Saturday, July 13, 2019

Day 5, Copper Harbor and back

Up and at 'em by 7:30, breakfast at Miners Café in Laurium, then off on MI-26 north.  At Kearsarge, we had to take picture of the stone USS Kearsarge (a WWI destroyer, not the Alabama's bane) - didn't climb on it like Bill did as a kid during Copper Harbor trips.

The stone Kearsarge

We took the cutoff on Cliff Road, past the site of the Cliff Mine, first of many economically successful mines in Copper Country. Our first view of  Lake Superior and our first waterfall came at Eagle River. We also picked up our first rocks here.

The rock beach at Eagle River 

Eagle River falls

The day started out cloudy and cool, giving the lake a dark cast instead of that scenic blue, so we concentrated on the next waterfall, Jacob's Falls (on Jacob's Creek - Bill remembered associating it  with the hymn about Jacob's ladder).

Jacob's Falls 

Did you know this stretch of Lake Superior coast has sand dunes?  Bill didn't remember this section, but it provides good views and access to the beach.

 View from the dunes

Another type of ladder - a long way down

Eagle Harbor is the Keewenaw County Seat and is notable for its lighthouse.  Tours are available - for a price.  We opted for photos from a view tower.

Now it's time for Brockway Mountain Drive, known for the long views it provides.  On the way up the mountain's wooded side, Bill saw a black bear cross the road and disappear into the woods. Up on top, we were disappointed that no lakers were in sight, but Bill used his longest lens to capture a yacht/fishing boat running parallel to the shore.

The cloud cover remained, along with a slight haze from far-away fires, so we couldn't test whether Isle Royale could be seen from here.  The clouds did add some interest to this shot of Copper Harbor.

One of the main attractions of Copper Harbor is Fort Wilkins State Historic Site. The fort, placed to protect/keep the peace during the copper boom, was active from 1842 to 1870 and was manned by a small infantry detachment.  The buildings in the pictures are original, with restoration of buildings and stockades by the WPA.  Two first-person interpreters did a nice job staying in character, but I tried to ask questions that would allow them to answer w/o causing them difficulty.

 Private's wife waiting for some water to start the washing

Private in the 1st U .S. Infantry, ca 1870, on fatigue duty

 Parade ground and post buildings

Sandra is her own character

Copper Harbor itself hasn't changed all that much - a few more motels, only a few restaurants, and minimum access to the waterfront.  We noticed that most waterfront property on these natural lakes is privately owned, limiting our chances for good scenic views.  Our lunch was a mediocre pasty at Tamarack Inn, so we started back toward Calumet via Lakeshore Drive and Lac la Belle.

 A rock beach in a cove along Lake Shore Drive/MI-26

Haven Falls at Lac la Belle

It's 22 miles from Lac la Belle to Gay, an old mill town. The route features sand beaches, and a great place for rock picking - so we picked a bunch.  Then it was on to Gay for a beer. Want proof?


Back to Calumet for supper at Connie's, the last of the pasty houses we wanted to try. Guess what! It's closed Saturday & Sunday, so no Connie's for us.  We ended up in Lake Linden, where Lindell's was also closed for the afternoon, so we had an excellent hamburger & superb onion rings at Beakers at Dairyland.

118.7 miles for the day, 1144 for the trip.  Tomorrow we do the laundry and do a little additional gallivanting.

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