Thursday, June 3, 2010

Da UP, Eh.

As many of you know our Dave's good friend Dick Heckel died last week. He was a professor at Tech who took a special interest in Dave and his career. He helped him get through a couple of classes that seemed impossible at the time and was there for Dave when his dad had died. Even after graduation he was there for advice on work and life. Dave and I had even taken a few trips with Dick and his wife Peg on his boat. He will be missed.

His death meant a trip to the UP this past week for the funeral. We arrived on Monday morning to a perfect UP day.

keweenaw, 6.10

We weren't about to miss enjoying such a gorgeous day in da UP so we rented a car and headed north.

Dave had rocks and mines on his mind so our first stop of the afternoon was at the Centennial Mine in Calumet.

centennial mine, calumet, mi, 6.10

Centennial No. 6 holds the distinction of being the last shaft ever used for mining in the Keweenaw. The last rock skip to come to the surface at the No. 6 would be the last to ever operate in the Copper Country – marking the final death knell for a century old industry.

Being the last shaft in operation, the No. 6 has survived the ensuing years relatively unscathed. The towering steel rock-house is one of only four still standing in the Keweenaw, and the adjacent collar house, dry house, and hoist house are still intact. Recently the property has been converted for use by a local industry and is off limits to the public. However, it can still be viewed from the highway rising up over the tree-tops.

I'm not sure what they mean by off limits to the public because we drove right up to it and we didn't have to go through any locked gates to do it.

We ran into only one traffic jam the entire time we were there. Where are all of those little people going?

keweenaw, 6.10

This was tempting but we decided to pass it up. I like my pasties with ketchup, please.

keweenaw, 6.10

If there are mines then you have to assume there are rocks nearby. We had found the mine and now had found the rocks. It was a Rock Wallmart. We couldn't just drive by.

keweenaw, 6.10

dave, keweenaw, 6.10

Any sightseeing north of Houghton deserves a stop here.

keweenaw, 6.10

It snowed for thirty straight days that winter. It never seemed to end. But those Yoopers are a hearty bunch. We only missed half a day of school that entire winter. When people around here panic at the thought of 6 inches I can only laugh.

keweenaw, 6.10

The fun was only beginning but you will have to wait until the next installment to read about it.

to be continued.....

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