Water Trails Reveal Rich Archaeological History in the Midwest

Midwest Archaeology

By Mary Fairchild (updated 12/9/2015) Maquoketa River Trail; 6/15/14. In June of 2014, my two daughters, pictured above, joined me for a river clean-up and local archaeology paddle on the Maquoketa River with Iowa archaeologist Elizabeth Reetz.  There are two forks of the Maquoketa River that meander through Jackson County for about[Read more]

Sea Kayaking Lake Superior’s Seiche


By Mary Fairchild Towing my daughter in after our first paddle on the lake.  She got sea sick in the 2-3′ following seas as we returned. Have you ever paddled in Lake Superior and wondered why you would need your rudder or skeg since there was no wind or tide? I wondered that[Read more]

Mirror, Mirror, on the Water: A Tranquil Paddle at Mirror Lake State Park

Mirror Lake

By Mary Fairchild Chelsea Boots appreciates the serenity of Mirror Lake as she quietly discovers the oak/pine forest reflection before her for the first time. …there is rarely a wind-stirred ripple on the water’s still surface— Mirror Lake is a narrow river-like waterway between tall cliff-sided gorges that is about 4 miles long. An[Read more]

Giant Fiberglass Statues: Do You Know the Wisconsin Dell’s Muffler Man?

Hiawatha Fiberglass Statue

By Mary Fairchild (updated 10/2015) Until recently, this Muffler Man had been behind the Mobil Station near the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin.  Now he’s all groomed, repainted and stands “all lit up” by the Buffalo Phil’s Pizza & Grille.  These giant fiberglass statues were designed to draw the attention of tourists in the latter half of the[Read more]

Nestled Deep in Wisconsin’s Woods: A Rustic Wedding at Mirror Lake State Park

mirror lake wedding

By Mary Fairchild The bride with her flower girls; Mirror Lake State Park Amphitheater, 10/25/14.  Picture by John Nicholls. An outdoor wedding in the woods can be an incredible experience especially in the fall as the cooler days and cooler nights begin to open and reveal more and more of the[Read more]

Kayaking the Apostle Islands: Kennedys, Native Americans, Religion, and Myth

Apostle Islands

By Mary Fairchild Paddling around Eagle Island, 2009; the island is protected by Critical Species Natural Area. Last fall, on September 24th, Chequamegon Bay JFK Day marked Kennedy’s visit to the Apostle Islands area thirty years ago (Sept. 24, 1963).  Chequamegon was applied to the region by traders and missionaries which derives from a Chippewa(Ojibwe) word,[Read more]