UP in Michigan

So I wasn’t planning to post anything about our recent trip to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, but my son was offended. Was he not worthy of a post? At what point do our children stop trying to make us feel inadequate as parents? I’m dying to find out. Actually, maybe that’s the key, and I really don’t want to wait that long.

I do get to keep learning from him, though, and that’s some compensation for me. After all, it was his idea to try a blog, and he suggested a change in background. Hope this one is a little better than the stripes.

We drove up on Wednesday, September 25, and got some promise of the fall colors to come. Our route takes us cross country to Duluth and then across Wisconsin and western Michigan. There’s some very scenic country along the way, and there’s a lot of time to ponder. One result was the question of “Why does the UP belong to Michigan and not to Wisconsin?” The answer is that some things never change – it was political, involving a tussle between Ohio and Michigan for access to Lake Erie.

We rented a vacation cabin on Lake Portage, with a porch overlooking the water. It was a few miles out of town, and very quiet. I like having a kitchen and space to spread out when I’m spending a few days somewhere.

After picking Sean up on Thursday, we stopped for lunch at Quincy’s in Dollar Bay. They’ve got a cool mural in the men’s room.


Later, Jessica joined us, and we paid a visit to the Jampot, just outside Eagle Harbor. The Jampot is run by a Ukrainian Monastery, of the Catholic Byzantine rite. They make marvelous jams and jellies, breads, muffins, cookies and fruitcakes, prints and notecards too. It’s worth a stop. You can smell the bakery as soon as you exit your vehicle. If you can’t get there while the store is open, you can order online. We bought some jams and muffins for breakfast – delicious!

On Friday, Mark and I headed to Old Victoria, a few miles outside of Rockland. There are several restored log homes dating from the early 1900’s which served as housing for miners at the Old Victoria Mine. We took the tour and viewed the insides of the homes and the sauna and learned some history of the area. This restoration has been well stocked with artifacts from the era, which help bring it to life.

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If you’re willing to hike a bit, you can find some great views, especially at this time of year. Keep an eye out for remnants of the old copper mine.

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Last stop, Ontonagan, to see the lighthouse and shoreline of Lake Superior.

We got back in Houghton in time to join Sean and Jessica for a beer at the KBC, a local brewhouse with tasty beers and an outside patio. Then, checked out the Continental Fire Company, a new bar in town. The environment would be conducive to good conversation, but there was live music that night, so we left and headed to the Library for dinner. We’re never disappointed there.

We went slumming on Saturday. First stop was Restore in Calumet, where we found some very cool pink hardhats and a cruet (50 cents) which we’ll add to our dinnerware. Tried to find a second one, but no luck there.


Spent a little time exploring some of the antique shops in town, and had lunch at Michigan House – another reliable dining venue.

Last stop was at a consignment store in Houghton, where to our delight, we found a matching cruet! This one was more expensive, though, 99 cents, but we made the sacrifice and bought it.

Goodbye to Sean and Jessica. It was a delightful visit, and we’ll be back.

On Sunday, we got up early so we could stop at the Porcupine Mountains to enjoy the colors there. Wish we had more time. There is so much to see here – lakes, trees, waterfalls, streams – all of it was gorgeous! You need to spend some time there.IMG_1086 ??????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????  IMG_1050 IMG_1035 IMG_1030


OK, Sean. Happy now?

About kcbernick

I love to travel.
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