Lake Superior South Shore, 2016. Part 12, Houghton, MI. Ranger III

It is quite easy to get behind posting about this trip. I am trying to catch up.

After a week in Munising we headed over to Houghton, MI halfway up the Keweenaw Peninsula.

We stayed in the Houghton City Campground with full hookups available for those who prefer it that way.  It is right on the channel that splits the Keweenaw Peninsula.  Hancock MI is on the other side of the channel.  We had nice campsites. Nice view of some nice wooden boats going by and the lift bridge.


The lift bridge goes up high enough so that ships can go under it.  It is a double deck bridge, cars used the upper deck and trains used the lower deck.  There are no trains anymore so in the summer the lower deck is used for cars and most boats can get under.  In the winter they lower it down and cars use the upper deck and snowmobiles use the lower deck.

Amanda and Douglas got everyone tickets for a three hour cruise (lot of Gilligan and the Skipper jokes) on the Ranger III, the National Park Service passenger and cargo ferry to Isle Royale National Park out in the middle of Lake Superior. 

The Ranger III is the largest moving thing the National Park Service owns.  It makes three round trips a week to Isle Royale. The trip each way takes about 5 1/2  hours. Being from Minnesota we were always thinking that Isle Royale was a wilderness park.  That is likely because the ferry from Grand Marais, MN goes to the western end of the island.  From Michigan all of the ferries go to the eastern end of the island where there is a lodge, stores and cabins for rent!  We were shocked! 

The cruise went from Houghton east through the channel to Lake Superior on the east side of the Keweenaw Peninsula and back.  There was the six of us and 122 college kids scheduled to be on the ship.  Only about 40 of the college kids showed up so we had plenty of room and the “senior faculty” got to sample all of the goodies they brought along for the 122 ravenous kids. The 40 ate what they could and we rummaged through the left overs.  Lots of fun.  And it was the 100th Birthday of the National Parks that day.  So Happy Birthday to our national treasures and thanks Amanda and Douglas for the treat.

The sun set over the canal each evening one of which featured baby back ribs, corn on the cob, mashed potatoes and green bean casserole on the patio.  It sure is easy when everyone pitches in.

Lots of bike riding here as well, great bike trails along the channel in both directions.  Susan and I rode our bikes to the Farmer’s Market. S&R and A&D rode to Pilgrim Point and back, about nine miles.  I figure we have done close to 50 miles on this trip so far.

More later.

Roger and Susan

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