Some of the latest moominbeach “buzz” has been idle speculation about whether the latest drone can get out over whatever’s left of the ruins of the Back Light. I know almost nothing about drones (although I am intrigued by them) but my guess is it’s a little too far? That might be “kid miles” speaking but in any case, if it’s not, that area is the last place I would want to lose a drone because can I just say swamp and dense vegetation and I’m not sure the old path is even locatable these days.

When I was a kid, there was no usable road in to the old range light keeper’s house aka Doelle’s. An old two-track that runs behind our cabins went almost all the way down there but it was not navigable for most vee-hickles so the people who owned the house had to ferry things down there by bote. They would put in at the old Stevens place, which now belongs to Our [much friendlier] Northern Correspondent. Hence they were not there very often. We did not have a particularly friendly relationship with that set of neighbors but that’s a story for another time.

There were two range lights, front and back. The Front Light was up on the bank next to the beach and the Back Light way back in the great grey-green greasy limpopo swamp. Neither of these lights had been functional for many years.

One of the Great Beach Adventures when we were kids was to walk back to the Back Light. We would walk the old two track down to Doelle’s, cross the first “bridge” (logs) and somewhere in there (I wish I had pics), a sort of sidewalk began and we hung a right turn toward the swamp and the old back range light. For a while we walked on panes of pavement but soon enough the path deteriorated into moss and mud and muck. Nevertheless, it was an identifiable trail and we persisted! Because at the end of what seemed like an endless walk to a little kid, WE WERE AT THE BACK LIGHT! And guess what! We could go INSIDE the Back Light! And climb the stairs! And walk around outside at the top and we could see the lake from there!

Eventually our elders deemed the Back Light unsafe to enter, not to mention climb the stairs. The first pic is my dad outside the Back Light on a winter snowshoeing junket. Much easier to get there in the winter with skis or snowshoes.

I’m not sure when the Back Light collapsed but probably not long after this. The front range light met its demise when I was a teenager and some local teenage delinquents staying with their parents at the afore-mentioned Stevens’s rental cabin vandalized it beyond repair. Radical Betty claimed she HEARD the collapse of the Back Light and I have no reason to disbelieve that.

The second pic is npJane posing in front of the collapsed Back Light. She wasn’t sure if she remembered this event or dreamed it but I had evidence 🐸

Nowadays there is a somewhat reasonable road in to the old Doelle house from the OTHER end of the beach. We were all very upset when the road was built and I even sprinkled some of my brother’s ashes on the seat of one of the bulldozers. The house is in a great state of disrepair and various attempts to repair it seem to have stalled. I am resigned to the idea that some day someone with beaucoup bucks will buy the property, tear the old house down and build a mansion or whatever. Whoever it is, I hope they know about WINTER up in the yooperland.

I’m not sure it’s possible to find the path to the Back Light nowadays. Certainly the old beginnings of it have been destroyed by the new road. Progress anyone?

2 Responses to “Backlit”

  1. Sam Says:

    Possibly, maybe, just maybe, you could import an intrepid survey archaeologist to find the sidewalk and Back Light ruin. Possibly. With mask and tick-control clothing.

  2. Margaret Says:

    I would think that a drone could provide some interesting views of that area and the ruins. John enjoys his drone, but now that he has a 3D printer to play with, the poor drone has taken a back seat.