Travel Stage: After Pictured Rocks, before going West
Date Range: June 19 – July 10, 2016
Summary: We made it back to Cait’s hometown for Father’s Day! We stay for 3 weeks and during that time we soak up the summer fun the Keweenaw Peninsula has to offer. From boating the Portage Canal, to Fourth of July at Twin Lakes State Park, to playing tour guide for some RV friends who visited, we had an absolute blast! Couldn’t believe it when it was time to leave…and head West!
Back in The Beautiful Keweenaw
After not seeing my parents for a year, I was really happy to be home. While it is one thing to call and talk to your folks who are hundreds of miles away, it is completely different and 100 times better to sit with them on their screen porch on a summer evening listening to the frogs and the crickets singing. One of the hardest things about taking this journey is that even though we are traveling constantly, we don’t see our family as frequently. However, when we do, we are able to stay a while instead of rushing back to home and work on Monday. This time, we brought our home and work with us, and we had 3 long weeks to relax, hang out, celebrate, and have fun.
Since we brought the boat us with us we were able to see a side to the area we were able to see before. We had never wakeboarded in the Portage Canal or watched the sunset on Lake Superior from the water. It was pretty sweet.
Twin Lakes State Park
For July 4th we all packed a picnic and headed to a nearby State Park to enjoy the weather and the water. Now, as you can imagine, there is a BIG difference in weather being inland than being on the shore of Lake Superior. Sometimes 10-20 degrees. On an 80-degree day, like it was supposed to be, Lake Superior shore would probably be a brisk 68ish. We wanted the heat so we could tack more advantage of the boat!
The Stampers Visit!
Our fulltime-RV friends the Stampers were passing through the area and joined us on July 4th for the picnic and then came back to my parent’s property for a night and parked right behind us. This was the 3rd time we’d met up RVing, (other times were in
Breakers – aka the North Canal Park, this is a black stamp-sand beach with a huge rock pier protecting the north end of the Portage Canal. Stamp Sand is finely ground black rock left over from the processing of ore in a stamp mill. The rock was brought to a stamp mill to be crushed. After crushing the material was mechanically separated to extract metals, or chemically treated if the metal could be leached out. This sand was dumped into the water and carried by waves to coat the shoreline near mill locations.
Chutes & Ladders – aka the Houghton Waterfront Park, this is a fun jungle gym for kids (and kids-at-heart) with bright red chute slides reminiscent of the old board game. Photo by Bob Gilreath | pasty.com
Quincy Mine – One of the best-known copper mines in the “Copper Country” and runs tours into one of the old copper mine shafts.
Copper in the Poor Rock – We took Robert, Crystal, and the kids on a hunt for copper in the piles of
“poor rock” still behind the Quincy Mine. Poor rock was deemed to have too little copper in it to be processed, but a lot of copper still can be found if you look hard enough! We did find quite a few specimens.
Heading to the Keweenaw? Here are some more of our favorite spots:
- Carmelitas – yummy Mexican restaurant in Calumet. Huge portions, go hungry!
- The Four Seasons Tea Room – classy, delightful lunch and tea parlor downtown Houghton.
- Michigan Made – new shop downtown featuring Michigan-Made art, wine, beer, gifts, and more. Had all my favorite Michigan wines!
We obviously did much more than all this in the 3 weeks we were there, but this gives you the idea. We had such a wonderful time here with my parents, my brother and sister-in-law, and all our old family friends. Three weeks sped by, and then we found ourselves making ready to head WEST!
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