Those of you who regularly follow us know that we deviated from our plan to head out west and, instead, went north. We ended up in the Northwoods of Wisconsin just outside of a little town called Manitowish Waters. We had never been to a climate or environment quite like this before and it was interesting, to say the least.
We arrived in April to snow covering the trees, accumulation of more than a foot on the ground and every lake in the area, of which there are many, was completely frozen. We had never been in a place where it was supposed to be Spring and it was still winter. It was unexpected but completely beautiful. We really enjoyed the snow on the evergreens. And, we did snow time activities.
The house we were calling home was located on Circle Lily Lake just a couple miles outside of Manitowish Waters. The lake is over 200 acres and the house is about 100 feet or so from it. A creek, that flows from a break in a beaver dam, up-stream, runs next to the house and right into the lake. It was so picturesque.
Our lake house was quite large. It has three bedrooms, three full bathrooms, formal living and dining areas and a breezeway that connects the garage and a bonus room above the garage to the main house. This was used as my office space.
A few bonuses came with this house. One was that there was a Smith Machine combination exercise system in the garage. The three Nomad boys and I used it extensively while we were here. Also, there was a canoe in the back yard that we were given access to; which Trevor and I used to explore the whole lake. There were fishing poles in the garage that they were agreeable to let us use, but we never got around to it.
Commonly when we go to a location, the home base we have is centrally located in the middle of all of the attractions we want to see. This time, however, we were so far from everything, we mostly used it as our destination. We soaked in the walking trails in the nearby parks. We used the bikes that the town loans to you ride on some very nice trails. We played and hiked all around the house in the woods and forest that were just at the edge of the yard. In short, we enjoyed where we were staying rather than simply using it as our central place for planning our adventures.
The wildlife abounds in the area. We have a couple of resident bald eagles that we would see soaring over the lake and the house. I even saw one of them swoop down and catch a fish from the lake and another grab a squirrel or otter. We had ducks, geese, loons, giant red headed woodpeckers and more birds than we could count. We saw beavers on land and in water, otters and even one old grumpy looking porcupine. On occasion we would see deer. While driving back from Minocqua, the closest large city, Mandy actually saw an albino deer. Apparently there are quite a few of them in the area. One evening we did hear a pack of wolves howling to each other. It seemed like they were in our back yard. And, one time we spotted a black bear crossing the road. Again, lots of wildlife in the area.
For anyone that loves fishing, hiking, hunting, etc, this is the type of place for you. There are tons of options in the area for all of the above. Just know this, although the town of Manitowish Waters is just a few miles away, it has a small population and you are fairly remote. So, if you need a metropolitan area nearby, this is not the right place. If you want to get way from it all, come and stay here.
There were a few unexpected things. The first one was the bugs. If you have not been in Northern Wisconsin or Northern Minnesota, you really would not understand. After the snow melted and ice thawed, the flies came out. They are not like houseflies. Nope. They more resemble gnats on steroids. And they will swarm your face by the dozens. We were praying for them to leave. They finally did. But, mosquitoes replaced them. Swarms and swarms of mosquitoes. To top it off, no bug repellent worked on them. Mama Nomad and I used to take walks in the evening. Not after the mosquitoes came. We even tried wearing mosquito nets over our heads and long sleeves. They still managed, somehow, to get us. And, they infiltrated the house. We were killing a dozen of them a day inside. We have been to all kinds of climates, including heavy tropics and never experienced this.
Another unexpected thing was the owners parents. They travel around the US via RV. But, in April, they come here and park their RV on a little pad right next to the house. They are real interesting people: Mr. Ron and Mrs. Pat. They tow a trike behind their RV and, at times, put on their leather jackets and go out. They are sooo friendly. You could not ask for more friendly people to be there for you. Mr. Ron took care of the lawn, the road and anything else that needed doing. I think he is in his 70’s but goes more than a 30 year old. It was not negative that they were here. Heck, Mrs. Pat bought a copy of Legend Land from Noah and brought someone else to buy a copy. We loved having them around. But, we just did not expect to have someone living in the yard where we were renting. And, Mr. Ron gets up really early. So, you can expect to hear chainsaws, lawnmowers, wood splitters, etc going because, like I said, he is always busy. But, he is never too busy to stop what he is doing to help you.
Next, and this only really applies for those of you are heavily technologically integrated. The internet speed was increased to 5Mbps (the fastest available). This was fine as we have actually stayed at a place with 1Mbps. We can manage with slow internet as long as it is reliable. However, that is not the case. We had to restart the modem at least once if not two or three times a day the entire 2 and a half months we were here. Julie, the property manager tried to help us. But, honestly, I think it was Century Link’s infrastructure because Julie gave us a new modem and the problems still persisted.
Finally, and this is due to our own ignorance, we foolishly expected some days in the 70s or 80s while we were here. We had one or two days hit this range. But, mostly the high was in the 60s and the evenings were still in the high 30s to low 40s. In addition it seems to rain almost every day. That may just be the Northwoods. We simply did not know.
All in all we had an enjoyable time in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. The people are out of this world friendly and we enjoyed just being able to enjoy the house and surroundings rather than being on the go all of the time. If being secluded on a lake with little to no connectivity to the outside world is your cup of tea, then this place has it in spades! If you are interested, you need to contact Julie Pairolero with Northwoods Home Rentals. They are the property managers for this home. You can contact them through their website at www.northwoodshomerentals.com. If you call, tell them The Nomads sent you. Safe Travels.