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A day late again – This poem describes one of my favorite spots in the entire world. Our family has made this decision once a year of the last six years.

Artist Point Decision

You have parked your car
at the entrance to the point
in the expansive blessedly-free parking
   provided by the wonderful little town of Grand Marais
and you have walked towards the lake
 past the Corps of Engineers building
 and along the short path
  flanked on either side by tall, berry laden bushes
and now you can see it’s churning waves.

You walk up the four or five steps to the cement path
 And look past the rock sculptures
  That creative people have labored to build
   (Karems? caroms?)
And now you have a choice.

You turn right, and see
Close up
flat rock,
(This way is very approachable)

All you need do is get your kids down to them
 The cement path is three or feet above the rock
  And it takes some doing to get down to it
And then they can run, and jump over puddles,
and see if they can climb up the rocky slopes
and make their way along the maze farther away from the decision point
 with dead ends and narrow passes
out towards the lighthouse

You see perhaps twenty people
 In ones, twos, threes and fours
making their way out to that landmark. 
 Risking their life stepping across the Very Narrow Passage way
with a twenty foot drop into the lake on either side 
  and only a single chain fence to keep you from falling.
And some are disappointed to find they can’t climb up the ladder to the light.

That’s one way – and most go there. 

This is because if you turn left you see
 Immediately in front of you
  (perhaps ten feet away)
A 4 foot high small rocky cliff
 Which looks a little imposing
And directly behind that is a wall of trees
 Which doesn’t look very penetrable,
But if you try it,
 If you brave the little cliff and climb it
You will see
 (off to your left again)
A path into the woods.
 And this path is not challenging
  It is well worn
And crisscrosses with many others
 Although you may have to duck under branches once or twice
  Or three times or four times
 And you may need to climb up a ten foot rock slope 
And
 Perhaps after a five minute, pleasant walk through the woods
  Be careful, there is a straight drop 30 feet into the lake
   if you bear left too far
Soon you will emerge out into open flat rock
 If you go at the right time of day or year you might be alone
Where you can stare out in all directions and see nothing
 (or very little)
But open lake, the eastern side of the north shore and the forest you just came from

Here your kids can put their feet in puddles
 (warmer and safer than Lake Superior)
And you can have a snack.

So when you get the chance and you are looking left and right
Which way will you choose?

As for me and my house, we often choose both.

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