Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Keweenaw Peninsula

The Keweenaw Peninsula is the northern-most part of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  It is usually referred to as the Keweenaw by locals.  A peninsula on a peninsula--is there a word for that?

Michigan Technological University is in the Keweenaw, about 30 miles south of the tip of the peninsula.  There are jokes about road signs saying "The end of the world: 4 miles.  Michigan Tech: 5 miles."   We didn't see such a sign,  but then again we didn't see very much besides trees on our drive north through the Keweenaw to get to Houghton-Hancock, where the university is.  The area reminded us of Duluth, Minnesota, with it's very steep hills and lift bridge.

Here is the Portage Lake Lift Bridge, connecting Houghton and Hancock:

Houghton as it looks from the bridge:

And Hancock:

And Portage Lake, which is really a wide river (or maybe it's a canal) which separates the two cities:

My son had a college visit at Tech on our trip.  It's a great school, and if he chooses to go there, I would be happy for him, but wow, it's far away and hard to get to!  He does not like hot weather, so the long winters there would be perfect for him.  

We drove to Copper Harbor the day after the college visit.  The highway goes through the woods with trees crowding close.  It doesn't feel like a state highway.

This must be breathtakingly brilliant in the autumn when fall colors are at their peak.  

Copper Harbor is supposed to be very scenic, as is the Brockway Mountain Drive, but we had nothing but fog the day we visited.  Fog is picturesque in its own way, but it looks the same everywhere, you know?

Lake Fanny Hooe

Fort Wilkins Historic State Park

Fort Wilkins Historic State Park

Copper Harbor. Lake Superior is in the fog.

On the Brockway Mountain Drive--in the fog
We visited several beaches and saw one waterfall.  There are many waterfalls in the Keweenaw, but we saved waterfall hikes for later in our trip, in a different part of the UP.

On our final day in the Keweenaw, we participated in a local celebration in Calumet:  Pastyfest!  Pasties are strictly a U.P. thing in Michigan.  If you go looking for a pasty in the lower peninsula, no one will know what the heck you're talking about.

Note the "Welcome to Pastyfest" sign in the background.

We were tickled to stumble upon a celebration honoring a meat pastry!