The angle of the sun changes around Labor Day, and that’s when — with a half dozen independent-minded friends — I migrated north to Upper Michigan and ferried to Isle Royale National Park in Lake Superior.
We stayed two nights in the not-fancy lodge there. The rooms feature wide windows onto Lake Superior.
We hiked along Tobin Harbor to Scoville Point. Whether the path was stony or packed earth, hilly or flat along the water, it was quiet! And fun to briefly meet hikers coming back from several nights on the trail.
After the island, we relocated to Keweenaw National Historical Park outside Copper Harbor. The Civilian Conservation Corps developed Keweenaw in the 1930s with a grand lodge and a couple dozen cabins.
I sigh as I wish today’s federal government would conserve land today.
Changes are ahead. In July, Keweenaw was auctioned and sold to pay a $1.5 million debt to the US Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. The new owner comes from Texas. He says he loves the Upper Peninsula. I hope he can keep Keweenaw natural and affordable.
We drove to Calumet where the extraordinary, century-old buildings were glowing in afternoon light. This beauty, built in 1900 at 330 Fifth Street and most recently a bank, appears to be for sale or recently sold. Touch the stones; they’re warm.
As I walked the two long main streets, marveling at the masonry, the opening words to a Woody Guthrie song crept in my mind: “Take a trip with me in 1913 to Calumet Michigan in the copper country …”
It’s the story of a Christmas Eve fire in the Italian Hall. Trying to escape, striking copper miners’ children were killed. I still feel the sadness. Calumet was lightly populated for my visit.