Tuesday, September 4, 2007

On the water tommorow, apologies today

The crew has been assembled, fishing licenses purchased, and gear sorted in preparation for Manitou Island, the Gull Rock lighthouse and the tip of the Keewenaw tommorow morning. We spent the day bumming around in Calumet, Eagle Harbor, and Eagle River as the much needed rain tapered off. In the course of the afternoon I found myself bellied up to the bar at the very same brewpub, The Michigan House, that I'd savaged in the post from a couple days ago. I felt bad about my petulant, whining, "I want my beer" post after I spent some time talking to Tim the owner. Yes, he was out of both of his brews but only had a homemade half barrel brewhouse. He taps em Wednesday and when they are gone they are gone until the next Wednesday. He struck me as being very passionate about his beer and is looking seriously at a 3 barrel brew house that would potentially quadruple his capacity. When we get off the water I plan on swinging by with the hopes of finding his pale ale and oatmeal stout on tap.

We paddle out of Copper Harbor bright and early in the morning. Forecast looks good, and we're ready to go. Look out fish, here we come!


Ranger Bob said...

Yes, well, going back to your original post, it seems that a better response from your server might have cleared things up right off the bat:

When I asked when they would have more beer I was told, "no idea".

Unless there were some big-time extenuating circumstances, your server owed you -- and his/her employer -- a heck of a better explanation than that.

(As you might guess, customer service is a big thing with me.)

campshoe said...

Off topic now, but a response to "The Decision to Paddle" dated 6.27.2007 (http://gitcheegumeeguy.blogspot.com/2007/06/decision-to-paddle.html).

Per ‘Daveo’ :

“A few years back, a drunk and stoned teenager dove off one of the cliffs, struck his head and was killed. Alcohol dulls the senses and marijuana confuses them; lets get dull and confused and then dive into the river! The NPS, which has jurisdiction because the St Croix is a Wild and Scenic River, immediately banned 'cliff jumping'…. No public hearings that I know of were held on the administrative order to ban cliff jumping. ”

Per ‘Ranger Bob’:

“I go along with your comments in another entry concerning the cliff-jumping ban on the St. Croix”

I suppose I shouldn’t be stunned that a blog, which is merely a modern diary, would short shift facts to support a personal view. But I guess I am surprised that a former park ranger with an apparent ax to grind would criticize another park, without exploring the facts. Especially one he never worked at and obviously has little knowledge of. Hopefully this is not typical of these dedicated people who hold positions of esteem in the public eye.

As a local to the St. Croix area, I knew some of the facts from the start when the issue on the river arose, and have double-checked those for the following.
The facts:

The state of Minnesota had previously banned cliff jumping in this area.

The state of Wisconsin wanted to ban cliff jumping, but feared the backlash.

The NPS implemented a swimming ban in the area, not a jumping ban as you state (jumping from cliffs or bridges on NPS lands was already prohibited). This all happened after the two drownings that summer, and in neither case were drugs or alcohol considered major factors in the deaths. (The DNR did ban jumping after the park service first banned swimming in the Dalles. Yes… for a short period of time it was legal to jump, but not swim. Go figure. )

Banning swimming in this one-half mile stretch of river was based on the fact that drowning had claimed 13 lives in the previous 18 years alone. (Though it looks placid, the river in that area reaches a depth of over 100 feet, resulting in very turbulent water right below the surface. Strong eddies and extremely volatile currents are made even more unpredictable due to the hydro-electric dam located less than a mile upstream. All facts.)

There have been no drownings in this area since the swimming ban was implemented. Period. Statistics would indicate there are people alive today because of this.

In short: check your facts, check your personal garbage, and be safe on the water.