High Rock Bay : Keweenaw

With the bikes loaded, we took the very wrong road to High Rock Bay. After about half a mile, Sandy felt the road would be too technical for her and she came back. I thought I could do it, ‘ I continued.

It was a difficult three miles or so before I could see the open sky in front of me. I felt so good to know that I was approaching the end of the Keweenaw Peninsula

When I climbed the hill, the view was spectacular: the water and rocky shores, as much as I could see. This must have been one of the most remote and beautiful places I have ever visited.

Hoping to find the monument to the early space program, and without a map, I tried a “road” that I had passed earlier.

No Luck. This led me to another clearing along the shore. The one I had seen since my first stop on the hill.

Just when I wanted to give up, I took a closer look at the only traffic sign out there,” the Point Trail.”The sign indicated that walking and cycling were allowed. It was worth a try, as I had done so far. I said, ” Why not?”

The Point Trail was a fun, narrow trail that quickly turned stronger as I walked. After going through some of the biggest climbs, my common sense told me it was safer to stop and push the bike. Without mobile phone service, there was no way to call for help.

Pushing only the bike was difficult. If the soil was not large rocks, it was small, very worn stones. The sand was long gone. I felt like I was walking on marbles.

When I pressed the bike against a tree and took both cameras and GPS, I started running. When I got to another beautiful view of the rock, I noticed rings of fire.

I discovered one that looked like a low marble pavement in an opening. Hoping to find the hidden launch site of the rocket, I quickly headed to him.

Once I was almost there, I could see what looked like the Arc of a metal track. It was similar, but noticeably smaller than the tracks I knew from my days at the Kennedy Space Center. I knew I’d found it.

It was not an easy task to find it, but I found myself at the place where missiles were fired under the direction of NASA between 1964 and 1971.

Later in the day, when we stopped at the Copper Harbor Visitor Center, we saw this photo of an Arcas rocket prepared for launch in 1964 on a white Sand launcher. A little digging revealed that this launch site was originally set up by the University of Michigan to launch missiles to collect weather data. Because of shipping traffic, they limited launches to the winter months.

In 1971, they launched much larger rockets: two Nike Apaches under the direction of the Goddard Space Flight Center. Although they hoped to launch Redstone missiles, the launch site was never used after 1971.

It was a long journey back, but the satisfaction of finding the monument kept me going. In many places the road was too steep and rocky for me to ride, so there was a good hundred meters to push the bike uphill.

On the way, traffic had decreased in the other direction with a handful of vehicles and a few other drivers. When I was less than half a kilometer from the starting point, a large all-wheel drive stopped and the power window was lowered.

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