Our Trip to the Gull Rock Lighthouse

Debbie Roark and Gary Riemenschneider
Dublin, Ohio

Our trip to Gull Rock was tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, August 7. When we awoke on Tuesday morning, it seemed to be a little windy. Communications were challenging, so we were unsure of whether we would be able to go out. While we waited for Peter, we had a hearty breakfast at The Pines restaurant, across the street from our hotel, The Mariner North.

Right on schedule, Peter arrived, said the weather was a ‘go’, and we headed off at about 10am. Peter had prepared us with detailed instructions for the trip so we knew just what to bring and what to expect. The first part of our trip was on a VERY bumpy road to High Rock Bay near the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula. The ten or so miles took about one hour due to the condition of the road, through a very nice, isolated area. Peter’s wife and two sons were waiting for us by the Zodiacs. We’re going across the water in those little boats?! They were cozy but had ample room for three people and lots of gear in each.

After donning our rain gear and life jackets, we headed off. Hold on tight! It was a little wavy and we got drenched, as expected. Fortunately, no one was thrown out of the boat! Peter said the ride is better than Disneyworld! It was about two miles from the Bay to Gull Rock. We should have been able to see the light from shore, but due to a fire somewhere nearby it was obscured by smoke most of the way. It was an interesting and somewhat unique perspective of the lighthouse. It appeared slowly out of the smoke as we approached. We realized that the rock had a little elevation to it. Our previous views were from the Keweenaw Star. With the additional height of the boat, the rock had appeared almost flat.

After the Annins secured the boats, we were shown around the grounds. We viewed the deterioration of the building – lots of work ahead. One of the interesting things pointed out to us was, believe it or not, the privy. Apparently there were intended holes at the bottom of the privy that made it a ‘flusher’! We were saddened to hear that the Michigan state government had temporarily suspended the grants so the roof was not going to be repaired in 2007. We hope the winter of 2008 is not too severe.

After our initial tour, we were treated to a nice Merlot while our hosts prepared lunch. We were surprised to have grilled steak, salad, mashed potatoes, and raspberry tarts. Yum!! The service was excellent. We highly recommend the Annin family ‘caterers’ for all future camping trips. They even provided table and chairs.

After lunch we trekked to the top of the lighthouse. The smoke had cleared and the view was spectacular. It’s a beautiful spot to visit, but very difficult to imagine living here, especially 100 years or so ago. After taking some more photos, we packed up and left the rock around 3:45. It was much calmer, almost flat, on the way back. We enjoyed the visit very much and hope to have an opportunity to return in the future to see the restoration that is planned for the near future.

The Zodiacs

Lantern and Gallery

Brick Spalling

Inside Privy

Mainland View

Our Trip Hosts - The Annins



Photos on this page provided by Debbie Roark


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