Saturday, November 7, 2015

Wilbo Discovers What Iggy Pop Went to Copper Harbor @PureMichigan to Learn.

Showed up this morning in Copper Harbor, which a few people know was Iggy Pop's hang out when he was learning how to be Iggy Pop. A local has begun filming a movie raising the money on kick starter I like the story because began life in a trailer park in the area of Muskegon Michigan. I'm thinking that Pop loved the combination of wilderness and bars that Copper Harbor provides. If you want, you can climb Mount Brockway or take a two track all the way out to the point of the Keweenaw Peninsula.

As I wrote those words, the strung out parade that had to be a punk rock band and entourage passed through the dining room to a private room in back. The word has traveled.

The Keweenaw attracts personalities whose energy require extra room, and Iggy Pop is the rule, hardly the exception. A man was out walking with his old dog, Duce, and he was looking for conversation. I was looking for breakfast at the Pines, where I had dined in the dark during a power outage just two weekends ago. The Pines had gone dark until Christmas. The Mariner has a commitment to be open year round and yet had no plan to open before lunch. Arron and his woman had arrived in Copper Harbor years ago to snowboard at Mount Bohemia. He began taking his mountain bike into the woods between the copper range hills and Lake Fanny Hooe. Reading books, learning by doing & building a coalition between township, county and state, he designed scores of miles of world class mountain biking trail dedicated to bikers. He had little to do with the Swedetown Trails near Calumet except providing a shining example. Copper Harbor maintains a trailhead in downtown and the warm, well-appointed restrooms in the visitor center never close. Cool that I found him in town out for his morning walk, about to drink coffee and converse around the checkout counter of the Gaslight Grocery store. He now travels the country from spring to November, designing and building forests of dreams for mountain bicyclists with a civic vision. He got back Friday.

I had to brag a bit about my neighbor in Muskegon, the two partners who had established CityHub cyclery. "Oh yeah, I've heard of those two". He also remembered the two riders, Heather Goss and Dave Preston, who wear the CityHub jersey, cycling up to Sault Ste Marie, completing a cross Michigan odyssey. I imagined the two rolling north through Copper Harbor and had to refer to a MLive article to be sure it was the Soo, not Keweenaw.

I asked Aaron about the two tracks that continue past the end of US-41 on the far side of Lake Fanny Hooe. His face turned nauseous. He designs extreme downhills for cyclists and he blanched. He sized up my Subaru. "Your Subaru can handle it and yet the seven miles to High Rock Bay will take more that an hour". I went anyways and for a time despaired of getting back. The puddles had a tint of cadmium red, and people had enlarged them by riding one wheel along an edge. That enlarged the trail too. I found it easier to ride one wheel through the foot wide creek that flowed on slopes, up and down. I crawled like a tank until I just got tired and began to splash the water. I pulled out my cell phone and activated my compass. A sign pointed toward Lac La Belle and another toward Calumet. I wanted the very point and yet that's as far out as 134, a snowmobile trail, went out. I took a two-track that went due south and these white winged birds the size of sparrows tag teamed with me. A gargantuan puddle looked crossable but when I started to drive through it, the water reached up to my running boards when I looked out the window to check. I had already lost a kayak this summer and a Subaru couldn't get a cheap tow out on a watery two track. So I turned around and went back to the juncture with the signs pointing towards civilization. I made Lake Schlatter, where every third sapling had been cut down, beaver teeth sharpening a living stake of wood. High Rock Bay was a mile further and I just tapped out. A road down to the surface of Lake Schlatter invited and I declined. The eroded road had a forty five degree slope and I just didn't want to flip my Subaru, thank you very much. An aluminum row boat awaited at the bottom.

I checked my odometer when I made the easy stretch of US-41 again. Twenty four miles had been racked up in the forest of the Keweenaw Point!
 —  at The Mariner North

Will Juntunen

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