On Wednesday evening myself and a couple other members of the Keweenaw Paddling Club got together to paddle the shoreline south from Breakers. I feel this is one of the nicer paddles in the area. It’s relatively close to town, it’s on the Big Lake, there are numerous sandstone bluffs, and it faces west so you get some great sunsets. There are also many small waterfalls visible throughout this stretch, with the one in the image above serving as our typical turnaround point.
Now, the waterfall in the above image is nothing special. It’s not exceptionally large, or in any way spectacularly scenic, but it is pretty cool. The water that poured out of it was actually quite warm and when the water levels on the lake are high enough you can paddle under it. Paddling under waterfalls is just one of those fun things to do… sort of like paddling through sea caves, or through narrow channels. Something about features like this just call out to you begging you to paddle through, under or around them.
Anyway, on Wednesday as we approached the point where the waterfall should be we came upon this scene.
On the paddle out I had noticed a lot more erosion this year than I even have in the past. At the time I knew things had changed, but it was difficult to determine just how different things were. The collapsed falls were the only spot where the amount of erosion was visible. It was a sad sight, and I’m sorry to that future paddlers won’t get to experience it. However, my hope is that after a few spring storms sweep through the area, that some of the debris will be crushed up and redistributed… we’ll see.
For now, please be careful while paddling out along the cliffs on the west side of the peninsula. Things are looking very sketchy and if a significant portion came down, even if you weren’t right under it, you could be in a bad spot.