Summer in the Keweenaw means long hours of sweet, sweet sunshine. This lends plenty of daylht to go outside and play late into the evening. Read: all those times you think it’s 8 pm but it’s actually almost 11. Fortunately for us, the sun was still high in the sky as we headed up to Copper Harbor at 6 pm to meet up with Chris Guibert (pronounced Ghee-bear) for a bike ride and an interview.
We met Chris at the iconic Keweenaw Mountain Lodge, where he runs their blooming Outdoor Activity Center (O.A.C). The O.A.C sits adjacent to the main lodge, a smaller building but holding its own in the category of charm. The once-storage shed-now-gear-center overlooks the golf course framed by Brockway Mountain not too far off in the distance. The log cabin building gives the entire atmosphere a rustic sentiment appropriate for the remoteness of Copper Harbor. One step inside, though, tells a different story. The walls are lined with new bikes and helmets, mountain biking action shots hanging on the walls, and a glowing Red Bull cooler in the corner. Not too rustic after all. After admiring the new O.A.C and all it has to offer, we hopped on our bikes and hit the trails. Coinciding with the Copper Harbor Women’s Biking Weekend, we had the pleasure of passing a pack of ladies on the trail going for a joy ride before their long weekend of coaching and biking. The energy on the trails was bright and exciting; exactly what riding in the Harbor is all about.
We wound through the woods stopping at not only trail intersections, but also just about every ripe thimbleberry we could spot. At one pause, Chris tells us about his Chihuahua, GiGi, who enjoys following her parents shredding down the trail, or a basket ride front and center on the bike as Chris rips downhill. Little anecdotes like this are sprinkled throughout the ride and keep us laughing. Every time we take off or corner around the trail it’s accompanied by the high pitched *ding ding* of a little bell on Chris’s bike; a tool of the well versed guide on a two-way trail. Which, besides being useful, is also somehow hilarious.
Post bike ride we settle in for a good talk over beers: Barrel and Beam has a specialty ale crafted just for the Mountain lodge: KM Ale. And so begins the interview which, despite being almost 2 hours kept us on the edge of our seats with intrigue the whole conversation.
Chris’s journey is a tale of adventure, curiosity of life, and definitely determination. We listened in awe as he recalled his life through the lens of biking and photography. Before landing in the Keweenaw, he lived all over the country, biked from Canada to Mexico, and truly paved his own way. Er...single tracked his own way? Above all else Chris has a deep appreciation for all the Keweenaw has to offer, and wants to share his love of slow sports in this beautiful place with others. Chris’s commitment to sustainable tourism and sharing his passion for biking shine through his stories, with a streak of humor and humility. Don’t believe us? You’ll just have to listen for yourself.
Author side note: As I take on a new adventure in my life, I’ll be leaving the Keweenaw and along with it, the Logbook project. Haley will be going full speed ahead, bringing you the stories of the Keweenaw with the new co-host, and her fiancé, Cody Goodreau. You couldn’t get a better duo if you tried!
I’m excited for a new chapter although ending this one is extremely bittersweet. I adore this place I’ve called home for so long, and all of the people that make it feel that way. Truly, the Keweenaw has shaped me into the person I am and everyday I’m so thankful for all of the badass, inspiring people I’ve met in my time living here. I want to say thanks to everyone who has supported the Logbook as it’s gone from an idea to a flourishing project! I can’t wait to see what the future holds for it!
Until next time, I’ll be outside (in the mountains),