Steinthal Sunrise

The Early Morning Sunrise at Steinthal

After an action packed weekend on Take Five, it was great to get back home and enjoy the solitude of the country.  This week I begin preparations for our trip to northwest Iowa and the RAGBRAI.    Luke and Noah as well as some friends from college will be joining me.    We plan to pull the Airstream out of the drive on Thursday morning and will take our time traveling to Orange City, IA.  The first leg of the ride begins on Sunday, July 23.  A 62.6 mile ride to Spencer, IA. where we will be hosted by some long time college friends in front of their home.

Evening Moonrise

The evening moonrise overlooking Echo Lake a few nights ago.  There is still a lot of water that needs to recede, but we are getting close to starting our summer season at The Lodge.   The lawn will be mowed today or tomorrow and we are looking forward to our first guests in a week.


Chainsaw Challenges

Sunday’s challenge of the day (well actually one of many) was to eliminate some of the tree overgrowth in the backyard.  One task was to take care of a birch tree that had grown over the back patio of the house.   There were also a few tree limbs over the back yard immediately behind the lodge that needed to be trimmed back.  Using the chainsaw is serious to me and I really try my best to be very safety conscious.  I leave all the large tree cutting to the professionals and try to only cut up trees that have already fallen to the ground.   Today, however, I was faced with a relatively simple task and decided that I could do this myself.   It is interesting to note that I was on call last night (very sore from running the chainsaw the evening before) and had to look at a foot x-ray of an 85 year-old man.  The history on the study read:  85 y/o male using a chainsaw to cut down a tree and branch fell on foot.  Foot Pain.

In my mind, this x-ray does nothing more than justify my use of the chainsaw at the meager age of 50 and now I know that I have at least another 35 years to go before I need to consider hanging it up (the chainsaw that is).    Looking forward to a few more chainsaw challenges in the years to come!

The birch tree falls within inches of the Airstream, exactly as I planned. Really!

Nearly complete with the birch tree removal and not one piece of it ended up damaging any persons or personal property!

Afterwards, a Sunday evening celebration at the nearby Smiling Moose Saloon where a live band was playing amazing classic rock!  I smelled like gasoline and hadn’t yet showered after my chainsaw fun, but I was definitely the best dressed and probably the best smelling guy in the bar!  Heaven!

A Wintery Day

While I took this picture over a year ago while traveling in northern Wisconsin, it fairly depicts the morning drive to work during abundant new snow that started about an hour before leaving home.    I really could use about two months less of the snowy weather, however days like this make living here worthwhile.

Recent snowfall at a farmstead in northern Wisconsin

Internet woes

Had a problem with our fiber optic run between the tower and home, but was able to diagnose the problem utilizing a laser continuity tester. After one week, we are finally back online. Unfortunately we didn’t get this fixed until after I spent an evening of call in the hospital.  Above is a view of the sunrise taken right after Internet was finally restored at The Lodge.

First Snow

Spent much of the weekend working outside and getting prepared for the inevitable snow.  As it turns out, I timed it perfectly.  The first snow came on Saturday night, mere hours after the tasks were completed!

Installed the snow plow this morning and ready for some action!

Installed the snow plow this morning.  Ready for some action!


The Airstream was relocated near the pole shed in preparation for a new sub-floor to be installed this winter.

First Snow

The first snow, early Sunday morning. Eventually we had over 3 inches of accumulation




The Tower

Finally have the 105 foot tower up and shed built!  I have everything mounted inside and the solar panels are charging the batteries!   I need a little help getting the steel pole up and secured for the panel brackets, but for now the panels are leaning against the shed and doing the job while on the ground.   I plan to install the FM repeater next week.

tower tower-2


Paul, the very brave climber that installed the 105 foot tower.


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The view from Steinthal Road. If you look closely, you will see Paul above the trees


Completed and getting ready for the antenna mount.


The solar panels temporarily leaning against shed.

The solar panels temporarily leaning against shed.

Charge controller running and charging the batteries!

Charge controller running and charging the batteries!

Was the one-eyed Steinthal monster fact or fiction?


The following is an article written by Amy Meyer, Executive Director of the Manitowoc County Historical Society and published by HTR News on October 25, 2014.


We often think of Manitowoc County as an ordinary place, but in the fall of 1960, the Village of Steinthal was anything but normal.

Local reporter Syd Herman wrote about the mysterious events surrounding the so-called Steinthal monster from a collection of newspaper clippings.

Herman, a Manitowoc native, was born in 1910 and graduated from Manitowoc Lincoln High School before attending the Marquette University School of Journalism. After spending some years at the Milwaukee Sentinel and Milwaukee Journal, he found his way back to Manitowoc and began working for the Manitowoc Herald Times.

His column, “Sparks From The Campfire,” had been read for more than 50 years and much of the following story came from Herman’s description.

As the story goes, it was a cold fall night in 1960 when the Steinthal monster appeared. The Village of Steinthal, located west of the Village of St. Nazianz, is full of winding roads, springs and deep ravines — the perfect setting for a small town monster.

As Herman’s article said, “Strange sightings have been made at an old farm, down a long lane across the swamps at the north end of the village.”

On that cold fall night, people down the lane left in a hurry, supposedly frightened away by a “nine-foot-high hairy monster with one gleaming eye in the center of its head.”

Those brave enough to venture toward the dilapidated farmhouse reported seeing ghosts coming down the stairs at night.

The mystery of the Steinthal monster soon spread beyond the small community. One night, Herman and a television cameraman went out to the farmhouse. When they looked up the home’s stairs, which was lit by the moonlight, they saw a ghost standing at the top of the staircase.

When they aimed their bright camera lights on the figure, they discovered it to be simply a dress form with a white sheet around it. Both men suspected it was just a group of kids planning a prank and decided to move on.

Herman wrote, “After it had ‘appeared’ again one night following a heavy rainstorm, we (the cameraman and Syd) went back the next morning to look for tracks. There were apple trees in the orchard — and nothing but deer tracks.”

Stories developed, and with each telling, the tales became more and more outlandish.

Was the monster a deer in disguise? Or was the sight simply a deer, standing on its hind legs reaching for an apple from the tree?

Realistically, the so-called monster could have been a bear, which at the time had been reported near the swamp. These are the questions Herman asked, but no one had an answer for the odd sightings.

The Steinthal monster story spread far beyond our county’s border. Television stations and the Associated Press in Milwaukee even ran the story.

But then, as with all legends, the story and the monster disappeared.

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