Onward and upward we go, to the Keweenaw Peninsula of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. If you look at a map, it’s the ‘finger’ part of the UP that sticks out some 60 miles into Lake Superior.
Actually the area beyond The town of Houghton is misnamed. Once we cross the bridge there, the rest of the ‘finger’ is actually an island, and we have just crossed the only bridge that leads to it. Indeed, I later find that the locals call the area ‘Copper Island’.
Mining was the name of the game here beginning in the mid 1800’s. Oh sure, the Indians knew about the red metal in the earth long before that, and though they found ways to use it, they didn’t exploit Mother Earth.
Some of the oldest exposed rock in the world is here, at 1.1 billion years of age. Even longer ago than that….about 2.5 billion, give or take… lava flows brought copper and other minerals close to the surface of the earth.
There were literally 100’s of mines here at one time, mostly copper. The population and wealth expanded with the mining , until the copper became harder to find.
As the mining industry faded, the people and the money faded away as well. Now you have nature, in all her glory. You have trees and water and more trees and more water, and don’t forget the wildflowers. And lighthouses…always old lighthouses. You have mine tours, and mine museums , and many old mines….holes…where rock hounds find treasures, big and small.
While we are here we stay at Sunset Bay Campground.
And here’s an example of a sunset here….
I find myself comparing this place to a Yooper-style Deetjens Big Sur Inn…(if Deetjens were a campground) (and I realize you have to know Deetjens to know what I’m talking about), it’s quaint and funky and eccentric. It’s got character. It’s got old hippie vibes that go back long before the hippie era. The same family has owned this place since 1944. I feel really comfortable here.
On Thursday morning early, as I sit with my coffee (in that red chair above), the camp host stops by and tells me there has been a bear in her yard the last 2 nights. I find that news exciting rather than frightening….however it wouldn’t make me happy if I were camping in a tent.
Morning, before the full sunrise.
The rocks with part of my shoe for size comparison. I kept that striped one.
I was privileged to see a storm while we were there.
Moody Gitche Gumee.
The lighthouse at Eagle Harbor, 10-15 miles up the coast from the campground.
We take a ride up to Copper Harbor, which is as far north as you can go. My fearless girl. Gosh, she has trouble walking but she never lets a chance go by, to take a dip.
Or to swim.
It’s a blurry picture but a good example of how Shiloh always try’s to keep his tail out of the water. 😊
Red rocks of Copper Harbor.
A Copper Harbor Beach with some of those billion year old exposed rocks.
What a lovely time it’s been here on the Keweenaw! I’ve really enjoyed these 5 days. Yes, winters are brutally cold and snowy. Summers are short. Nature gets her way a lot, keeping the area remote and absolutely beautiful. I mean…if you like trees and water, rocks and wildflowers! I do! I do!
I like pretty sunsets too!