MidwestWeekends.com — Your Travel Guide to the Upper Midwest

Keweenaw Peninsula

Cruising to a lighthouse

In summer, excursion boats give visitors a chance to see historic beacons.

By definition, lighthouses aren't easy to visit.

Most are between a rock and a hard place, out of the way and on the edge of a fickle inland sea.

“When the government came here after 1843, they were afraid the Native Americans would be hostile, but they quickly found out the only thing hostile was Lake Superior,'' said our captain on a cruise to the Copper Harbor Lighthouse in Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula.

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Digging the Keweenaw

On Lake Superior, an isolated peninsula yields up all sorts of riches.

On Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula, distance is both curse and blessing.

Jutting deep into Lake Superior, it's far from big cities — for Detroit residents, Nashville and Washington, D.C., are closer than the Keweenaw (pronounced KEY-win-awe).

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Copper Harbor refuge

Fortune-seekers left their mark at the tip of Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula.

Copper Harbor, Mich., never has had an easy existence.

Indians and explorers always knew there was copper sitting along the Keweenaw Peninsula. But the desolation of the area made mining difficult.

The earliest expedition, sent by London investors in 1771, gave up in disgust on an area Patrick Henry told Congress was "beyond the most distant wilderness and remote as the moon.''

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Exploring Isle Royale

Famous for its moose and wolves, this Lake Superior wilderness island is beguiling.

When it rains on Isle Royale, you just have to soak it up.

Moisture comes with the territory in Lake Superior's northern reaches. No one comes here for the weather, despite early advertising that called it a "Summertime 'Bermuda' Paradise."

Bermuda it's not. But paradise? It depends on how you look at it.

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