Construction Zone on Torch Lake

Posted on October 25, 2009


When I started Torch Lake Views everybody in the township concluded that I had a pipeline to Information Sources Not Available to the Average Person.  Ha.  Mostly I wander around taking pictures and asking questions and paying attention to the answers.  Plus, I go to the public meetings of various public bodies and—this is key—I stay awake for the whole thing.  Sometimes I learn things because, assuming that I actually know, people ask me to explain what’s going on at the whosis over on the corner of whatsis.  I look wise, imply that a story is in development, and take myself off to the aforesaid corner to find out what they’re talking about.

The big question this weekend was What’s going on over at the public access?  They took out the boat ramp!  Well, yes. Back in September I wrote about the DNR’s plans to repair the ramp (Eastport Landing and local summer).  This month a very official Notice of Authority was posted in lime green on the Rustic Facility, where everyone was sure to see it. Posted beneath was a more prosaic sign that said Attention Boaters: Eastport Boat Access Site Closed October 19th-October 29th. The DNR Construction Crew is replacing the concrete ramp.

Targeted advertising

Apparently not enough people had to use the Rustic Facility because lots of procrastinators were unpleasantly surprised to discover the dock sitting in the middle of the parking area when they finally got ready to take their boats out of the lake for the season.

Power loading prohibited

The DNR Construction Crew is making a thorough job of it. After they pulled the dock, they dug out the old ramp and built a hardpacked gravel base. Now they’re putting big concrete pavers on top of the gravel bed and anchoring the whole thing in place. Then they’ll put the dock back in, take down the signs, clean up the mess, and go away. If you waited until mid-October to get your boat out of the water, you’d better pull it out down at the Day Park or just wait until Halloween and hope the lake doesn’t freeze this week.

Gravel bed

The best part of the whole thing is the equipment.  I love construction equipment. It always reminds me of the Tonka Toys Rob the Firefighter had when he was a toddler. I have no idea what this one is, but clearly it would be major fun to ride in. And imagine what a bite you could take out of, well, practically anything with those enormous jaws.

Enormous construction equipment

Even in Antrim County there are tortfeasors who make off with tools and equipment from construction sites. This is why you find the equipment snuggled up for the weekend in a tight defensive formation. And to think I have trouble with parallel parking.

Cuddle up for safety

Miss Sadie and the Cowboy are bored by large equipment.  They thought it was more fun to play hide’n’seek behind the brush piles, and to pop up over the spoils piles like prairie dogs.  They looked darn cute doing it, too, but my fingers got way too cold to show you their act.  Trust me, they’re skootched down behind those piles laughing to themselves.  (Not to worry-the spoils will be carted over to Young State Park and disposed of there.)


In spite of all the fun we were having on the accidental playscape, we  agreed that the tamaracks were the stars of the show.  There’s a nice stand of them at the park, and I recommend you pay them a visit this week.  Unlike other conifers, tamaracks change color in late October—from a soft seafoam green to a buttery yellow—and drop their needles. They look fetching even on a gloomy day. 

Tamarack on circle drive

W.D. Wetherell published a wonderful piece about tamaracks in the New York Times (After the Maples, The Golden Tamarack). Warning: the story is 20 years old, and you will no longer be able to find $45 rooms at Vermont inns even in November.