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.


  1. I think the same think happened to me my last trip out there. Best I can figure is I turned left in Bumbletown onto Rockpile Rd by mistake and ended up on Cedar Bay Rd. Very nice neighborhood along the Big Lake but also quite private. No beach access. You can hardly tell the lake is there. I ended up sneaking down a path through an empty lot to get to the beach.

    Don A.

  2. Hey Don! Thanks for sharing your experience. I've been down to Cedar Bay before, and it didn't look like what I saw the other day. I'll have to check with my friend who lives in that area. He would know... I hope!