Monday, September 5, 2011

Black Rocks

This weekend found the VOR and I in Marquette, MI on a Labor Day 'just for the hell of it' adventure. The only real item on the agenda was to visit Black Rocks. Both Black Rocks actually, the spot in Presque Isle Park where people can still legally jump off a cliff into Lake Superior, and the nano brewery a block south of Downwind Sports on Third St (The Village) in Marquette. I attempted to paddle to Black Rocks and around the park Sunday morning but a gale warning, waves that built to 8' over the course of the afternoon, blinding horizontal rain, and valuable counsel from TheVoiceOfReason ('Glad you were smart enough to turn around and not a dumb ass'), convinced me that visiting both Black Rocks venues on foot would be the prudent plan.

I've loved jumping off high spots into the water since I was a kid. Cliffs, bridges, and railroad trestles were all fair game. I don't believe it was ever legit to jump off any bridges but it was tolerated by the authorities. Interstate Park on the St Croix River used to allow jumping off the cliffs on the Wisconsin side but that particular pleasure was banned after an accident a few years back. When safety and freedom collide these days it seems freedom never has a chance. It was a moot point on Sunday because the lake was rockin' and rollin' and the waves crashing around Black Rocks were spectacular.

The Black Rocks nano brewery was very enjoyable as well. An old two story four square frame house was converted into a brewery, bar, and outdoor patio. It's only open from 5-10pm or 'until the beer runs out'. They had four beers on tap when we strolled in and ran out of the wheat beer while we were there, which caused it to be crossed off the beer list on the board. They had an ESB in the fermenter but much to my disappointment would not be tapping it until later in the week. We both agreed that the place had fine beer, a really great vibe, and fit the neighborhood perfectly. Their logo incorporated the black and orange of the Black Rocks cliff in the park and the joint is truly a neighborhood bar and gathering place.

Labor Day brought decreasing wind and waves but the big swells were still plenty good to surf. There were 4 or 5 board surfers, a guy surfing his stand up paddleboard, and one lone kayak, a guy in one of the new P&H Delphins. More on that later, I gotta get packed and head for my short week in Canada. Gonna meet RangerMark and the BadHatter at the classic Superior, WI dive bar, The Anchor, at high noon.

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