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Road trip-worthy -- Keweenaw Peninsula


I just moved up to Michigan's Upper Peninsula -- to Hancock, which is on the other side of the Portage Canal lift-bridge. As I understand it, that bridge is the [literal] gateway to the Keweenaw Peninsula.*

Today, the team I coach did a workout up in Gay, Michigan. No trip to Gay is complete [apparently] without a trip to the Gay Bar. The bar is open at noon daily, and its menu features hot dogs. Coneys, Chicagos, New Yorks, Philadelphias, chili, cheese, pizza, Reuben ... lots of hot dogs. The bartender might be a little crabby if she's working the bar as well as the kitchen, but her wrath is worth it. I don't usually like weiners that much, but goddamn these are some good dogs. Possibly better than Hebrew Nationals. The kraut is pretty good as well -- crisp and sour (sauer?).

They also have beer.

Distance from Duluth: 240 miles; 5.75 hours. Directions.

Photo stolen from The Gay Bar.

* This is unconfirmed, but supposedly there are people who live up near Calumet and Copper Harbor who've never ventured south of this bridge. They are said to take great pride in this fact.


I've always wanted to go there, but have never drifted as far into the U.P. as I'd like to--maybe next summer...

this'll be on the list of places to visit when we make the trip...probably right behind a href="http://www.dayoopers.com/thetrap.html">The Tourist Trap just outside Ishpeming, which is owned and operated by Da Yoopers, which boasts (among other things) the world's largest working rifle and chainsaw.

which reminds me...

Where do Yoopers keep dere hats?


damn...shoulda checked the link before i hit enter.

The U.P. has been good to me so far.

We were in Sault Ste. Marie yesterday and brought the running team into The Antlers -- which features roughly one million taxidermied animals; two sirens and a couple of railroad whistles; Journey, Skid Row, Europe, Meatloaf and Peter Frampton on the jukebox; and poutine fries.

Alas, it was the last night the place was to be open ... at least, under the current owners.

Don't forget to visit Finlandia University there in Hancock and pick up your FU T-shirts, sweatshirts, caps and stickers.

c'mon...isn't anyone gonna laugh at my joke?

ZRA, there's a photo of a bitchin' chainsaw on that page.

I had a long conversation with one of the patrons at the Gay Bar. For the entire 45 minute conversation, the cigarette never left his lips when he spoke or when he yawned... it somehow just magically adhered to his lip.

cork1: I can confirm hearing people say they have never ventured over the bridge.

Also, be sure to check out the Keeweenaw Brewing Company brewpub in "downtown" Houghton. The beer is good, and best of all, cheap.

Also, there is the Michigan House Cafe / Brewpub in Calumet that sports some good beer selections and good food.

I have seen moose in the following places: Duluth, Ely, Orr, Grand Marais and Houghton. Oh yeah, I've seen them in the Boundary Waters and the Quetico, too.

Another item of interest: Just before you get to the Quincy Mine in Hancock (the historic mine on top of the hill), you will see a road sign for Kowsit Lats Road.

Historically, this road was just a small lane that led to a field where farmers grazed their cows. When the state decided it needed an official name, somebody suggested they call it what the old Finnlanders called it: Kowsit Lats. And so it was done.

Kowsit Lats means Cowshit Flats. The sign provides locals with no end of amusement.

The UP is wonderful; I've been to most of the natural highlights from end to end and was pissed off when Greyhound stopped running that way. Lots of time in Marquette which is where I would have moved 7 years ago if I'd known I was going to be mostly unemployed in Duluth anyway. Lots of time hiking and camping in the Porkies--Northern Lights, barred owls, fishers, bear sign everywhere. Only time I've seen wolves in the wild was in the Keweenaw. I have a faded old t-shirt from the Tourist Trap which used to show footprints leading to a bear with empty hiking boots in front of him.

5.75 hours? Umm...I can get to Marquette in less than five hours...I drive the entire U.P. in 8 hours...I do it numerous times in a year.

I took the 5.75 hours off the Google Maps directions; your time may vary.

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