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Chippewa Flowage, New Post and Hayward, Wisconsin

Posted by graywacke on April 10, 2020

 First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-a-week blog), I use an app that provides a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”

I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town or towns I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location. 

To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some relatively recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2478; A Landing A Day blog post number 918

Dan:  Today’s lat/long (N40o 58.606’, W120o 33.791’) puts me in northwest Wisconsin:

Here’s my local – very local – landing map (what I saw when I entered my lat/long in StreetAtlas):

Hmmm.  Obviously, I landed on an island.  Zooming back:

I’m in the middle of a large lake, that (peculiarly it seems to me) has a number of named “lakes” as part of the larger lake.  I’ve also circled titular “New Post.”

I need to zoom out a little further to include my also-titular Hayward:

My streams-only map shows a very straight forward watershed analysis:

I landed in a lake (which we will soon learn is a dammed-up reservoir) which empties into the Chippewa River (11th hit), on to the MM (958th hit).

I went to Google Earth (GE) to take a look at my island and learn its name.  Here’s what I saw:

Say what?  Is it Big or is it Little?  When I Googled Big Banana Island, this is what I saw:

Confusion reigns!  So,I looked at another map, and more of the same came up:

What gives?? 

Finally, I found this TopoZone map:

Finally, I can relax.  Anyway, it appears that in this digital age, someone made a mistake (Google Earth?), and other digital map files used the same erroneous source data (or something like that).  Anyway, I definitely landed on Big Banana Island.

The Orange Dude was happy to be in such a picturesque area.  He situated himself (with a little help from me) on a narrow neck of land with a view out to the lake:

And here’s his view (which may or may not actually show Big Banana):

Here’s a close-up GE shot of the Island:

I have more on Big Banana Island, but first, let’s visit the town of New Post.  OK, here we go again.  I featured New Post in an Old Post of mine (January 2017, “Coudery and Radisson, Wisconsin,” when I landed about 10 miles south of today’s landing).  Here’s some material from that post:

So, what about New Post?  Well, since you’re currently reading a new post, I figured I had to at least give New Post passing mention.  I could find absolutely nothing on the internet about the town (at least initially), even though it has some substance:

And here’s what the OD sees (looking east):

After digging deeper into the internet, I found this about the town’s name (gleaned from the Chippewa Flowage Lake Association website).  Evidently, an old trading post was located nearby, around which a small town built up.  The town became known as simply “Post.”  Post was substantial enough to have its own baseball team in 1913:

The Post Indians!  Great uniforms!  But wait.  Only ten guys?  I guess they probably had two pitchers.

The “Chippewa Flowage” is a single large lake created by damming up the East & West Forks of the Chippewa River.  The dam (built in 1924) created numerous embayments, called lakes (like Pokegama Lake) which are all part of the “Flowage.”

Anyway, the town of Post was flooded by the flowage, and New Post was built to replace it.  I really doubt New Post has a baseball team . . .

Back to now:  I am definitely bumping into old posts more and more often (which, of course, is inevitable).  Let’s do a little math.  The area of the lower 48 is 3,061,636 square miles.  My first blog post (11/25/08) was for landing 1583.  Today’s landing is 2478, for 895 posted landings.  (Today’s post is #918 because of “revisited” landings, and other miscellaneous non-landing posts.)

So, dividing 3,061,636 by 895, I get 3,420 square miles per landing.  Putting a 3,420 square mile square around each landing, it would be 58.5 miles on a side.  So, evenly spaced landings would be about 60 miles apart.  Just sayin’ . . .

Thanks to good ol’ Excel, here’s a map of the 895 landings I’ve written about:

I Googled “Big Banana Island” hoping to find some interesting tidbit to share with the ALAD Nation.  The only thing I found were references associated with a book that features a sailboat with the name of Jagular.

Some background, from VolumeOne.org, about author Tom Pamperin and Jagular:

In 2008, Tom Pamperin and his brother decided to build a pair of 14ish-foot boats. He credits Jagular’s name to a snippet from Winnie the Pooh: “What do Jagulars do?’ asked Piglet, hoping that they wouldn’t.” During a phone interview, Pamperin explained the connection.

“I’m definitely more of a sailor than a builder,” he said with a chuckles. “Any boat I built I wasn’t quite sure what it would do. And wasn’t quite sure I wanted to know.”

Jagular offers up a balance of action and reflection, as Pamperin takes to the water with the boat as his only companion. “Out there, your whole world becomes simple,” he mused. He searches for a contentedness in that simplicity as he captains the reader through lakes and oceans across the country.

The book (with a great cover, by the way) is laced with a dialogue between Tom and his boat (which talks).

You can get it Tom’s book on Amazon!

Anyway, I’m going to present a few brief passages from a chapter in the book entitled “Jagular in the North Woods – Part One.”  Tom & his brother put their little sailboats into the Chippewa Flowage pretty much at the same spot the Orange Dude put himself to get a look at the landing.  Here’s a GE shot from the book, showing their route across the lake:

Hey!  His Google Earth map just says “Big Banana!”

Tom lives in Chippewa Falls, about 65 miles south of my landing.  In this first excerpt, he describes the Flowage:

“Now listen,” I tell the boat, “and stop your foolish badgering. For there is a place not far from here,” I say, “a watery web of lakes and islands, a hidden wilderness at the very headwaters of the Chippewa River. It is a place unlike any other, replete with virgin timber and clear fast-running streams, a place where we shall see bears and wolves, and mooses, and minks, and otters; we shall discover muskellunges and snapping turtles of the largest size. Deers and coyotes and perhaps even ocelots roam the forests; red-eyed loons make the lakes echo with their eerie calls; eagles swoop low over the rushing waters; and wood ducks gather in flocks so large that they blacken the very skies with their passing.”

Another selected excerpt:

Several hours later we arrive at the headwaters, a quiet collection of lakes and streams surrounded by a second-growth forest of pine, birch, oak, and maple. It’s late afternoon, and the unpaved parking lot is empty. The real north woods—endless tracts of white pines two hundred feet tall, trees so big that two men together couldn’t reach around them—that forest is gone forever, I know, the trees clear-cut and stacked up and hauled out and rafted down to riverside sawmills in Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls and a hundred other lumber towns that have faded into obscurity. But at least there’s something. Better than the bleak fields of amputated stumps we would have found a hundred years ago.

And another, describing them on the lake, soon after they put in:

My brother finally catches up, and we drift around side by side for a while. The map on the free DNR brochure isn’t exactly matching what we see around us, which disturbs my brother immensely. He keeps looking down at the map, then looking up at the islands. There’s a large island just south of us. But the map shows a medium-sized island, a stretch of open water, and two tiny islands. He knows perfectly well where we are—if I know, he surely knows—but he insists on things being right.

Here’ a picture from the book, with the explanation below:

The map mystery explained: Although we didn’t know it at the time, the areas circled in red in the photo above are not islands—they’re floating bogs, huge masses of vegetation that migrate slowly across the lakes, at the mercy of the wind. Here today, there tomorrow. Some of them, like the biggest “island” in the photo, have held together for so long that they’re covered with forty-foot trees. But sail up to the “shore” of one of these islands and look down, and you can see that, thick as they are, they are actually floating on the surface of the water. You could swim beneath them—except for the record-size muskies and huge snapping turtles that are sure to be down there just waiting for someone that stupid.

Note that the date of the photo above is 9/30/12.  Here’s the current GE shot (dated 9/28/15), showing the “islands” in a different position:

And then, finally, here’s where the Banana Islands are mentioned.  The brothers are still confused about exactly where they are, when this exchange occurs:

“Look, Big Banana Island is right there,” I point out. “And that’s Little Banana, with the channel between them. We can’t be anywhere else.”

According to the now-suspect map, there’s a campsite about a mile ahead on Pine Island, just where the channel between Big Banana Island and Little Banana Island opens up again. When my brother finally gives up on figuring things out, we decide to camp there for the night. We drift around some more, working our way into the narrow passage between the two islands. Sometimes we’re closer to one. Sometimes we’re closer to the other.

And then this picture, (caption below):

Jagular ghosting along past Big Banana Island—or trying to, at least. We’re just beginning to get a little wind here as we escape Little Banana Island’s wind shadow. We might just make it yet.

The wind dies, and both sailors have to resort to oars.  That works fine for Tom’s brother, but Tom’s oarlocks are broken, and he has to jerry-rig the oars using bungee chords:

Rowing again, but the bungees are stretching. After a while the starboard oar pops off the cleat entirely. I re-tie it. Two strokes later the port oar pops off. I re-tie it. The cushions suddenly slide in opposite directions and spill me onto the cockpit floor.

“Oarlocks,” the boat muses quietly.

“Shut up,” I say.

Meanwhile my brother has returned from his exploration of Pine Island and starts to unload camping gear from his boat.

I adjust the cushions and take another stroke. Both oars pop off their bungees simultaneously, and Jagular drifts to a halt in the shallows just off Big Banana Island.

“The hell with this,” I tell the boat. “We’re sailing in from here.”

“Want to bet?” Jagular says, but I pretend not to hear.

I unwrap the bungees and the oars, tie the leeboards back onto the boat, and unfurl the sail. I untie the tiller and lower the rudder, adjust the cushions, then sit back down ready to sail. The tiller is lifeless in my hand. The sail waves back and forth without ambition. The water is still and calm and flat as polished glass. If I try hard enough, though, I can almost imagine some faint motion toward Pine Island where my brother is sitting alone on the beach now, leaning comfortably against a huge log, his boat and gear safely stowed for the night.

Off to the west behind the islands, the sun drops below the treetops. The sky grows slowly darker. Stars are appearing in the twilight, first one, then another. And another. Then whole constellations. The Big Dipper. Cassiopeia. And, faint at first but growing steadily brighter, the Little Dipper. The North Star.

I mumbled something audibly about seeing the North Star.

“At least we’re not going to get lost,” Jagular says.

Ahead on Pine Island my brother calmly gathers firewood, lights a fire. The cheery flicker of the flames is mirrored in the dark water, a shining path lighting our way to camp. Somewhere off across the water a loon calls. The sail hangs overhead without doing anything at all. We keep not moving slowly toward the shore. . . .

We’ll do a very quick visit to Hayward, the largest town (pop 2500) near the Flowage.  It’s quite the recreational mecca, with hunting, fishing, snowmobile-ing and cross-country skiing headlining local activities.  Hayward is the home of the Lumberjack World Championships; the American Birkebeiner cross-country skiing race, the largest cross country ski marathon in North America (13,000 competitors); and the annual Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival – the largest mass start mountain bike race in the United States – 2500 riders.

Hayward is also home to the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame.  Here’s a GE shot of the facility:

Is that a huge fish on the grounds (just above the words)?  Yup.  (Photo posted on GE by Ysmael Maseta):

Musky Landmark, National Freshwater Fishing, 10360 Hall of Fame Drive, Hayward, Wisconsin, United State

Heading back down to the Flowage:  Near where the brothers launched their boats (and near where the OD looked out at my landing) is a restaurant/resort called “The Landing.”  Catchy name, eh?

I’ll close with this shot from The Landing’s dock, posted on GE by Toben Mac (Big Banana Island is out there somewhere):

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2020 A Landing A Day

 

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Couderay and Radisson, Wisconsin

Posted by graywacke on January 28, 2017

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a once-every-four-or-five days blog), I use an app that provides a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”

I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town or towns I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location. 

To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is) please see “About Landing” above.  To check out some recent changes in how I do things, check out “About Landing (Revisited).”

Landing number 2322; A Landing A Day blog post number 753.

boxDan:  Today’s lat/long (45o 45.318’N, 91o 16.145’W) puts me in the northwest Wisconsin boonies:

landing-1

My local landing map shows that I landed quite close to my two titular towns:

landing-2

My streams-only map shows that I landed in the watershed of Section 20 Creek, which flows to Section 19 Creek (just kidding!); which flows to the Couderay River (1st hit ever!); and on to the Chippewa (10th hit).

landing-3a

Zooming back, you can see that the Chippewa flows southwest before discharging into the MM:

landing-3b

I threw in the St. Croix, just so you’d realize that it shares border-definition duties with the Mississippi.

It’s time for my newly-shortened Google Earth (GE) spaceflight. Click HERE.

Street View is lousy (over a mile away from a tree-lined road), so I won’t bother.  I do have a decent view of the Couderay River (be sure not to pronounce Couderay “corduroy”):

 ge-sv-couderay-map

And here’s what the Orange Dude sees:

 ge-sv-couderay2

True confessions:  I did a little photo editing of the above shot.  Here’s the original:

 ge-sv-couderay

I bet the GoogleCamMobile driver pushed the envelope of available light for shooting!

Anyway, moving right along to Couderay.  From Wiki:

Couderay is home to Al Capone’s northwoods hideaway, a tourist site called “The Hideout.”

It required a fair amount of research, but I figured out that it is on Pike Lake, north of Couderay:

 ge-capone1

Note “New Post.”  A little more about that later.  Anyway, zooming in:

 ge-capone2

And in even further, for a close-up of Al’s house:

 ge-capone3

Here’s a picture of the house:

 11279282_bg1

From a 2009 AP story:

Chicago mobster Al Capone’s former hideout in northern Wisconsin, complete with guard towers and a stone house with 18-inch-thick walls, was sold for $2.6 million Thursday to the bank that foreclosed on it.

Capone owned the 407-acre property in the late 1920s and early 1930s during Prohibition, the bank said. Local legend claims that shipments of bootleg alcohol were flown in on planes that landed on the property’s 37-acre lake, and were then loaded onto trucks bound for Chicago.

The two guard towers on the property reportedly were manned with machine guns whenever Capone visited.

The Chippewa Bank acquired the property after foreclosing on owner Guy Houston and his company The Hideout Inc., according to court records.

The Houston family bought the property in the 1950s from Capone’s estate and had operated it as a seasonal bar and restaurant, known for its prime rib, and offered guided tours focusing on the Capone lore.

caponeCapone – nicknamed “Scarface” – headed a massive bootlegging, gambling and prostitution operation during Prohibition and raked in tens of millions of dollars. He was widely suspected in several murders but never charged.

He was considered the mastermind of the gangland killing on Chicago’s North Side in 1929, known as the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. Seven rivals of Capone’s gang were gunned down in a garage, but investigators never could collect enough evidence to put anyone on trial for the deaths.

Capone was eventually convicted of income tax evasion and spent part of an 11-year sentence at the infamous Alcatraz prison. He died in 1947.

The property’s current status is not clear, but it’s not open to the public and is unoccupied (based on internet postings of snoopy people).

So, what about New Post?  Well, since you’re currently reading a new post, I figured I had to at least give New Post passing mention.  I could find absolutely nothing on the internet about the town (at least initially), even though it has some substance:

 oiu

And here’s what the OD sees (looking east):

 ge-sv-new-post

After digging deeper into the internet, I found this about the town’s name (gleaned from the Chippewa Flowage Lake Association website).  Evidently, an old trading post was located nearby, around which a small town built up.  The town became known as simply “Post.”  Post was substantial enough to have its own baseball team in 1913:

 postindians

Ten guys, eh?  I guess they probably had two pitchers . . .

The “Chippewa Flowage” is a single large lake created by damming up the East & West Forks of the Chippewa River:

 flowage

The dam (built in 1924) created numerous embayments, called lakes (like Pokegama Lake) which are all part of the “Flowage.”

Anyway, the town of Post was flooded by the flowage, and New Post was built to replace it.  I really doubt New Post has a baseball team . . .

Time to move on to Radisson – spelled just like the hotels. And guess what?  That’s not a coincidence!  Here’s the story.

From Wiki:

The Village of Radisson (pop 241) was named in honor of the early French explorer, Pierre-Esprit Radisson (c.1636–1710).

Pierre was born in France, but traveled to New France (Quebec) in 1651, residing in Trois-Rivières.

From Wiki:

pierre_esprit_radissonAccording to Radisson’s account, in 1652 he had been hunting with several other men near his home in Trois-Rivières when he was captured by the Iroquois.  Only Radisson was spared.  Citing his youth as the reason he was left alive, Radisson states that the Iroquois treated him relatively kindly and that he, partially by showing an interest in Mohawk/Iroquois language and culture, was assimilated into a local Mohawk family who then supposedly settled near modern day Schenectady, N.Y.

After six weeks, Radisson’s assimilation was completed.  However, shortly thereafter, while out hunting with three Iroquois, Radisson reluctantly agreed to attempt escape after meeting an Algonquin man who offered to help him return to Trois-Rivières.  Raddison and the Algonquin killed the three Iroquois.

[Now wait a second!  He was assimilated by the Iroquois/Mohawks, but then killed three of them to escape?]

Radisson and the Algonquin man traveled for 14 days until they were within sight of Trois-Rivières, but were recaptured by patrolling Iroquois shortly before reaching the town.

The Mohawk killed the Algonquin and subjected Radisson, along with approximately 20 other prisoners, to ritual torture.

[That’s what he gets for murder!]

However, much of his punishment was lessened as a result of the advocacy of his adopted Native family. Eventually he was released, and, overwhelmed with relief, described the experience as a moment in which “all my paines and griefs ceased; and, not feeling the least paine, my father bids me be merry, makes me sing, to which I consented with all my heart.”

With the Mohawks, he traveled to Fort Orange (Albany) on a trading mission, and was recognized by the Dutch there as a Frenchman.  They obtained his freedom from the Mohawks; in return, they required three years of missionary work.  He traveled to Holland, and then did Jesuit missionary work among the Indians.

Moving on to Encyclopedia Britannica:                 

With his brother-in-law, Médard Chouart des Groseilliers, he spent the next few years on trading expeditions to the West. In 1658 they explored the Great Lakes region, crossing what is now Wisconsin and the upper Mississippi River valley, and then circling east through what is now Canada.

[Maybe traveling through Radisson!]

Because they had failed to secure a government license, the French authorities in 1663 confiscated their furs and fined them. As a result Radisson and Groseilliers offered their services to the English in what is now Nova Scotia.

They then sailed through Hudson Strait [the entrance to Hudson Bay way up north near Baffin Island] and into Hudson Bay. Their report on the wealth in furs led to the formation of the Hudson’s Bay Company [chartered as a British company] in 1670.

In 1671 he founded Moose Factory, a company trading post a few miles south of James Bay [a southern extension of Hudson Bay].

Three years later, Radisson and Groseilliers made their peace with France and served in the French fleet in French Guinea and Tobago.

[Guinea’s in Africa and Tobago’s in the Caribbean.  Man, this guy gets around!]

Radisson became a resident of Quebec in 1681, and the following year he led an expedition against the English on Hudson Bay.

[OK to be French, but fight the Brits on Hudson Bay?  After all, he founded the British Hudson’s Bay Company!]

After revisiting both France and England, he was again employed by the Hudson’s Bay Company and was eventually pensioned by the company.

I can’t believe he got away with all of the s%#& he got away with . . .

Oh yea.  What about the Radisson Hotels?  From Wiki:

The towns Radisson, Quebec; Radisson, Saskatchewan and Radisson, Wisconsin [yea!], as well as a street and Metro station in Montreal, are named after him.

The first Radisson Hotel, built in 1909 in Minneapolis was also named after him.  The modern Radisson Hotel chain grew from this Minneapolis Radisson.

Here’s a GE Street View of the original (but obviously renovated) Radisson in Minneapolis:

radisson

It’s time for a couple of GE Panoramio shots from the general vicinity of my landing.  First this, of the Couderay River by BTJ98836:

pano-btj98836

And this of the Chippewa, by Schwist:

pano-schwist

I’ll close with this, by Prntdckt:

pano-prntdckt

That’ll do it . . .

KS

Greg

 

© 2017 A Landing A Day

 

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