My wife and I just returned to Duluth from the other end of Lake Superior. We just spent just shy of a week as volunteer lighthouse keepers at Crisp Point. This beacon is one of the most remote in the USA. The Lake Superior coastline from which it shines is fourty miles from the nearest town, and requires a 19 mile drive along a poor dirt road. However the reward upon arriving at Crisp Point is fantastic!
Not everyone would like this gig. Unlike other volunteer keepers jobs, there is no residence building. Molly and I camped out in our tent. The waves of Gitche Gumee provided our music by which to fall asleep. Our tent was only 30 yards from the beach. Each night the temperatures would fall to near freezing, and one is off the grid. The closest power line and drinking water is an hour drive away. In fact, the might Fitz sunk just seven miles off this light. I often could hear Gordon Lightfoot’s song in my brain as winds gusted to 30+ mph!
During the core part of the day we ran a small, unheated visitor center. It was fun to explain the history of this location to the folks who were willing to make the long drive, and encourage them to climb to the top of the tower, and even try the catwalk (no charge!). By 4 or 5 pm our last guests would leave and Molly and I would enjoy our heaven on earth … knowing the closest other human were over 20 miles distant. It was now time to prepare our dinner, watch the sun set over Lake Superior, and have the evening campfire.
Molly, who also writes for Lake Superior Magazine, has also blogged about our stay at Crisp Point. Learn more about Crisp Point via its historical society web page. Finally, here are a few photos taken which work one through the day … from the Blue Hour which is approximately 40 minutes before sunrise to our lighthouse keeper campfire!