Posts Tagged ‘Upper Peninsula’

During the long, hot, buggy summer, we began planning our fall  trip to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  This year we decided to go back to Copper Harbor since it has been over 20 years since our last visit there.  We also decided to combine some of our favorite activities:  hiking, geocaching, waterfall hunting, and we also included copper hunting this time, we were after all, going to “copper country”.  We arrived in Copper Harbor late in the afternoon, and checked into our small cabin that we had rented and then walked around town for a bit, mostly to alleviate the sitting we had to endure for the last 10 hours.  The weather was not ideal, it was cool, cloudy, windy and showery.   We know that the weather in Michigan in the fall is unpredictable, so we dressed for whatever weather we had at the time.

After a very nice dinner at a local restaurant, we went back to the cabin to plan our next day’s geocache adventure.  There were approximately 26 caches on a seasonal road that we decided to do.   We arose early the next day, grabbed a quick breakfast, packed some “caching snacks” and off we went.  It was raining on and off so our Jeep quickly became encased in a film of orange mud.  That was something new to me, I’d never experienced the orange, or should I say, copper colored mud before, so we quickly flipped over the mats inside our Jeep (much easier to clean the mud off the rubber side instead of the carpeted side!).  We finished the Mandan Road series late in the afternoon, and I have to say to anyone who would like to do this series, a 4X4 is not required, but be aware, it is a seasonal road and it is very rough and very hilly.

Our second day of caching took us up to the top of  Brockway Mountain and then along the Lake Superior shoreline westward towards Eagle Harbor.  There were some spectacular view of the Lake Superior along M-26.  One of our caches was named “The Devil’s Washtub”.  We couldn’t quite figure our why it was called this, until we arrived near the cache.  It was just rough enough on the Lake to make this an exciting place.

We arrived at Eagle Harbor and quickly found the cache in the area.  We noticed that the old Coast Guard Station museum was open so we looked around for a bit and then continued on.  Just after leaving the Station, my husband suddenly stopped the Jeep and quickly backed up, he had spotted a bald eagle sitting in a tree right next to the road.  We both broke out our cameras and were able to snap some pics before it flew off.  How fitting to see one in a small town called Eagle Harbor!

While we were taking pics at one of the caches near a waterfall, a nice couple sat down at a picnic table and broke out the largest muffins I had ever seen!  We had been told of a wonderful bakery, The Jampot Bakery, but had yet to find it.  I asked them if those muffins were from that bakery and they promptly told us where it was.  When we arrived at the bakery, which is operated by Catholic monks, we were treated to the most amazing smells ever!  I purchased some pear butter, and jams and of course, two of those wonderful looking muffins.  I have to support the local causes right??  Anyway, they were delicious and I think I was on a sugar high all day!  We again finished our caching late in the day, went back to the cabin and relaxed for the evening.

Our final day on the Keweenaw Peninsula started out with some clearing skies.  We packed the metal detector and decided to do some copper hunting after finding our last few caches in the area.  We arrived at Clark Mine and started hunting for copper on some old tailings piles and very quickly the detector started beeping.  We dug and were surprised to actually find a small piece of copper!  We continued hunting and uncovered a few other rocks with copper running through them.  We were quite excited about this but couldn’t spend all day here in that we wanted to do some more exploring around the area.

After some driving on the back roads looking at the fall colors, we arrived in Mohawk and found the Bird’s Eye Maple Store.  It was right at their closing time, but luckily for us, there were still some customers in there, so we did have a chance to look around.  I had never heard of Bird’s Eye Maple, but some of the local eateries in Copper Harbor had tables, and even a full length bar made from it, and it is absolutely gorgeous!  I was able to purchase an engraved coaster just to remind me of how rare and beautiful this wood is.

Overall, this visit to the Keweenaw Peninsula was excellent.  We found 59 caches, seen 3 different waterfalls, found some copper pieces, and seen some beautiful views of Lake Superior.  The fall color on the peninsula was not at peak, and patchy in some areas, but what had changed, was very pretty.

Happy Caching!


Read Full Post »

Wow!  It’s been quite a while since we’ve geocached.  It’s been extremely hot and buggy up here lately, so we decided to give the gps a break.  Plus, all the other fun stuff to do in the summer has been calling to us for quite some time!  My sister-in-law came up from Mobile, AL and we’ve recently recruited her into the geocaching world so we decided to go to the Upper Peninsula for some rock collecting from Whitefish Bay (you can find the best flat, smooth rocks, excellent for painting on) and also do some geocaching.  I am a “Yooper” at heart and every time I cross the  Mighty Mac, I sigh deeply and tell myself, “Ahh, I’m home!”  This is our first geocaching trip up here and it definitely won’t be our last!

We arrived at the bridge around 11:00 am and what a beautiful day!  Our first two caches were located in the Trout Lake area and we quickly picked them up and continued on north.  The bugs were not too bad, not as bad as I had feared.  We’ve lived in the U.P. before and are quite familiar with the vampire mosquitoes, black flies, and other large biting insects, but today was a nice surprise, we came out of the woods with as much blood as when we went in!

One of our caches took us to the Eckerman Trout Pond area, and oh what a treat!  Upon crossing the stream we found an artesian well and then continued on further into the woods to the cache.  We marveled at the sights and thought, “of all the times we’ve been in the area, we never knew this was here!”  That’s the beauty of geocaching, it takes you to places you may never have known existed or would have ever thought to go to.  After tearing ourselves away, we continued on north towards Whitefish Point.  We stopped at the Tahquamenon River Campground for a cache and found ourselves “extreme” caching before long.  The notes tell us to take an unmarked trail behind one of the campsites, and we did just that, but the trail soon disappeared and we found ourselves bushwacking through all kinds of trees and bushes, all the while, looking for any hint of a trail and trying to follow the arrow on our gps.  After is got really bad, we decided to turn back and get ourselves out of that mess, of course, nothing looks familiar so we continued to bushwack our way back out.   After a while, we found ourselves back at the campground and decide to follow a trail along the Tahquamenon River, and of course, that led us right to the area of the cache.  But wouldn’t you know, we couldn’t find it.  We searched and searched, and finally had to give up.  That was the hardest DNF we’ve ever worked for!

We then picked up a few more caches and ended our caching day at Shelldrake Lake.  It’s a very secluded lake that came into being after a small dam was built.  We walked across the top of the dam and down a nice trail and found the cache easily.  We marveled at the area, but then our hunger pains were getting the best of us so it was time to go into town and find some supper.

After supper, we decided to go up to Whitefish Point to collect some rocks.  I could spend a whole day there on the beach looking at rocks and building cairns.  Watched a Laker pass by and the sunset was gorgeous.

Awoke early the next day, anxious to get another day of caching in, and was treated to a beautiful sunrise over Whitefish Bay.  I didn’t have my camera with me and didn’t want to wake the others, so I recorded it in my mind and can still see it as if I were still sitting there.  We ate breakfast at a small local restaurant and then headed out for our first cache.  Our first couple of caches were in the Paradise and Whitefish Point area and were picked up very quickly.  We then moved inland and found ourselves at the neatest cemetery I’d ever seen.  After finding the cache, I looked down at the greenery and discovered that the little bushes were covered with wild blueberries!  Oh!  What a treat!  We all spent a good half-hour picking and eating the sweetest little berries ever!  We had to move on, but searched the vehicle for whatever we could find in case we came across more berries at another cache.

We then drove out to Vermillion Point which used to have a working lighthouse and seen numerous people out picking wild blueberries all along the seven miles of road out to the light.  We told ourselves that we must return next year prepared to do a lot of picking.  Our next cache was out at Crisp Point Light and this was a quite a drive, and in one section of it, we noticed a lot of blueberries and decided to stop on our way back to pick some to take home.  We arrived at Crisp Point Light and immediately headed up to the top of the light and what a view!  We read the history and marveled at how the preservation folks have restored the light to it’s current beautiful condition.

On our way back, we located the berry patch we had seen earlier and quickly began picking berries.  We filled up two tupperware containers fairly quickly and jumped back into the Jeep and headed back towards Paradise.  We had a five hour trip back home to do, so we decided to forgo the caches at the Tahquamenon Falls area which required some hiking.  We had an excellent time and will be coming back this fall to head up to the Keweenaw Peninsula to do some caching up there.

Our wildlife count: 3 Hawks, 1 Bald Eagle, 3 Partridges, 2 Snakes, 2 Ground Squirrels, and an unknown black and white butterfly.

Happy Caching


Read Full Post »