Wednesday, September 26, 2018

hanging around Lake Superior

I grew up in Northern Michigan and couldn't wait to leave. I knew mountains were where I belonged. So it was with interest that I observed last week that my hometown is now a happening place. Back in the day, my friend Laura and my sister and I were the only people running on the few, unmaintained trails, besides our dads (people thought we were deeply weird). Now there's ultra runs on these trails and new trails have proliferated. There's a huge mountain bike presence. In the place where we ran many lonely 10Ks, starting from the arena, onto the bike path and around "the Island", people thronged in large numbers. I haven't been back in the fall for years, and it was very strange to reconcile this place with the place I grew up.

The beautiful Harlow.
It was oddly hot, with temperatures in the 80s, and people were swimming in Lake Superior. They weren't just running in and dashing out; they were fully immersed. At Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, fleets of kayaks dotted the water. Kayaks weren't really a thing when I was growing up. Now they're everywhere. I kayaked up a peaceful river, dotted with strange and mysterious dwellings. Nobody appeared on the banks of the river, but the evidence was there: little gazebos, a boat here and there.

Kayaking up the Chocolay River
We hiked a five mile section of the North Country trail, stopping at the frighteningly named Mosquito River. In June, this would be a horrific place to camp, but in September? It was perfect. Two days later, a woman hiking a section a bit further fell to her death as she stopped to take a selfie. Horrifyingly, some kayakers witnessed her fall. Death by selfie is not a good way to go. Stay back from the edge, people.


On the last day, a wind whipped up the lake to a frenzy. It really seemed like an ocean then, too wide to see across, impossible to understand.
It's a little windy
It dominates life here, just like the ocean does in other states. Living in the inland west, I miss the abundance of water.

My high school years were an unhappy time; I always knew there was something else I was meant to do, different people to meet. It was good to return to my stomping grounds as an adult and see how far I have come. And I can understand now why people want to come here.

OK, this is just as good as mountains. Almost. If only it could be September all the time.


10 comments:

  1. Okay, I love this, as you knew I would. Good to see our big back yard from the perspective of one who has moved on to another environment. We love where we live...and it's so fun to see others love it, also (but not too many of them!)

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  2. It's encouraging to see growth in outdoor activities. We need that to help protect the areas we love. Its always interesting to see how both we and areas change and grow. Crazy about the selfie death and would have been horrific to witness.

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    1. Agree about people outdoors. I need to remind myself of that when I get grumpy about more people on trails. I can't even imagine being a kayaker and seeing that woman fall. So awful.

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  3. As we head into summer, I totally agree "if only it could be September all the time". Glad you have enjoyed the changes.

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    1. Yes your summers sound very hot. Though, you go to some amazing beaches.

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  4. It's amazing how our hometowns change. Yes, I'm loving the cooler temps and fall leaves of September. I could almost live in year-round autumn (but I'd miss skiing)

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    1. Hmm..I really like the idea of year round autumn! I wish there were such a place!

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  5. I think I knew you grew up there. Last summer was the first time we explored Michigan, and we were blown away. It's an overused term, but we thought it fit the bill for a hidden gem. Always nice to return to your roots & examine how far you've come!

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  6. I was there in August and hit up Black Rocks for a dip. Superior is not as cold as I remember it.....

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