Saturday, July 19, 2014

Driving tour of Keweenaw Peninsula

It was a cool, cloudy day, but by late afternoon we hadn’t gotten any rain, so we decided to take a drive up the Keweenaw Peninsula to Copper Harbor.

We didn’t have any particular sights planned, but we were just going to drive and see what we came across.  The drive from Ontonagon to Houghton-Hancock was pretty uneventful; just a drive through the woods, with an occasional lake and old mine.

In Houghton, we crossed the Portage Lake Lift Bridge (much smaller than the Aerial Lift Bridge in Duluth), and continued north on US-41.


Snow Scale


Along the way, we passed this indicator of just how brutal a winter it was up here . . . that’s a lot of snow!


Continuing north, we turned off toward Eagle Harbor and came across the Eagle River Falls.


Eagle River Falls


Eagle River Falls, and

Birch Trees, which to me just say “you are back in Michigan”.

Birch Trees

We were driving along the lake now, and stopped to walk down to the beach.     Walking down tot he beach

The boys spent some time skipping rocks, and I pick up a few beautiful stones that I found in the water – although Tom tried to throw them back!

Don't do it, Nicolas!

Even with the overcast sky, the view was great.  It’s pretty rare to see Lake Superior this calm!

Lake Superior

Along the road, there are several of these little huts built into the bluff overlooking the lake.

A little hut overlooking the lake

The view was wonderful, and I bet it’s a great place to watch a sunset!

The view from the little hut

We reached the tiny town of Eagle Harbor, and stopped to look at the lighthouse.

Eagle Harbor Lighthouse

Rocky Shoreline










After leaving the little town of Eagle Harbor, we reached Copper Harbor and the Historic Fort Wilkins State Park.





Entrance to the Fort is free with the Michigan Recreation Passport, so we took a walk through the buildings.

Historic Fort Wilkins

The first few buildings were living quarters for the enlisted men,

Infantry Housing

each one outfitted with furniture, clothes, tools and games that the people of that time period would have had in their homes.


The next group of buildings were the work areas – a blacksmith shop, kitchen,


and a bakehouse.  The bakehouse was a lot of fun . . .

We saw a recipe for an army-sized batch of bread,


and Bryce tried his hand at baking bread in the brick oven.

Bryce could be a baker

There were racks for rising the dough,

Bread rising shelves -- just like Subway!

and shelves for the finished product.

Bread in the breadhouse

All that was missing was the delicious smell of bread baking!

We continued around the Post, stopping in at the Quartermaster Sargeant’s Office,

Quartermaster Sargeant's House

where we talked to an interpretive volunteer talked about life at the Post during the harsh winters and short summers.  Nicolas even tried his hand at using a quill pen – they are difficult to write with!

We finished our tour of the Fort,

On the porch

and then made the drive back to Ontonagon.  It was an interesting and educational way to spend a cool, cloudy afternoon!

1 comment:

  1. We're fans of the Keweenaw. Attractions: Lake Superior views and beaches, clean air and water, north woods hiking and biking, berry picking, fascinating history with mining ruins to explore, geology to learn about, fresh fish to eat, friendly residents and no so crowd where visited before boston to washington tour. Good thing it's so far from big cities, that's what's saved it from being trashed by overdevelopment.


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