The Keweenaw Peninsula

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.

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And here’s an example of a sunset here….

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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.

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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.

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The office.

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Morning, before the full sunrise.

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The beach.FullSizeRender

The rocks with part of my shoe for size comparison.  I kept that striped one.

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I was privileged to see a storm while we were there.

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Moody Gitche Gumee.

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The lighthouse at Eagle Harbor, 10-15 miles up the coast from the campground.

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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.

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Or to swim.

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It’s a blurry picture but a good example of how Shiloh always try’s to keep his tail out of the water. 😊

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Red rocks of Copper Harbor.

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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!

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I like pretty sunsets too!

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15 Responses to The Keweenaw Peninsula

  1. Michele Jackson says:

    Hi Micky! Great pictures and post about your stay at Sunset Bay! We’re enjoying our time in Marquette. Saw some impressive waves with 30mph winds yesterday. Beautiful day today. Happy travels! Michele

    • Hi Michele! Good to see you here and so nice meeting you and Randy. Yes the wind yesterday was something wasn’t it! Wow, had a scary incident while traveling partly due to the wind. I’ll tell the story in the next blog.
      Waves were big when I left Sunset Bay. Really beautiful. Enjoy Marquette!

  2. Sharron says:

    Well I am putting Michigan on my to do list. Have been to Sault St Marie, American and Canadian side, but for just a short visit. Driving back through Michigan with little time to stop along the lakes. So you have inspired me to return for a better look. “The Lakes” amaze me.
    PS: final date should be Aug. 14 then a lot of moving furniture etc. to do. New name, and I will definitely be on the road by the first of next year if not a short trip before then. Plan on seeing you in Arizona for sure!?!??

  3. Marsha (currently near Iron River, MI) says:

    Be on the lookout for the northern lights. There have been sightings from Brockway Mountain.

  4. Patty says:

    Love your reference to Deetjen’s! They are trying so hard to keep going. The slides last winter from all the rain and trees falling did a number there. Their foundation is working hard to try and reopen when the new bridge opens late September.

    Looks like a lovely area!!

    • Hi Patty, yes I’ve heard about how difficult it’s been for Deetjens. And at least one of the cabins came down, in slides I guess. That place is so dear to my heart…and to the hearts of so many.
      Last I heard, they think they will make it. Hope the bridge gets open as scheduled on that Wild and Lonely coast.

  5. einercnm says:

    So lovely! I have learned a lot from your posts,about areas in this country that I know little about. There is so much beauty!

  6. I’m so behind on my comments!!
    I guess all I can say is AWESOME!!!!! Trees, water, rocks and wildflowers….yes, yes, yes!!!! I can’t begin to imagine anything as old as those rocks!! It gives me goose bumps!! You have definitely put Michigan on our “to experience” list!! What beauty you guys have experienced!!
    Joy is a true “water dog.” Shiloh’s tail is so full he doesn’t want it to weigh him down ha!!! They are precious!!! Glad they enjoyed their swim!!

  7. dawnkinster says:

    Somehow I missed this post…the post about my old hometown! 😦 I think I was camping, and now I’m trying to catch up with emails. I LOVE it up there. Now I’ feeling homesick, though I wasn’t born there. It gets in your blood. And of COURSE you had to take a stone home. I can’t go up there without bringing home at least one.

    I bet the cold water makes Joy’s bones feel better. RV Sue’s Spike used to like to soak, you remember, maybe for the same reason, or maybe just because it’s fun. Glad she got to swim in Lake Superior! Not many people are that brave, though dogs often are. She’s a sweet girl.

    Have fun on your continued adventure! Thanks for the memories from the Keweenaw!

    • Hi Dawn. The Keweenaw was one of my very favorite places in Michigan. Well, being it’s summer….😁
      I can’t imagine the winter. Would love to hear stories about that sometime!
      Yes, I actually took a number of Stones. Just what I need to be doing…carrying rocks from one part of the country to another, but I can’t resist. Also, I’ve found I like holding a favorite palm sized rock when I meditate. It has to be one that means something to me…
      Yes, I’ve thought maybe the cold water feels good for Joys joints.

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