Sunday, December 12, 2010



We are connected to a broad section of the upper midwest by this storm system that is slowly passing through.  High winds, over a foot of snow in many places, blocked roads, closed businesses, canceled church services, falling temperatures... a day that makes us feel very much alive, and connected to the rest of the huddled midwesterners!  The shoveling, the plowing and cleaning up will begin once the wind begins to subside.  There are no ferries today, and may not be on Monday, either, since storm force winds, reducing first to gales, will blow through Tuesday night.

This morning the amber flash of the town plow told us it was time to get up.  The howl of the winds made it hard to sleep, anyway.  We made our way downstairs and turned on the outdoor floodlight to watch the fury, impressed with how this blizzard blocked out neighbors lights, except during slight let-ups in the gusting, drifting snow. Washington Island was out far enough in Lake Michigan to escape the heaviest snowfall. We were located on the regional weather radar within that pink band that defined the heavy snowfall to the west and south with sleet over the open lake.   Was it ten, eight or six inches of snow that fell here?  Who knows?  Drifts one to two feet have formed in our driveway, but they are saddled by black patches of bare asphalt.  Hard to tell.

Game boards will be brought out, crock pots filled, cookies baked, and holiday lights trimmed - if they aren't already - and the NFL will have one of its strongest viewing days in the midwest states ever.  If only our power stays on!


I had the opportunity to hunt last week in southern Iowa with sons Hoyt and Thor.  Hoyt has traveled to the same territory annually for the past nine years or so to hunt.  I've joined him there one other time.  Thor has not hunted at all for nearly 15 years and never in Iowa.  This outingwas set up several years ago when we applied for Iowa deer tags.  It takes a few years in the queue and the purchase of "preference points" to get an out of state tag for an antlered deer - a buck.  Doe, or antlerless, tags are easier to obtain as an out-of-stater, but at nearly $450 each, they are almost as pricey as the buck permit.  Add in the gas, food, lodging and the accessories ranging from shotgun slugs to handwarmers, not to mention time away from work, and there is a significant commitment.

So, is it worth it?

Yes, it is, when you like spending time with your sons and that time has not been as frequent as you would like.  The hunting becomes an activity around which that time is centered, with fewer interruptions in the flow of conversation.   It is also just being in each other's presence, even when there's no talking, Thor in the back seat doing crosswords, Hoyt listening to the radio, me reading the paper through the miles on the way to the camp.   For all of the above, it was fun, the trip was a success, and we enjoyed the time we had.

Viewed from the narrower aspect of hunting, our trip was also successful. Each of us shot one or more deer.  Hoyt, as unofficial guide, organized our day, told us where to sit and how to approach the terrain for best results.  We brought home approximately 150 pounds of boned venison, and we gave one deer to a party who wanted venison but had no source.   (During the hunting season, so far Hoyt has donated three deer to a food pantry.)   None will go to waste, and all of it will be enjoyed later as either roasts, stews, sausages or ground meat to be used throughout the year.

But, it is the time together that cements us as friends, as well as father-son-son.

A Pirate Ship Sails Into Harbor

In the ongoing story of the former ferry C.G. Richter, now Treasure Seeker owned by Ray Hixon and his family of St. Petersburg, FL, we offer the following photo taken from an internet blog site.  The site is named, "Two Gringos in the Carribean" and only a brief mention and the accompanying photo is made as the author cited the sight of a strange vessel under tow near the Caicos harbor.  Date the photo was taken is also unknown, but is presumed to be around mid-November.   It does show that the old ferry, now pirate ship, is on her way further south, enroute to the new home port of St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.   The link to that web site is:

I will speculate that it is the draft of the vessel (not mechanical fault) that put her on the towline as she entered port, but we will have to wait for more details to find out.   A rather impressive, pirate ship-like profile, don't you think?     -  Dick Purinton

1 comment:

La Gringa said...

Hello Dick,

That photo of the "Treasure Seeker" was taken from our patio in Providenciales, Turks & Caicos Islands.

Imagine our surprise when we saw this unique vessel come into view! Through the magic of the internet, we were contacted by Ray Hixon's wife, Betsy and later Ray himself.

We visited Ray and the "Treasure Seeker" and did a subsequent post,, on what happened and what he is hoping for the future.

Polly & Byron
aka "2 Gringos"