Saturday, February 27, 2010

Gooseberry State Park Minnesota

One of my favorite Minnesota State Parks. On the upper trail to the falls they have a wonderful display dedicated to the CCC workers that built the buildings,stone work and trails in the park. I just read the book about CCC camps in Minnesota. It is called "Hard Work and a Good Deal". During the Depression these boys were more then eager for the work and the adventure that came with being in the North land. In Michigan they were also working on Isle Royale but that is another topic. The Gooseberry River name was a curious thing to me in the past when visiting back in the early 1980's? Why that name? Where are the berries?? But what I have found by reading is it's a corruption of the explorer's name Groseilliers. Some map maker really botched that up but good. I have found this to be true for many locations in the north.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Illgen City Minnesota

Over 30 years ago on the first ever trip up the North shore of Minnesota we got as far as the little village of Illgen City. We simply didn't have the time or resources to continue further. But of course we wanted to just keep going. The North shore has that effect on you, what is around
the next bend on the coast? We can make Canada today! So many stops along the way and wonderful State Parks of course impeded our progress on that long weekend. We had to turn around and start heading back. Back when the road opened up in the 1920's they build what
were called Tourist Parks or Motorist Parks. They had places to camp or cabins for rent. Often they had a cafe in front. Also there were Lodges but these were more costly for the travelers. When people started traveling for tourism they were called Tin Can Tourists because the would bring canned foods and cook them on the campfire while sitting on the running boards of the Model A. We camped in State Parks out of the car and pup tent and there were no tin cans but there were hot dogs and Snicker bars. It's really wonderful history.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

What are those pictures?

So what are these shots? They are satellite shots of Huron Mountain Michigan.
What is Huron Mountain? It's the famous Huron Mountain Club that has been in existence
for over 100 years. Some of the countries list of leaders and corporate heads have been members over the years. Henry Ford and others. The history of the club is simply a fantastic story. The first picture is the commons area and the second is of cabins between the Pine River and Lake Superior. Two bridges are visible clearly but the cabins are hard to see. The club owns a huge tract of land in the Huron Mountains and preserve it with care. They hired John Muir at one point to help manage the forest. I have read one lake on their property has trout that can only be found in that lake and nowhere else. The oldest preserved Hemlock Forest in the Midwest is on their property. Its likely that their Huron Mountain Club has the most pristine forest of old growth trees in the Midwest. Its easy to say why is it private but if it wasn't a private club its more then likely it wouldn't be preserved or pristine. And there is plenty of room
in the Huron Mountains that isn't private for visitors.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Yooper Scooper

Yooper Scoopers have gotten attention recently due to the big snow storms in the MidAtlantic states. Matter of fact it was reported that they had to hire a few more employees due to the demand for their products.
I really am fond of the U.P of Michigan and they have rough times in recessions.
Glad to read the newspaper today and find that this company is doing some business.
Good for them!

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Finnish Cabin

While reading books this winter about the early settlers in the U.P of Michigan I have run across much detail about the early homesteads and cabins. They built their shelters or cabins from local materials and by hand. Some of the settlers were Finnish in orgin and build their cabins in wonderful detail. They cut down whatever trees were near their homesteads and hand hewn the logs and then added details to link the logs. Some used the locking dovetail joint at the ends. Others did elaborate notching which I've never seen before. Some however in a hurry before the winter didn't get as fancy. Even their barns looked very nice. There still are some of these cabins and barns in the U.P if you search around.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Marquette Michigan

I've only been to Marquette about twice in my lifetime. Each time on the way to somewhere else. Which is sad really as I've been reading about the area and it's very rich in history and activities. Matter of fact more then most people know. Many people have gone to school at NMU only to return later to live because of Marquette's high quality of life. If you can overlook the annual snowfall that is! But even that is a bonus if you like to ski and snowshoe. And then there is that huge Superior Dome on the NMU campus for sporting events. More about Marquette area in future postings, stay tuned. This from the AP WIRE:

MARQUETTE - Citing Marquette's "dynamic neighborhoods, a rich architectural heritage, cultural diversity and a strong commitment to historic preservation," the National Trust for Historic Preservation named Marquette to an exclusive list of destination cities.
As one of the trust's 2010 Dozen Distinctive Destinations, Marquette is in line for national media attention and will now compete in an online voting contest to determine a Fan Favorite award.
In a prepared statement, Richard Moe, president of NTHP, praised Marquette for its history and scenery. "Marquette is a must-see for travelers looking to get off the beaten path," he said. "Marquette offers visitors a chance to enjoy history, art, outdoor activities and spectacular natural resources."

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Nightly dose of Duluth

If your not lucky enough to live in Duluth you must check the live cams each night.
Tonight its a stunning photo taken from the Army Corps of Engineers building on the Canal.
Dead calm with some lake ice in the distance. It's very nice to see. Some winters are unbearable in Duluth, this year is very mild.