We had a spectacular weekend here in the U.P. We participated in the "End of the Road Car Cruise 2012" from Calumet to Copper Harbor. The weather was perfect and the Corvette was polished to perfection. I'll share the photos in a future blog post.
In the meantime, here's another of our lovely sunset photos showing the Keweenaw Waterway Upper Entrance Lighthouse. It was taken at McLain State Park on July 14.
All is well in the Keweenaw!
Monday, July 16, 2012
After the parade was over on the morning of July 4th, we ran a few errands and then made a beeline back to Copper Harbor via Hwy. 41.
I snapped a quick photo of the fence at the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge as we passed by - another project completed during The Great Depression.
As we drove down into Copper Harbor, we couldn't help but notice the boat on the harbor.
The weather was delightful - 74° and sunny - pretty perfect! We spent the afternoon walking around town. We visited almost all the shops (including the old-fashioned candy store), watched the potato sack races in the school yard, chatted with people, and enjoyed a brat and a pop at the cookout by the Copper Harbor Volunteer Fire Department in the Township Park. That may sound dull to some of you, but we enjoyed it all. Copper Harbor is a very laid back place; that's what we love about it.
After all that excitement, we went back to our room and had our dinner while relaxing on our deck. Here's the 4th of July action on the harbor.
Here we go again!
Yes, that was another Lake Freighter. Boy, the harbor was busy for a while.
Oh no! A storm started moving in.
The people who had gathered to watch the fireworks on the hillside near our motel ran for cover. We were hoping the storm would pass before the fireworks began at 11:00.
It rained for about 30 minutes.
The rain stopped; the sky cleared. Suddenly, lots of people began coming to the shore from both sides of the motel - like a bunch of ants emerging from underground. It wasn't long before the hillside was filled with people. Darkness fell, and the show began - right on time!
I don't have the best camera for photographing fireworks, but I'll share some of our favorites with you. Remember, they light the fireworks on Porter's Island and shoot them across the water toward Copper Harbor. You can see the water in some of the photos.
The town cleared out quickly, and the weather was perfect for sleeping with the patio door open. We checked out of the Bella Vista the next morning, and pointed the Traverse down Hwy. 41 toward Calumet.
Just before I snapped that photo, we saw a young bear running along the shoulder of the road and then cross in front of us. He disappeared into the forest on our left. No sign of Mama, but she must have been close. Why didn't I have the camera out of the case when I needed it?
All is well in the Keweenaw.
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
We awoke to a glorious sunrise on the morning of July 4th in Copper Harbor. I was in a bit of a coma at that early hour (approx. 6:00 a.m.), so I don't have any photos of it. Steve was sitting on the deck taking it all in, but he didn't think to snap a picture. Copper Harbor is a sleepy little town and it always seems to awake slowly. The first thing you usually hear is the Isle Royale Queen IV blasting her horn at 8:00 a.m. when she leaves Copper Harbor for her journey to Isle Royale.
We had coffee and our muffins from the Jampot for breakfast and headed out for the first activity of the day, the annual Independence Day Parade beginning at 10:00 a.m. We wanted to be comfortable, so we took some chairs along and walked the two blocks to the main intersection of town. By the time we were seated in a prime viewing location, the crowd was gathering around us, and the air was filled with anticipation.
Don't laugh; that's a crowd in Copper Harbor! At exactly 2 minutes before 10:00 a.m., the Grand Marshal decided it was time to line up. Since she was first in line, I guess she figured she could show up at the last minute. She jumped in her old car at the Minnetonka Resort which was directly in back of us on the corner. She honked her horn a few times and took off down the street to claim her spot at the head of the line. If I remember correctly, she's the Grand Marshal every year! Within a few minutes, the parade began.
Here's the Grand Marshal again. The sign on the passenger door says, "4 WHEELS NO BRAKES."
Next, is Singin' Sheriff Ron Lahti. Yes, he really does sing. Hey, if your office had a view of Lake Superior, you would be singing, too.
Here come the fire trucks: 4 from Grant Township/Copper Harbor.
And 3 from Grant Township/Lac La Belle.
The Mercy Ambulance came next.
The owners of The Berry Patch closed up their shop in order to put their float in the parade. Remember, that's where we got our ice cream cones the night before - "a little shop with lots of flavor."
Fort Wilkins Historic State Park was even represented in the parade, but the kids in the crowd were disappointed the costumed interpreters weren't throwing any candy.
The guy running for Grant Township Trustee was next in line. His Toyota had a Wisconsin plate with the name of a Milwaukee auto dealer on the plate holder. He might want to use a car from Michigan if he wants people in Michigan to vote for him.
It's difficult to read the sign on the next truck, but it's from the Bella Vista Motel - where we stayed - a nice family business.
A patriotic golf cart representing a few gift shops followed the Bella Vista truck.
Some decorated bikes were next.
Check out this old RV. It sounded and smelled worse than it looked. Not sure who these people are, but they're always in the parade. They threw some candy and were clearly having a good time.
The RV was followed by some ATV's. . .
a couple boats. . .
and two more bikes.
Bringing up the rear was the following entry.
Their sign says, "41 years of Lame floats. . . til CAPT JOHN KILPELA" - He's the guy in the vest and bow tie. The Kilpela family owns and operates the Isle Royale Queen IV, the passenger ferry service to Isle Royale.
So, that was it - the entire parade! According to the times on my photos, the parade lasted a whopping 6 minutes! I think it was a bit longer than last year. No wonder they told us we can be in it with our golf cart next year. I'm not kidding. Steve and Julie Hamilton are going to be in the 2013 Copper Harbor Independence Day Parade. Mark your calendars now, and be sure to arrive early for a good seat!
Stay tuned for Part 3 of our July 4th experiences in Copper Harbor to be posted within a day or two. All is well in the Keweenaw!