As I write this, I’m several months behind in posting Puckaway logs. I haven’t stopped posting–and I certainly haven’t stopped going to Puckaway–but I’ve been in a weird headspace lately and can’t seem to get in the mood to write.
In the meantime, here’s a Puckaway-adjacent video project I just put together. Mom, Lyssa, and I recently took Jake and Josh to the Mitchell Park Domes, a place I’d regularly visit with my grandparents as a kid. I’ve always really liked that place, but It’s probably been nearly 25 years since I had last been there. Walking through that place with my kiddos gave me the same feeling I get when I share Puckaway with them; it’s geography linking two generations of people I love dearly.
The boys, the pooch, and I pulled in at 6:45 pm. I unloaded the truck and we headed into the keep to get out of the rain. I then did… nothing. It was great! I just relaxed the rest of the night in the keep with my two little buddies. We watched one of the Harry Potter movies and some episodes of Mythbusters and shared some microwave popcorn. The boys were both asleep by 10 and I headed back to the bedroom and read for a bit before dropping off.
Flying trip! Pulled in with Mom and Hannah at 5:15 pm. Mom wanted to get some more stuff out of the shack’s back bedroom before Puckaweekend and I had a bunch of supplies to bring up. She headed to the shack and I pulled up to the pole barn.
For the first time since I dropped it off this summer, I powered on the new pole barn fridge. I then proceeded to fill it with $200 worth of assorted craft beer, along with a six-pack of “Shitty Lyte Beer” which I can’t wait for Red to try, and 24 cans of PartyAid courtesy of Sean. I think having a beer fridge out here will serve us well at Puckaweekend.
Arrived at 4:45 with Hannah to some light rain. We spooked some deer by the woodpile on our way in. Before I even got out of the truck, I drove around the yard targeting mole tunnels. Man, do I hate these things. I’d leave poison out but I don’t want my dog to get into it, and the mid-tunnel traps don’t do much good unless you’re up here regularly enough to keep checking them.
I unloaded the truck and headed into the keep. Watched some TV while I put clothes away in the bedroom and ended up dozing off for a bit. I woke up around 7:00, hungry. I ordered a pizza from Christianos then went out to the pole barn to work on a project so as not to feel completely lazy.
I left work at 2:00 pm today and drove over to my folks’ house. From there, Mom and I drove down to Forest Mall in Fond du Lac, where we parked her car, met up with Dad, and got in his truck. Our destination? Cleveland.
Let’s back up a bit. A few weeks ago, I was talking with my mom about Puckaway projects. Specifically, I was describing the condition of the shack. Windows are broken from uneven settling, it’s mustier than ever, signs of critter infestation are everywhere, the doors are in rough shape, and the roof–that is, the wooden roof built over the actual mobile home roof–is rotting apart. My recent cleaning efforts and furniture rearrangement have made it more habitable than it’s been in years, but it’s an unwinnable war.
Pulled in at 7:00 with Jake and Hannah. After Josh’s solo overnight last weekend, Jake was ready for his own. We surprised four deer eating acorns in the south yard as we drove in. One bolted right away, one left after I parked the truck, another took off after I revved the engine, but the final deer was enjoying her snack too much to be bothered to move. It wasn’t until I pulled up to the pole barn that she decided it was time to join her friends. Jake, of course, got a big kick out of this.
I set my boy up with one of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies and he had his A&W dinner at the keep’s kitchen table. I joined him after unloading the truck by the pole barn. Since we arrived kind of late, I don’t have much to tackle projectwise tonight and we can just relax.
Pulled in at 4:00 pm with Hannah and Josh. This is his first solo overnight up here without his big brother and he’s excited. We unloaded the truck and Josh headed to the swing. I opened up the shack and turned on the ceiling fans to help freshen it up. I think I’ll start doing that every trip up to keep mildew at bay.
My next stop was the outhouse. This year, we’ve had several hatches of little black flies in there. I’m surprised it hasn’t happened before, honestly. Between them, the spiders, moths, and crickets, it’s getting a little too crowded in there for my tastes. I brought up a four-pack of bug bomb with me today, so I grabbed one can, tied it to some twine, and lowered it down to just above the, uh, “waterline” in the pit below before tying the line off. I placed another can on the bench next to the seat, raised first can, and activated them both before dropping it back down below. I held my breath and shut the door. I’ll give this a few hours to sort itself out.
Hannah, the boys, and I pulled in at 5:30 towing the ATV trailer full of furniture. I’ve already had a busy weekend shuffling couches and chairs around. My folks got new living room furniture a few weeks ago, so yesterday afternoon, Dad and I headed up to Presque Isle with the old couch, loveseat, chair and recliner from their house. We stayed the night up there and swapped out all four pieces earlier this morning. Back in Oshkosh, we swapped the recliner for the one in Dad’s basement, then headed to my house to swap the couch and loveseat for the ones we had on the front porch. This is the final leg of the journey. The chair from Presque Isle will end up in the keep. The couch and chairs from my porch, along with the recliner from my folks’ basement, are destined for the shack. Finally, the furniture currently in the shack has a date with the burnpit.
For now, that’s all got to wait; we narrowly avoided the rain on our way in, so I backed the ATV trailer into the pole barn to keep everything nice and dry. There wasn’t much to the front and the rain let up within 20 minutes. The boys kept busy with their fort, Power Wheels, and the swing while I headed over to the shack.
The whole family pulled in at 6:15 with some hot, carry-out pizza from Christianos. The boys were still talking about the huge buck we saw along Reetz Rd. on the way in. I couldn’t count points, but given the spread, height, and density of the tines, I’d guess it was in the mid to upper teens. We ate in the keep, then I unloaded the truck in(!) the pole barn. The increased real estate in there is still jarring. The boys showed Lyssa their fort and took turns getting pushed on the swing while I unpacked.
To make it a little more welcoming for my wife, I took the shop-vac out to the outhouse and cleared out the spiderwebs, sand, and other unpleasantness. While I was sucking out the stinkhouse, Jake and Josh walked Lyssa out to the battlement to enjoy the view and Hannah padded along after them.