Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Saturday, July 11
#1 Copper Harbor Lighthouse from the view point (we did not take the boat ride out to it)
#2 Ft. Wilkins State Historical Park
#3 The VERY tall snow depth gauge!
#4 McClain State Park - Upper Portage Entry Lighthouse (That's Jerry waving his arms at the end! )
#5 Toni's - yummy famous pasties (and cookies and cinnamon bread!)
#6 The lift bridge over Portage Lake and canal
Drove up the Keweenaw Peninsula towards Copper Harbor. On the way we had to stop in Calumet at Toni’s for pasties…the came highly recommended by our camp neighbors in Munising. We got one to go and it was wonderful!!!
Our first stop was Ft. Wilkins State Historical Park. Located in Copper Harbor, this fort was established in 1844 to protect the copper mines from Indian attacks. This is a living history museum with re-enactors taking on the roles as they would have been in the mid 1800’s. If you have never been to a living history museum, it can be a bit disconcerting to have the park representatives speak to you in the character of their time period. Seems duty here was not very popular b/c of harsh winters and not much else to do. It was a most interesting place and we thoroughly enjoyed it.
There was a stop on the way in where you could overlook the Copper Harbor Lighthouse, and although it is not an island, the road to it is closed and it is accessible only by boat. But the lookout was really pretty.
we stopped at Eagle Harbor Lighthouse but did not take the tour. Instead we climbed the lookout station close to the lighthouse for a view of the harbor and the top of the lighthouse. The shoreline here is rocky and the water is very clear and has wonderful colors!! I think that is one thing that has surprised me the most about the Great Lakes so far…I guess I did not expect the water to be this clear.
We drove back along the shoreline and it was a beautiful drive. At one point we stopped at a great sandy bay and let the dogs run a bit….it was very windy and very cool in the wind. In fact in places you could get your legs sandblasted on the beach.
Another great stop was McLain State Park at the entrance to the Portage Lake Canal. There the Upper Portage Entry Lighthouse is located at the end of a long breakwater. We walked out on the breakwater and I opted not to go the rock hopping to get the rest of the way out to the lighthouse, but Jerry did. There were several windsurfers taking advantage of the gale that was blowing - needless to say they were in heavy duty wetsuits!!! It was a neat place.
We also found our way back to the snowfall stick by the side of the road...they get some pretty heavy duty snows up here...last year they had a mere 23 feet of snow...the record snowfall in 78-79 was 390 inches of snow!!! Amazing...There was a VERY tall marker to indicate the spot!
We stopped again at Toni’s to get a bite to eat and stocked up on goodies as well….got some cookies, and a loaf of cinnamon bread for breakfast.
Going back through Houghton and Hancock, there is a very impressive lift bridge and in Houghton, the Michigan Tech campus is right along the river and also has some impressive buildings. We arrived back at the campground rather late, and finished leftovers from dinner last night.
A couple we met at the campground who are from Michigan were also at Toni’s when we got there and then speaking with them later at the campground we found out that they come every March to Gulf Shores so we may try to see them again next spring.