Aunt Peg's Sayner 2015

Aunt Peg as a kid swimming in what is probably Lost Lake and below with uncle Charlie around 1986 on Razorback.

Trip Notes: One of the last conversations I had with Aunt Peg, when she was in good health, was to plan a trip to Sayner. She really wanted to go even though her health wasn't too hot. Her sudden death in the beginning of the summer left us thinking about her and this place. She told us her happiest moments were sitting on the pier at the Razorback boat launch waiting for Uncle Charlie to get the boat in as the kids played on the beach. She would dip her feet in the water and remember being a free kid herself in the same waters and trees. In her last few years she was anything but free, tethered to an oxygen tank and weighed down by difficult breathing.

     My happiest moments and earliest memories of Aunt Peg are on Razorback Lake too. I remember driving all night on lonely, mysterious, and enchanting roads and arriving at Moss's in the middle of the night. Everyone was alseep but Aunt Peg. She stayed up, it seemed, just to give me a hug when I arrived. She was probably up worrying about our travel since she was the leader of our extended family. I remember her down by the pier with a coffee cup and her feet in the water. Here we were a big family, tight, and Aunt Peg organized us and bound us cousins up the same woods where she was bound to her cousins.

     So anyone who could was invited to come to Sayner this year and some did manage to make it. Nicki and kids camped in the woods around Big Musky Lake. Mom and Dad stayed in Eagle River. We gathered like the old days and talked about many things, including Aunt Peg. It drizzled a lot this week, forcing us to stay inside from time to time and just be together and be a tight family. Other times we went outside and caught fish and built fires and sometimes drank too much (at least in my opinion.)

     We waited until the last day because I think we wanted to avoid it. But then we were out of time and forced to say goodbye and put a third of Aunt Peg's remains under the pier by the boat launch where she watched us play when we were kids, where she saw our freedom and remembered hers, and where her remains and memory most lives on for me unbounded by her broken body.

     Big tadpoles swim around that very spot every summer. I watch them when I go there every year and remember Aunt Peg staying awake and waiting for me to come to the woods... and I watch my kids play at the beach.


     (recollections by Scott, jotted down two years after the fact, so that is why there are no details.) 

We landed on an island in Aurora Lake to see eagles and take in the wilderness.


Dates: Aug. 1 to Aug. 8, 2015


Home bases: The Woodlands Resort, 'Oak' Cottage, Big Muskellunge Campground, Kathan Inn & Resort

Transportation: 2009 Dodge Grand Caravan & Viper Kayak

New Frontiers: Really spread out, first time in years we had a big group

Cast: Jessica, Andrew, Scott, Anastasia, Sam, Cheryl, Mark, Nicki, Michael, Joshua, Courtney, Barbara


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A few photos: Click each thumbnail for a larger image and slideshow.


• Photos (c) 2015 by S. Plencner, J. Bezold • All other content (c) 2017 by S. Plencner •