Copper Harbor Lighthouse

Copper Harbor Lighthouse

Saturday, February 18, 2012

A Lovely Drive

Each new holiday since we’ve moved has given us the opportunity to enjoy our first one in the Keweenaw.  Valentine’s Day was no exception.  Steve suggested we take a drive up past our property, along Hwy. 26, on to Copper Harbor, and end the drive with dinner at The Hut, one of our favorite restaurants.  There’s just something so special about the wooded roads, the rocky coastline and our beautiful Lake Superior.  That scenery is one of the things we love most about the Keweenaw Peninsula.  The sky was overcast with occasional light snow flurries, but that didn't matter.  We stopped at our favorite coffee shop and ordered two to go.  We started up Hwy. 41.  Even though we’ve had over 11 feet of snow for the season, we’re still below average, and we’ve had more lulls in the action than usual.  The snow has had time to condense and melt between storms, and it came as a surprise to see the small snowbanks along the roadside even in the higher elevations.  The banks should be much higher at this time of year.  The natives say this is definitely not typical; we shouldn’t expect this every year!

The roadside snow appeared whiter and whiter as we climbed further up into the Keweenaw, as lighter traffic creates less dirt.  We drove through Mohawk and Phoenix and turned onto our road.  We were interested in seeing how big the snow mound was at the entrance to our driveway.  Although it doesn’t look that high in the photo at the right, it’s far too deep to drive through even with the truck.  The mound on the left side of the road just opposite the 35 mph sign is the driveway entrance. 

Steve continued driving to Eagle Harbor and turned right onto Hwy 26.  Aahhh, our beloved coastline!  We drove slowly and enjoyed every moment of beauty.  Somewhere near Lake Bailey, a huge deer crossed the road in front of us.  It hustled up the steep wooded embankment on our left and stopped to gaze down upon us.  We paused briefly in the road and looked up at it.  It was a monster, the largest deer I’ve ever seen.  We had to continue on - having no desire to be rear-ended on that winding road. 

The scenery changes so much with every season.  During the winter months, you can actually see quite a distance into the forest.  We could see a few old crumbling buildings that can’t been seen at other times of year.  We made a quick stop at Esrey Park.  It’s a roadside park overlooking Lake Superior with gorgeous rock formations.  You can climb the rocky steps and get a better look.  We’ve taken Corvette photos here in the past.  

Further down Hwy. 26, we came upon some ice fishermen leaving the ice.  We wondered if they were bringing fish home for dinner.  Copper Harbor came next, and we made a short stop at the public dock where we view the July 4th fireworks.  It was interesting to see how the ice had collected in that small harbor, but we could see the open waters of Lake Superior beyond.  The big lake isn’t going to freeze over this winter.

We opted to make the complete circle tour and left Copper Harbor via Hwy. 41.  That drive is lovely, too, with the road covered by tree branches part of the way.  Again, we saw a few buildings we had never noticed before.  Lake Medora was lovely, as usual, and we made our way back down the peninsula for dinner at The Hut in Kearsarge.  The Hut is known for generous portions and delicious food.  The meal didn’t disappoint!  We ordered the walleye and not a morsel was left on our plates.  It was a fine way to end our Valentine’s Day outing.  We thank God for each other and for the blessing of living in such a beautiful area.


  1. Sounds like a BEAUTIFUL drive! Would love to see that in the winter time. Know its gorgeous in the summer months! Wasn't that "Brockway" Mountain where you took us before the wedding.? so pretty up there!

  2. Yes, that was Brockway Mountain. We've taken a lot of photos up there - including some you will see on this blog. The Brockway sign in the photo above is the sign for Brockway Avenue at the public dock in Copper Harbor.

  3. Hmmm.. So is Valentines Day a Holiday up there? Is St. Patrick's Day Holiday up there too?
    You brought the winter Circle Tour to life. Both summer and winter seasons each have there special features, but only a few see this side of Keweenaw. Thanks for sharing it with us, I'm even starting to smell the coffee. ( Did you stop at the new coffee house in Calumet?)

  4. OK, we'll call Valentine's Day a Hallmark holiday! We stopped at the 5th & Elm Coffee House. They advertise themselves as being "tucked inside a renovated 1929 gas station. Fair trade & organic artisan coffee, bakery, bagels, soup, ice cream."


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