I finally got out of the house to try and clear my head a bit today, it worked a little. I set out to find a path through an area that I’ve never explored, the southern side of Lake Gratiot. I took a trail just north of Gay that ran along the Big Betsy River and toward Lake Gratiot. There was a Y in the trail so I took the right/north turn, that ended after a couple miles at a Conservancy, Gratiot Lake Conservancy. Walked down a short trail to the lake, what a nice view. There was a box with maps of the area hiking trails, they looked quite nice, though I wasn’t really ready for that type of thing, but I will be back some day. So I headed back and took the left of the Y. I didn’t end up going where I thought I would due to so many logging roads in the area, but I did end up coming out onto Gratiot Lake Rd. From there I headed up to Copper Harbor and back south along the shore and then back home.
The shore line from Copper Harbor south has always had a big draw on me. Ever since I was a kid riding with my dad in his International Harvester Scout, I felt at home in the Keweenaw. No matter where I have lived in my life, the Keweenaw has always felt like home, where I belong. I stopped in a usual spot for me, walked around, took some photos, and cried.
Anyway, once I got back to the main road south out of Eagle Harbor on US-41, I hit road construction, and a lot of it. They were redoing the road all the way from Mohawk to the south side of Calumet, and a long wait for a section that was one lane. I felt like I was waiting there for ever.
Superior Shore with Storms on the Horizon
Lake Superior Shore
Big Betsy River
Went out again today to look at a couple more houses that I had appointments to see, but no dice, again. Everyone I’ve talked with isn’t willing to work a land contract and I can’t get a fucking loan. I need a year or so to get my credit back up and in order. There’s no fucking rentals around due to people displaced from the flooding and many students are staying here because they are afraid they wont be let back in the country due to the Asshole in Chief, the person that stays part-time in the White House.
So after striking out again on housing, I went for a drive out past Copper Harbor to Horseshoe Harbor and went for a little hike and took some photos. I then went down the road further and made a loop back to Copper Harbor, along the shore and back home. Damn, the tourons are out in force today, driving fucking 40mph in 55mph zones, and they fucking wont pull over to let people pass.
Anyway, a bit about the rocks around Horseshoe Harbor…
The rocks at Horseshoe Harbor are 20-30, some areas closer to 40, feet high.
This is some of the oldest exposed bedrock on Earth.
These are the structures formed through sequences of volcanic activity separated by weathering and erosion. Initially, about a billion years ago, lava poured onto the Earth’s surface from openings created by a Mid-continent rift. The lava filled the valley created by the rift, and cooled rather quickly forming the basalt and rhyolite found here. During a time of little or no volcanic activity, weathering and erosion from the edge of the volcanic rift along with ancient mountains led to deposition of sediments in the rift valley. These two processes alternated over time. The immense weight caused the entire area to sink, and become cemented together. Finally, a collision of continental plates caused the entire rock formation to be tilted and revealed the structures that you see here today at Horseshoe Harbor. They are formed mainly of igneous rock, with a high percentage of densely formed basalt and rhyolite. Cementing the conglomerate structure is a small percentage of sedimentary rock such as shale and sandstone which are generally not as strong and durable as igneous formations.
Horseshoe Harbor 6 Image Pano
Horseshoe Harbor Conglomerate Ridge
Piece of Stromatolite from the Precambrian era and are the earliest known fossils on Earth. Stromatolite can be found throughout the Horseshoe Harbor area.
Pond Along Mandan Rd
Headed out on Eirk’s Rd, which is a pretty good starting point for getting lost. I took a left here, a right there, another left and so-forth. Ended up on quite a few trails I’ve never seen, one headed toward Bald Mountain. I’ve seen pictures of people hiking to the top of Bald Mountain and it looks like a great view from there, but not me this day, way too hot and the deer flies were out in force. From there following another trail I noticed I was coming close to Cliff/40 Foot Falls which I’ve been to many times, only this time I was coming in from a whole different direction, one I didn’t know existed, from the north. Anyway, because of the deer flies and heat, I drove by the falls without stopping. At this point I was in familiar territory, so I took a turn off and headed towards a pond I saw on the GPS. Was a pretty pond, took some photos and off again. Decided it was time to start heading back home, so I hit the Triple A west. Along the road, where it had been logged pretty heavy in past years, I started seeing signs about spraying herbicide, I was shortly stopped by a pickup. While stopped I could hear a low flying helicopter, but couldn’t see it. Moments later I was let through. Along the way home on Triple A I took some photos of some Foxgloves, but other than that, just made my way home to the dogs.
Trail to Bald Mountain