Friday, June 28, 2013


Houghton MI (Low 59 Showers Around; Not as Warm, High 67)

Some interesting facts about the Ranger, officially the Ranger III, that we see pass in front of our campsite.

The 2013 season marks 55 years of service of the Ranger III. The Ranger is the largest piece of moving equipment owned and operated by the National Park Service and the largest ferry servicing to Isle Royale National Park. The ship operates out of Houghton. The leisurely ride to Isle Royal takes 5 hours to Mott Island and 6 hours to Rock Harbor.

We have blogged about seeing the Ranger heading towards the bridge before here, but this time Bob got to see the Ranger heading to Isle Royale so thought we would share those photos with you. Here is a closeup view of the bridge while Bob was walking with the Ranger approaching.

The bridge raising for the Ranger.

The Ranger passing underneath the bridge.

The Ranger just past the bridge.

The Ranger going past the campground and waterfront park area.

So far we have not gotten tired of seeing the Ranger, or the Lift Bridge in action, or just the Lift Bridge.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Thursday, June 27, 2013


Houghton MI (Low 57 Clouds and Sun with Storms High 75)

We completed our move to Site #6 yesterday and got settled in before the thunderstorms hit. Not nearly as bad as the storms that Jim and Dee from Tumbleweed recently went through that is for sure. They are OK but to be so close to such severe weather in an RV is terrifying.

We recently went to the historic Calumet Theatre in nearby Calumet Michigan. The Calumet Theatre had its first opening night on March 20th, 1900, "the greatest social event ever known in copperdom's metropolis" The theatre contained a magnificent stage and elegant interior decorations, including an electrified copper chandelier. You are in copper country that is for sure.

The theatre adapted over the years from live drama with such stars as: Douglas Fairbanks Sr., Lon Chaney Sr., Wallace Beery, John Phillip Sousa, Sarah Bernhardt, Lillian Russell, and many others. This era gave way to motion pictures in the 1930's, 1940's and 1950's. Currently the Theatre is a venue for modern day notables such as Leo Kottke, Kathy Mattea, Arlo Guthrie, The Osmonds, and many others. 

We toured the Theatre after we bought our tickets. Here is the stage from just after entering from the lobby.

Here are closeups of the box seats on both sides of the stage showing the murals on the ring above the stage.

Here is a view of the balcony from the stage.

A view from the balcony to the stage.

Seating in the balcony.

The projector used for the movies in the 1930's.

It was exciting to tour such an historic theatre and then attend a show there. We were there for "A Revue of Revues", a Pine Mountain Music Festival performance of highlights from seasons past. Area opera artists performing music from Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, Stephen Sondheim, Richard Rogers and others. It was a great show and the voices were amazing but they did not use microphones and if they were turned away from the audience or behind the music it was hard to hear. Still a very good show though.

It's good to be us,

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Houghton MI (Low 59 Sunny Then Afternoon Storms High 77)

A day in the life of temporary Yoopers living full-time in their RV.

We thought we would share a fairly typical day of our summer living on the Upper Peninsula, people that live here are called Yoopers.

Bob gets up before Jo and does some computer work with email and blogs and then goes for a 2 mile walk along the waterfront.

By the time he gets back Jo is up after a rough night of sleeping. We head to the Kaleva Cafe across the river in Hancock for breakfast and a new favorite, the raspberry french toast. Jo got the 3 piece french toast and bacon and Bob gets the Big Breakfast with eggs, bacon, hashbrowns, and 2 pieces of french toast. There is leftover big breakfast and 2 pieces of french toast for a future meal.

We walk down to a barber shop so Bob can get a haircut. Jo sits and waits for awhile but she said she felt like an alien, that maybe she was the first woman to ever set foot in there. She decides to go back to the truck and make a few phone calls and play with her smartphone. After a lengthy wait Bob gets a great haircut and beard trim for $9, gotta love small towns, eh.

Next on our itinerary for the day is a scenic drive along the Portage River to Maclain State Park which sits at the end of the Portage River right on Lake Superior. By now it is getting warmer but right next to the world's largest air conditioner we are comfortable. In the shade and with a breeze it is a little chilly but we are NOT complaining. It is a nice park with a beach. Notice the fog in the distance.

Besides the beach there is the Keweenaw Waterway Upper Entrance Lighthouse, here shown from a distance.

You can drive closer and walk to the beach to get great views.

We spent time just walking the beach, enjoying the view and the trails but by now it is lunch time so we head to 4 Suns Fish & Chips right next to Peterson's Fish Market where you can buy great fresh or smoked fish. We split a fish taco, fish & chips, and smoked fish chowder. It was all pretty good.

It was amazing the temperature change from being right by Lake Superior to being further inland. With temperatures in the mid 80s we decided to head back to the RV Park and sit outside and read in the shade along the waterfront.

We read and Bob did his outside prep work for our move to Site #6 tomorrow until supper time where we had hot dogs and pea salad for supper. While sitting and watching television there is a knock on the door and Bob from Bob and Linda's RV Travels invites us to their rig. We read each others blogs and they have a Carri-Lite also built by Carriage. They recently had some work done like slide adjustments and a new residential refrigerator so we talked about that and swapped stories until after 11p, which is late for this Bob.

A fantastic day of great food, scenery, relaxation and new friends. This is such a great life!

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Monday, June 24, 2013


Houghton MI (Low 63 Sunny then afternoon storms High 79)

They do like their Fests up here that is for sure. We blogged about Seafood Fest earlier. Finn Fest 2013 is happening at the same time as Bridgefest 2013. Bridgefest was organized to celebrate the anniversary of the Portage Lake Lift Bridge, which officially opened in 1959. 

The Bridge is a vital link between the communities of Houghton and Hancock, and is a gateway to the rest of the historic Keweenaw Peninsula.

Another Fest that we can walk to and avoid the parking problems. Unfortunately another Fest that we have wanted to go that has had some weather problems. Tulip Festival in Pella was almost snowed out while we were there but we went later when it warmed up. Seafood Fest here was great the first day as you saw from the pictures but Saturday turned rainy. Bridgefest started out real rainy but we found a break in the weather and walked down.

We saw some excellent wood carving with chainsaws.

This one is for Judy, but not as scary as the ones she saw.

This one is for Jim.

Amazed us that all these were done with chainsaws. Then there was a classic car show.

This is for the gear heads, a 454 immaculate engine.

Even though the water was about 40 degrees there still was a water ski show. I've got to say the boys were kinda wimpy in their wetsuits and one of them cried like a little girl when he hit the cold water, but the girls were just in swimming suits and we heard nary of whimper from them.

At the end of the day fireworks were shot off of a barge in front of our site. We had the best seat in the house, the show was better than our pictures.

We really enjoy being able to walk to these Fests and really are enjoying our summer on the Upper Peninsula.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

Saturday, June 22, 2013


Houghton MI (Low 54 Mostly Cloudy with Storms High 69)

Continuing our review of the A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum - A Gem of a Museum, on the campus of Michigan Technological University in Houghton Michigan. It has been real rainy and foggy the past few days and more forecast in the future.

It was nice to see things we have seen before but in a different setting. Here is a barite rose like we saw utilized in the Grotto of the Redemption in West Bend Iowa that we have blogged about before here.

Petrified Wood from Arizona

In addition to that which we have seen before but elsewhere we also saw some new to us items. The section on fossils was neat.

They also had a section on Petoskey Stones which is actually a stone and a fossil.  

The Petoskey Stone is a coral that lived 350 million years ago during the Devonian age when the northern part of Michigan was covered with a sea of warm water. The scientific name is Hexagonaria percarinata (Hexagonaria meaning having six sides).
The soft living tissue of the corallite was called polyp. At the center of the polyp was the food intake opening or mouth. This dark spot, or the eye of the corallite, has been filled with silt or mud that petrified after falling into the openings. Surrounding the opening were tentacles that were used for gathering food and drawing the food into the mouth. This living corallite thrived on plankton which lived in the warm sea. Calcite, silica and other minerals have replaced the original elements in each cell. Each chamber or corallite at one time was a living marine animal that grew in colonies. The Petoskey stone is utilized in jewelry and floor tile and many other uses.

The display of crystals was fascinating. The generally held belief is that crystals take a long time to form. Here are crystals that formed in just a few years when a mine was flooded and then drained. After 15 years these crystals had formed.

Chuck and Anneke from goldenshoervtrip wondered how minerals were named. Some are named after the region they were found and some were named after a person, like seamanite, named after its discoverer A. E. Seaman, which this museum is named in honor of.


Seamanite is a rare manganese boron phosphate mineral. The yellow to pink mineral occurs as small, needle-shaped crystals. It was first discovered in 1917 from a mine in Iron County, Michigan.

Finally, we really liked the variety of halite, or rock salt, or NaCl, found around the world.

Well this concludes our tour of the A. E Seaman Mineral Museum. It sure increased our knowledge and appreciation of all things mineral.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo