Friday, August 9, 2013

Kayaking at Copper Marbor Marina and Monks selling jam

It was another kayaking day.  We put in at the Copper Harbor Marina, just a few miles from our campground at Fort Wilkins State Park in Copper Harbor, Michigan.  The harbor is beautiful: pretty boats, fir-lined shoreline, and when you look across Lake Superior, of course, inky blue water as far as you can see.

The wind had picked up just about the time we left the campground, but didn’t seem too bad when we got in the water.  About 30 minutes into the paddle, however, it was gusty.  I decided Lake Superior was not the place for a self-taught lesson on how to handle my kayak in choppy water. So I turned around and hugged the shoreline all the way back. 

Jim however, kayaked to Porter Island, a small, rocky bit of land with a lot of fir trees ad bushes. While I was waiting for him, I paddled around the most protected part of the harbor, looking at the boats that were docked.  No one was taking any boats out because by this time a small water craft advisory had been issued. 

As I was looking at the boats, three other kayakers paddled into the harbor.  I said “hi” but the first two didn’t even look up; they just kept paddling intently. The third person smiled, made eye contact and said “We’re looking for some calmer water.”  Turns out he was giving lessons to the other two who I’m sure we’re concentrating.  When the three of them got close to shore they practiced getting in and out of their kayaks.  Then they went back out into deeper water; each one tipped his kayak, dumped out, and practiced getting back in. That’s something I’ve got to learn how to do so I can kayak further away from the shore. Or maybe I'll just stay by the shore.

After we got the kayaks back on the car carriers we drove to the “Jampot,” a little store about 20 miles south of Copper Harbor and on the shore of Lake Superior. It's run by a Catholic Byzantine monastery and was another “must see” place recommend by several locals.   The Jampot has jams (thimble berry is a specialty), jellies, cookies, candy, liquor-infused pound cakes, fruit cakes ... all sort of goodies made and sold by the monks.  We  purchased gingerbread cookies (delicious) and spiced chocolate chip, raisen and walnut cookies.  A very pleasant man in a brown robe with a long gray and black beard waited on us.  I wanted to take a photo, but it just didn't seem like the thing to do.  But I did get a photo of their cool no parking sign near the store entrance.  It read “Thou shall not park here.”

Again, no photos until we get somewhere with a better Internet connection.  I'm guessing it will be a place whose best known business does not consist of monks selling jam.  If you want to read more about these particular monks, click here.

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