Ko Olina looking toward Nanakuli Head, Oahu, HI, December 5, 2016

Ko Olina looking toward Nanakuli Head, Oahu, HI, December 5, 2016
Ko Olina looking toward Nanakuli Head, Oahu, HI, December 5, 2016

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Out in the Middle of Nowhere - Tues., Sept. 30, 2014

There is a sign on an old building on U.S. 41 that says, "The Edge of the World." It sure felt like it. The Keweenaw Peninsula juts out into Lake Superior, with Copper Harbor as the northernmost town, and only the hardiest of the hardy live there. Everyone else heads south for the winter, but with gorgeous days like these we are happy to be here for fall colors.



 

In yesterday's blog I told you about U.S. 45 starting in the U.P. and ending in Mobile, Alabama, a distance of 1330 miles. Today, we found the following sign relaying information about U.S. 41 which starts  in Copper Harbor, Michigan, and ends in Miami, Florida, a distance of 1990 miles. So even though the Keweenaw Peninsula feels like it's in the middle of nowhere, it's actually the beginning or terminus of two different U.S. highways!


Ft. Wilkins State Historic Park was our campground of choice. Pull-through site 142 in the west campground was the perfect size for our 5th wheel and truck. It was mostly level too! Electricity is the only hook-up in your site, but there is fresh water as well as a dump station along the entrance road. There are also restrooms and showers. This park is so dark at night that without a lantern or flashlight you can't find your vehicle. (Remember what I told you about the number of bears in the Upper Peninsula? I wasn't planning to go outside without a light.)

Ft. Wilkins Historic State Park Campground
Site 142, West Campground

Our weather on Tuesday was great. No rain, 63 degrees. From the campsite we could hear the buoy bell out on Lake Superior. Oh, I forgot to mention that our campsite was directly across the campground road from Lake Fanny Hooe. Very pretty.


As soon as we were set up, we walked to Ft. Wilkins Historic State Park, once an active U.S. Army post built to keep peace in Michigan's Copper Country. It was abandoned two years after it was started. The park has a restored 1884 army military outpost with 19 buildings open for tours. At this time of year there are no interpretive programs on the grounds.

Bob in the powder magazine
Looking past officers quarters toward parade ground
Parade ground looking over Lake Fanny Hooe
The fort hospital
Looking toward the fort hospital and mess hall
Cabins
This is where I would have worked
Bob trying his hand at playing a drum
The sutler (store)
Which way do I go now, which way do I go?

 
From Ft. Wilkins, it was a short walk across the road to a viewpoint of Lake Superior and the Copper Harbor Lighthouse.

                                                          
The ship John Jacob Astor wrecked on this point in September 1844.
When we got back to our site, Bob did some marathon training while I tried my darnedest to get a fire going so we could roast hot dogs. The campfire wood was pretty wet and wouldn't keep burning. I had a nice blaze going for a while, but it died out. There were just enough coals to cook our hot dogs.



"Day is done, gone the sun..."

Travel Bug out.

18 comments:

  1. Love, love lighthouses! Michigan is such a cool state. So much to do and see.

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    Replies
    1. Have you been to see the lighthouses in Michigan? We've seen two or three so far and they're pretty cool.

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  2. Your journey in your very clean country looks like such fun. It's a bit different here in Africa, not as clean and way more dangerous, no black bears though.
    Reading this very cool post of yours has left me a bit envious. Still very dry here, no summer rains yet and not much to photograph.
    Blessings from Johannesburg South Africa, Geoff.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comment and for reading my blog. Amazing to think someone from Johannesburg is reading about Michigan. Small world.

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  3. What a lovely campground. I love when we stay at a historical site. Your campground reminds me of our stay Chippokes Plantation State Park in VA. Enjoy the ride.

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    1. It's a very nice campground and very quiet. Not to mention very beautiful.

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  4. Ahhh Fort Wilkins.... last time we were there, Steveio asked about the cannon. Because the fort never saw any battles or fights, but the cannon was fired daily... and it seems there are hundreds if not thousands of cannon balls out in the lake where the soldiers fired the cannon! LOL

    ps. did you see the tiny stuffed mouse hiding behind the flour barrel in the bakery????

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    1. Interesting about the cannon and cannonballs. I'm surprised no one has retrieved them. I'm assuming they're in Lake Fanny Hooe and not in Lake Superior!

      Totally missed the tiny stuffed mouse. : (

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  5. We were there this summer and just loved it. I'm thrilled to know you can be there in late September and not have it be too cold. Try the bakery in town if it's still open. They also sell great fish fresh off the boat. Right next to where the boat to Isle Royale docks.

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    1. Sherry,
      Reading your blog and one other blogger convinced us to stay at Ft. Wilkins Historical State Park. Thank goodness for other blogger's reviews!

      Didn't go to a bakery...not sure where it was. Not sure if they were still selling fish off the boats and Isle Royale Cruises had finished for the season two days before we got there.

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  6. Looks like a wonderful fall trip.

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    1. It is, no doubt, but it's decidedly colder. Tonight in Marquette is 37 degrees with some rain showers. Supposed to be no rain tomorrow and a little warmer, but not much. We may get our Volksmarch in in the morning.

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  7. lovely spot. . .and Bob got the rig in there perfectly. . .LOL!

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  8. We wanted to go to the terminus of US41 as we had been to US41 in Miami. So glad you made it at this time of the year. The falls colors are beautiful.

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    Replies
    1. The terminus of US 41 in Michigan is lovely, especially at this time of year. We hit the colors at their peak for sure.

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  9. Been to the Keeweenaw peninsula before but have not visited Fort Wilkins, now we will.

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  10. Thanks for the peek at the campground, I was checking out MI state parks with cabins the other day and this one was on the list!

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