U.S. 41 West to Copper Harbor

Another crummy day in Paradise the Upper Peninsula: partly sunny and 70.

I slept like a rock waking up late at 8 a.m.  I fed and walked Henry, ate my blueberry muffin from the Big Bay farmers market, cleaned up, got unhooked and emptied out, and we were on the road by 10.

The route to Copper Harbor from Marquette and Ispheming is U.S. 41 West.  However, it only actually goes west until you are directly south of the enormous Keweenaw Bay then you head north the rest of the way to Copper Harbor.

The Baraga State Park day-use area on Keweenaw Bay was my first stop.  You get a glimpse of its beauty and surprising size as you pass through L’Anse.  Because it forms a large 30-mile long sheltered bay off of Lake Superior, sailors over the centuries must have loved it.  Here’s the best map that gives you a sense of its size that I could find on Google images (look mid-map for “Keweenaw Bay”):

Below is one of my photographs of Keweenaw Bay.  As you can see, yesterday’s winds have calmed and the Bay was near motionless.

Keweenaw Bay from Baraga State Park

We got back in Ecovision and headed further north through Chassell (which looks very nice) to Houghton and Hancock.

When you get to Houghton you drive right into and through the campus of Michigan Tech.  I only stopped in Houghton long enough to mail some postcards.  After being unable to find even one post office or mailbox in Marquette or Ispheming, I was happy to find one in Houghton and right on 41 West.  It was one of the large, stately, old-fashioned ones, when post offices were esteemed government institutions and a linchpin of their community.  I actually took this photo mostly for my Mom.  Mom has gathered photos of post offices ever since my sister Wendy moved to the small “town” of Casanova, Virginia, and gets her mail from what must be the tiniest post office in America.

Post Office in Houghton, Michigan

I was tempted to stop at the Isle Royale National Park office , but I felt a need to keep heading north.  There should be an office of some kind in Grand Portage, MN, where I plan a half-day trip to the Island.  So I crossed the metal bridge north into the smaller city of Hancock.  I spotted a post office there, too, right on 41 West and also Finlandia University.  The area was largely settled by Finnish and Cornish immigrants drawn to work in the mines.

Quickly the road was twisting and uphill and driving a motorhome meant I just kept going even though I spotted a sign for the Keweenaw Coop.  As the hill started to level off I came to a Keweenaw Waterway view site and pulled off for a few photos.

It was a little disturbing to see a pretty red Buddy scooter sitting there with keys in the ignition and no one in sight.  Hope nothing dramatic had happened.

Then to uphold the theme of this trip, I went again went backward!  This time down the twisty road until I saw the Keweenaw Coop sign again.  I turned right and kept going until I saw their wall of gorgeous murals.  Since I am now working part time doing education and outreach for the People’s Food Cooperative of Ann Arbor, I am having fun stopping at all of the food coops on the Lake Superior Circle Tour.  The first one was in Marquette, and I’ll add details and photographs of my stop there on August 10th soon. But for now here are some from the Keweenaw Co-op in Hancock:

Keweenaw Co-op walls of murals

Food co-ops always post community happenings.

Co-ops always have the freshest foods! And many are organic!

I had nice chat with Matt who started a month ago. Matt lived in Ann Arbor for five years and loves our very own People’s Food Co-op!

I was lucky to meet Ken Steiner who I learned was one of the founders of the Co-op in 1973. Plus he served on the board for many years and worked there for ten.

I bought a few goodies then back into Ecovision to continue on.  I stopped in Calumet to have lunch at Cafe Rosetta on the recommendation of Natasha of the Marquette Food Co-op.  She was so right, a welcoming charming cafe with delicious healthy food.  I also highly recommend this cafe.

Back to U.S. 41 West and the next stop was Fort Wilkins State Park.  The east and west campgrounds are actually on the inland Lake Fanny Hooe.  Lake Superior is on the other side of U.S. 41.  I picked out a site with view of Lake Fanny Hooe in the east campground.  It was also the campground with wifi :-).  Can you believe there is absolutely no cell phone service (at least not AT&T), but I have fairly strong wifi near the very tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula?

I met people who were snorkeling and canoeing on Lake Fanny Hooe.  It’s an ideal lake for quiet water sports.  Henry and I enjoyed some campfire time (and he enjoyed lots of cuddles and pets) with a lovely couple from Traverse City.  Below I’ll post a few photos from this campground and then it’s time to turn out the light.  Tomorrow I have a five-hour drive to Bayfield, Wisconsin, and the Apostle Islands.  I’ll stay there two nights like I did for Grand Island.

Viewing deck across from my campsite.

The essence of Lake Fanny Hooe.

Family fun on the lake.

Henry is still avoiding getting his feet wet, but has found his own way to enjoy a lake.
He says good night!

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