May 27 – The Keweenaw Peninsula

Leaving Munising, we headed west to Houghton, Michigan, passing close to the state’s highest point, Mt. Arvon (1,979’).  Arriving at our campground shortly after noon, and with a forecast of rain this evening and tomorrow morning, we decided to take drive the Keweenaw Peninsula instead of on Saturday as originally planned.

At the northern end, where US Route 41 starts its seven state journey, you’re a long way from its southern terminus in Miami.

Looking at a map, the Keweenaw is the most westerly peninsula protruding into Lake Superior.  While originally settled as a copper mining and processing center, it is presently a remote tourist destination.

As reminders of its past, it is dotted with old mines, smelting and stamping mills and other relics of It is copper mining heritage.

Many of its roads wind through arches of trees (still not fully leafed out).

There are also half dozen roadside waterfalls, which I love to photograph.

In 1844 Fort Wilkins, a typical 19th century military outpost, was built at the tip of the peninsula.  The restoration of the site, includes 12 of the 19 original buildings … and provides some marvelous insights into the lives and hardships endured by its residents.

There are also churches

and lighthouses to be visited.

Finally, as idyllic as this area can seem for sightseers, boaters, fishermen, golfers, cross-country skiers and snowmobilers (for which there are set speed limits)

… there are significant distances to medical facilities, only one high school and no major grocery stores, Walmarts or Home Depots!   And, then, there is the snow …

While last year’s accumulation was a modest 180” (15’), the annual average is 240” (20’) which is still well short of the record of 390.4” (32.5’)!

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