Wednesday, September 8, 2010


You may or may not have heard (or seen) the 60+ mph winds that whipped through the Keweenaw last weekend. Up here in da Harbor, we were out of electric power for 32 hours -- From Friday morning to Saturday afternooon. In retrospect, 32 hours doesn't really seem like a very long time to not have electricity. But to all the business owners who had their coolers and motel rooms packed to the max (on the busiest weekend of the year, mind you), I'm sure it seemed like an eternity.

I personally love when the power goes out. Granted, it has never gone out for that amount of time while I've been here. But when all the whirring of compressors and cooling elements stops, I feel more peaceful. I guess, except for the fact that some of my berries (oh, my precious berries!) started to dribble purple and pink puddles in the freezer. That was my biggest concern. What a rough life I have.

Otherwise, I didn't mind hauling in buckets of water to flush the toilet or heat on the wood stove so I could wash dishes or my pits. I even got to wash my hair in the lake with the wind whipping around me. That'll wake a person up! And luckily, our cooking stove is propane, so we could eat warm meals. But that is just my little slice of da disaster.

One of the exhilarating parts of this whole thing was the waves. Oh, those Lake Superior waves, crashing up on the shore like nothing could stop them. And nothing did. I got splashed a couple times while traversing the shore of Hunter's Point. The tide crashed all the way up to the tree line! And, the waves splashed above the tops of the trees on Porter's Island. They also drifted rocks right on M-26, the road along the lakeshore. I bet anyone watching could not help but be somewhat in awe -- even if $4,000 of food was slowly thawing in their freezer and tourists were complaining that their motel room was cold.

But we all pulled out okay. The Gas Lite general store offered flashlights while tourists shopped for "survival" supplies. Zik's Bar was filled with people who figured, "I'm just going to get wet and cold, so I may as well get drunk." And any restaurant that could stay open was just packed with the hundreds of cold and hungry people in town who could not watch TV or take a hot shower.

I often thought about what it would be like to be one of those people up here on vacation, expecting to relax, but instead having nothing they were used to. I told myself throughout the ordeal, that I was the luckiest person I knew (well, I tell myself that everyday anyway).

And on Saturday, as we looked around in the gloom which had spewed hundreds of trees in various directions, we wondered how we were supposed to have a mountain bike race the next day. But a couple crews with chainsaws and strong backs helped clear two hundred trees from the trail system -- and that was just the trails!

The Fat Tire Festival commenced, and was the best one yet. Yay! It all worked out.

I wonder how many people reconsidered the priorities in their life while the power-outage lingered. I am one who plans to be detached from such sources, and I still did some reconsidering. But I won't write any doomsday notes to you now. But I hope you learned a lesson... and we didn't even get a hurricane!

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