Photo Gallery

sandylakedawn.jpgNote to readers: Unlike the blog itself, this Photo Gallery page runs in chronological order, beginning in 2006.  More recent photos are at the bottom.  For a complete collection, check my Flickr site.

Just for fun, here are a few pics from our travels 2006, along with our backyard adventures at Sandy Lake. But since I’m a blogger, I have to wrap them in commentary. I like to say we own a vacation home, but we live there year round. Sandy Lake is a 100-acre glacial lake just southeast of Kent, Ohio. Only 44 families have access to the lake, and about half of us live here all year. An electric-motors-only policy keeps it pretty serene. Took this shot in October just after sunrise.

kayakkid.jpgYeah, red boats are flashy, but they photograph well, don’t they? Wish that were true for the old bastard in the cockpit. Sharon took this photo in early October when she was out testing driving her new kayak, also a Perception Carolina. These boats are stable and track exceptionally well. Sharon also enjoys sailing the lake on her Sunfish.

sanddragon.jpgJuly 4th weekend here is Sandy Lake Splash. Lots of events and frolicking, and a few beers, too. We’re sure the judges in the sand sculpture contest got into the beer early, as they saw fit to give Sharon’s masterpiece only a second-place ribbon. We was robbed.

Two summer trips took us south, then north. First was a week inwrightsvillebeach.jpg Wilmington, NC, where the 97-degree heat is wonderfully complemented by 97% humidity. Nice! Despite it all, Sharon and her pals played in a soccer tournament and didn’t once have to hit the EMT tent for IV fluids. The old broads did OK. This shot is from Carolina Beach, south of Wilmington.

mackinaw.jpgNext came a 12-day trip to the north country where the fun began at Mackinaw City. Here’s a shot of some fat guy posing with the Mackinac Bridge, which connects the lower and upper peninsulas of Michigan. It’s five miles long and spectacular to see and to cross. What’s up with the spelling thing. Mackinac? Mackinaw? Make up your mind!


We made our way to Lake Superior and spent a few days exploring Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Not much night life in Munising, but you’ll find cheap, comfortable lodging at the Sunset Motel. These shots show Pictured Rocks’ most famous landmark, Miner’s Castle, from two different angles.

Pictured Rocks offers some excellent hiking trails. But be sure to take the excursion boat out of Munising, too. Well worth the $30 for a 2-hour cruise of this natural wonder.


From Michigan’s UP we made the trip to another pristine area of the north country, the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, at the extreme northern tip of Wisconsin. Our two-day stay on Madeline Island was awesome, and included some kayaking and hiking at the state park there. Highlight of Madeline, however, has to be Tom’s Burned Down Cafe. No photo can do that place justice. It’s right outta the Electric KoolAid Acid Test.

seacaves2.jpgWe left the island to spend two days in Bayfield. If you’re in the area, consider the Pinehurst Inn B&B. Great old house and, like most B&Bs, a fun experience. It’s also a great base from which to launch an adventure to the sea caves of Lake Superior, where I took this shot in the dark, as it were.

kayakcornucopia.jpgIf you venture to the north country and you’re feeling the least bit bold, paddle to the sea caves near Cornucopia. Outfitters operate out of Bayfield. We were lucky to hit a calm day, so we didn’t have any tense moments. While Superior is the most pristine of the Great Lakes, it’s really cold (deep, too!), so try not to fall in.

happykayaker.jpgThings calmed down after the sea caves and we were all smiles as we continued north to visit our son Christopher at Camp Kooch-I-Ching near Minnesota’s Boundary Waters. Chris has worked as a counselor at the camp for two years, perfecting his Paul Bunyan skills. Kooch holds claim to an entire 600-acre island in Rainy Lake, doubtless purchased for next to nothing when Kooch opened for business 80+ years ago.

kooch.jpgThis shot on the right is from the front door of Chris’ cabin on a beautiful inlet at Rainy Lake.

The year’s adventures didn’t end with the fall folliage, but I’m wise enough to recognize that shots (I mean photos) you take at deer camp are best shared only with others who go to deer camp. Most of my friends and family have come to love our venison dishes over the past 20 years. But they don’t want to know how it got there. If you’d like to see my artistic after-the-hunt pictures, email me and I’ll send a sample.

sparky.jpgI’ll close this note with a shot of “Sparky,” the juvenile bald eagle who’s visited our beach the past two falls, no doubt to scavenge fish carcasses that wash up now and again courtesy of the southwest wind. Sandy Lake is a great place for bald eagle and blue heron watching, but only the young ones are bold enough to come this close. I got within 25 feet, and he was oblivious.

(If you got this far, you may be thinking, hey, this page would work better on Flickr, a site dedicated to photo sharing. I’m just not ready for another learning curve right now, no matter how simple. Maybe next time.)



Leisure 2007. Since last year, I’ve put a good many of our pics up on Flickr. That’s means I’ll put few of them on this blog. Here’s the link to my page. You may also catch the short version of my photos on Facebook, but that’s open only to “friendz.” Of course, as always, I’m open to your invitations.

Just to tease you, here are a couple of our shots from the islands. Here you see the happy couple arriving for some touristy fun near the Piton Mountains — signature peaks of St. Lucia.dscn0826.jpg

Another great benefit of staying on the west side of St. Lucia is spectacular sunsets like this one, seen from our front porch. The views from the cottages at Ti Kaye Village are outstanding. Ditto for the service and the food. It’s 167 steps down to the beach — and you gotta come back at some point. So if you’re old and short of breath, this isn’t the place for you. We thought of it as great exercise and we highly recommend Ti Kaye Village.

Not much to show you from our annual river trip to Pennsylvania. Same old, same old. But this year the water was low, low, low, which meant lots of walking.

Next year will be our 20th anniversary of floating the Clarion. And yeah, as each year passes I think, “I’m getting too old for this shit.” But then you wake up at 6 a.m., rousted from your Therm-A-Rest by a loud and very bigpecker.jpgobnoxious piliated woodpecker. And as you exit your tent, you get a glimpse of a river scene that folks in the hotels and motels never see. Gives new meaning to “Smoke on the Water,” eh?

If you want to try out the Clarion, start at Love’s Canoe in Ridgeway. Dave can rent you a boat if you don’t have one. Give me a call and I might go with you.


I’m tossing in this one last photo because it’s just so cool. That’s my son, Chris, and one of the many fish he caught during his TransArctic Expedition, a 7-week journey that took him, along with 5 other men, 800 miles from Great Slave Lake to the Arctic Ocean. This one is an arctic char that ran close to 40 lbs.

It’s an adventure that most of us old farts can only dream about! And I do. Often.



9 Responses to Photo Gallery

  1. Joe DiVencenzo says:

    bill and sharon, hope everything is going well. happy holidays from the DiVencenzo Family. gooooo BLUE DEVILS

  2. Leslee (Fetterhoff) Dennis says:

    Bill – I should have known you’d be a Boundary Waters lover! I know a Brimfield family now living their dream by buying and operating Clearwater Canoe Outfitters & Lodge in the BW near Grand Marais ( My husband has taken an annual backpacking/fishing trip there for four years now. I’d love to join him to experience nature, but sitting in a canoe for 10 hours straight for six days really scares me. (I think he likes it that way.) Let me know if you’re interested in seeing pics from his recent trip…only amazing sunsets and beautiful rainbows…don’t forget the big fish.

  3. lespotter001 says:


    These photos are terrific. What a treat to see them. We can’t live with all work and no play. Thanks for the grounding that these beautiful scenes and commentary represent.

  4. Les,

    I work all the time when school’s in session (note as I post this on Sunday morning). But we try to take full advantage of that June-August window this job affords us. I think it’s useful to post personal items to a blog and to let a personality come through in your posts. If you read this blog, you’ll see the personality of a smartass much of the time, but I hope also one who is committed to his students and to the PR biz. There is nothing I’d rather be doing — except maybe kayaking…or fishing…or deer hunting…or…

    I look forward to more conversation.

  5. Kate Forster says:

    Beautiful photos!!! I love canoeing and kayaking!!! Where is the most beautiful place that you have gone? I would love to plan my annual summer trip somewhere different and stunning. Please let me know!


  6. Bill Sledzik says:

    Wow, Kate. I’ve been a lot of beautiful places, most in the U.S. Know that I’m not an ocean person, so my favorites would be: Idaho’s Sawtooth Wilderness, Apostle Islands/Lake Superior, Wisconsin/Michigan, and the Great Smokie Mts., Tenn/NC (watch the crowds there). If you have more $$ to spend, try the Swiss Alps.

  7. I have tried only ocean kayaking for now and I am really anxious to try kayaking in a lake because I think it would be a different experience.

  8. Seeing those outdoor nature pictures was refreshing. Thanks for sharing them. And wow, Sharon’s lizard sculpture is incredible!

  9. Delicia says:

    Great photos, Lets me know I really need to get away.

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