Cooler By the Lake

Our campsite at Houghton City RV Park (Houghton, MI)

This past week’s heat wave in the Midwest prompted us to rethink camping options. With temps and humidity also affecting the Upper Peninsula, we decided to consult forecasts and choose the coolest spots we could get into last-minute with “The Beast.” As is typical in Michigan, cooler temps were forecasted closer to Lake Superior, so we decided to delay moving into Wisconsin and stay for a few more days in the Keweenaw Peninsula.

After a night in Baraga (Baraga State Park), we drove up to Calumet, MI, for the Calumet-Keweenaw Sportmen’s Club Kids’ Fishing Tournament at Swedetown Pond. Both Liam and Ella partipcated for a couple of hours, in search of some seemingly wily fish. After plenty of practice casting and an exercise in patience, both kiddos ended up catching a bullhead. These were turned in, exchanged for a prize, and then re-released. As a pleasant surprise to us, all participants (and parents attending) were treated to a hot dog lunch, complete with sides, and kiddos who participated were each also given a goodie bag with sweet treats inside. All in all, the morning outing was a definite success, despite some reservations by our two cherubs in the parking lot upon arrival!

Jason had promised the kids we would stop by Houghton’s “Chutes and Ladders” park on the return trip back to Baraga. We have visited this gem on a couple of occasions, and the fun factor for the kids is paired with a great view of the Portage Lift Bridge, the Portage Canal, and the city of Hancock across the canal. While the kids were playing, Jason and I walked the City of Houghton RV Park, behind the playground. The hosts were out, but Jason took down their number and later called asking about availability for a night. We knew this would be a longshot, as it’s a popular park and it appeared full. Well…Jim called us back a bit later and said we should play the lotto, as he had a cancellation for the next night on a waterfront site. We were elated! Waterfront, walking and biking opportunities, and grocery shopping possibilities within a stone’s throw from our campsite. Additionally, we only needed one night, as we had booked 3 nights thereafter at the Hancock City Campground (also on the Portage Canal).

Covered Road (on the way from Houghton to Redridge)

The Canal gave us a cooler breeze over the next few days, though the heat is again building here in the Western U.P. Our extended stay also allowed us to bike the MTU campus and tour a few buildings, explore Mount Arvon (the the highest natural point in Michigan), hike to Hungarian Falls, take in a pizza at Jim’s in Calumet, take an evening drive via the “Covered Road”and visit an abandoned railroad trestle in Redridge, see a movie at the historical Calumet Theatre, visit a used bookstore/coffeeshop in Houghton (The Bookworm…great coffee!), and visit the very interesting/educational Visitor Center at the Keweenaw National Historic Park. As a bonus, we also got to have dinner with the Schwaller family at our campsite in Hancock one evening. We’ve been busy (and pretty tired by the end of the night) which may help explain the delay in our posts. Also, internet available for uploading is harder to come by (not that we mind!). Fortunately, we’ve been able to again appreciate new experiences in the U.P. and remain cool as cucumbers during this heatwave. We hope friends and family have been keeping cool too. Maybe you too have found respite by a lake?!

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