We're building an amazing artist residency on a remote, forested island in the largest freshwater lake in the world. Come along! Read more
This project was successfully funded on July 15, 2011.
Hey everyone, we are back on the mainland. Andrew is back for just for a couple days, but Rob has headed back to NYC. Andrew will be back on the island tomorrow continuing work on the residency until the end of August.
Here is a quick list of things that have been going on. We've been— materials transporting, island exploring, GPS recording, 1890s cabin discovering, eagle spotting, excellent weather enjoying, bushwhacking, wood weather-treating, campfire cooking, locals meeting, stone skipping, and boat problem dealing.
That last one has put a bit of damper on the who last few days. The boat we purchased ended up having an little engine problem that turned out to be a lot worse then we originally thought. The local marina has let us know it is pretty much out of commission and we are looking for a replacement outboard motor (75 horsepower or above). So if any one of you out there hear or know of a second-hand outboard motor somewhere in Northern Michigan or the Upper Peninsula please send the info our way. Thanks!
On to the photos...
Here is a view back to the island from its south-west point.
Rabbit Island Exploration Committee
We found the remains of the original fishing cabin from the 1890s. A guy named Berg lived here on the island for 3 or so years a long time ago. A local from Rabbit Bay has put us in touch with his granddaughter who we hope can give us a lot more information about Berg and the fishing camp that used to be here.
Speaking of the locals... The people who live and have homes on Rabbit Bay have been really supportive of the project and have shared some amazing stories about the island. We are really appreciative of their knowledge and kind words.
Scott is a local in particular who has been above-and-beyond helpful. Here he is cruising back to the bay from the island. Scott, his brother Mark, and his nephew Craig have been extremely helpful with the project and a lot of things wouldn't be possible without their insights, help with materials and equipment, gifts of food and libations, and also advice. We are indebted to them and extremely grateful for their involvement.
Here is some lumber waiting to be loaded and taken over to the island. The wood is cedar and milled by a local on the Keweenaw who processes felled trees from his own property. Our own Alaskan saw mill just arrived so we'll be able to mill our own planks and beams from the wind-felled trees on the island as well!
Here is a load of materials on its way. Those big metal things are our boat moorings. They are old disc-brake drums from huge semi-trucks that we got from a scrap metal recycling center. We'll have a little underwater video clip up soon to show you more about those moorings. Suffice to say when you are on an island it is paramount to have a good, secure place to park your boat!
Main landing area/camp coastline on the northwest side of the island. Look at those beautiful white pines hanging on the edge!
Here is one on the opposite side of the island.
He's called "Big Leanie".
A view from Big Leanie towards the cove and southwest point.
The cove is the only area of the island that has this amazing pebble beach. Everywhere else is big blocks of sandstone.
The beach is pretty much a goldmine of perfect skipping stones.
The majority of inland area of the island is a dense forest. It is often impenetrable but at the same time quite fun to slog through.
Though there are some areas of clearings occasionally.
Some of the clearings are full-fledged raspberry fields.
On the coast some of the raspberries have just began ripening. Delicious! Rabbit Island Raspberry Jam anyone?
Andrew has cleared around some lovely young fir trees in a secret area on the island. It might end up being one of the locations for a little artist studio.
We've had amazing weather pretty much the whole time but here was one impressive rainstorm that rolled in. It blew over quickly though.
We'll have more updates from the island hopefully soon! Somebody requested a video tour so we hope we can put one of those together shortly.
Feel free to add a comment and let us know what else you'd like to see!