Wednesday, August 31, 2011


View from Munising campground
We had a nice short drive from Houghton to Munising on Friday the 26th.  We stayed at the Munising Tourist Park which is a nice campground right on Lake Superior just west of Munising.  We had another nice view from the campsite - we're on a roll!

Sand Point
View from scenic overlook on west
edge of Munising

On Saturday we decided not to do the Pictured Rocks boat ride again but instead see things by foot.  We started out by stopping for pasties at Muldoons and eating them at Munising Falls (pasties were good).  We drove along the shore to Sand Point and then headed to Miners Castle.  All stuff we've done but it had been 27 years. 

Miners Castle
We got back to town in time for the Shipwreck glass bottom boat tour.  This is not something we had done before so we decided to do this for something different.  It was actually pretty cool as the wrecks were in shallow water so the view through the glass bottom was only about 10 feet or less away. 

We took a little time on Sunday to enjoy our lake side view before heading to Cedarville.  We are now at Loons Point RV Park and, yet again, have a waterfront campsite.  This time on Lake Huron with the Les Cheneaux Islands across the water.  We will be here until September 8 when we drive to Bay City.
Bonus at Miners Castle lookout

Our view at Loons Point, Cedarville

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Keweenaw peninsula

View from campsite
 We drove from the Apostle Islands to Houghton, MI on Friday the 19th.  It was a nice drive as we reminisced about old times skiing, camping and honeymooning in the U.P..  It was also relatively short compared to our travel days the last month so it was stress free. 

We stayed at the City of Houghton RV Park and had a site right on Portage Lake.  It was great to have a nice view again.  There was a riverfront walk that goes for miles along the shore so we also had a great place to go on long walks. 

Old Calumet fire station

Lake Superior near Eagle River
Saturday we drove up the peninsula through Eagle River and Eagle Harbor, up Brockway Mountain Drive to Copper Harbor.  It was as beautiful a drive as ever, one of our favorite on the planet.  All the history of mining boom towns but now quiet, peaceful and beautiful.  We ate dinner at the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge and were delighted to find the lodge was as nice as ever.
Eagle Harbor
Copper Harbor from Brockway
Mountain Drive

On Sunday we decided we were tired of driving and decided to just walk.  We walked a couple miles along the waterfront and then walked back through old town Houghton.  We enjoyed reading all the signs highlighting historic buildings and activities from the mid-1800s to mid-1900s.  There are lots of really nice buildings dating back to the 1800s still well maintained and in use.  It was great to see.  We stumbled upon a real learning experience as we discovered "The Birthplace of Professional Hockey".  It turns out the first paid hockey team was in Houghton.  They started the first professional league and won the first "World Championship" of hockey all 13 years before the NHL started forming.  It was short lived but still cool stuff to learn if you are a hockey nut like me.

Calumet Theater

When we went through Calumet on Saturday the Calumet Theater was not open so we drove back up during the week to get a tour.  This is a great piece of mining boom times history.  Too grand a story to tell here so I'll just say "go see it" and the area.  I'll wrap up this post with the statement, if you love history and beautiful scenery then spend some time in the Keweenaw Peninsula and take it all it.  Stop at the visitor center in Calumet to get information on all the great things to see.

Pasty watch - we loved the pasties at Connie's Kitchen in Calumet but they were edged out by Kangas in Hancock due to the buttery crust.  Shout out to Ann Marie for the tip.

I can never decide what pictures to include.  Here are a few more.

Courthouse (1889) still in use in
Why do I always have to take a
picture of the snow meter? Looks like
a new record low last year.
54 year avg snowfall is 240 inches!


Friday, August 19, 2011

Apostle Islands

Ride to Raspberry Island
We had a wonderful (almost) two weeks near Bayfield, WI and the Apostle Islands.  Having the view of water and islands out the window and from the campsite, great weather and the crisp clean air was truly living the dream.  We took a lot of walks around Bayfield and the harbor and thoroughly enjoyed the quaint little town.  We drove around to various places to hike and enjoy the sound of the waves crashing on the beach.

Raspberry Island Lighthouse
Saturday afternoon was spent taking a boat ride to Raspberry Island to see a restored lighthouse.  We were on the island 2 hours so we had time to hike to a beach and enjoy a great view of the water and other islands.

Sundays activity was taking a little drive for a hike to see the sea caves carved by waves along the Lake Superior shore and spend some time on a beach.

Our main concentration on this stop was to spend a lot of time just relaxing and taking it all in.

It's time to move on to Houghton, MI now where we'll spend a couple of days roaming the Keweenaw peninsula.  Another one of our favorite places of all time.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Bismarck ND and on to WI

I'm a little behind on posts.  We left Fort Benton on July 30 and started the long drive across Montana.  We dropped down on state highway 80 to state highway 200 and took that the length of the state.  It was mostly rolling hills and open plains.  We were really unlucky and had a strong headwind all the way so fuel economy stunk.  We spent the night in the K-Mart parking lot in Glendive, MT. 

ND Badlands -
Teddy Roosevelt Natl Park
Sunday morning we got on I-94 and headed east across North Dakota.  We made a stop at the Theodore Roosevelt National Park to check out the North Dakota Badlands.  Other than that area, the drive continued as open plains and small rolling hills.  Once again we had strong headwinds.  What's up with that while driving straight east for two days?  What ever happened to prevailing winds out of the west?  Ugh.  Anyway, we arrived at our campground on the edge of Bismarck and got setup, did some grocery shopping and then rode out a horrible thunderstorm that had us rocking.  It was not fun in the least.

ND State Capital - Bismarck
The extent of our Bismarck adventures was to go to the state Capital.  We had an interesting tour which exceeded expectations for a relatively modern building.

On Saturday August 6 we continued east on I-94 (more strong headwinds, can you even believe it) until just into Minnesota where we switched to state highways (10 to 210) so we could continue east.  The ND part of the drive was pretty flat open plains and when we got into MN it was a little more rolling with trees.  We spent the night at the Walmart in Baxter MN before continuing on through Duluth to our destination in Bayfield, WI - the gateway to the Apostle Islands.  We will stay in Bayfield until August 19 when we move over to Houghton, MI.

View while dining at local restaurant
View from campsite
We are loving our stay in Bayfield enjoying an amazing view from our campsite (yes, I paid a premium for the view).  We are only a short drive from the harbor so we've been into town a number of times in the evening just to walk around and enjoy.  Looking forward to a fun weekend.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Fort Benton

Lewis and Clark Memorial
Fort Benton Montana turned out to be quite the little gem.  The initial decision to spend a week there was due to there being a lot of historic things around.  All expectations were exceeded.  It turns out that Fort Benton was the first established town in Montana.  It was the furthest point up the Missouri River that a boat could go before getting to the cliffs and great falls.  It became the main transportation point to the entire northwest including Canada.  There are several museums and a walking path along the river with lots of interesting signs (with old pictures) that tell the story of the role that Fort Benton played in the old west.  It was very interesting and very well done.

Buffalo that was the model for the
Buffalo nickel and other famous
Just 10 miles to the north was a historic point in the Lewis and Clark expedition.  It is where the Marias River joins the Missouri and it took them 10 days to decide which way to go.  It was pretty cool to go there and stand on the knoll where they stood 206+ years ago (to the day) trying to make the decision.
Old bridge across the Missouri River

Grand Union Hotel - 1882

Decision point - Lewis and Clark
Confluence of Marias and Missouri