Monday, August 17, 2009

Keweenaw Adventure (Company)

This weekend found us paddling in the Keweenaw for the second time this year. GalwayGuy is heading back to grad school in St Louis and this was his last weekend for a Lake Superior fix and some extended rolling. The VOR loves the area and some friends that we had met at the Grand Marais Symposium a couple years back, long distance SKOAC members from Lac du Flambeau, WI, wanted to head up there as well with someone who knew the area. The male half of this pair, SilenceOfTheLambchop, has earned his blog name well. On a club trip last year, he reached into the bottomless hatch of his CD Titan and pulled out a whole lamb for grilling and dining pleasure. On this trip, I looked at the mountain of lamb chops he had brought and wondered how the hell we were going to eat them all. Until I ate the first one, that is. We drove to the home of he and his spinner/weaver/paddler spouse, the CurrituckQueen, and set off bright and early Friday morning for Copper Harbor.

As I've said in previous posts, the Keweenaw is a great place to paddle, visit, and just hang out. No matter what the wind and waves are doing there is always some place to paddle, whether it be the north or south shore of Lake Superior (about a 30 minute drive apart) or inland Lake Fanny Hooe or Medora. The mountain and road biking is fabulous and a couple of bars only have Keweenaw Brewing and Bell's products on tap; no light beer! Its a little slice of heaven but you have to really want to go there since Copper Harbor is literally at the end of the road.

One of the guys that has worked tirelessly to promote the area and its people powered sports in all seasons is Sam Raymond, the owner of the Keweenaw Adventure Company in Copper Harbor. I've run into Sam over the years at Canoecopia, Midwest Mountaineering's Expo's, and at his shop on the main drag of Copper Harbor. The sign in the photo pretty much sums it up. It doesn't mention the best glade skiing this side of Colorado at Mt Bohemia or the new cross country trails at the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge just up the hill, but give it time. I always need to hit the shop for up to date info, those essential pieces of gear that I managed to forget, and general questions and BS. This year a T-shirt and mountain bike sticker destined for Portland,and an emergency KAC pint beer glass which was put into service about 45 seconds after leaving the shop, were the needed swag. Be sure to stop in when you make it up to Copper Harbor.
Gitchee Gumee graciously allowed us to explore the rocky northern shore and the forecast northeast wind for Saturday was predictably from dead west. This afforded us a nice leisurely paddle from Eagle Harbor to Agate Harbor. GG wore his tuliq most of the way and stopped for rolling every few minutes. We all hauled out at Agate Harbor for lunch and I decided to paddle the rest of the 8 miles back to Copper Harbor while the rest of the crew explored the fingers of Agate Harbor. It was a fine afternoon with some impromptu cliff jumping into the lake, one of my favorite activities, and the kind of relaxing evening that rewards a day of hard paddling. It gets tougher and tougher to come back.

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