Pictures from Carissa's and Adam's trip to the UP


On September 8 Carissa and I packed up my 18' camper and left for the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for a little vacation.  We wouldn't return until early morning on September 16.


Click here to view some short videos of our trip...


Pulling the 18'-er requires a truck, and rather than borrow one, I thought I'd buy one.  Sean was getting a new truck, so I talked him into selling me his old one. 


Sean accepts a check from me for...


... my new truck!



We spent the first night in the back yard of Peter and Ben's apartment in Steven's Point


Here we are just north of Point when the first thing fell off the trailer


I thought this was pretty (en-route to the UP)

(Carissa took this one)


Here's our campsite at Porcupine Mountains State Park in the UP, right on Lake Superior.  Click here to see a video.


Look at this pretty lady!


Walking to our first look at Lake Superior...



On our first hike to Summit Peak


This tower was at the top of the trail


Kind of goes without saying, doesn't it?


The view was great!


You can see Lake Superior in the distance


The woods was beautiful


Some of the forest was very "Lord of the Rings"-esque


Carissa took this one


Carissa in a grove of old-growth Hemlock


That's a big hemlock!


One of my favorite hikes


Carissa watercolor painting with my pan


This was the path from our campsite at the Porkies to the river...




Carissa draws while I'm stupid (crawling down to the base of the falls to get some pictures...)


The waterfalls were beautiful (but dangerous)

Click hear to see of video of the falls.



I just like this one


The next falls



Carissa calls this piece:  Vista with Sullen Teenagers 


Carissa took this one.  Pretty cool, aye?  The swirling of the water at that spot has carved a hole in the rock.  (If you look closely, you can see the toes of both Carissa and I in this picture. )


That's a big tree!

 Much of the Pokies is virgin (never been cut down) Hemlock.


Another waterfall


Here the swirling water has carved the shape of a heart into the stone


It's amazing what flowing water can do over time.

Click here to see a video.


One of my favorites... Sunset over Lake Superior


Awwwwwe... She's so pretty!


Look at the happy family


Another one of my favorites...  We ran into another family on the beach.  This is Margaret.


That's her brother Ben skipping the stone (look to the right of the photo )


Pretty easy to see what's happening here...


No worries though--it has a happy ending!


She was quite a character





Carissa beginning the hike up the "Escarpment Trail"


The view from the top was spectacular.

Click here to see a panoramic video of the trail.


That's Lake of the Clouds



While we were in the Porkies we toured a couple old abandoned copper mines


Not much was left except some rubble where the houses used to be, as well as some none-native trees and bushes that the miner families had planted


On the NoneSuch mine tour we had an "interpreter" (a guy who had done some research into the mine and area and could tell us more about it).  This was when Carissa decided that she should be and interpreter.


This was one of the mine shafts (now filled in with dirt and stone)


I wanted so badly to go into one, but thanks to Carissa I'm still alive


After crushing the stone to get out as much copper as possible, the remaining powder was placed into special barrels in the ground where they would try to extract the smaller particles of copper


There was another mine shaft underneath this river.  You can see the rock on the hill ahead which was discarded as the mine was dug.


After our guided tour of NoneSuch mine, Carissa decided it was time to test her skills as an interpreter on the Union Mine Trail


This mine shaft she really wouldn't let me go down!



That evening, on our way back to the campground, we made a quick stop on a beach of Lake Superior to record some waves for the Ben Hacker Project.


It was a lot of fun until Gracie accidentally stepped on my recorder


We bought some wood earlier that day for a campfire from the ranger station at the campground, and this is what we got.  Most of that is plywood and OSB, both of which contain GLUE!  I couldn't believe it.  That fire would smell terrible (and be useless for cooking).  The rangers should know better.  That wood was about as useful for having a campfire as a bag of Styrofoam plates.


The next evening we went down to the beach on Lake Superior and Gracie and Mommy had a great time in the water.

Click here to see the video.


Carissa and I taking romantical pictures.  (That water was cold!)



The next day we went to Houghton, MI to visit one of Carissa's (and now my) friends from the barn Kassia.  She goes to school at Michigan Technical University for Chemical Engineering.


But first things first--Gracie had to demonstrate that she can even jump guard rails



That night (the last night we had) we stayed at a little campground in Hancock (just on the other side of the river).

We decided to go check out an old abandoned smelting factory in the middle of the night.  If only the girls weren't such weenies... Check out the videos section...


The next the two girls and I decided to tour Quincy mine, another famous copper mine which has the largest steam-hoist in the world.

It was pouring rain.  Check out the videos section for to see the tour.  Made me thankful for not being a miner.


We rode into the mine on a wagon pulled by a tractor.  It was about 60 degrees or so outside, but inside the mine it was always around 40.  Mist would continually pour out of the shaft.  It was very eerie.


One our way into the mine.  This photo and the next two where extracted from the Quincy Mine video below.  Click here to see the Quincy Mine video.


Carissa was scared to go into the mine  


Once we got there everyone was having a good time.


Once in the mine, we received a guided tour from this guy telling us all about life in the mine.  You can see the tour by watching the Quincy Mine video below.


A chunk of rock and copper


Some of the machinery that the miners would use to break through the rock


The girls doing a little mining



Video Section

Here I've posted various videos from our trip.  They are starring the illustrious Carissa, Gracie, and Kassia.  Click on the pictures to play/download the videos. 


A panoramic view of the Escarpment Trail...

Size:  3.0MB

Length:  2 mins

Time to download via dialup:  approx. 14 mins

Time to download via high-speed:  approx. 1 min



Exploring an old copper mine near the Escarpment trail.  This one was so much fun!

Size:  7.0MB

Length:  5 mins

Time to download via dialup:  approx. 33 mins

Time to download via high-speed:  approx. 2.5 min



Quincy Mine guided tour.  I highly recommend this one if you're at all interested in what life was like for miners in the late 1800's and early 1900's.  (Curt, you'll love this one. )  Make sure you watch the end as well, as there is a description of the largest steam hoist in the world.

Note:  This file is VERY large.

Size:  44.0MB

Length:  39 mins

Time to download via dialup:  approx. 3.5 hours

Time to download via high-speed:  approx. 15 min



A look at some small waterfalls

Size:  2.4MB

Length:  28 seconds

Time to download via dialup:  approx. 11 min

Time to download via high-speed:  approx. 1 min


Carissa, Kassia, and myself (attempting) to explore a smelting factory...  Carissa and Kassia kind of weenie out and I'm trying to talk them into climbing over the 10 foot fence...

Note:  This file is quite large.

Size:  32.0MB

Length:  29 min

Time to download via dialup:  approx. 2.5 hours

Time to download via high-speed:  approx. 11 min



Gracie having a little fun in a lake

Size:  2.0MB

Length: 1 min

Time to download via dialup:  approx. 9 min

Time to download via high-speed:  approx. 1 min



Panoramic of our campground in the Porcupine Mountains

Size:  3.0MB

Length:  2 min

Time to download via dialup:  approx. 14 min

Time to download via high-speed:  approx. 1 min



Carissa and Gracie having fun in Lake Superior at sunset

Size:  2.0MB

Length: 1 min

Time to download via dialup:  approx. 9 min

Time to download via high-speed:  approx. 1 min



This one's called "Scary Carissa"

Size:  <1.0MB

Length: 7 sec

Time to download via dialup:  approx. 2 min

Time to download via high-speed:  <1 min



This one Carissa and I just liked.  It's a log caught in a whirlpool.  Carissa calls this piece: "The toilet bowl of life and the log's the floater." 

Size:  1.0MB

Length: 25 sec

Time to download via dialup:  approx. 5 min

Time to download via high-speed:  <1 min