Sunday, December 29, 2013

Holidays and Tree Bombs

Now that Christmas has passed, Copper Harbor business is in full swing.  All the winter restaurants are open full-time.  The snow is amazing (despite the little drizzle yesterday), and the air is fresh and crisp.  Come on up!

And here is a little holiday cheer for you, if you haven't seen it already.

A pan of the lights in the park

I like how the deer are swimming in the snow.  Nice job, Donny and crew!

Possibly by you as well, the temperature has dropped about 20 degrees, and the wind has picked up.  I would't want to be riding a chairlift today, but a snowshoe in the woods is nice!

So is the sunshine.  Though we don't see it often (because it's always snowing) I did capture some shots from Christmas Eve day. 

The sun behind some icicle trees

Icicle trees beside the blue sky harbor

Beautiful, isn't it?  It's so nice that this post can have a little color!  So treasure that while I take you to the dark side.

We don't have a tornado season.  We don't have hurricane season.  Or monsoons or earthquakes.  Knock on wood for all of that.  Right now, the conditions are perfect for tree bomb season.

Yes, tree bombs.

You can find them all over the woods, but they are mostly harmless there.  Know where they are deadly?  The Covered Stretch of Highway 41.

Those scenic branches creating the tunnel of trees have been collecting snow for weeks.  Oh yes, they are so nice to look at.  Picture perfect even.  Then the temperature warmed up just after Christmas, so the snow in the trees got denser.  Then we got a little drizzle, making those branches even heavier.  

This is what it's like driving that stretch with tree bombs.

The road is well-plowed, so you have traction for the most part.  Then boom, boom!  You just ran over bowling ball size gobs of snow that you couldn't avoid because it laid across the whole road like the branch it fell from minutes earlier.  Whew, at least it didn't fall on your car.  But, boomf, boomf!  There's another!  Lucky there was no tree branch in that one.  Oh!  Slow down!  Huge branch across the road!  Good thing a car wasn't coming in the other lane!  Oh, no.  See that snow falling on the right side up there???  That branch is about to let loose.  Go around!  Got around!  Smash!  Oh, boy.  That was the windshield.  Pull over.

So far I have escaped this war zone unscathed, but I have friends who haven't been so lucky.  I hope they all have good auto insurance.  Bless their hearts.

Lesson?  If you come up in the next few days, take M-26 to avoid this gauntlet.  Unless, of course you like to drive in a real life video game.  It reminds me of Super Mario Brothers.  Creatures pop out of nowhere to get you.  I hope you make it to the next level.

Other than that, life is simply marvelous.  I will see you next year.  You make it your best year yet, and I'll make it mine!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

It's Officially Winter!!!

Happy Solstice!  Let the days grow longer!

It has still snowed everyday since I saw you last.  It's funny, I noticed that when it's not snowing, someone always makes the comment, "Oh, it isn't snowing right now."  That doesn't happen very often.

But that means the winter sports are amazing.  Here are some examples.

Cross Country Skiing
Did you know that I didn't even take my XC skis out once last year?  Not once!  But this year I've been out on groomed and ungroomed trails.  I don't care.  Just get me out!

The CH trails are pristine

Yup.  I've already scaled Brockway's Nose -- more than once.  I can't help it, really.  That ridge just whispers in my ear, "Come on, Amanda.  You know I'm an exotic challenge on the way up and down."  And I fall for it every time.  However, every time, I also find myself saying, Oh crap.  How did I end up here?  How are we going to get up/down this, Duce?

For instance, last time it was too steep for my dog to climb, so he whined like a pansy, and I had to slide all the way back down to make sure he was okay and rescue him from his feelings of inadequacy. I did find this interesting specimen on the way up, though.

Pinedrops - a parasitic species

I didn't know what it was at the time, but my wildflower guru friend Harvey did!  Good thing I took a picture.

To finish the journey, Duce and I trudged up the snowmobile trail.  Not at all as exciting as the ridge, but I did get this picture for you.

View from Brockway's Nose 12/16/13

On the way down we took the ridge.  And remembering the time I went down and took that life-threatening video, I stayed farther west of that spot.  Unfortunately, there is still a dropoff there.  

Okay, this next part would have been a good opportunity for a helmet cam.

I sort of hopped to a spot where I could wedge myself between a tree trunk and the side of the cliff, so I could hopefully catch my scardy cat of a dog.  Before I actually got him to take the plunge, I saw this nice little scene.

Mossicles on the side of Brockway

Then after five times of calling my big galoot, he finally lept off the overhang and into my arms.  Squealing the whole way.  What a goof.  But we made it down safely, and that's what mattered.

I actually got to do this today on a trainer kite.  We were, once again, at Lake Medora.  But this time was different: I got to strap on a snowboard and get pulled by the kite in the wind!  I didn't go any significant distance or do any cool tricks, but I got to ride with the wind.  

I even got to try a big boy kite: 12 square meters of nylon blowing in the wind, tugging on my harness.  It wasn't too windy today, though, so I didn't fear for my life.

And soon I'll get to Mount Bohemia again.  I just got my own skis, and I am pumped to try them!  

Well, I hope life is good for you too.  Take care!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

It's Snowing Again (We Say Everyday)

It's officially been eight years since Aaron and I moved to Copper Harbor.  Only eight?  It seems like longer to me.  And you know what?  In all those eight years, not one moment has gone by when I regretted that impulsive move.  Did you know I had only been to Copper Harbor two or three times in the winter before I moved here?  I hadn't even seen it in the summer!

Speaking of summer, I can hardly fathom that time right now.  The calendar does not say it's winter yet, but everywhere a person can look, it is winter.  Here is just a little comparison for you. 

The back porch on Thanksgiving Day

The back porch this morning...
that table is in there somewhere!

Yeah, so it's winter.  Sorry calendar.  

But it's winter like it's supposed to be winter!  Mount Bohemia opened yesterday, and I got to go snowboarding in some thick snow on mogul-less terrain.  Lots of other people came for the event as well, but I found some freshies to glide through.

I was so excited to carve the hill up that I didn't bring my camera.  No time for frozen fingers pushing buttons on a powder day.  That's just a rule.  But I do have other pictures from throughout the week! 

This is how I knew it was time to put the cruiser bike away.

The shivering Swhinn

And see what's leaning up against that tree?  My snowshoes!  That was the day of my first snowshoe.  It was grand.  And here are some shots from my second snowshoe.  Aaron and Johnny went out to Lake Medora to do some kiteboarding, so I went with.  I always wanted to venture to those islands out there anyway.

Snowy trees on a Medora Island

Icicles on a Medora Island

They kites in action on Lake Medora

Though the wind was really whipping, it was awesome being out there.  And though I have never been to Isle Royale in the winter, exploring those islands reminded me of exploring Isle Royale.  Probably because it was some place new, it was gorgeous and I knew I wasn't going to meet another soul.  

So Aaron and Allan have already been ice fishing at the west end of the harbor.  No catching, but the ice was thick enough to stand on and fish.  Here are some shots of ice on other parts of the harbor that day... Friday.

Looking west from the Isle Royale Queen IV dock

Looking east next to the Harbor Haus dock

And when I looked down at the lake from my house today, I didn't see any ice in the middle of the harbor.  The current 40 mph gusts probably had something to do with that.  But those gusts also make me want to get out to Hunter's Point to check out the waves.  

But before I do that, I wanted to point out one thing.  Scroll through those pictures again.    What colors do you see a lot of?  White, gray, some wood colors... oh, the kites have colors!  Thanks goodness!  What do you not see?  Shadows.  Okay, maybe under that little table on my back porch.

So imagine.  A week without shadows.  A week without a sparkle in the snow.  A week seeing white and gray for color in the natural landscape.  It makes for an interesting perspective on life.  Thanks goodness for Vitamin D supplements and snow sports!  See you next week!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Let It Snow!

Whew, it's been a fun-filled week in da Harbor!

I got to go for my first ski just a couple days ago.  See?

Duce and me on a ski to Horseshoe!

Now I'm not going to get into the details, but I didn't make it all the way to Horseshoe Harbor.  I wanted to, but I actually made it farther than I thought I would for my first ski of the winter!

And here is the view at the top of the hill at the intersection where you turn to go down to Horseshoe.

Looking west toward Brockway Mountain!

I tell you, it was a magnificent day.  I couldn't believe the sun was out about half the time I was.  That's a spirit booster, all right!

We have a lot of snow right now.  A day or two before my ski (sorry, I don't keep track of the days that well), I hiked up Paul's Plunge without snowshoes.  I think that if I would do any hike in the woods today, I would need snowshoes.  And you would too.  Unless you have skis.

However, there is that layer of crust under about five inches of snow in the woods.  Sometimes you stay on top, sometimes you punch right through!  But under that crust, you'll find about ten inches.  Depends where you are.  I think it's fabulous!

Last Sunday (I actually remember that day's name) I had to help Aaron move the Copper Harbor Trails Club's mini-excavators to storage for the winter.  I got to drive one for my first time.  Now I remember laughing at Aaron driving down the road in those things because a toddler learning to walk could travel faster than he was driving.  Well, I was about to go that slow for three blocks, so I got some footage for you.

Kinda fun, hey?  

You know who has been here already?  Snowmobilers!  Not lots, but enough to make me realize that the peaceful time of year is over already.  It seemed pretty short this year.  But that's the rotation of the seasons!

Speaking of seasons, Copper Harbor is hosting its annual Winter Wonderfest this Saturday, December 14th.  I think it starts around 11am or noon in the Community Building.  People will be selling their art. Also, Santa visits at 4pm, and the lights get plugged in for the first grand showing at dark. 

Well, then after that at the Mariner North, there is a fundraiser for the Friends of Brockway Mountain.  $25 at the door for all you can eat pizza plus music by Steve Brimm, Erika Vye and Gail English!  I know where I'll be Saturday.

Ooh, and Lake Medora, Fanny Hooe and Manganese are all frozen over.  Can't wait to get out on 'em soon!  But not too soon!

I think that encompasses all the fun I can share in public without you thinking I am a total weirdo.  I mean, I have to keep some things as a surprise, you know?  Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful week! 

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Snow Makeover

Did you already hear what happened in da Harbor on Thursday?  We got over a foot of snow!  It's still settling and compacting, but it sure was beautiful!  Aaron had to plow twice that day.

Aaron plowing the first time... in one day

Hikes area getting a little tougher in all this snow, but I've been too lazy to actually bust out the snowshoes.  If I wanted to venture into the woods, I would need them.

So where else can I go?  Up to Brockway's Nose!  However, I switched from walking the snowmobile path to riding the Cruiser Bike to the bottom of the hill.  Pedaling a slick road is way more efficient than tromping through 10 inches of snow in my boots.

The actual hike up the hill is increasingly more overtaken by gravity.  A couple boot slides up to half a boot slide back down.  Oh crap.  You know what wouldn't make my boots slide back down?  Snowshoes!  But then if I strap those babies on, I'll just want to rocket a short cut straight up the nose.  Then you'll worry about my safety and send me concerned messages.  Oh boy, what to do???

How about I just show you the cool comparison picture I got for now.  I think I might keep this shot up throughout the winter.  Then I'll definitely trek up there in snowshoes... straight up the ridge.

View of Copper Harbor November 22, 2013

View of Copper Harbor November 30, 2013

Lake Fanny Hooe is almost frozen over!  Shall we take a closer look?

Fanny and Clyde's Ponds in deep freeze mode

It's kind of an odd feeling to climb all the way up to the nose of Brockway, take a couple pictures and then slide back down.  So today I perched for a few moments.

Hardly a leaf twitched on a branch.  The only sound was Lake Superior waaaaay in the distance as she was so calm today.  Below me, a lone pickup cruised through town.  A fresh feeling of peace wrapped me in a warm blanket.  Yes.  This is why I live here.

And on my way down, my handsome black beast looked so sweet.

Duce waiting for me down the hill

The way down is heavily influenced by gravity as well.  Sometimes my feet just can't stop, and I have to angle my out-of-control legs off the road in case I biff it.  So far the landings have been soft enough.

In case you can't access facebook or twitter, here is my snow angel from earlier this week -- before we got all that snow!

Snow Angel at the Fort Wilkins Boat Launch lot

We actually had a spot of sunshine that day, as you can tell in the shadows.  Man, what a difference a burst of sunshine makes!  It makes me feel all exotic!

December starts tomorrow.  I have a feeling it will be an exciting one!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Yarg, Me Dinger is Gone!

Back from Wisconi.  I mean, really.  If you were a female (maybe you are), would you want to spend  eight days at home while your husband hosts Deer Camp?  Come on!  I can only hear the same buck story so many times!  But bless their hearts.  We got our meat for the year.  I will spare you any images of our nine hour butchering session yesterday... in the kitchen.

And the CH trails are still closed for hunting, so guess where I went today.  Up to Brockway's Nose!  It takes some ambition (or caffeine) to want to climb that steeply graded  hill.  Today I had both, so Duce and I went.

A pan of the town with a fresh dusting of snow

What a great walk.  I actually want to do that again soon!  And Duce posed nicely on our way back home.  Can you tell where we are?

My good boy sits so nice

Now let's rewind.  Wednesday, as I pedaled around town looking for my dog, I saw an interesting boat past the gap on Superior.  The drop in my gut told me what was going on.  I pedaled down to the Queen's dock, and looked for my bell buoy.

It was gone.

Sunofagun, I just went out the day before to make sure it was still there!  You took my buoy!  I screamed at the ship, nearly in tears.  In my eight years of living here, I have never seen the buoy drop in or get yanked out of its spot.  But the ship was heading west, and I knew what to do.

I flew home and checked the Marine Traffic site to make sure what I saw was real.  Yup, she was a Coast Guard boat labeled as a tender... going 6.6 knots.  I had time to spare, but I packed up for a trip to Eagle Harbor.  I was going to see what those buoy tenders do.

At the Eagle Harbor Lighthouse, I found a nice front row seat on a cold, wet, unyieldingly hard rock.  Anticipation rose as I watched the ship close in on the buoy.  I had my camera ready for you.

So I sat and waited and watched.  Oh, my.  I sat and shivered for an hour waiting for that tender to whisk that melodic three-toned buoy out of the Big Lake.  

And then it happened.

The buoy, lifted by ropes from a large crane, rose out of the water and timbered into the ship.  I tell you what.  I watched that crane the whole time, waiting for any movement.  The only thing that actually moved (from where I could see) was the cable connected to it.

I seriously sat there and recorded most of this process with my numb fingers holding the shaking camera as I shivered on an off-camber bolder of shore rock.  I didn't mind any of that.  But the lifting of the buoy was so anticlimactic from the camera's point of view that I rather not even waste the bandwidth uploading it.  You get my description and a picture instead.

The C.G. Alder full of local buoys

But hey, now I have officially witnessed the removal of a bell buoy.  One more item to cross off my bucket list!

Here is a picture of one of the older buoys displayed at the museum by the lighthouse.  Those things are way bigger than they look in the water.

Historic buoy at the Eagle Harbor Lighthouse Museum

Okay, now the sun came out.  After hearing about tomorrow's potential storm, I better get some vitamin D before it disappears for the winter.  I'm not joking, you know.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Keystone Bay... Once Forgotten

Oh, man.  Now I feel like a jerk.  You know what I did?  I totally forgot that I went to Keystone Bay last week and that I took pictures and video for you.  Then I teased you about not liking to read in my last post because I didn't have any pictures and videos to show you.  Well, another point for you.  At least I wrote a sweet poem.

So, uh, a couple weeks ago, I went to Keystone Bay with a couple crazy boys who still like to kiteboard in Lake Superior even though it's stinkin' cold in the lake AND the air.  Then, like the dutiful little blogger I am I took some pictures of the highlights.  So without further ado, here they are!

I always thought bikers looked goofy in their outfit, but this beats it!

Woo!  And this is on his way back down!

Then I took a walk along the beach.  You know, it certainly isn't boring out there!

A beaver dam at the mouth of Union Creek

A pan of the fire-ravaged Keweenaw Point

The wasteland at Keweenaw Point

At least the orange fungus is seeping!

That fire happened in August of 2006.  I did see evidence of thimbleberry bushes, grasses and some other things that had already withered from the fall.  Lots of burned tree trunks and roots, though.  Walking through there was like walking on a trunk trapeze! 

Since you deserve it, here is a picture from our first sticking snow.

November snow in the sunshine

It wasn't much, and it's already gone, but it was majestic while it lasted.

Today is the opener for gun hunting season for deer.  Right now it's way too beautiful out for this girl and her black dog to stay inside, but we're sort of trapped in town because the trails are closed.  Maybe we'll have to go to Wisconsin! 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Snow and the Gay Stack

As I look out the window
snowflakes fly by 
like swarms of bees searching for pollen
from bobbing anthers.
That season is past
as today the first snow sticks
to my ribs
and the grass
and the pavement
and the cars
and the ice 
so I can skate down Main Street
in my unlaced boots.

I figure I owe you something a little different.  I hope that poem did the trick cuz I sure don't have any pictures today.

"Dag nabit, Amanda!  No pictures again???  How am I supposed to stay connected to da Harbor without pictures and videos?"

"Simmer down, dear Reader.  I am a writer.  I paint pictures with my words."

"Ugh, but that is so much work to read all of your words!  Don't you know this day and age is full of constant stimulation and bright flashing colors?  How am I supposed to stay entertained if I have to read???"

"Well, dear Reader, reading is a skill that will soon be lost by our youth as they only text in sentences made up of the first letter of each word."

"All right, all right.  I'll read on.  But it better be good.  I'm a busy person."

There.  Dialogue.  That's different too.  And you read it, didn't you?  Good job.

As you may have picked up from the opening poem, it's snowing right now.  But this time, it is actually sticking to the ground!  That means it's pretty stinkin' cold out there.  Windy too.  And gray.  It has that wintery feeling.  Though I know it won't continue without a warm up, I embrace it fully.  Another season of change.

I've been pretty busy, trying to keep up with writing projects, teaching a few friends how to make wine, trying to get to the great outdoors and hanging out with the family.  Both sides of the fam!  I am glad they all love it here too.

Want to know the coolest thing we did?

We drove the Gay/Lac La Belle Road along Lake Superior's shore.  We got out at Brunette Park to marvel at the sandstone beach and the glistening waves in the distance.  That lake, she's a beaut.

When we got to Gay, curiosity pulled my family to the huge stack right on Main Street.  "What could that have been used for?" we asked ourselves.  "There's nothing under it."

But we were wrong.

Just behind it was concrete foundation after concrete foundation.  Such a different style of construction taking up a vast amount of space.

Now I was out there with family members 58 years old and beyond.  

They were like little kids!

Sticking their heads through openings, yanking on stakes, crawling through arched doorways, hopping over rocks to get a better view, bushwhacking to explore farther down and exclaiming:

"Oh, wow!"
"Look at this, guys!"
"What do you think this was used for?"
"This is so neat!"
"What a huge place!"
"We're on an adventure!"

Personally, I felt a bit like I was in The Goonies movie myself, crawling in and out of gaping concrete holes and exploring a new place with my goony family.  Just kidding, guys.  You know I love you.

After we came out, we checked out the old school, and then saw the historic sign that told about where we were: The Wolverine and Mohawk Stamp Mills from the early 1900's.  I even bought The Gay, Michigan Story book, part of a series by Clarence J. Monette from Copper World because we all found the place and history fascinating.

But it's just fascinating in the Keweenaw!  Past, present, and, if we are all lucky, future!

Well, thanks for sticking with me this long, but I better get on with it.  Hopefully this week I will remember to take a camera out with me!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Over the Mountain and to the End of a New Road

Did you forget about my annual ride over Brockway Mountain Drive?  I did!

I remembered in October and have been watching for a nice-ish day when I could spare the energy.

My 6th Annual Pedal over Brockway was Wednesday, October 30th.  The wind was mostly calm.  The temp was in the high 40's.  The air was dry.  The sky was gray.  A pretty nice day for October in the Keweenaw.

But this time I took a different route.  I hadn't been on the Lakeshore Drive of M-26 in quite a few weeks, so I figured I'd take that west, then climb up the Brock from the Silver River side.  I saw this little guy on the way up.  This is not my picture, however.  I googled it when I got home.

A Spotted Salamander

Cute, hey?  He gave me a little more ambition on that long climb.

Closer to the top, I couldn't wait to be done climbing.  Keep in mind that I didn't get to coast down this west side like I usually do.  "It's okay," I told myself.  "I'll be coasting down soon."

The view was lovely and windy at the top, as usual.  I noticed some new interactive signs up there.  I read them all on the way down.  Nicely done.

But the way "down" is not typical, as I'm sure you know.  Even on that "down" side I had to pedal soooooo much up those steep ascents -- and I didn't get to go down any of them on the way up!  I knew it was karma.  See, not going up the steep east side, I thought it would be a little easier of a route.  Not at all.  I felt like that whole ride was uphill.

I will never go that way again.

So next time, I'll go up the steep east side and get all the hard stuff out of the way.  Phew.  Sounds like a plan.  Want to come with?

Then on Friday I made an impromptu run to town to check out a few spots for my Copper Harbor Adventure Guide.  It was all fine, but I did something quite surreal on my way home.  I took Bumbletown Road out of Allouez.  Through Bumbletown was nice -- more houses than I would have thought.

Further down it turned into a dirt road, which I had expected.  My plan was to get to the end of Bumbletown Road in Gratiot Park.

I thought Gratiot Park was a park at first.  Driving along, I saw towers in the distance -- a sure sign of a town.  Finally dirt roads turned back into paved roads with legitimate green street signs.  Houses and people out in their yards.  I drove around a bit to look for any sign of Lake Superior, but I must not have gone the right direction for that.  "Okay, so this must be Gratiot Park," I confirmed to myself.  "Guess I can go home!"

On my way out, a sign read "Entering Keweenaw County.  Zoning Enforced."  What?!  When did I leave Keweenaw County?

I looked at my map, and Gratiot Park was in Keweenaw County.  At home, I googled it, mapquested it and scoured all my maps.  I found none of the road names ANYWHERE that I saw on those green signs in Gratiot Park.  "This place isn't even on the map!"

I seriously doubted where I had been.  I still don't know for sure.  But one thing I thought was that the people who live their must feel even more at the end of the road than we do.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Frost, Rainbow and Falls

Holy buckets.  At this rate, winter is going to fly right by me!  Yeah, ask me about that in March.

I know it's not officially winter yet, but it sure is cold and frosty out there!  Here are a couple pictures I took on my hike this morning.

A frosty fall stump

Remember it a month ago?

Icicles over an icy shore

Town is really quiet right now.  My friend Gilly called me from the Mariner yesterday just because there were no customers!  Yes, it's that time of year.  The colorful leaves are mostly off the trees.  The Covered Stretch of 41 has that long, empty feeling of what is to come... snow!

But we've had some cool waves!

According to my camera, that happened Saturday, October 26th.  

The Saturday before, when I was out mountain biking, this rainbow came out, but I forgot to show you.

Whole rainbow from October 19th, 2013

I saw lots of people out shooting it that day.

Now here is a Typical Amanda story for you.  

I had never been to Hungarian Falls near Lake Linden, so on my way back from a trip to town, I decided I would go check it out.

Once I finally found the entrance, I walked down under the bridge that holds up Snowmobile Trail 3.  I got a picture underneath looking up because I thought you'd like it.  Then I scaled the side of this 45 degree hill through piles of leaves, over branches and around boulders.  "This can't be a trail," I thought to myself.  "No duh," the hill rolled its eyes.

But down to the creek I traversed.  Then I saw another cool bridge cement foundation thingy that I thought you would like.  I reached in my, um, unzipped pocket to grab my camera, well, uh, actually, Aaron's iphone that I borrowed without telling him.  And it was gone.

I almost puked right there.  How the heck was I going to find a small object whose front matched the dark, wet leaves and whose back matched the freshly fallen yellow leaves?

"Take a deep breath, Amanda.  Don't freak out.  Just go back and look for it the way you came down," I told myself.  As I looked back, I wondered, "how the heck DID I get down here?"

Long story short, I scoured that hillside for over two hours.  I called it with my phone 42 times.  No answer.  My fingers were white from brushing wet leaves.  My puppy was so hungry, he was eating bark and grass.  And finally, evening was closing in.

I had to leave.  I had to go home and tell Aaron that I lost his phone.  "I'll come back and look tomorrow," I promised.  I didn't even see any falls.

Long story short again, Aaron, Duce and I came back the next morning (luckily not much snow fell).  We looked for nearly an hour.  Then, there it was: tucked next to a rock under some leaves.  And since I just got a Life Proof case for it (my insurance policy, I told Aaron) it still worked.  Yes!!!

Now Aaron is an outdoorsman with a businessman mentality.  "Let's go!" he announced.  "I've got to get back to work."

"Shoot," I thought.  "I came to the falls twice and still haven't seen them."  I had no idea what to expect anyway.

We climbed back up to the bridge and found, well, the actual trail.  Aaron shook his head.  "Here's the trail."  Then guess what?!  We went up it!

Oh, we climbed and climbed, and got to the first falls.  Magnificent!  So tall and towering.  Then we made it to the second falls.  Awesome!  It fell into a great pool.  Then the third falls was a dam.  Not my favorite, but still serves a purpose.  Then the fourth falls which didn't strike me in a way that I could describe it to you.

I am going back in the spring.  Maybe even sooner.  That place is amazing.  And now I know how to get there.

I apologize that I have no pictures to show you from Hungarian Falls, but that phone was dead from being out in the cold all night.  If you would like to go there yourself, here is a link.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Adventure Resumes!

How quickly I went from having the dilemma of not enough time to adventure, meaning I don't have much to share (or time to share it) to the opposite dilemma of too much footage on all the adventures I've been having, meaning I spend lots of time uploading and editing images.  Oh.  You don't care about that.  You just want to see some pictures!

Well, Saturday I got out on some shuttle runs.  Shuttles runs occur when the bike rider pays a fee to the Keweenaw Adventure Company, so the biker and their bike can be transported to the top of either Brockway Mountain Drive or the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge where they then get the thrill of the downhill without the pant of the climb.  Sound like cheating?  It is.  But then the biker gets to keep all their energy for conquering the obstacles instead of huffing up the mountains.

And on that Saturday, I rode down three of the trails I haven't ridden yet either because I was too chicken or time didn't permit: Daisy Dukes, The Overflow and Downtown.  A-ma-zing.  I rode more obstacles than I thought I would and only crashed a couple times!  Nothing major, just some bruising.

I did record my trip down The Overflow, but my camera kept drooping on my handlebar, and there is just too much footage of my feet!  You can find videos of that on youtube anyway -- from real riders!

And yesterday I got to paddle my kayak to Porter's Island!!!  Here is a picture from after I dragged her down the hill on a little dolly.

The Muktuk made it to the shore!

I can only imagine what people thought as this little thing in a wetsuit, lifevest and spray skirt chased the wheeled end of a 16 foot boat down the hill toward the Harbor Haus launch.  But that's just life, and I do goofy things a lot.

I sprinted to Porter's Island only to find that there really isn't much for landing areas on the south side.  I was nervous to go around to the north to park because the waves were tumbling on that side.  I paddled around until I found a spot.  Before I pulled in, I took this picture.

My ship and I looking toward our little town

Then I just hiked around the whole island counter-clockwise in my wetsuit and booties.  Good thing I didn't see anyone out there!  But here are some things I did see!

From the east end looking west

From the west end looking south toward town

I also had to take a few moments to watch the little wonders in the island.

Cool, hey?  And I was sober!

Also, if you can't wait for a weekly post, I did start a twitter account.  It's @writingdaharbor.  Once I figure out how to imbed it in this blog, you can stay updated without starting your own account!  See, I'm always thinking of you!