Upgrading from Tents

Although pictures of the interior of Big Wilson Camp are not available as of this writing, we're having a ball picking out great stuff with which to furnish our vacation getaway cabin. By Easter of '04, we'll have the place outfitted as a rustic North Woods retreat, but with plenty of modern amenities to make it a comfortable escape from civilization.

We have a huge, laminated topographic map that shows trails, scenic waterfalls, mountains, and lakes within a day's hike, and beyond. Frankly, though, it's hard to tear yourself away from the views of Big Wilson Stream from the deck or from the rocky stream banks below the cabin. My kids play endlessly in the swimming hole across the river, where despite swift water up and downstream, there's a sheltered pool, perhaps 30-50 feet around and 6-10 feet deep, where hikers often stop for a swim. (Diving from the rocks is not recommended, but jumping from the ledge - at your own risk - is a popular pastime.)

The river has a tendency to change dispositions from season-to-season and day-to-day, depending upon recent weather conditions. As you can see from my thumbnail photos on the bigwilsoncamp website, the stream varies from tranquil and idyllic to a kayaker's playground. Even when the river's at its highest or lowest, the swimming hole slowly swirls on the far side. When the water level is high, you may want to traverse the water over the bridge on the north end of the property, or ford the stream below the rapids, rather than try to cross in front of the cabin.

One of my favorite things to do nearby is walk or drive (less than a mile) to the lower falls on Little Wilson Stream. There's a rope swing and deep pool there, below a beautiful cataract. The water is a little chillier there, because it's a spring-fed tributary, whereas Big Wilson gets most of her waters seven miles upstream from Lower Wilson Pond.

I hope it's apparent how in love with the place I am. I found it about 10 years ago, and like fine art, it's a shame not to share something of such beauty. When I started building my website to rent the place, I was astonished how many past visiters to Big Wilson Stream had been struck by it enough to photograph "my" little stretch of stream and post their photos to the internet. One of those I stumbled across was by professional photographer Charlie Morey, whose work graces galleries across the country - as well as a prominent place on my hearth.

Eric Schult
Big Wilson Camp
February 21, 2004