Sandy Points Blog

Bye-Bye Boat House

boathouse.jpgOur lakefront boat house, your basic barn-shaped shed, is now a part of the scrap heap. It's the only building that didn't survive last week's storm--the victim of not one but two trees that came to rest smack dab in the center of it. The good news is that Mike recycled some of the materials and used them to temporarily fix the floor of our waved-out Recreation House. Over the winter, the joists of the floor collapsed and the result was a major dip in the floor under the ping pong table. It sure added another dimension to the weekly ping pong tournaments going on in there!

We're still cleaning up from the storm; however, the floor of the rec house won't be replaired until after the busy summer season. We've learned to maintain this place one project at a time.

Storms have been all around us this week and each time the sky darkens and thunder rumbles, I can't help but hold my breath. I do believe we've seen the worst of it already. I HAVE to believe this, of course.

 

 

 

 

Friday Night Microburst

onesnap.jpgGiven the seemingly unending reports of inclement weather this summer, if a hurricane-force wind momentarily bursts through our property, takes out a few trees, rips apart furniture, boats, docks and boathouses, well so be it. It could have been a lot worse. The lake could have drained . . . or the tree that fell upon one of our cabins could have hurt someone or caused structural damage. These things didn’t happen. What did happen around 11:30 p.m. on July 11 is known as a “microburst.” And what happened on Saturday, July 12 (in addition to our usual full resort turnover) was a day filled with chainsaws, bobcats and wonderful volunteers helping to clean up the mess.

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A microburst is a strong downdraft, which is less than 2.5 miles in diameter. It’s a localized column of sinking air that produces both divergent and straight-line winds at the surface, or when the draft comes into contact with the ground. How it differs from a tornado is that it has divergent winds rather than convergent. Speeds can be from 60 to 120 m.p.h. I don't know the rate of speed, but when the force hit, it awoke me from a deep sleep.

 

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Assessing the damage it’s clear this wasn’t a traveling wind. It hit one area and that’s where all the damage occurred. The area: our lakefront. We’ve managed to retrieve all the boats out of the forest, but the playground structure is still buried among the trees and I think we located the slide. Shattered dock pieces will need to be replaced and one section of our upturned main dock (the section with the bench near the American flag) was salvageable. Both the American flag and the Wisconsin flag are history. Our crew removed the trees that fell upon the boathouse, but we’ve been unable to get inside and see if the equipment survived. The inner tubes are most likely deflated but I don’t know about my fancy water-ski. Good thing I already broke it out once this summer.

 

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The most disappointing loss is the two red pines flanking the fish-cleaning house. They lay like two wooden soldiers, parallel to the ground with their roots and turf exposed. And right on the shore, the small cluster of birch trees (the backdrop to many of my jewelry photos of Willow) are uprooted as well. I wonder if we can pull them back into place?

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We’re very grateful to those who came by to help (our neighbors Bryan and Kelly) and to some of our guests who stayed after checking-out of their cabins to pick up debris, the Wilson, Layer and Renn families.

Now I know about what Friday morning's ominous orange sky was warning.

Better get back to work. 

 

 

 

 

 

Orange Sky in the Morn

cozzensvane.jpgMy dad spent World War II at sea, convoying the North Atlantic. I spent a good portion of my childhood listening to his stories about this time in his life. Through these stories, Dad taught me a lot about geography, history, star constellations and weather. The weather wasn't merely a conversation-filler for him. I believe he genuinely had an interest in daily barometric pressure and humidity readings.

Now having spent so many years in Wisconsin, I've learned that the weather is THE number one topic of conversation among vacationers. I know for a fact the number one question I'm asked by resort guests is: "What's the weather forecast for the week?" Anyone who knows me knows I won't quote the forecast. Why? Come to Wisconsin for a week and you'll find out why.  If you really want to know what the weather will be like, you should simply look to the sky in the west.

One saying every sailor (or child of a sailor) knows is: "Red sky at night, sailor's delight. Red sky in the morn, sailors be warned." So my answer to the question about the weather forecast for today is: I think there's a storm on the way.

I woke up at 5am this morning and there was an eerie red glow filling my bedroom windows. I thought I was dreaming. Quickly I threw on a robe and grabbed my trusty red camera. The shot featured here is of the weather vane on the front of our house and the sky behind it. I swear, the color hasn't been altered. A soft rain began just as I zoomed in on the copper heron, and as I type this, I hear low, rumbling thunder. The sky has since gone as colorless as ash. The birds are quiet and the air still. Anything can happen. Don't like the weather in Wisconsin? Wait five minutes.

This heron weather vane, by the way, was a gift from my father-in-law, Warren, and his wife, Jean. They gave it to us nearly a dozen years ago when they learned we were expecting our second child. Their little joke was that they called it a "stork." As I stood in the soft rain shower this morning and marveled at the unusual color of the sky, I thought of Warren and Jean, who have passed, and missed them.

They may be gone, but their little stork joke lives on . . .

 

 

Trophy Fish: Oh! What a Show!

 

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Check out the 40-inch prize muskie caught right out in front of our dock this morning (July 6, 2008). And we, Mike, Willow, a resort guest by the name of Sue and I, witnessed the entire catch.

Pictured is Matt from Belvidere, IL visiting Squaw Lake this weekend, staying with our new neighbors. He'd never caught a muskie prior to this visit and this was his third. It was by far, we're told, the biggest of the three. First we saw his line go taut and watched as he patiently reeled it in while his partner, Loren, readied the net. This monster put up a splashy fight before succumbing to the catch, and when they held it up for us to view, first we gasped and then we all broke into spontaneous applause.

They kept it long enough to snap a few photos and hold it against the measuring stick before releasing it back into Squaw Lake for the next lucky fisherman.

I've seen a lot of fish caught in this lake; however, never have I witnessed a better show at such close range. And this was right after the bald eagle circled above us for five minutes . . .

Northwoods cinema. Who needs TV? 

 

New Public Wash House

29.jpgWe interrupt this Sandy Point icon tour with a NEW development. First there was the outhouse/earth closet, now there is the new public rest room. Our new wash house, which we've already given a variety of names (and have yet to settle on one), features a flushing toilet, a sink, and one of those World Hand Dryer Corporation blowers from Berkeley, Illinois that we've seen in public rest rooms all over the world for our entire lives! Yesterday we had a drinking fountain installed out front.

This is great news for disc golfers visiting Sandy Point Resort. The outhouse featured in a previous blog is now located on the course, between holes #17 and #18--just in case you miss the outhouse experience. And, of course, the old two-holer "Ye Olde Rumbletown Dump" is still located on the front part of the course between holes #3 and #9. Meanwhile, we're excited about our new outbuilding. Would you like to hear about how it was supposed to be completed by last Labor Day weekend for the Northwoods Open and how the budget for construction DOUBLED? I doubt it. So let me just give more good news. And this is for our resort guests.laundry1.jpg

 

 

On the other side of the toilet facility is a coin-operated washer and dryer. Since only one of our rental homes offers a washer/dryer (Lakeview Lodge), this is an amenity we've long wanted to offer our guests. When we first built cabin #3-1/2, "The Marq," it had a washer/dryer; however, due to overuse and, yes, abuse, it caused a flood in one of the bedrooms and we had to remove it. So now, with its own septic system and everything, guests no longer have to head to town to the laundromat to wash (or dry) those towels! 

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