The earliest recollection was at the age of seven, circa 1965, sitting in the back seat of the Pykonen family station wagon our destination the Copper Country in the northwest corner of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula on the Keweenaw Peninsula. To get there we pass Munising, Michigan on the southern shore of Lac Superior and a site that stood John Wayne tall and mighty to a seven-year old! Munising is the gateway to Grand Island just north and offshore of the town, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is to the east, there is fishing, hunting, and off course skiing.
The drive through will take just minutes as no fuel for the car or body is needed as mom and dad have well prepared with necessary snacks and cold beverages to reduce stops. As we approach from the south on highway M-28, something peculiar appears a half mile to the northwest looming above Michigan type mountains lined with trees, a ski jump of all things! Now, my young mind knows all about ski jumps from watching ABC’s Wide World of Sports and the agony of defeat
but to see one here in plain sight near the highway seems odd. Does not one have to travel miles of snow-covered landscape to come across one of these? However, there it was right before my eyes in all of its 60 meters of 1928 aged wood beauty. What made this ski jump so unusual, in my mind, is the illusion that jumpers would end their 10 seconds of cold flight right on the highway! However, as we move north than northwest through town you got a better perspective of the jump and of course, the 60 meters is not umph enough for skiers to make the highway. The Munising ski jump slowly shrinks out the back window of the car as we leave town and is slowly gobbled up by the hills and forest waiting until next year.