Sunday, July 26, 2015

Meandering South

I left the Gordon Dam and headed back East until I found a town road that looked reliable, 
and then I turned South.

Along the way, I stopped a few times to take more photos of wild flowers and I also found a little pond with a duck, who I have not yet been able to identify, but I'm working on it.

Once I was on 'Old 53 (sponsored by the letter C for those Sesame Street Fans)
I crossed the Namekagon River
 on a narrow, but beautiful old bridge.

The architecture was so interesting, and I immediately looked for a spot to park my car. 
There was an old green cabin right there on the river and I pulled in the top of the drive as no cars were in sight.  I hopped out and enjoyed taking some fun shots of the bridge.

Bridge Facts

 as per

Overview:  Stringer bridge over Namekagon River on Lakeside Rd (Old Hwy 53)
Location:  Washburn CountyWisconsin
Status:  Open to traffic
History:  Built 1925
Design:  Stringer
Dimensions:  Length of largest span: 53.2 ft.
Total length: 121.1 ft.
Deck width: 23.3 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+45.90628-91.81503   (decimal degrees)
45°54'23" N, 91°48'54" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/591909/5084317 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:  Trego
Inventory number:  BH 56862 ( ID)
Inspection (as of 09/2012)
Deck condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Superstructure condition rating: Serious (3 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Appraisal: Structurally deficient
Sufficiency rating: 32.0 (out of 100)
Average daily traffic (as of 1980):  40
The Totagatic River is popular for canoes and kayaks, I was a little surprised that it was peaceful, and empty.
Bridge spindles from a year gone by.

Messing with taking away the color.

I fooled around trying to incorporate the bridge into the river.

These cement spindles were so amazing.

As I stood on the bridge, walking from side to side, taking photos and eyeing the shots, a car drove by slowly and waved but kept going.  Then another car came and this one stopped rolled down the window, and said "Is that your car?"  I'm sure my face turned red, I said "Is that your cabin?"  He said "Yup."  I started apologizing like mad and raced for the car.  He shouted after me to just pull in and to the side so he could pull past me up to his cabin.  I was so embarrassed to have parked in his driveway.  So, after he pulled in, I got out of the car and again apologized for parking in the drive and blocking his access, explaining that it didn't look like anyone was around and I was so interested in the bridge.  He was very nice, said no problem and I was about to get back into the car to drive away, but then I said "you sure have a sweet spot here right on the river".  Enough with the quotes and who said what.  That started a conversation about his cabin.  He told me that after they bought it, he started remodeling and just couldn't stop.  Then he offered to show me the work he had done in the cabin, and I said Okay!  (This is the part in the movie where the inside of the cabin is decorated in voodoo heads, swords and old bloody chainsaws.)  He told me to come on in, saying he needed to get the kids out of the car.  Out jumped 3 year old Maya who immediately was my friend.  She told me all about their new puppy Daisy, who was at home with Mom.  She also told me some stuff about the swing and the cabin.  Older sister, Leah, was not as eager to make my acquaintance.  Tom Mitchell was the dad, they live in Hudson, WI.  So, in the cabin we went.  It was a shocker.  All pine siding and granite counters and the interior of the cabin looked nothing like the old faded green cabin of the outside.  Maya took over and showed me the kid's room with nice pine bunks and lots of pink decor, then she showed me her Mom and Dad's room with a big window to the river.  She showed me the bathroom and the living room and dining room.  
It was a really sweet little place with a rope swing for dropping into the water and nice access for his kayaks that were stored in the living room.
Tom Mitchell's cabin has the green roof, I was parked just barely off the road in his driveway.

We chatted some more, & he showed me pictures of his wife and the new puppy Daisy.
In our conversation he wondered what I was up to, and after explaining about our cabin, and my rambling drive home, he asked if I had ever seen the Colton Flowage.
Of course, I had not.
He said, "You have to go."  He knows the river systems up there and talked a bit about each of the rivers and the different dams/flowages in the area.  
Finally, I said my goodbyes to all, apologized one more time for parking in his drive, and headed to my car.  He offered that I could climb around in his yard to take more bridge photos, but I opted out as I felt like I had disrupted his day already and I had seen poison ivy along the bridge.
If you see 3, leave it be.
I thanked him again for his hospitality, headed for my car and then he asked me if I was going to go see the Colton Flowage.  I thought, okay, why not, and he gave me some directions on how to find it.
I hopped in the car, and headed that way.
Kind of.

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