Wednesday, July 30, 2008

"Every morning, I've got a new chance" Spoon

The rocky coast of Lake Superior

Whitefish Point received the chilling nickname of Graveyard of the Great Lakes because of all the shipwrecks at the turn of the 20th century that happened here. Many died in the frigid waters here

Making "sand angels"

P.S. Sufjan Stevens "Michigan" album has been in my head all week.

July 30, 2008
The longest lasting memento of our summer U.P. trips is always left on our skin. Insects are a diligent and resourceful enemy to humans and dogs in the summer up here. This evening after our puppy run down Swamp Lakes Road, I had to cover the tips of the dogs’ ears with fly repellent made for horses and spray them with Deep Woods Off before saying goodnight. Sophie found one of Jim’s bug screen hats and wore it on a puppy run tonight; the rest of us swatted wildly without much relief.

Driving up a curving M-123 today to Whitefish Point, Lake Superior sparkles in the
distance. Through the birch and fir trees, its blue expanse meets the horizon in a shimmering, meddlesome flurry of waves. It is restless and cold as a non-committal lover pacing at the edge of the great north woods.

We find the Whitefish Point Harbor and pull in for a visit. Old fishing boats (hardly ships) sit along rusted metal docks. They have names like Sally Sue and Cassie K. Things creak and sway. Seagulls perch indifferently.

In my mind, I try to imagine what perils these waters have seen. This is, afterall, the “Graveyard of the Great Lakes.” More sea faring vessels have met their demise at Whitefish Point than any other area on Lake Superior. I imagine the screams as` hundreds of voyagers, perhaps expectant and hopeful about their ventures to a new land, crossed the Hudson Bay and Lake Superior, only to meet a treacherous and frigid death in the apathetic waters at Whitefish Point.

We journey up to the Shipwreck Museum of Whitefish Point, then. The picturesque and sunny day makes it difficult to imagine the chilling scenes of death portrayed in the museum. Despite being the end of July, the temperature is only 65 degrees and the water is downright numbing. It is haunting to imagine that watery grave.

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