Saddle Up, Michael. We're Heading North!

Published: March 19th 2013
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Watersmeet, MIWatersmeet, MIWatersmeet, MI

About 9 miles due north.
Contributing Photographer: Michael Weinstein

Our riding itinerary for the week included making a saddlebag, three day cross country trip. For this trip, we packed what we would need for the next three days in the expandable tunnel bags on our snowmobiles. Tuesday we rode from Land O' Lakes, WI to Copper Harbor, MI, the northernmost point in the Upper Peninsula. We headed north on Trail 3 to Watersmeet, MI and then continued east about 5 miles to where the trail heads north again.

Our first stop of the day was Bond Falls, about 25 miles north of Land O' Lakes. It's a pretty waterfall, probably about 100 yards wide and very lovely in the winter with a lot of the water frozen in the falls.

After that stop, we rode north on Trail 3 to the town of Bruce Crossing, where we stopped for a cup of coffee. We had now ridden about 40 miles. Our next stop was at Krupp's Mini Mart, a combination gas station, general store and restaurant. I tried my best to get Michael to eat one of their pasties, but he wouldn't bite, literally. Pasties were a Finnish miners'
Trail 2 East of WatersmeetTrail 2 East of WatersmeetTrail 2 East of Watersmeet

There is always a reddish hue to the snow here. Something about iron in the soil.
invention for taking in their lunch buckets down into the mines around here. They're kind of like a pot pie: a pastry dough filled with ground meat, rutabaga and other vegetables. They can be eaten with gravy or some people put ketchup on them. They're very good if you get them at the right place, and Krupp's is the right place. We did split a home baked apple struedel Danish with our coffee.

Lunch would be at the Mosquito Inn Don and Donna bought the place about 4 years ago and have done a ton of renovating. Their food is the best of any pit stop around. It was Don and Donna's day off, so we didn't see them. We still had about 75 miles to go to reach Copper Harbor, so we saddled up and headed towards the city of Houghton.

The first view of the Houghton area you get is the west end of the Portage Canal. The canal splits the middle from west to east of the twin cities of Houghton and Hancock, Houghton on the south and Hancock on the north. It's a very scenic area with a ski resort and many boat slips. The most interesting sight is when you arrive near the canal on the trail and see the bridge that connects the two cities. In the winter when the canal freezes over and there is no more boat traffic, the snowmobile clubs put down a mat on the lower level of the bridge under the automobile level. They then truck in snow to put on the mat. After that, they are able to run the groomer over the bridge to keep the snow smooth. It's a lot of work and it shows how dedicated this whole area is to the sport of snowmobiling. Michael was duly impressed with the bridge when he asked me what we would be riding on and I told him "snow."

After crossing the bridge, we rode about 15 miles to the city of Calumet. This once large, historical city is always interesting to me. We made a visit to Shute's Saloon, founded in 1890. It still seems to be 1890 when you walk into the place. With the stained glass canopy over the bar back, the bar itself and the whole decor, it's pretty much the same. We saw the Calumet theater from around 1900 and also were directed by a local guy to see the arch of the old Italian Hall. In 1913, the local miners were in the midst of a 5 month long strike. A Christmas party was held at the Italian Hall and during the party someone yelled "fire." The people inside panicked and ran for the exits. 73 people were killed in the rush, half of them children. There was no fire. Someone who was never identified falsely yelled out the "fire" cry. The only thing left of the Hall is the original doorway arch.

It was getting a bit late in the afternoon, so we made our way northward towards Copper Harbor. One of the trails takes you over Brockway Mountain and that's the route we took. It offers a beautiful view of Copper Harbor, Lake Fanny Hooe and Lake Superior. We arrived at the Mariner North Lodging at about 7:00 PM, "Tini Time!" tired from our 162 mile ride. We never hit a bump in the trails all day. Michael said they were "Tabletop Smooth!" We enjoyed a good dinner and a well earned rest.

Tomorrow we head for Big Bay.

Additional photos below
Photos: 18, Displayed: 18


Krupp's Mini MartKrupp's Mini Mart
Krupp's Mini Mart

Mandatory coffee stop. Best Pasties in the U.P. and big snowmobiling supporters.
The Mosquito InnThe Mosquito Inn
The Mosquito Inn

Lunch stop. Don & Donna do a great job. Excellent food.
Trail CamTrail Cam
Trail Cam

South Range, MI
The BridgeThe Bridge
The Bridge

They put down a mat, bring snow in and groom it so sleds can cross.
Stained Glass CanopyStained Glass Canopy
Stained Glass Canopy

Over Shute's Bar Back. Made by Brunswick in Chicago.
Italian Club Arch-CalumetItalian Club Arch-Calumet
Italian Club Arch-Calumet

In 1913, 73 person, half of them children, died trying to escape when someone falsely yelled "Fire!"
Copper HarborCopper Harbor
Copper Harbor

View from Brockway Mountain.

19th March 2013

Once again you are having fun in the frozen tundra
Love this one [photo=7428132]
19th March 2013

A Lot of Fun
We had a great week together in the frozen north. Absolutely perfect trails all week. We rode almost 800 miles in that week.

Tot: 0.274s; Tpl: 0.019s; cc: 18; qc: 109; dbt: 0.0266s; 1; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.6mb