Like I do whenever I reach a high elevation where the air is thin and clear and clean and the sky an immense circle and you feel like you're falling even while standing up, I struck some yoga poses: tadasana with fingers pointing overhead into the blue, warrior one, warrior two with fingers pointing east and west, and five pointed star. Here I am, bracing myself against the wind, facing south towards the US, the Canadian woods and water behind me.Climbing the spiral edge of the mound reminded me of the serpent pyramid I climbed in Mexico a few years back. Perhaps this, too, was a sacred place of pilgrimage for the Indigenous people before settlers came and made a park out of this land.
Last Thursday, I hiked Finger Point trail with my son. The trail is off Highway 61 just this side of the US border, on the Canadian side; it's part of Pigeon River Provincial Park. At the top of the lookout -- it's a steep spiral climb -- is a wooden bench/platform shaped like Lake Superior. Wrought iron wings depicting voyageurs curve around the bench. You are not expecting to find art suddenly in this desolate place, so coming upon it is a joy.
A top the high, yet small in circumference, mound that pops up into the sky at the end of the trail, I felt like I was going to be blown away. We had not expected the wind to be so strong, as it hadn't been forecast. The blowdown from the previous storm a few weeks back made the trail a gruelling challenge, and at one point, I shouted over the wind to my son, "Should we turn back?" Once we made it to the top, however, our difficulties were behind us. The point of land beyond the lookout juts out like a skinny finger into Lake Superior. The view is outstanding, something a camera can never capture as it is beyond sight.
Here is the lookout from a distance, from the shore of Lake Superior, halfway there. You can see the finger of land pointing into the water, the mound that is the lookout like a cushion calling you. Who would turn back?