This summer we had two fairly short vacation trips, with four days in-between to regroup and do laundry. We really didn’t plan to do our trips so close together, but it just worked out that way. I’ll be talking about trip one this week, and trip two next week. They could hardly have been more different.

Last year we spent several days exploring the eastern part of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, home of the “Yooper.” What we found was an un-crowded, naturally beautiful area with some interesting history and fun activities, like the sunset cruise to view the “painted rocks” on the Lake Superior shore.

This year we spent our time on the middle and west side of the U.P. Most of our time was spent in the Keweenaw Peninsula – a peninsula on a peninsula. Sticking out into Lake Superior as it does, the Keweenaw enjoys cool breezes in the summer, and tons of snow in the winter. The record high seasonal total of 355.90 inches was recorded in the winter of 1978-1979. The low record of 81.30 inches was recorded in 1930-1931. Eighty inches doesn’t seem very low to me.

Fortunately, we were there in the summer, and it was beautiful. We took several hikes – one of them in an old-growth forest with trees that were over 450 years old. We had some great meals, and took another sunset boat trip, this one brought us ten miles out into the lake where we met up with a thousand-foot long ship, and ran alongside it for ten minutes or so before heading into the sunset – literally.

We did lots of rock hunting which, I have to admit, is surprisingly mind-clearing. And, as always happens on our vacations, we hit a half-dozen or so museums, covering mostly the copper booms of the past, and the contributions made by immigrants from all over the world.

We spent some time in the city of Calumet which was the center of the biggest copper boom. It remains a nice town, even though the population is one-twentieth of what it once was. A resident is quoted as saying that for people who want to live in Calumet, that has to be their career, meaning that they’ll do whatever it takes to make a living so they can live there.

We saw a number of eagles up fairly close, and when we went up to a scenic overview in the Lake of the Clouds park near Ontonagon around sunset, we saw, several hundred feet below us, a cow moose and her calf stepping into a small river.

Like last year, we found the area to be un-crowded and beautiful. There were no water parks or roller coasters, but that’s not what we’re after these days, so it was a good trip. I’d go again.

Where did we go four days after we returned? Check out my next post.


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Filed under 2013

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