Sunday, August 28, 2016

Off to the U.P. -

We headed to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for a summer road trip through Wisconsin on the way north and through Minnesota for on the way south.  We loved all of the coffee shops, co-op food stores, music stores, and bookstores in the towns that we drove through and stayed at along the way.  Please see the highlights for each stop on the trip around a couple of Great Lakes States.

Madison, Wisconsin

Madison was our first stop for lunch.  We ate at agreat bakery and cafe known as Madison Sourdough on Williamson (Willy) Street.  There is a lot of history for Willy Street including the Hippie counter culture days of the 1960's.  Next stop was to stock up on some snacks and drinks from Willy Street Co-op and Natural Food Store then down to State Street for a quick run through a couple of book stores, namely Brownzer's Books and Paul's Book Store.  Its interesting that these two books are almost on top of each other.  After cruising the used books isles, we kept heading north to our overnight destination of Stevens Point, Wisconsin.

Stevens Point, Wisconsin

Stevens Point is close to our hearts.  We both went to college at the University of Wisconsin in Stevens Point.  Mike also tended bar at the Sky Club supper club in Plover an adjoining town.  Having supper at the Sky Club brought back fond memories. Even had a grasshopper drink for desert.  Apparently the Sky Club was the first restaurant to offer a salad bar back in 1950.  Melody worked at what was in our college days a small and start up food co-op.  Much to our pleasure the food co-op has grown and continues today.  Got some great bakery items for the day from the Steven's Point Area Cooperative.  Grabbed some coffee the next day from Zest Bakery and Coffee House near campus and set our compass due north for the day's drive.

Wausau, Wisconsin

It was just a quick stop at Redeye Brewing Company for lunch that turned out to be some fantastic artisan food, great service, and enjoyable surroundings.  Plus they like bicycling too.  Ran in and out of a home decor and junk shop - Evolution in Design and then skipped town.  Looking around at the inside of the building architecture and historic features from the Victorian Era was well worth the visit.

Silver City, Michigan

There was a lot of great scenery along the roads through the National and State forests and the wild rivers of northern Wisconsin on into Michigan.  We stocked up on some food items from Settler's Coop Inc. and then set up our base camp at the AmericInn of Silver City.  The lodge and hotel is on the shore of Lake Superior so each night we could sit on the beach and watch the sun set with the other visitors.

Houghton and Cooper Harbor, Michigan

Our first venture from base camp was to explore the Keweenaw Peninsula with stops in Houghton and Cooper Harbor.  We hit Suomi Home Bakery and Restaurant for lunch.  The place has Finnish roots.  Great food and service in an older style building.  Looks like its been around for a long time.  The Keweenaw Peninsula is an old mining district copper so Houghton has lots of old brick buildings that adds to the scenery.  A cup of joe from 5th Elm Street Coffee House helped to keep us going.  We also found a the Keweenaw Co-op on the other side of the canal in Hancock to replenish our cooler with snacks and drinks.  Did a quick loop up around Cooper Harbor to hit a couple of shops (Keweenaw Minerals and Granspa's Barn bookstore) and have a picnic on Lake Superior then back to base camp.  We passed the large sign or scale along the road that shows the amount of snow fall last winter in the U.P.


Mining Heritage, Keweenaw Peninsula, Michigan

The stretch between Houghton and Cooper Harbor has pull over heritage stops to see sites part of the Keweenaw National Historical Park.  The stops include historical information, ruins and old equipment from the heavy mining days.

Porcupine Mountains, Michigan

Now its time to get back to nature and hike around the Porcupine Mountains State Park.  Lots of trials, scenic outlooks, mushrooms, and waterfalls.  Beautiful place and is nice example of a large intact ecosystem.

Hurley, Wisconsin

Got to love Hurley.  Way up north in Wisconsin, Packer fans, logging, iron mining boom, beer bars, wildfire fighting, northwoods fishing.  We enjoyed well prepared coffees and lattes from Sharon's Coffee Company while looking around the old downtown scenery.  This area was an iron mining region as part of the Gogebic Range compared to the copper mining up in the Keeweenaw Peninsula discussed above.

Two Harbors and Duluth, Minnesota

Two Harbors is always fun, mostly because we get to visit with family.  Got to visit a new bike shop that opened up in town - Spokengear - a must stop, great stuff plus coffee and food cafe.  Two Harbors remains a port for transporting the iron ore mined from the region.  The ore is hauled in by train and then loaded on large ore boats.  We also fit in a little shopping at some of our favorite and long lived stores in Duluth like Electric Fetus (music), Duluth Screening Printing (tee shirts) with a meet and greet by the local doggie, Hillside Whole Foods Co-op (foods), and topped off with some lattes from Duluth Coffee Company.  See you soon again Two Harbors.

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Our main mission for Minneapolis besides a stop over for on our way home was to find a medium format film camera and we did at the National Camera Exchange although we had to hunt down the right store in town.  Other stops included stocking up on some more used music compact discs from Cheapo Dics, a few books from Magers and Quinn Books, and then a nice meal at French Meadow Bakery and Cafe (another favorite stop when in the Twin Cities).  Then the trip home, but not until a cup of chai tea lattes from Dogwood Coffee Company.  Mike still slept much of the way.

Can't wait to go back and hike in the Porcupine Mts and visit Houghton and Hurley again.  Like these towns.  We promised ourselves to stop at a new and local coffee shop each day of this trip and it looks like we succeeded.

...Happy Trails