Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Checking out the Keweenaw Peninsula…

Houghton and the Keewanaw P 021

Houghton and the Keewanaw P 017We left the Ojibwa Casino and drove about 87 miles which was a pretty long day for us lately as we so slowly crawl across the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We have stayed here long enough that I think we have now become Yoopers although I am sure many up this way would quickly disagree.

We left one Ojibwa casino near Marquette only to pull into yet another one at Baraga, Michigan. The one we left was free with electricity only whereas this one charges $20 per night but offers full hookups (50 amps), water, sewer, free cable TV and free WIFI. Like before they also  gave us a free drink coupon and $5 free cash to prime the gambling pump. We wanted to stay here 6 days but they will only let us stay three as there is a huge fireman's golf tournament this weekend and they had to reserve the whole RV park (only 12 sites here).

Houghton and the Keewanaw P 014Our first day here we drove up to check out the town of Houghton where we had hoped to stay at their city RV park ($30 per night for full hookups right on the waterfront) but the weekenders have all the prime days covered. We did take a walk through the town and enjoyed the energy of this sleepy little Michigan town. It is home to the Portage Lake Lift Bridge which we got to see in action and also home to a small Michigan Technology University, founded in 1885, where we stopped at the Mineral Museum then also played a few holes of Frisbee golf at the course adjacent to the museum. We have found that having a University nearby will be one of those key requirements for our future home once we lea decide to settle down again.

Houghton and the Keewanaw P 025While driving around we did spot a pair of Bald Eagles and even though we have now seen many of them in our travels it is still very cool to see them. Also nearby is the a National Parks office for getting information to take trips over to Isle Royale National Park. We stopped and chatted with two park’s personnel about the park and since one was a geologist we learned a bit about the geology here. It costs over $120 for the round trip to Isle Royale (6 hour trip one way). So we won’t be making a visit this time around but we did take in a nice movie about the refuge and it definitely looks like a spot to spend a week or so…

Houghton and the Keewanaw P 022There is a lot of mining history in this area, primarily copper, and while walking through town one can get a sense of what life might have been been like during the mining boom. We found the rock work done in the the buildings built during the late 1890's and early 1900's was really exceptional. I loved looking at the masons' work tracing how they meticulously matched one piece of rock with another. Yet it was also interesting to note that the same attention was not spent along the side walls as they simply put whatever rock pieces were leftover in order to make what was to be a shared wall to the neighboring building.

imageOur favorite building was the Courthouse as the architecture was to us more interesting than most courthouses we have seen. A plaque out front said the building celebrated Victorian Architecture during the copper boom up here.  There certainly was noticeable pride taken in their craftsmanship when building such fine structures and they will surely last generations to come. Well after all that walking and studying the architecture it was an easy choice to end our day when we happened upon the Keweenaw Brewing Company on the way back to our car. We walked in, pulled up a couple of bar stools and ordered a Widow Maker for Sharon and a Gales Pale for me. Let's just say the beer was good enough that we stayed for a while. Good beer, good energy, good times…


  1. We missed that part of Yooperland. Looks nice.

  2. You be lovin that area I see, enjoy all those interesting places.

  3. Gotta love those casinos and their free or almost free parking, especially the ones with FHU. We stay in one in Oklahoma (free) and another in Iowa ($5.00) Both unlimited stays.

  4. A great way to see and enjoy Isle Royale is to join a kayaking trip. It's definitely on our bucket list.

    Those refreshing beverages sure look good.

  5. So glad you made it as far as Houghton. Not sure where you are headed next but if you are still around, McClain State Park is nothing short of gorgeous!

  6. Glad you're enjoying our neighboring state. Will you be coming through Wisconsin? Would love to have you visit if you will be nearby.

  7. I am guessing those firemen will drop a lot more change in the Casinos. Cool that you have found so many good casinos in the area.

  8. Never get tired of seeing Bald Eagles. Did you take that picture? Awesome photo!