Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Lake Delton - Gone but not forgotten

On Monday, July 21 we took a slight detour as we returned home from Spring Green. Our friends, Earl and Martha have a cottage on Lake Delton and we decided to check out the lake bed following the draining that occured the morning of June 9, 2008. This YouTube video shows the distructive power of the lake emptying it's more than 600,000,000 gallons into the Wisconsin River.

A JS Online article describes the size and quickness of the failure...

"The breach is mammoth. It's probably 400 feet across. ...Although sandstone - the stone that forms the famed dells of the Wisconsin River - rings most of Lake Delton, it is absent at the spot where the shore gave way, Diehl said. Instead, he said, the soil there is "100% sand" from the lake to the river a couple of hundred yards to the northeast. The heavy rains of the weekend turned the sand into a soggy mass that finally gave way about 10 a.m. Monday.

This graphic shows where the breach occured and the relative size of the lake. Interesting is the fact the lake is a maximum of 16 feet with the average depth being 8 feet. When we visited, the shallowness of the lake surprised us along with the greening of the lake bottom, the river that's still flowing, the stumps that remain from the original creation of the lake and the number of people walking the dry lake bed. Portions of a house can still be seen falling into the area once damming the lake. The famous Tommy Bartlet Water Show is located in the bay at the lower left of the lake diagram. We took some pictures as we walked on water - or at least where it once flowed.

A news report indicates: "The DOT said officials hope to start construction in early September, open County A in December and refill Lake Delton by spring 2009."

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Door County - Lake Michigan

It's mid July and we traveled to Door County for our annual family reunion. We stayed with Charlie and Grace in my Aunt Pat's cottage on Lake Michigan just south of the canal near Sturgeon Bay. An early rising on Sunday provided a beautiful sunrise, while several walks on the beach provided scenery and solitude.