Copper Harbor Lighthouse

Copper Harbor Lighthouse

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Dog Day Afternoon 2

This was one of the best days we've ever had!  Cocoa had her first experience with Lake Superior, and we all loved every single minute of it.  We're all exhausted and we have a big day with a Church Picnic tomorrow, so we'll write more about today's events later.  We couldn't rest until we shared two photos with you, however. Here's Cocoa dipping her toes into Lake Superior for the first time.

Here she is about 15 minutes later.  Notice the Lake Freighter on the horizon.

All is well in the Keweenaw!

JULY 1, 2012 - We had a Church Picnic today, so we made it home early. Hmmmm. What to do with the rest of our evening?  Yes, let's take Cocoa back to the beach in Eagle River.  What a difference a day makes!
There wasn't much of a breeze this evening, so Lake Superior was pretty calm.  The water is very clear, so Cocoa spent most of her time at the beach "fishing" like she used to do at our neighbor's pond. We have a very happy dog.  She actually looks like she's smiling in some of the photos we took tonight.  Her folks are very happy, too!

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Dog Day Afternoon 1

Steve drove up to the property to work in our barn yesterday and today.  He took Cocoa with him.  When he backs the truck up near our fence here in Calumet, she knows she's going for a ride.  She's gets so excited!  When Cocoa first gets to the property, she does a lot of sniffing.  After that, she sticks pretty close to Steve for the rest of the day - just the way she behaved back in Saginaw.

We thought we would share a few of the photos Steve took this afternoon.
Steve was eating a granola bar when he took these last two photos, so he had Cocoa's full attention.  I'm sure she was hoping he would either share or drop some crumbs.

All is well in the Keweenaw!  Cocoa agrees.  "Woof, woof!"

Saturday, June 23, 2012

A Winter Visit

Yes, I realize this is the month of June. No, this is not another post about snow in the Keweenaw. It’s a post about a visit from Pastor Eric and Ruth Winter. I was very tempted to use a different title for this post: “A Visit from Old Man Winter.” Pastor Eric and I have always traded barbs, so he wouldn’t have been insulted. As you can see, I decided to play nice (for a change).

Ruth is an actual Yooper, but she had never traveled to the Keweenaw Peninsula. She grew up west of Manistique in the southern U.P., and Pastor Eric is a native of Canada. I worked with them at Community Baptist Christian School for many of the 18 years they've been in Saginaw. Don't tell anyone I said this, but they're great people. Shhh. You didn't hear that from me.

Our first official visitors were spending some time in the U.P. in celebration of their 30th anniversary. They arrived in Calumet on Tuesday and left on Thursday afternoon. The weather wasn’t ideal, but the Lord gave us a break in the weather for some sightseeing, and then gave us a nice photo opportunity with some fascinating storm clouds on Lake Superior.

Their visit with us began on Tuesday with chit chat, dinner and a drive south and east of Calumet.  We headed down Hwy. 203 and made our first stop between Calumet and Hancock at McLain State Park.  Although this park is known for beautiful sunsets, the clouds were not going to cooperate that day.  Quick entrance to the park was secured with our Michigan Recreation Passport (that tiny “P” on our license plate tab).  We bypassed the camping area and headed southwest along the park road to the seawall and fishing pier.  A lighthouse is located at the end of the seawall or breakwater.  My brain wasn’t functioning well enough to remember the name of the lighthouse when we were there, but it’s the Keweenaw Waterway Upper Entrance Lighthouse. 

If you study a map, the lighthouse is situated at the western end of the Keweenaw Waterway, also called the Portage Canal.

As you can see, Lake Superior was not the typical sapphire blue that evening.  Here's a photo of the guys checking out the storm clouds in the distance.

We buzzed through Hancock, Dollar Bay, Lake Linden and stopped at the overlook north of Hancock for a quick photo or two. By that time, they were pretty tuckered out, so we headed home and treated them to our deluxe basement accommodations.

The next morning, we all had a few bites to eat and headed up the peninsula along Hwy. 41. Our first stop of the day was for the obligatory photo op at the Keweenaw County Snow Gauge (a.k.a. Snow Thermometer). I got a nice shot of our guests.

We rarely pass by this location during the tourist season without seeing someone posing at the base of the gauge. We continued up Hwy. 41 and made a brief stop at our property. They obviously couldn’t be allowed to depart the Keweenaw without seeing our acreage, barn and basement. Then, it was on to the old mining town of Central, once the home of almost 1300 people. The last permanent resident left in 1952, but there are still a few homes used as summer residences. We toured the two old mining houses open to the public. One is filled with informative displays about the ghost town and one is set up as a home with period furnishings.

Ruth was the first to notice this deer at Central.

Back in the Traverse, we made our way to Copper Harbor. After making a short stop at the public dock in the middle of town, we headed to the Copper Harbor Lighthouse overlook on Hwy. 41. I know I recently posted a photo of this lighthouse, but here it was on June 20th with an overcast sky.

We went on to Hwy. 41’s northern terminus just east of Copper Harbor. Remember, Hwy. 41 begins in Copper Harbor and ends in Miami (or vice versa). Fort Wilkins was next on the list. The sun came out, and we did a pretty quick tour of the fort. I snapped a few more shots of Lake Fanny Hooe while we were there.

Next, it was back through the town of Copper Harbor and up, up Brockway Mountain. It’s hard to see in the following photo, but there was a layer of fog, clouds or maybe the approaching storm in the distance – just above the waters of Lake Superior.

Still pretty! We walked over to the other side of the parking area and photographed Lake Medora.

After winding down Brockway Mountain Drive back to Hwy. 26, we headed to Esrey Park. This is the park I’ve mentioned in the past, the one with the rocky steps. Here’s another view of the coastline there. You can even see Hwy. 26 through the break in the trees on the right.

Next stop: Silver River Falls. Then: Eagle Harbor. We took the Marina Road and let them photograph the Eagle Harbor Lighthouse from that vantage point. Our stomachs were really ready for cookies from The Jampot by then, but we couldn’t pass by Great Sand Bay without stopping. Here’s a shot of the amazing view we had there.

Pretty impressive storm, huh? This isn’t the first “cloud wall” we’ve seen in the Keweenaw. Here’s an approaching storm we photographed last July 4th in Copper Harbor.

Another beautiful sight when you live near Lake Superior!

We somehow made it into The Jampot for muffins and cookies before the rain came. The skies opened up as we left, and it poured and poured until we were most of the way down Five Mile Point Road. We drove to Kearsarge for dinner at The Hut, went to church, and enjoyed muffins and a Keweenaw mining DVD before retiring.

The next morning, Steve and Pastor Eric went out to our property for a little target practice. They also took a golf cart ride in the woods, stopped at the falls in Eagle River and Pastor Eric did some rock hunting on Five Mile Point Road. Yes, they took some rocks back to Saginaw. We’ve all done it! Their stay was brief, but we crammed a lot of activity into it. We had a wonderful time sharing the Keweenaw with our guests.

All is well in the Keweenaw.

23 Years

It was 23 years ago today that my first husband went to heaven.  Even back then in the midst of that intense grief, I felt blessed that I had him in my life - although we were married only 4-1/2 years.  Today, I feel even more blessed.  God gave me another incredible man to call my husband 16 years later.  We are now over 6-1/2 years into our marriage, and it's a wonderful, happy marriage.  Steve loves the Lord, he loves me and he loves the Keweenaw Peninsula.  What more could I want?!

I'll write another post today or tomorrow about the visitors we had this week.  Plus, I haven't forgotten about the kitchen post.

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Photo of the Day

Whew, we've been busy!  Our new kitchen sink, faucets and countertop are now installed.  That means the kitchen is finished!  I'll try to post before and after photos within a week.

We're expecting company from Saginaw tomorrow - our first official visitors since moving to the Keweenaw.  They'll stay with us until Thursday.

While you're waiting for the kitchen pictures, here's a photo of one of our favorite parts of the Lake Superior shore.  We took this photo in April.  We just love it when the water sparkles like this.

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Cute Photos of the Day

Last Saturday's trip to the Eagle Harbor Marina produced the following cute photos. We've seen Canada Geese there before, but we were delighted to see the whole family this time.

Those little goslings are pretty adorable!  They crossed the gravel road right in front of our vehicle.

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Fort Wilkins - Part 2

If you haven't already read yesterday's post, please stop and do so before continuing.  This post is a continuation of that one. 

Everybody ready?  OK, we'll continue our tour of Fort Wilkins Historic State Park in Copper Harbor.

Ammunition for the fort had to be stored as safely as possible, so a Powder Magazine was a necessary structure.

It's a neat little building, isn't it?

Now a photo of the interior.

The Guardhouse was next.  This is located near the original entrance to the fort.  You can see the Guardhouse in the photo below on the left of the Powder Magazine.

This photo shows the interior of one of the cells in the Guardhouse.

Here's one of the original cell doors.

Here are some interior shots of the Officer's Quarters.  Plexiglas has been installed across the open doorways prohibiting entrance into the rooms, so reflections made photography a bit difficult.

The privies for the officers and their families were located in back of their quarters.  Chamber pots were obviously quite handy after dark!  Thank you, Lord, for indoor plumbing.

The Post Hospital was next on our tour.  This building has been restored to its 1870 appearance.  First, two photos of the doctor's office.

Secondly, the hospital ward located in the same building.

Now on to the Barracks.

Back before electricity and refrigerators, the Icehouse was needed.  The red arrow in the photo below shows the poor condition of the Icehouse in 1889.

Here's the exterior today.

The sutler maintained a store at the fort to sell provisions to the soldiers.

The exterior of the store is shown next.

Now, some interior shots panning from right to left.

What could your money buy?

Here's a nice diorama of Fort Wilkins.  The Married Enlisted Men's Quarters (first on our tour) are at the bottom right.

We were nearing the end of a beautiful day.  As we drove away from Fort Wilkins, we stopped briefly along the road to snap a photo of the Copper Harbor Lighthouse through a break in the trees.

We drove into the little village of Copper Harbor and turned left at the blinking light in the middle of town.  By the way, that blinking light is the only traffic light in all of Keweenaw County!  We meandered down the section of Hwy. 41 known as the covered road.

A pretty drive any time of year.  We made our way back down to Kearsarge and stopped for dinner.  Can you guess where?

A full parking lot is always a good sign.  We were in the mood for a good burger at The Hut, as it sounded like a nice American thing to eat on Memorial Day weekend.  DELICIOUS!  We really love it up here. 

If you would like to read a bit more about Fort Wilkins, click on the green links below:

These are the same links that were included in yesterday's post.

Until next time. . . All is well in the Keweenaw.