Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Ed get his 15 minutes of fame. Front page coverage. Ashland Daily Press.

SAFE JOURNEY — Ed Griffiths of Ashland celebrates his first  journey 
underneath U.S Hwy. 2 through “the tunnel” connecting downtown 
Ashland and the lakefront trail. Griffiths said being able to safely cross
the highway unassisted is a huge leap forward for his quality of life.

The following story / quotes appeared in a great article written by Rick Olivo in today's Ashland Daily Press front page story. 

Ed Griffiths is one person who is very glad to see the controversial “tunnel” under Lake Shore Drive approach completion.

To Ed Griffiths, the red clay doesn't really matter. Nor does the lack of landscaping. What matters is, for the first time, he can steer his motorized wheelchair from downtown, through the tunnel and safely under the busy highway to access the walking and biking trail along the tranquil Chequamegon Bay shore.

For Griffiths and other physically limited people, safely crossing the busy highway without aid is problematic, especially during the congested summer driving season. The tunnel now means they can cross under the highway safely, and enjoy the beauty of Chequamegon Bay without fear for their lives. That is a change for the better, says Griffiths.

"I am extremely happy about the tunnel," he said Monday. "I've lived here for most of my life, about 30 years, and I haven't been able to get down to the waterfront without having somebody walk me across the highway. Now that the tunnel is in, I can actually do it myself." Griffiths said the simple act of being able to independently travel to the lakefront to enjoy a sunset, or just to hear the waves ripple on the shore means a great deal.

He said he strongly disagreed with those who asserted the tunnel was without value, a tunnel to nowhere. "I think it will do a lot of good, actually," he said. "In fact, I just went down there on Monday. I saw some people using it already, riding their bikes, pushing a baby stroller through it. It's going to work wonders for the people of Ashland."

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Three down and at least one to go. One very shifty, cleaver, slippery opponent.

Ok this is the third one that has been caught and it is now enjoying a new life at "the country home" in the forest. Reunited with siblings.

One more left. One more very crafty, illusive, determined, shifty, sneaky plotting raccoon.

I have seen it on several occasions....I think.

I know it's out there watching me.

A very large adult who does not want to be caught.

It will lie and cheat it will do whatever it takes to win.

Even Acme Corporation traps haven't seemed to help.

I now own three. Small, Real Large and one ^@!#%&*!*! Large.

The UPS guy is worn out with the deliveries. now has a One Click Trap Buying button just for me.

To get some idea of what it has been like I offer the following ......... enjoy!

Road Runners and Raccoons are cousins aren't they?

For further enjoyment visit this Wikipedia entry.

This is one of my favorite quotes
Wile E. Coyote often obtains complex and ludicrous devices from a mail-order company, the fictitious Acme Corporation, which he hopes will help him catch the Road Runner. The devices invariably fail in improbable and spectacular ways. Whether this is result of operator error or faulty merchandise is debatable. The coyote usually ends up burnt to a crisp, squashed flat, or at the bottom of a canyon (some shorts show him suffering a combination of these fates). Occasionally Acme products do work quite well (e.g. the Dehydrated Boulders, Bat-Man Outfit, Rocket Sled, Jet Powered Roller Skates, or Earthquake Pills). In this case their success often works against the coyote - for example, the Dehydrated Boulder, upon hydration, becomes so large that it crushes him, or the Coyote finding out that the Earthquake Pills bottle label's fine print states that the pills aren’t effective on road runners, right after he swallows the whole bottle, thinking them duds. Other times he uses items that are implausible, such as a superhero outfit, thinking he could fly wearing it (he cannot).
The good news is
I haven't been burnt, squashed or fallen off a cliff yet........

Stay tuned....................

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The US 2 pedestrian tunnel is OPEN.

First trip down the ramp to the tunnel entrance.

Staying to the right.

Celebration! Open at last. Access to the waterfront and the bike and walking trail.

Finally access to the waterfront.

Headed back under US Highway 2. Ashland City Hall and the US Post Office are the two buildings on the right.

Headed up the ramp to the US Highway 2 park entrance.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Herbster ("tornado alley") camping 2010.

We felt slightly out of place. The small guy on the block. The little brother.

This was the great part of the two days we spent in Herbster on the beach.
Sunny and quiet. 

Additional proof the summer is not over.

The next morning. The campground was emptying and the rain was falling.
The weather forecast called for occasional showers. We held out until 5:00 p.m.
  We waited for a break in the showers. Packed and headed home.

Leaving for this trip.  Hoping for one more trip before the snow flies. Donna and I decided we have been camping at Herbster for thirty years. On one of the first trips we gave the campground it's nickname 'tornado alley'. It probably should have been called water spout alley. But tornado alley sounded better.

TORNADO ALLEY... how it gots it's name.
On one trip in the mid 1980's. We had setup camp with two popup tent campers. We faced the campers door to door about 10 feet apart. In one camper were the two older boys and their grandmother.  In the other camper mom, dad and kids.

At some point in the late afternoon early evening the weather started to turn cloudy and windy. The skies darkened and the winds built. Across the lake we could see an approaching wall of rain with an occasional lighting flash. 

The storm was coming out of the northwest across Lake Superior. It is approximately 30 miles across Lake Superior to the Minnesota shore.

As the storm approached the winds had the canvas on the campers shaking and the roof swaying side to side.  Everyone had moved inside by now.  Inside our respective campers.  As we watch the approaching storm (not our first in the campers) we notice what appeared to be water spout building....... this was a definite first.

At that moment we realized we were committed there was no where to go. The winds continued to build and the rains intensified while we watched through the windows.

At a point grandma decided it was time for her to move to the other camper with us. As she crossed between the two campers I met her in the middle and asked where the boys were. She said they were sleeping and didn't want to get up. Sleeping! Who could sleep through this? Howling winds driving rains and what sure looked like a water spout...tornado coming across the lake toward us. I jumped in the camper grab the two boys and pushed them out the door toward the our camper. 

Once inside we all huddled together while the storm passed through. At the high point it tore off the canopy on one camper and blew tree branched and other debris through the campsite. 

It was gone as quickly as it had come. No one was hurt and the damage to equipment was minor and repairable. We all got out of the camper and surveyed the damage to the campground.

To this day we don't know if the "eye" of the storm passed through the campground. But on that day as we sat there recovering from the experience my mom said "well this is the last time I'm coming to this tornado alley to camp". 

So Hebster campground on that day became tornado alley to our family. 

My mom didn't stick to her promise to never return to tornado alley. We would often take her there on her summer visits. Sometime just a ride and a picnic. On a few occasions an overnight camp over.  

Now that she has passed she is still with us on our trips to "tornado alley". 

It always brings a smile to my face and a tear to my eye when I remember her saying "well this is the last time I'm coming to this tornado alley to camp".

This is not "our" water spout but it sure looks like what I remember crossing toward us that day. 

Monday, September 13, 2010

Capture and convicted. Sentenced to transfer to National Forest. Moved down the food chain.


Found guilty of stealing the 2010 grape crop. Sentenced to death. Commuted to life in the National Forest.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Fruit crops are coming in. Some good and some not so good.

A fair grape crop if the raccoons had left them alone.

Swenson Red grapes

Grape jams and tomato sauce.

Apples aren't quite ready yet. One or two cold nights should sweeten them up. 

 We have dried (dehydrated) the dropped fruit and have several large jars of crispy apple treats.

The plums didn't fair well this year. The crop was small and some fruit was infected with "Brown Rot".

The apples are almost ready. One or two cold nights should do it.

This is what we have from the cherry crop. Cherry Cordial. Thanks to the expert advise, guidance and recipe from our friends Ed and Terry. A great sweet w..a..r..ming after dinner sipping treat.

This generally wasn't a great growing year this year. Everyone seems to have had smaller or no crops at all. Our vegetable garden was horrible. Tomatoes either didn't set fruit or the fruit that set didn't ripen. The squash performed as usual. One or two edible fruits. Most set then wither on the vine.   Green beans were slow but might be the highlight of the year. We are still getting small helpings every few days from the pole beans.

One very notable observation IMO.  I saw very few if any honeybees foraging. Even with sunflowers and other aromatic flowers the bees weren't here. Although neither were the yellowjackets. Their numbers were also small. Of course weather might explain both of these observations. 

We had an early warm start. We had early flowering but just at their peak we had a cold rainy (sleet) few days. The interrupted flowering cycle might explain the low crops on the fruit trees. 

The most discouraging event of the growing season was the infection of our Mount Royal plum tree. Although it did result in me making a new friend at the UW Madison Plant Pathology lab.  Thanks Brian H.

Brown Rot

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Progress on the waterfront tunnel access ramp and park. Other projects also progressing.

It's a long way down from street level.

View of new ramps looking East. I wonder what the grade is? 1 inch to the foot? I thought there was suppose to be flat rest platforms every 30 feet? ADA requirements?

Marina. Photo taken from the exit of the tunnel.

Beaser Ave. and US 2.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Labor Day annual family outing. With lots of friends.

Youngest (23 months) to oldest (92). Sons, daughters, spouses, grandkids and great grandkids.

A family photo tradition. Rabbit ears that is.

Family at the hunting shack. Fifty-one years of family gatherings at the shack.

Some extended family joining in for the photo op.

Grandma Honey and Becky the oldest cutest granddaughter.

Great granddaughters at play.


Chef Ryan.

Great form ;)..... Archery...archery. ;)) 

Young determination.

Like father like son. A dozen plus ears of corn between them.

NOT lunch. Not even an invited guest.

Also not lunch.