ruins. Oh, it is in tough condition, only vague shapes and no text have survived. And to be perfectly honest it spent long centuries in the "horizontal and nibbled on by moles" status, presumably being put upright again after excavations in 1894. But today it stands free, and as in Ancient Times passersby leave coins on it as votive offerings.
It's a picture that would make sense to a person nearly 2000 years ago....and to one today. But for how much longer? For roughly 80 or 90 generations people could in theory walk up to this, place a coin atop it for good fortune and walk on. How many generations before this no longer makes sense to people?
Wednesday, April 7, 2021
There used to be a time when the Fishing Opener was on a specific date. Now, with more scientific appraisal of fishing, there are certain species, certain bodies of water that are fair game at all different times. But for Strange Fish - bottom feeders and glorified minnows - it's pretty much "meh, whatever".
So on an early April day it was my first fishing trip of the year. A warm lazy time to sit on the river bank.
Monday, April 5, 2021
Spring is an excellent time to be hunting for CCC camps. You don't have to contend with bugs and the underbrush has not grown up yet. Last week I visited the site of Camp Sawyer. Obviously this was in Sawyer County, some distance from, well from anywhere but specifically from my starting point of Hayward.
As usual there is a nice sign. It sure makes finding these things easier.
Spelling errors courtesy of Mr. Pitcher, but I'm not about to take issue with an ex-Marine on such matters. About all that is clear is a pit that I assume was the latrine and the pillars between which Claude drove his truck out of camp. This camp did lots of forestry work. In addition they constructed the Black Lake Lookout Tower a few miles to the east.
It is a nicely preserved albeit smaller camp but is rather off the beaten path. If you fancy a visit it is at the junction, or rather one of the junctions, of 174 and 164 east of Moose Lake. GPS can help you in these situations. It's at about 46.00'20.8 N, -91.00'18.9 W.
There is at least one existing copy of the camp's newsletter. I'll publish some pictures of same when I get a chance to see it in the archives at UW Eau Claire. Here's a picture of some of the men and their cooks standing in front of one of the now vanished buildings. Taken in 1937 it was before Claude's time.
Friday, April 2, 2021
One branch of the extended family is part of a food cooperative. Pay a small amount per month and every couple of weeks you show up and get a wonderous collection of foodstuffs. It varies of course, but usually there is some fresh produce, a wide array of items from Mexican food distributors, and odd ice cream products which are sometimes mislabeled. And lots more. You have to watch expiration dates closely, and sometimes the chicken flock benefits more directly than the human members of the family.
And sometimes it just gets weird.