As I continue down the side road, I make sure to have my windows down. There is just something about the freshness of the air as you near Lake Superior that makes it seem necessary to do so. The absence of cars and factories paired with the rich forest creates an unmatched aroma. I often find myself breathing more deeply here just to experience it.
The sunlight begins to bleed through into my car as the trees which created a soft, green canopy become fewer and fewer. The view of the landscape opens up, appearing as though it is painted against the skyline, sits the awe-inspiring tower that is Copper Peak. Although I make this drive often, the first glimpse never fails to impress.
The gravel crunches beneath the tires as I pull into the small lot, and the overlapping songs of many birds greet me as I exit the car. The quaint chalet, filled with an abundance of souvenirs and history, sits near the bottom of the world’s tallest ski jump.
The metal handle is cool to the touch in the morning; chills go down my spine. Closer to the main slope is the gut-wrenchingly steep chairlift, awaiting to take those brave enough on their way to the top. As I study the chairlift, the tops of the many trees along the hillsides sway gently in the breeze. Although the breeze is not powerful, it is enough to make my skin cold to the touch, which foreshadows strong gusts of wind for those heading to the top.
The ski jump will surely be swaying, shifting beneath the feet of visitors. For some this sensation causes their stomachs to drop with dread. For others it only adds to the uniqueness of the experience. Upon the top of Copper Peak, the expansive forest appears like a soft blanket, coverage as far as the eye can see, and Lake Superior resembles a pure blue mass on the horizon, melting into the sky. The feeling of being on top of the world is comparable, and unforgettable.