Sailing Lake Superior aboard the Mary Lou

Menigoz pic 1Littered across the beaches of Lake Superior are innumerable amounts of driftwood. Having spent so much time around these one summer, I soon hatched a plan. It is the dream of every boy’s since the likes of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn- to build and sail your own raft.

The construction of such a vessel would take about two days. I gathered the best of the logs I could find (and there was no shortage to choose from) before getting to work. The bonds that would hold my raft together were coils of rope I had found in my barns. The work started slow, attaching one log at a time and going around and around with my rope. Finally, however, I tied my last knot and stood in pride of my work. The only step left was to christen the craft. This would soon prove to be the easiest task of all. It seemed only right to name the raft after the owner of the beach house we were using. And so it was that the next day was to be the Mary Lou’s maiden voyage.

Menigoz raft flagI couldn’t have picked a better day out of the whole summer for such an event. The sun shone out of blue skies and the lake lay still. My destination was two miles away, but it would take me more than two hours to reach it. I propelled myself with a long skinny log which took some getting used to. The saying ‘It’s all about the journey, not the destination’ proved all too true this day. I moved slowly and quietly along the lake, enjoying the scenery and solitude. I rowed rhythmically with hot skin and sore muscles, but this only made me enjoy it more. This is not to say however, that when I did finally reach my final destination I was not glad. I was admittedly relieved to rest after the tiresome journey. And though I had not gotten wet the entire trip, as I attempted to dismount the raft I fell fully into Lake Superior in front of my amused family and relatives. Quite an unexpected ending to such a memorable day.

Henry Menigoz, YCC member – Ontonagon



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