Wednesday, January 9, 2013


Sunday Maxine and I took off for an afternoon adventure. 

Ryan and his buddy Mike were up north of town on the ice in the sand pit.  They had a good setup with the ice tent with a heater rollin and several tip ups out side.  

After drilling a few holes I fished just long enough to catch my first fish of 2013, a small ring perch.  The last few years of ring perch numbers in our stretch  have been on the rise.  As the numbers have increased so has the size of the perch that we've been catching.  Although, the fish I caught was nothing special. 

That was enough ice time then a quick stop by the trout stream for a few quick casts a the first little pool.  But, then again that's the one everyone hits right by the parking lot.

My goal for the day was to get a little cross country skiing in before the January thaw and to get Maxine out for a good run.  

Well, Jazzy and Maxine got to run all afternoon while Mart and i hit the trails.      

The snow was pretty icy which made for some fast runs down from the top of Marts tree farm.  

Down in the bottom the snow conditions were perfect.              

Joan and Memphis snuck up on us at the lodge.       
Maxine sounded off a few times but we thought she was just barking at some rabbits.
After warming up by the fire we skied back to the house and took the runner sleds for a wild ride down the icy lane. 

The runners refer to the two metal runners that are underneath the sled that contact the snow. A wooden handlebar towards the front of the wooden sled allows you to steer. It's the classic wooden sled design with metal runners underneath that I grew up with.

no luck with any video yet but I'm working on it.  

Saturday, January 5, 2013


 Beau and I  hiked down to the Kueter farm this afternoon hoping to spot a rabbit or two.  It wasn't too long into the hike when we kicked up a small covey of quail.  They took both of us by surprise.  I did get a long shot off with the 28 gauge.  One bird bobbled a bit but he glided on down the valley into a brush pile and we were never able to flush him out again.

Not long after that a cotton tail booked it down the lane, he hit the brush then turned around and came back toward me.  Well another shot and I'm sad to say another miss.
 We continued on down the lane to the old homestead.  In most portions of eastern Iowa, settlers could find sufficient timber for construction of log cabins, These three old log structures remain.  I was told they were some of the first cabins built this side of the Mississippi river in the mid 1800's.

 In 1829, the federal government informed the two tribes that they must leave their villages in western Illinois and move across the Mississippi River into the Iowa region. The federal government claimed ownership of the Illinois land as a result of the Treaty of 1804. The move was made but not without violence. Chief Black hawk, a highly-respected Sauk leader, protested the move and in 1832 returned to reclaim the Illinois village of Saukenauk. For the next three months, the Illinois militia pursued Black Hawk and his band of approximately 400 Indians northward along the eastern side of the Mississippi River. The Indians surrendered at the Bad Axe River in Wisconsin, just North of here.  This encounter is known as the Black Hawk War. As punishment for their resistance, the federal government required the Sauk and Mesquaki to relinquish some of their land in eastern Iowa. This land, known as the Black Hawk Purchase, constituted a strip 50 miles wide lying along the Mississippi River, stretching from the Missouri border to approximately Fayette and Clayton Counties in Northeastern Iowa.

The Winnebago and the Sac and Fox Indians and their enemy, the Sioux, hunted and fished in the area before the first white settlers came here in 1833.  Back then when you missed game you went hungry.  When we got back home we had paninis and chilli.