Get going early in the season
This was a trip that had many goals we needed to accomplish in a short timeframe, but we were successful with getting everything done. Dave and I traveled up on Friday with a return on Saturday. We hotel'd it on this trip since it was going to be so short.
This time of year is always a gamble. There is still ice in the ground, but the top is also melting. This creates a sandy mush that is really messy to drive on. We encountered this at the property and only drove as far as the fire lane. We parked at the road after our initial drive to the fire lane as it was just too messy and we were going to rut out wherever we drove.
We always need to try to get to the property sometime in April in order to clean up the winter damage. In a good year, we just have branches on the driveways and in the clearings that need to be picked up before the mowers start in May. Fortunately for us, it was only branches and no major limbs or trees.
After cleaning up, we started on the outhouse/privy. I wanted to do a good cleaning and we have it now looking in tip-top shape.
Timing was perfect as about the time we finished up with the outhouse, our first appointment arrived. In order for us to open for business, we need to get the dead trees down. We met with our tree contractor to assess how much that was going to cost us and the timeframe in which the work will be done.
So, the trees.... Our primary issue is with standing dead trees that need to come down. We also need to clear trees for the pavilion location, as we intend to collect solar power with panels on the roof. In total, we have about 30 trees that need to be removed, along with our brush pile clutter. We were able to understand the cost and timeframe to eliminate this clutter.
We always try to explore more locations within reach of our business so we can include that type of information on our website. Our plan was to check out three primary places, all on the opposite side of the Black River within the Black River State Forest..... Oxbow Pond, the put-in for Morrison Creek, and the take-out at the Black River for Morrison Creek.
Clean-up from winter... check.
Clean outhouse/privy... check.
Meet with tree guy... check.
So we took off to head to Oxbow Pond. Along the way we were be able to stop by the put-in for Morrison Creek and also check out Mollie's Creek.
Mollie's Creek... check.
Morrison Creek... check.
Oxbow Pond... So, Oxbow Pond was a place I had found in my many searches of the area. Oxbow Pond is a spring-fed trout pond with Browns, Brooks and Rainbows. This really is a very nice area (picture below), and there is another bonus.... you can actually put-in or take-out of Morrison Creek that flows right past the parking lot at Oxbow Pond.
While we did not catch any fish the short time we tried, we met a local who told us all of the fishing secrets of, not only Oxbow, but also the Black River. It is always rewarding to talk with locals who know the ins and outs of the local surroundings.
In any case, we were pretty beat after a day of work and fresh air, so after eating supper at our favorite pizza place, Rosario's, we turned in early to plan an early start to the next morning.
For Saturday morning, we had two main objectives... insure we had all of the trees flagged that needed to come down, and we were going to be meeting with a stair guy. I awoke around 5:00 AM, checked the radar, and knew we better get after it if we were going to get our work done before a line of heavier rain and possible storms that were heading our way. I gave Dave a call and we were out of our rooms and on the way to the property around 6:00 AM. We flagged trees in the rain, and then took off to get some breakfast. By the time we were done with breakfast we were able to meet with the stair guy in a light rain.
We then took off for home. We had much to get done on this trip, and I was happy to see we accomplished everything we needed to do. We were not able to get down to the Black River for the Morrison Creek take-out... it was difficult to find the sand road, and then it ended up being too boggy (same winter freeze/thaw challenges this time of year) to travel without getting stuck. But all-in-all, a very successful trip.