Monday, September 3, 2007

Hunters Point

Copper Harbor is a wonderful town near the very tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula, a jagged, rugged, and beautiful rocky finger that juts out into Lake Superior along its south shore. At one point it produced the majority of the world's copper and miners from Cornwall, Finland, Scandanavia, Italy, and most of eastern Europe worked the ore for decades until it ran out in the mid 20th century. There are no chain motels, fast food, or for that matter chain anything up here, which is one of the main draws for me along with the outdoor fun. You have to really want to live here in the winter because the AVERAGE snowfall is 270" of lake effect snow. Yup, that's around 23 feet; seven plus meters of snow per year. The folks I've ran into up here are honest, tough, friendly, and decidedly independent.

Which brings us to Hunters Point. As you can tell from the photos its a very unique and very cool spot. Be sure to read Jim Rook's "A Naturalist's Description" on the Hunter's Point Park website. Rather than just have the government condemn the land and steal it from the folks who own it...Eminent Domain is the euphemistic name for that would seem that through a variety of grants, programs, fund raisers, and matching funds the residents and interested friends have actually bought the point for the township. I like the concept. Now they are trying to purchase another 70 plus acres that access the base of the point and also go up the side of Brockway Mountain. They are within $50,000 of pulling it off so if you have ever been there, want to go there, or are just a fan of this 'take the bull by the horns' attitude, log on to the website and slip 'em a few bucks.

The VOR and I hiked out there a couple hours ago and checked out the beach, flora and fauna, rocks, and the dense cedar forest at the point. You almost expect to see the Flying Monkeys swooping down on you. I also paddled around Hunter's Point, most memorably last spring with Aras and the Bessemer Convivialist. This is when the BC told us, "Someone who knows about clouds better turn around and look at these". After turning around (blue skies 180 degrees in front of us) we quickly began to paddle like hell for the harbor and managed to cut through the gap between the point and Porter's Island before the massive 40,000' high thunderhead was upon us.

This is a great spot, one that should be visited, enjoyed, and preserved for everyone that can appreciate and respect it.


Ranger Bob said...

Copper Harbor is a way cool place, isn't it? The state park system has done an excellent job of restoring and interpreting the lighthouse, too.

I'll make sure to check out Hunter's Point next time I get there...hmmm, sounds like time for a road trip!

By the way, I posted links to several Labor Day weekend kayak incidents over on my blog- there's some video footage on CNN that really leaves me shaking my head.

DaveO said...

I'll need to catch up...too much fun outside. We're paddling around the Keweenaw starting tommorow! And yes, Copper Harbor is a gem.