Message from discussion OT: a note from Foreman
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From: Don Foreman <dfore...@goldengate.net>
Subject: OT: a note from Foreman
Date: Sat, 06 Oct 2012 19:28:09 -0500
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I went up north today with a friend, B.
It's the first time I've done that without Mary. B. wanted to have
a look at the boatlift I have there that I no longer use or need. He
was a work colleague. He and his wife knew Mary for decades and in
later years she and Mary became very close confidantes. I'll bet she
knows stuff I don't and never will.
B is an engineer (a very, very good engineer) and so is, by
definition, cheap. :<} They recently bought some lake property and
a boat, so now he needs a boatlift. I told him the one I have at Big
Sandy Lake could be his if he wants it, free for the come-and-get-it.
It was Mary's Dad's, is in very good condition, and I know that's
what Mary would do: give it to a friend like B if he might like it
and use it well.
I hadn't even thought about if such an excursion might be difficult
for me until we got to Cambridge, going up that 65 highway. Then it
hit me. Well, that's overstating it; I became aware of how I was
going up that road without Mary that we'd traveled so many times
together, thru Cambridge, Mora, Grandy, and thence thru seemingly 900
miles of stultifyingly boring tamarack swamp to get to McGregor which
is like arriving at nowhere with a Dairy Queen.
I was pleased to note that Mary's "road" (about 1/10 mile) wasn't
grown shut with saplings and raspberries after three years of total
neglect, nor was the steep hill washed out. It's definitely off-road
4-wheel-drive country, no problem for B's 4WD vehicle. . The land
is remarkably un-overgrown, given that I've not mown there since 2010
if then. Lots of shade, drought year in MN, fire risk HIGH.
The lake is as beautiful as ever.
I may have to mow my way in next spring, no problem. Amazingly, the
steep hill down to the lake has not washed out. We used to have to
get that part of the road fixed about every 3 years, but the last time
weI went to order delivery and dump-truck-spread of a load of class V
(clay and gravel) the guy asked if we might prefer class VI (class 6).
Huh? I was an officer in the U.S.Army Corps of Engineers, knew that
there is no such thing as class six! He just smiled. OK, dis is
up nort', let's go with a load of class six.
Tellyawhut, it is at least class six and maybe seven if there were
such classes. This stuff is downright amazing. After three or maybe
four years there is only a minor erosion gully down the middle of the
hill, nothing that would impede the progress of a VW or even a
wheelchair -- though the pusher of said wheelchair had better be
hanging on tight with heels dug in because it is a rather steep hill.
Going down, no problem. Stopping before going into the lake could be
an issue, at least for the passenger. Oops after splash isn't always
good, particularly when the temp is about 40. Going back up would
require a winch or a team of Norwegians in harness. Given the stoic
and taciturn nature of Norwegians, can there even be such a thing as a
team of Norwegians?
A big tree had fallen on the boatlift, smashed the hell out of the
canopy and bent the hell out of the canopy frame, but the lift is
completely undamaged though it could use another paint job. The bolts
that mount the canopy frame were amazingly easy to pop loose so
removing it will be no problem. I'd brought a chainsaw to deal with
fallen timber if necessary, but we didn't need to use it this trip.
We'll probably go fetch it next spring. It's getting late in the
year, B won't close on his lake property until about 9 November and
I'll be gone for most of November after that -- and there's no burning
We had lunch at the new Big Sandy Lake Lodge.
This is about adjacent to Mary's land, separated only by
help-yourself-H's property. It was operated for decades (since Mary
was a girl) by Mrs. Stringer who shooed snowmobilers off her land by
making dismayingly close poofs in the snow with her .30-06 rifle. In
later years sledders worried more about her marksmanship: she'd
always missed precisely enough to be quite persuasive but how good
was her vision as she passed her mid-eighties?
Now it's gone yuppy, too bad, though I must say that the Oktoberfest
goulashsuppe today was quite good.
I refer to help-yourself-H because neighbor Dr. H seems to think that
anything and everything within his view is there for him to use -- and
perhaps to then secure against the intrusive use of such rabble who
might actually own what he's found useful and therefore conscripted.
The trip back home was unremarkable, other than I noted that B about
never shuts up. I guess that wasn't a bad thing under the
circumstances. He's a good guy and a good friend.