We did steal away for occasional shopping sprees a few sightseeing days. A day trip around Keweenaw Peninsula and to Copper Harbor would be meaningful to us because our arrival there will mark our visits to both ends of U.S. Highway 41.... Miami, Florida (many times) and Copper Harbor, Michigan (first time). Cool.
The day was absolutely perfect with brilliant blue skies overhead, comfortable temperature and pretty good roads. We started at Houghton and drove part way on the interior highway to see the Village of Calumet. Later we drove along the coast to catch Eagle River Falls, Eagle Harbor and then Copper Harbor where we'll be famished -- just in time for lunch. We're hoping to find some fresh whitefish ... maybe at a small "hole-in-the-wall" place. Yum.
|This giant map of Keweenaw county shows the route we'll take from Houghton to Copper Harbor.|
The Village Of CalumetEntering the Village of Calumet is a little like stepping back in time. It was a special treasure for us to find as we'd not heard anything about it in advance!
Our first stop was Saint Paul The Apostle Church. It was formed in 1889 by Slovenian immigrants. The church was, at that time, known as Saint Joseph's Catholic Church. The Slovenian people came here to work in the copper mines. The first church building burned in 1902 but was rebuilt in 1908.
|Saint Paul The Apostle Church|
Another interesting stop in Calumet is the site of the Italian Hall. A plaque tells the story of striking miner families who were gathered in the huge building here on Christmas Eve 1913 when a false cry of "fire" precipitated a rush of people that resulted in the crushing and/or suffocation of seventy-three people, mostly children. It was a horrible tragedy.
|This archway and sidewalk are all that remain of the huge multi-story Italian Hall. |
Folk singer Woody Guthrie's song "1913 Massacre" is based on this event.
Lake Shore Drive Bridge
|The Lake Shore Drive Timber Bridge - 1990|
It replaced the 1915 bridge over the gorge that's here.
|The Wayner is so good to pose occasionally for my picture taking. |
The old bridge is the near one... it's now strictly pedestrian used.
|I don't remember exactly where, in today's travel, we came across this stone gunship. |
It seems unique enough to include here.
Great Sand BayLake Superior, it's shoreline, beach, sunshine and the area as a whole, are breathtakingly beautiful. Especially as I am seeing it for the very first time. The road up the Keweenaw Peninsula into Copper Harbor had many stops and views like this one at Great Sand Bay:
| I'm having a difficult time with large water that's without salt, sharks or seashells. |
I like it though -- no corrosion, loss of limbs or feet cuts during beach walks.
|Eagle Harbor Lighthouse|
One more stop; this one at a simple little rest stop with rock walls, shade trees, picnic tables, shoreline and more of those perfect views.
Copper HarborAnd then we arrived at Copper Harbor. It seemed strange to find that no restaurants seemed to be open. It was a Saturday afternoon, after all. Lots of people, lots of traffic, but it seemed a little like a bad science fiction move. Noting seemed to be open. A stop at a convenience store with an open door and I learned the reason: NO ELECTRICITY so nothing is being served anywhere on the peninsula. Horrors. What do we do? We make a bee line out of town on US 41 to the next nearest place to eat. By now, we're not picky... just hungry. If we find something close enough, we'll eat and come back to explore Copper Harbor. And so we drove, and drove and drove. Nothing is on this stretch of road.
Snow Gauge Park
The giant snow gauge and the tiny park around it is about 20 miles back down the peninsula from Copper Harbor. We stopped, rummaged around the back of the car to find our emergency "eats": peanut butter crackers and granola bars. There's always bottled water in the car. That's lunch. It's late, we're tired and frankly, pretty frustrated at the whole situation. We did not go back to see Copper Harbor. It's okay... at least we can say we've been there..
The snow gauge was a pretty impressive stop in itself. I wish now that I had stood by the towering measure and asked Wayne to take my picture. That would put it in better perspective. The bottom line is this: the highest recorded accumulated snowfall for this area is 390.4 inches (top of gauge) in the winter of 1978-79.
After eating our peanut butter crackers, granola bars and water, we returned to Hancock where we knew where to find a fish store that had been recommended.
Peterson's Fish Market and roadside cafe became our stop for fish. It's all the way back in Hancock, just a bridge crossing from the campground in Houghton. We bought smoked salmon, which we ate immediately and a few whitefish fillets that we baked back at the motorhome. Umm ummm good.
|Smoked Salmon at home with a small glass of wine. |