Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Copper Country means no traffic jams

During my visit to the Keweena Penninsula, I was given a guided tour by Laurium based outdoor writer Jim Juntilla.
He's sort of a transplant having lived all his teenage life in Laurium before heading downstate and college at Wayne State's school of mortuary science. His dad was an undertaker so it may have been assumed young Jim would follow in his dad's footsteps.
That didn't last too long. Young Jim was wooed into the advertising biz where he made a career out of doing public relations work and writing some of those catchy ads. When he retired he wanted to live in one place, back in his hometown.
Along with his name and contact info on his business cards, Juntilla includes "the northern most outdoor writer and photographer in Michigan. To date he's had no arguments or challenges.
Back to traffic or rather, a lack of it. "Wow, we've got a traffic jam. What was that, four cars that turned left at this intersection," Juntilla quipped while driving me around.
Roads are paved, two-lane throughout the peninsula with very little vehicle traffic. But if you're driving say on highway 41, kind of the main drag through the area watch out for both deer and bear.
"We've got more deer around here than people," Juntilla said. He wasn't kidding either. We did see deer but no bear.
However, not long into our tour, he took me to a spot not far off the road to show me an active bear den.
Then we were off to see more streams most of which he called good brook trout spots if you did some bushwhacking to get back in away from the highway.
Maybe, Oakland County with all of it's lakes resembled the Keweenaw years back. Take traffic, freeways, and a building boom, and you are left with two lane roads, plenty of woods and a lower population density.
If that is true, it had to be a long time ago. Checked out my story about the Keweenaw in Thursday's Oakland Press sports section.

1 comment:

  1. I would love to live like that where the wildlife is all over the place. Trouble is many others would too and then somebody wants a fast food burger and the next thing you know it looks like Pontiac.