Friday, October 15, 2010

UP trip: Part 4. Keweenaw to the Soo

It's Friday and I wind down this week with the final installment of photos from our trip to Michigan's Upper Peninsula. When I left you on Wednesday, the boy and I had been exploring Porcupine Mountains State Park. Next stop: the Keweenaw Peninsula. We drove north through Houghton, over the river to Hancock and kept going. We jagged west out to the coast and wound our way along until we landed on the doorstep of the Eagle River Inn. The humble entrance above led to one of the trip's highlights: Fitzgerald's.

After several evenings of mediocre dinners, Fitzgerald's was a shock to the system. The hotel and restaurant is owned by two young guys, one of whom is the son of the original owner. They are doing amazing things. Everything about our meal and evening was perfect. I had the incredible dish above: walleye dusted in pecan flour with Michigan cherry butter. The beer and wine selections are great with a heavy dose of Michigan producers. The dining room is rustic and sits right on the beach of Lake Superior. We moved over to the tiny 6-seat bar after dinner and spent a wonderful evening talking with one of the owners and another couple visiting from Germany. We watched a spectacular sunset that dropped so instantaneously I think you could hear it.  As it got later, the staff slowly joined us and a couple of locals stopped in and let me tell you, it was lively. 

The best part, all we had to do was tumble up the stairs to our room with this view. I could hear the waves lapping and watched a brilliant sunrise from bed. No phone, no television. Perfect.  

We stopped the next morning at the Jampot Bakery. Owned and run by monks of the Society of Saint John, this little gem serves a huge selection of jams and jellies, very popular fruitcakes, ginormous muffins … I could keep going. Someone at the bar the night before said their truffles were the best he'd ever had. Right after we walked in, though, a huge group of crazy motorists driving what looked like a crazy ugly modern version of the Ranchero all packed themselves into this tiny little shop. They just kept shoving in. I panicked and grabbed a jar of pear butter and a huge muffin (that lasted me about five days) and ran out the door. We thought we would come back the next day when we could leisurely ask questions and read every label, but sadly, didn't have a chance. Something for next trip.

This log home along the way was stunning. The design, materials, location…

This rocky part of the northern west coast of the Keweenaw reminded me a lot of Maine. We explored some more and eventually made our way back down the east coast and back to Marquette. 


On our final day we beelined east all the way to Sault Ste Marie and the Soo Locks. (We decided to save Tahquamenon Falls for another trip, too.) The locks connect Lake Superior to the St. Mary's River and the rest of the Great Lakes. They allow boats to rise or drop the 21-foot difference between the two waterways. It's really a site to see. We first watched a smaller barge (above) drop down from Lake Superior. And then watched this 737-foot freighter raised up. Amazing. Dang, people are smart.

And then… back across the bridge. Home again, home again, jiggety-jig.

And so ends our U.P. saga. I hope you've enjoyed reliving it with me. Have a wonderful weekend!


  1. ohmigosh! I have been visiting the Jampot since I was just a little thing. We had to stop there every time we passed through and get Thimbleberry jam and some muffins. It is one of my very favorite spots. I love the waterfall nearby, too. Great pics!

  2. Ohhhh! Yay. What waterfall?!?! Details? Details?

  3. As beautiful as the North ForK!