Copper Harbor Lighthouse

Copper Harbor Lighthouse

Monday, July 29, 2013


After a week of lousy weather, it was absolutely gorgeous today! Thus, we now have a basement floor! I added a few more photos to the CONSTRUCTION page (in the left column), but here's the finished product - obviously not completely dry yet.

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sunday Reflections

We should finally get our basement floor poured this week!
It's a rainy day again today, but all is well in the Keweenaw.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Birthday in Heaven

Today would have been Daddy Dave's 78th birthday. Even though Steve's stepdad left this earth back in February, days like today make the loss seem very real. Dave Grosart was a man who was loved and respected by many, and he is surely missed. His family and friends gathered together in Traverse City last month for his memorial service. It may sound strange, but we had a wonderful time reminiscing with family and friends that weekend. It is comforting to know that we will see Daddy Dave again, because he accepted Christ as his Savior - just months before his death. 

The following photo is one of a series of sunset photos I took last year on July 3rd on top of Brockway Mountain. Doesn't it look like the hand of God is reaching down out of the clouds and is holding the sun just above the surface of Lake Superior? It's such a beautiful illustration of how the Lord holds us in His hand after we are saved - and we can never lose that salvation! Amen!

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sunday Reflections

I've decided to add something new to the blog in order to share more of the zillions of photos I've taken. Beginning today, I'll try my best to post a new photo entitled "Sunday Reflections" every Sunday. It won't be just a photo, however. It will be one of my photos (usually taken here in the Keweenaw) with an overlay of text - most often a Bible verse.

Enjoy the first contribution.

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Celebrating With Friends - Part 5

I didn't touch my camera at all on Saturday, July 6th. Marty and Donna did a little sightseeing on their own and watched some of the Guts Frisbee Tournament in Calumet. Here's a link to that if you want to learn more about it. The history page is especially interesting.

Marty and Donna came to our place, and we hit up a local antique shop and 2 junk shops. Marty bought 2 interesting little bottles for his honey business (Marty's Bee Farm - "Where Everyone Gets a RAW Deal"). We grilled some steaks and watched NASCAR - just a laid-back day in the Keweenaw.

Sunday was our church picnic. Marty and Donna attended the morning service with us at Keweenaw Baptist Church, and we all headed to the Calumet Waterworks Park for the picnic that afternoon. It was considerably cooler next to Lake Superior and some folks weren't prepared with jackets, so the decision was made after the meal to return to the church for the afternoon service instead of having it at the park. It still seemed too early to go home after that service, so we headed to Hancock for some exploring. 

Marty is always interested in the local copper mining history, and he knew of the existence of an old water tower near the site of the Quincy Mine. He always wanted to find it and photograph it. I did a little research about it and found a map on the Internet. It's the last remaining railroad water tower in the region, and we found it. Actually, Marty found it. The rest of us were totally mesmerized with the beautiful view from that hill and the 2 lovely homes across the road from the water tower. This is what you could see of the water tower from the car.

I zoomed in for the next one.

We did some more sightseeing in Houghton - showing them things like the waterfront, the "fast food strip" and the Houghton County Courthouse.

Time for more food? Hey, why not? We couldn't allow Marty and Donna to leave the Keweenaw without tasting the fish tacos and Cheesecake Xangos ("rich, smooth cheesecake rolled in a melt-in-your mouth, flaky pastry tortilla then fried to a golden brown") from Joey's in Houghton. I'm convinced that Cheesecake Xangos will be served in heaven. They're that good!

OK, let's take the long way back to Calumet in order to stop by Lakeview Cemetery to find the grave of local boy, George "The Gipper" Gipp, as in "Win just one for the Gipper." 

His life story is an interesting one. If you would like to read more about it, click on the following links:

We relaxed at home with Marty and Donna for the rest of the evening. They spent the night in our "guest room" in the basement and headed home to lower Michigan early the next morning. We had a great time with them all week and are already looking forward to next year. We all have reservations for July 3rd and 4th in Copper Harbor again. Now. . . if we can just convince them to be in the parade with us. We have some great ideas!

All is well in the Keweenaw.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Celebrating With Friends - Part 4

Friday, July 5th was check-out day in Copper Harbor. Although we're currently living just 33 miles away, we're always a bit sad to leave this rustic little village. We have so many wonderful memories here. I couldn't resist snapping a few more shots of the harbor as Steve was packing the vehicle. 

Wait a minute! What was that little white dot in the harbor near the center of the last photo? Can you see it?

Yes, it's another LOON! I never noticed it at the time.

It was time to load the golf cart back onto the trailer.

Good job, honey.

We pulled out of Copper Harbor with Marty and Donna behind us again. We stopped at the property to drop off the golf cart and the small BBQ grill we had taken to "da Harbor" with us. While we were at the property, Marty gave Steve a few pointers on his new welder. Marty has a similar model at home. After suffering a few bug bites, we went into Eagle Harbor - following signs for a garage sale. Julie bought nothing. Steve bought another TV (Every barn needs one?) and 3 bird feeders.

Back on Hwy 26 between Eagle Harbor and Eagle River, we noticed the shoreline at Great Sand Bay was as crowded as we had ever seen it. 

Don't laugh; that's crowded in the Keweenaw. It was a warm day at the peak of tourist season.

As long as we were nearby, it made sense to stop at The Jampot (bakery) again to replenish our cookie supply. We headed back to Calumet to unpack. Marty and Donna checked into a cottage for 2 nights and caught up with us a bit later. Then, we were all on the road again and stopped at the park on Five Mile Point Road.

I love this tree that's leaning toward the water.

The top of the tree is so interesting.

Bete Gris was next on the agenda for the day. Marty and Donna had apparently never visited this area in any of their previous visits to the Keweenaw, so it was time to show it to them. We drove past the beach first and went to the end of the road to view the Mendota Lighthouse (now privately owned) across the canal. The boathouse is the white building; the lighthouse is in the background.

Here's a better view of the Mendota Lighthouse.

If you would like to read more about this lighthouse, click on the following link.

We paused again at the beautiful beach along Bete Gris Bay. I didn't take any photos on July 5th, but here's a panorama from last year.

This mile-long beach is sometimes called "Singing Sands Beach." When you place the palm of your hand on the surface of the sand and rotate it, the sand is said to make a singing sound. Here's another shot directed at the clear water of Bete Gris Bay.

It's hard to pull yourself away from a view like this, but we wanted to be first in line at our next destination - the Friday Night Fish Fry at the nearby Lac La Belle Lodge. Many people had recommended this dining experience to us, but we had never tried it. Marty and Donna were willing accomplices, so we finally did it. Wow! We weren't disappointed; it was delicious! It's a must-do on the agenda when anyone is visiting us on a Friday from now on.

Stay tuned for Part 5 of Celebrating With Friends. All is well in the Keweenaw.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Link Fixed

If you tried to click on the link to the fireworks video in the last post (Celebrating With Friends - Part 3) and it didn't work, I'm sorry about that. Go ahead and scroll down to the bottom of that post, and click on it again. I fixed it.

Celebrating With Friends - Part 3

After the 2013 Copper Harbor Independence Day Parade was finished, Marty and Donna opted to relax in Copper Harbor while Steve and I drove back to Calumet. We needed to pick up the food we had planned for dinner, and we also needed to feed Cocoa. It wasn't long before we were back on the covered road to Copper Harbor. 

I captured a portion of Steve's cap in the photo as we whizzed by Lake Medora.

We were near the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge in no time at all,

and we began our descent into Copper Harbor.

The town was buzzing (by Copper Harbor standards)!

They had already blocked off the road along the shore in preparation for the evening fireworks.

We stopped by the motel to pick up Marty and Donna, and we all walked down to the park in the middle of town. The volunteer firemen were cooking hot dogs and brats in the park as a fundraiser, so we all had a bite to eat - an inexpensive lunch for a good cause. 

Copper Harbor has quite a few gift shops, and it was necessary to visit a few of them on the way back to the motel. We were further obligated to sample some items at the tiny new bakery, too. The old-fashioned doughnuts and the raised doughnuts with thimbleberry icing were just incredible. Nice and heavy - like doughnuts used to be when we were kids - Yummy!

On the corner by our motel, we noticed that a food vendor was beginning to set up his booth for the evening. Steve was beyond excited, as the vendor has been absent from the July 4th waterfront for the last 2 years. Steve has great memories of that vendor and past purchases of gyros, nachos, brats, snow cones and cotton candy. I reminded him that we had lots of food waiting for us in our motel refrigerator, but he was certain he was going to leave some funds with that vendor before the night was over.

We separated from Marty and Donna at the motel again, and Steve and I took the golf cart to a few more gift shops. I'm happy to report that I bought a new coffee cup (to replace the old friend I lost recently). It's not the perfect coffee cup, but it will do. 

After a little more sightseeing, it was back to the motel. Steve and Marty did a little sightseeing on the golf cart, too. We all talked on the deck of the motel for a time and watched the Isle Royale Queen IV come back into port about 6:30 p.m.

Did you notice the vendor's booth in that last shot? You can see the pink cotton candy hanging under the tent roof.

Next, it was time for din-din! Steve got the charcoal going in the small BBQ grill we brought along, and we were soon eating cheeseburgers, tuna macaroni salad and chips. Some of us also had 1 or 2 chocolate chip bars. I'm not sure if it was the second cheeseburger or the second large helping of tuna macaroni salad, but Steve's stomach finally decided to protest. He had to stretch out on the bed with the cool breeze blowing on him, but he recovered pretty quickly. Needless to say, he never did pay a visit to that food vendor!

I didn't get any shots of the Isle Royale Queen IV leaving the dock on the sunset cruise, but I did get 2 shots of it returning again at dusk.

Food vendor alert - lower right corner of that last photo! I wonder if they speculated about what happened to Steve. He had sounded like such an enthusiastic potential customer when talking to them earlier.

Now, fireworks time!

The fireworks are shot from Porter's Island across the water toward the town of Copper Harbor. The show lasted about 40 minutes - not bad, huh? The grand finale lasted almost 2 minutes, and it was captured on video. If you would like to see it, click on the following Vimeo video:

Stay tuned for Part 4 of Celebrating With Friends. All is well in the Keweenaw.

Monday, July 15, 2013


Cocoa had her follow-up appointment with the Vet this afternoon. Her cornea is much, much better. Steve has to put antibiotic drops in her eye for another 14 days, but she has been released from solitary confinement in the backyard and is now allowed to go to the property or to the beach.

In celebration of the good report, Steve stopped at the Calumet Waterworks Park and allowed Cocoa to swim in Lake Superior for a while. She thanked him after they got home by doing a bit more digging in the backyard. You can see her handiwork (or paw-work) in the background of the next photo.

I guess grass is overrated in her world. All is well in the Keweenaw.

Celebrating With Friends - Part 2

We awoke bright and early on the morning of July 4th bubbling with excitement about participating in the annual Copper Harbor Independence Day Parade. The first order of business was to decorate our float - better known as our golf cart.

Yes, I know Wannabes should have had just one "e." I didn't notice that I spelled it wrong when I ordered that personalized banner. Since we plan to use the banner every year, it's going to stay that way. I'm not sure anyone really cares that I spelled it wrong anyway. Wannabe is really a slang term - a phonetic shortening of want to be. The banner means we aspire to be Yoopers - an unattainable goal, since we were not born in the U.P. One of the locals once told Steve that we could consider ourselves Yooper Wannabes after we survived 2 Keweenaw winters. That explains the sign we put on the back of the golf cart.

Marty and Donna helped us decorate the golf cart. That last shot was the only photo I managed to take of them the whole week, and I only got half of Donna! Anyway, Steve and I hopped on the golf cart, lined up on 10th Street and waited for the parade to begin at 10:00 a.m. 

Here we come!

There we go!

We handed out 75 "God Bless America" mini flags to the kids, but we could have easily handed out 4-5 times that many. We'll be better prepared next year. The crowd looks pretty light where all these parade photos were snapped at the main intersection in Copper Harbor. The crowd was thicker as we traveled further down the street.

When you watch the parade, it takes 6 or 7 minutes. When you're in the parade, it takes about an hour and 5 minutes. We had no idea that the parade route was going to travel from 10th Street, down Hwy 41 through Copper Harbor, through the Lake Fanny Hooe Resort and Campground, and through both campgrounds at Fort Wilkins State Park. That was a round trip of about 5-1/2 miles. We were glad our golf cart batteries had a full charge!

More parade photos from Marty:

Steve thought his parade days were over after his boys were finished with Boy Scouts. Little did he know. We both thoroughly enjoyed our parade experience and already have more ideas for next year.

Stay tuned for Part 3 of Celebrating With Friends. All is well in the Keweenaw.