History Lessons

More than any of our other trips so far, this one has been all about absorbing history. As we head into Southcentral Pennsylvania, this isn’t about to change.

Our headquarters for two nights is Harrisburg East Campground, where we pay an astonishing $50/night for two nights. The WiFi setup is very lame, working only sporadically in the very early morning hours. We don’t have a television, so the expansive cable service is unused. And for some ridiculous reason, we can’t hook up to the sewer. But, this place did have one of the nicest bathrooms we have found, and the location was perfect for exploring Harrisburg. So, here we are….

John has mapped a bicycle route into town, and off we go, After a short hairy stretch involving an Interstate underpass and no bicycle lane. we find ourselves on the Greenbelt, a non-motorized path which leads us into town. Whew. A decaying neighborhood of row houses is along the path. When you see an area like this, don’t you always wonder what is must have been like in its heyday? I sure do. 20151016_130501Although Harrisburg probably has lots to offer visitors, our list was short – the State Capitol building, National Civil War Museum, and a brewpub. If nothing else, we are predictable. First up is the Capitol.20151016_11575920151016_120604Adjoining the Capitol building is the Services building. I actually laughed out loud walking inside – it looks like a cheesy Vegas casino – all teal and peachy colors with cold, high ceilings. Truly, this was one of the most absurd public buildings I’ve ever been in, and my expectations for the Capitol building itself were lowered. But, all of the sudden, we’re in an old hallway with massive chandeliers. Hmmmm, Pennsylvania is redeeming itself. Suddenly, we’re in the rotunda, and like everyone else, we gasped. 20151016_121158I wished I had the nerve to lay on my back an get the photos I really wanted to capture, but I restrained myself (John helped). Gold leaf, marble statues, words of wisdom about truth and science – it’s all here. The visual treat goes on and on. 20151016_12125820151016_12170320151016_12211620151016_123016We notice a tour group heading into the House of Representatives chamber, so we file in with them. Oh, to be an elected official, and go to work there every day! I was unable to get any photos, as the room was dim, and we were trying very hard to blend into the group. (We tried to catch them later, as they went into the Senate chamber, but the door slammed just ahead of our noses, and our polite knocks went unanswered).

We had better luck in the Governor’s office, where John patiently waited for about three minutes for the man to show up. In vain. Maybe it was the yellow jacket?20151016_124523

The Civil War Museum sits atop the Greenbelt, and overlooks the entire city and Susquehanna River Valley. It’s an impressive sight. 20151016_14310620151016_143306We watched videos, examined artifacts, and explored the dioramas of the Civil War, explored from both the position of the North and the South. No matter how hard I try to understand the position of the South, I cannot get my head around ownership by one person of another. That’s about all I can come away with from this experience.20151016_13301020151016_132815All this history stuff leaves a couple of Northerners with a powerful thirst. Lancaster Brewing Company, here we come. The beer was tasty, but the coolest thing was the Rolling Stones pinball machine. 20151016_15212820151016_152000Oh, how I want one of those at my house!

We head toward a new campsite at Caledonia State Park, our headquarters for exploring Gettysburg. Checking in on a Saturday, the campground is a madhouse – trailers and tents absolutely jammed into this tiny chaotic park. We could only get a non-electric site, and John considers winterizing the Fireball, since the temperature is supposed to dip into the 20s for the two nights we are there. Fortune shines on us though – as we are pulling in, our neighbors are packing up. Busted tent poles, surly teenagers and a sick baby are more than this mom can handle. So, their electric site becomes ours. Yay! This photo was taken Sunday afternoon – when we returned from visiting the Military Park, the entire campground had cleared out. Another yay!20151018_180547Early Sunday morning, we drove to Gettysburg Military Park. Our plan was to hit the Visitor Center, watch the movie, then bicycle through the battlefield auto tour. The film, narrated by Morgan Freeman is a perfect start for exploration. For me, it’s helpful to see a visual plotting of troop movements and battle lines. After the movie, we viewed the fully restored Gettysburg Cyclorama. This painting is 372 feet long and 42 feet high, mounted in a circular dome. First shown in Boston in 1884, it’s amazing.20151018_11411120151018_114230 The Museum is another place where we could have lingered for hours. We truly rushed through way too quickly, in order to catch a glimpse of everything there.

It’s cold and windy, but getting around by bike is still the best way to view the Park, in our opinion. I really cannot get my head around the misery of the Civil War.  At Gettysburg along, 7000 men were killed, another 30,000+ were injured, and thousands more were missing or captured. In just three days. So, I’ll just close with a few photos. You really must visit Gettysburg yourself for this history lesson.20151018_12510220151018_14074720151018_13240620151018_13240620151018_13084420151018_13162420151018_143530And, when you’re in Gettysburg, make a stop at Gettysbrew. This brewery has to win the contest for most unusual site for a brewpub ever – the building originally was a Civil War hospital. Interesting spot, with okay beer.20151018_153013

 

Austin, Days 1 and 2

Finally!  We’ve landed in Austin, visited a bike shop (not just any bike shop, but Mellow Johnny’s), and had our first BBQ experience.  Yep, it’s been a good couple of days.

We hit the road early on Monday morning, as the drive to Austin would be more than 300 miles.  That doesn’t sound like much to many of you who are used to driving long distances, but for us, that’s a full day on the road.  The weather was cloudy and listless, with rain showers all along the way.  West Texas is deadly dull.  There is nothing out here.20150309_085731After 200 miles, we finally hit Fredericksburg, and pull up alongside the Brewery for a quick lunch.  My pepperwurst was pretty good, and John enjoyed his stew.  That sausage looks enormous, I know, but it’s not sitting on a dinner plate, but a smaller salad plate.20150309_130443Back on the two-lane highway, we are happy to be out of the cuteness of this town.  I’ve turned into a person who has no appetite for shopping anymore.  Get me outta here!  We briefly discuss going to the World War II (Pacific Theater) Museum, but nix that idea in the interest of getting to Austin.  But, as we’re zooming down the road, the LBJ Ranch comes into view.  20150309_135658Of course we have to swing in for a quick tour.

This site is part State Park, and part National Park.  Although the tour of the Western White House didn’t have much appeal, we did enjoy the movie in the Visitor Center, which was actually a broadcast of LBJ showing the ranch to reporter Bob Schieffer.  It was great – LBJ and Schieffer zooming around the ranch in a big ol’ Lincoln convertible.  LBJ really came across as a very human kind of guy, and one with a deep connection to the ranch that had been in his family for years.  It was well worth the time spent.

My favorite part, though, were some of the letters sent to LBJ.  Hope they make you smile as much as they did me – I doubt if Obama gets such ‘human’ mail.  20150309_14003520150309_14005420150309_14012120150309_14021320150309_140224Before leaving, we did decide to take the quick driving tour around the Ranch.  It’s still a working ranch, so we had to wait for goats and steers to move off the road in spots.  20150309_14415120150309_144438Finally!  We roll into McKinney Falls State Park, in the southeast corner of Austin.  We’ve only been able to get a two-night reservation, and it’s already 5pm of Day 1.The rain we encountered on the road was a deluge in Austin – a record-breaking 2″.  The Park is soaked – the initial site they assigned us to was unacceptable.  The fire pit was surrounded by a moat at least a foot and a half wide.  We would have to have waded to the picnic table.  We drove round and round, finally picking a site that had an elevated picnic table.  It’s pretty choice, and we’re happy.  The best news came on Day 2 – our request for two more nights became a reality, because of a cancellation.  So, we’ve got time to explore.

Jezzy has spent lots of time in the truck this past week, so we decide to explore the Falls around the park with her before leaving for the afternoon.  In terms of waterfalls, they’re not much, but the riverbed is an old lava field.20150310_095908 All of the little craters in the surface were water-filled.  It’s REALLY wet around here!20150310_095946Finally, we pump tires, and plot out a route into downtown Austin.  Should be about a 45 minute ride, in this bicycle-friendly town.  Most of the route is on roads with bike lanes, and the rest is on bike paths.  Well, mostly……

We’re navigating a tricky section where the bicycle lane suddenly vanishes, leaving us to fend for ourselves on a four-lane highway passing beneath the expressway.  There’s a beatup pickup truck stalled, and one guy is trying to push it.  “We should help”, I said to John, so we leaned our bikes on a bridge support, and moved in to provide a little muscle.

Let me set the scene for you a bit.  John and I are wearing our bike shoes (and our geeky helmets).  We are joined in our pushing effort by the frail-looking guy selling newspapers on the corner.  This is not the most prosperous side of town.  “WE RUN OUTTA GAS!!!!  JUS’ NEED TO PUSH ‘ER AROUND THE CORNER TO THE SERVICE STATION!!”, shouts the guy who was Pusher #1.  I’m on the side of the truck behind the driver, and he looks like he’s having the time of his life.  Laughing and smiling encouragement to me in the rearview mirror.  John and I sound like Budweiser Clydesdales in our bike shoes.  KLOP!  KLOP!!  Must have looked ridiculous.  Things are going okay until we have to go around a corner, and it’s ever so slightly uphill.  The newspaper guy, Pusher #2 is wheezing and panting – I’m not sure if he’s going to make the last 100 yards into the gas station.  We finally get the truck up into the lot, and the driver coasts up to a pump.  Pusher #2 is bent over, hands on knees, trying not to throw up.  We wave, and go off to retrieve our bikes.  Good deed for the day is done.

On we go.  Rolling down a smooth street with a nice wide bike lane, we pass a bus stop.  A crazy-looking guy wearing three hats, clutching a bottle in a brown bag leaps off the curb in front of John and hollers, “LANCE ARMSTRONG CAN KISS MY ASS!”  Well……ok.  We’re off to a fine start here in Austin, TX.

The rest of the ride was mostly uneventful, not counting the flat tire on John’s bike.  Repair went quickly, and we resumed our journey, ironically, to Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop.  20150310_142252Lance Armstrong was a partner in this shop at one time, and it’s full of bikes that he and other teammates rode.  The first Livestrong bike is there, many signed yellow jerseys, and other stuff.  20150310_143856It makes me sad and angry to think of what a jerk he bacame.  End of editorial.  But, it’s a pretty cool bike shop.

Time to begin our Brisket Quest.  John has picked La Barbecue as Stop #1.  Once again, we are so happy to be on bikes.  This joint is a gravel parking lot with a few tent-covered picnic tables.  Two huge smokers are in trailers, an another smaller trailer is used for the food service window.20150310_15091420150310_150653We’re there late for lunch (around 2pm), and most items are sold out.  We do get a chopped brisket and a pulled pork sandwich, and a side of pinto beans to share.  Beans great, brisket great, pork fair.  That’s my review.  John goes crazy and decides that he wants to get ribs to take back to the Fireball for dinner.  Sold out.  The only thing available is (the last) beef rib.  At $20/pound, this little treat comes to $38!!  Want to see what $38 worth of takeout beef rib looks like?ribToo bad we didn’t photograph it on its greasy butcher paper.  It was stellar.  Crusty and chewy, the meat inside still moist and tender.  La Barbecue knows what they’re doing.

This is an interesting neighborhood.  Apparently, this guy has a fascination with wheeled stuff, which he displays in his yard.  20150310_152958He’s also a bird lover, and buys big boxes of donuts which he puts on a big spindle on the vacant lot across the street (this we learned from his sister, who was in the car behind John).  She invited us to come back with a big truck and take all the crap we wanted out of the yard.  Wonder what his neighbors think?

Just down the street was another interesting sight.  20150310_15324420150310_153410Seems like anything goes in Austin!

We’re getting back on the bikes this afternoon, heading back into the city for more treats and eye candy.  Sure wish the sun would come out for a bit.

 

 

Around and About

I can practically hear Juliette Gordon Low rolling in her grave.  What the hell is going on here?  Relax, Juliette…..it’s just a party in Tucson at the Tap & Bottle to explore pairings of Girl Scout Cookies and beer.  Sounds odd, and it was.  We sampled four different GS cookies, which were matched with distinctively different beers – hopefully to complement flavors.  20150208_151347Not so sure about the success of the pairings, but it was a terrific afternoon with camping pals Vern & Ilene.  Tap & Bottle is a superfun spot to spend a few hours, and they did the Girl Scouts proud – there must have been 200 people jammed inside, and everyone bought a box or two of cookies in addition to the samples that came with the beer.  The table next to us (of guys, naturally) brought their own cookies in – we saw two different bags of Pepperidge Farm cookies and potato chips that they were pairing with their own beer choices.  This was a good-hearted event that had support from all parties – marketing folks from the Girl Scouts, beer drinkers, local college students, and a full complement of tiny little Girl Scouts earnestly hawking their wares (safely outside the bar on the sidewalk, with their parents).

We decided to take the newly christened Tucson Streetcar for a full-circuit ride.  What a gem this is!  Running through the entertainment/club district to the University, to the downtown business area and out to the Expressway edges of town, it serves a diverse population.  Our $4 daily pass gave us unlimited on/off privileges.

20150208_163320We hopped off to get John a nitro coffee at Ilene’s favorite coffee stop.  Those of you who are fans of the nitro taps in a brewpub can perhaps relate to this.  The coffee wasn’t great, but we (perhaps, generously) attributed this to the fact that it was late on a Sunday afternoon, and it might not have been at its freshest.20150208_165817

Tucson has many great sights, and so much history.  We decided that we need to spend a few days just cycling around town and enjoying some of the oddities that make this such a cool spot to visit. 20150208_162622

Having running commentary from Vern as to what we were seeing from our streetcar seats made this a most enjoyable tour.

We’ve fallen into our regular Green Valley routine.  We hike a bit, bike a bit, and do nothing A LOT!  The weather here has been spectacular!  Well above normal temps, which puts it into the mid-70s (and sometimes into the low 80s) nearly every day.  Bright sunshine.  We hiked up to Rogers Rock in Madera Canyon one day this week.  Perfect weather made the eight mile round trip pretty easy.  This is one of our favorite hikes every year.20150209_10124520150209_10293620150209_111618Seven of us + two dogs made the trek to a spectacular spot for lunch.  The light spots in the background are the enormous piles of mine tailings in Green Valley – the copper mines are running full force, and the tailing piles significant.  Mining is a huge industry in this area, and it has some benefits, I’m sure.  But, the downside is that it sucks an enormous amount of the precious water resources of the area, the environmental (and visual) effects are a significant downside.

Of course, we’re cycling often.  Thursday was a first for us – while John and I were cycling to the meetpoint for our regular Thursday ride, a coyote darted out from the roadside, and nearly had his snout in my front wheel before I shouted STOP! or HEY!  (not sure what happened here).  He and I both braked severely!  Never have I seen a coyote so close up.  It was unnerving.  Twenty minutes later, our group was rolling through Quail Creek, an upscale golf course/housing development when three coyotes appeared on the narrow strip of ground between the pavement and the walled back yard of the nearby house.  Our 10 bikes couldn’t have been more than eight feet away from these guys!  It was breathtaking.

Our rental house is in a development where the abundance of birds has been such a pleasure.  Every morning we hear cactus wrens, and curved-billed thrashers call.  It’s amazing to hear them sing out.  Areas covered by low-lying prickly pear cactus are havens for the Gambel’s Quail.  As I stroll with Jezzy in the early morning, I can hear them grumbling, although I usually can’t spot them.  All of the sudden, one will dart out, and a whole stream will follow.  They are amazing to see.

The daily sights and sounds of the Arizona desert never fail to delight.  Although the cactus aren’t yet flowering, the prickly pear are loaded with fruit.  Around here, it’s common to find jams, jellies, and salsa made with prickly pear.  A gorgeous napolito (thornless) prickly pear is right around the corner from us.  20150213_093733This particular plant is also a coveted snack for one of the meandering javalinas who patrol the neighborhood at night.  If I were a javalina, I would also chose spineless!20150213_093804The Gila woodpecker makes it home in the Sagauro cactus.  The Saguaro survives this invasion by totally isolating the hole in an oblong capsule.20150213_092934 We observed a pod collected from a dead Saguaro in the Visitor Center at Organ Pipe Cactus National Park – it’s an amazing adaption.

Cactus shapes never cease to amaze me.20150209_085726The colors in morning and evening are especially lush.20150213_090513We noticed a chiminea (a free-standing, clay fireplace) in the patio area of our rental house.  We asked our landlords if they would mind if we actually used it (looked as though it was new, although it had a crack).  With their blessing, we have thoroughly enjoyed our evenings on the patio, watching the sun set on the nearby Santa Rita Mountains.  20150210_182331We even rescued the hotdog forks from the Fireball and roasted hot dogs one evening.

Our new refrigerator has arrived, been installed, and appears to work just fine.  Yay!  We’ve received the new regulator for our Camp Chef stove, so we’re back in business on that front.  We’ll be ready to hit the road again on March 1.

To top it all of, I noticed this seasonal greeting on my morning stroll today.20150213_090212All is well here – hope the same is true for each of you.

Highway 61

Lake Superior is so alluring that we find ourselves unable to resist her call.  Instead of heading northwest toward International Falls (for no other reason than to say we’ve been there), we decide to creep up into the Arrowhead, the northeast portion of Minnesota.  We’re congratulating ourselves on what appears to be a brilliant decision.

Although very cold and windy at night, the last couple of days have warmed up to be perfect for outdoor activities.  So, off we go from our base at Gooseberry State Park, where we snagged an incredible campsite (easy to do, because the campground is only about 10% populated).20141007_162854The Gitchi-Gami State Trail runs about 15 miles alongside Highway 61 from Gooseberry Falls SP to Beaver Bay, past Split Rock State Park, where the lighthouse of the same name is located.  We decide to cycle north to the end of the Trail before doubling back to check out the lighthouse.  Although we’re freezing at the onset of the ride, we quickly get in the groove.  The Trail is perfect.  We’re either climbing or barreling downhill – there are few flat sections.  Rarely are we more than 200 yards from the Lake, and scenic stops abound.20141008_12194820141008_12574520141008_120607 The combination of a great bike route, perfect riding conditions, and the most unbelievable scenery have us cruising leisurely along in a most happy way.20141008_121335At the tiny town of  Beaver Bay, the Trail seems to peter out.  We stop for coffee, and peek into a rock shop.  In my next life, I’ll be a geologist.  We double back toward Split Rock, anxious to see the lighthouse which has been recommended to us as a great stop.  The smallish lighthouse was built in response to a string of years marked by significant numbers of shipwrecks on the rocky shores.  Twenty ships were damaged or destroyed in a single disasterous storm in November 1905, resulting in nearly three dozen deaths that day alone.  Shipping company owners petitioned Congress for funds to construct the lighthouse, and $75,000 was appropriated.  (Once the lighthouse became operational in 1910, there were no more shipwrecks along that stretch of Lake Superior coast.

The Lighthouse is neither tall nor elaborate. The location is magnificent.20141008_145729 20141008_145639But, its construction story is remarkable.  Because of the general inaccessibility of the site by land, all materials had to be brought in by ship, then hoisted to the cliff.  The French-built Fresnel lens and its supporting assembly weigh nearly 6.5 tons alone.20141008_145939 Interested in the lens?  I’d suggest that you read this blog post from an Oregon lighthouse volunteer , which gives an excellent description and history of the Fresnel lens.  The lens rotated every 20 seconds, powered by a weight-driven mechanism, similar to a grandfather clock.  The 200 pound weight had to be wound every two hours, by a team of three keepers.  The grounds are immaculately kept.

This shot is odd, because I had to shoot it through the screen in the Lighthouse window.20141008_15003020141008_150211

We rolled back to camp into the teeth of a howling wind.  As soon as the sun gets low, the temperature drops rapidly.  We could hardly get showered and positioned in front of our smoky campfire quickly enough.  Our campground is very quiet – there is just us, and one other campsite occupied – a blessing when you’re using the campground showers.  Dry, hot, and no waiting.  Doesn’t get any better than this!

The main attraction at Gooseberry Falls are, of course, the waterfalls.  We explored these a bit when we first arrived, but decided to take a long, slow tour of all the falls, and the unusual shoreline.  Again, we were treated to perfect conditions for our hike – bright blue skies and clear, bright air.  The photos haven’t been color corrected at all – we actually were treated to this wonderful fall display.  Most of the trees here are birch, so the predominant foliage is bright yellow, combined with the varying green fir trees.  There’s an occasional bright splash of red or orange, but it’s not the same barrage of color that we’re so used to seeing in Michigan.

I’ll shut up and just show the photos….20141009_11480720141009_10501620141009_10572020141009_10463920141009_10410920141009_10362020141009_10290620141009_10534620141009_10371820141009_10290620141009_10055320141009_100743The beach and picnic areas at Gooseberry Falls SP are spectacular.  Bare lava rock rolls right into the water, adorned with patched of hardy grass.  Stone picnic tables, built by the CCC back in the 1930s lend their sturdy presence to the shoreline.  The Lake was calm, and the bright sunshine made for a spectacular morning.20141008_16270620141009_11245620141009_11324520141009_112153In case you’re wondering, yes, we DID find a brewery to visit.  Castle Danger Brewery in Two Harbors.wpid-20141009_160200.jpg Wonderful ales.  Curiously offered in 11oz or 18oz servings.  Why not try two different beers each?  While hanging around the town, (doing laundry), we noticed a freighter pulling in at the ore dock. wpid-20141009_154511.jpg Now we’ve seen everything!  It took him far less time to land that gigantic freighter than it took me to back the Fireball into a campsite!

Tomorrow (Friday), we’re going to reluctantly point the Firetruck south on Highway 61, and begin our slow descent southward to home.  I’m reluctant to leave, feeling that we are leaving too much unexplored.  Will we ever get back?  We’ve visited Highway 61, and like Dylan, hope to revisit.  (okay, okay….I just couldn’t resist.)

Wheeling Around the UP

I can hardly remember the last ten days.  I’ve come to depend on having enough signal to produce a blog post every few days, and when that routine is interrupted, my brain jumbles everything together into one big blur.  But, here goes…..

Continuing our navigation around Lake Superior, we land at McLain State Park, about halfway between Calumet and Houghton. wpid-20140921_144350.jpg Once again, our campsite is just yards away from Lake Superior.  We’ve yet to see the big angry lake we expected – this meek body of water barely generates waves most of the time.  Surely this placid surface can’t be responsible for all the freighters that lie on its bottom.  Must be something else, right?

Calumet is a photographer’s dream.  This area was right in the heart of the copper rush, and thus drew residents of all nationalities.  Of course, each had to build their own church, resulting in a skyline dotted with crosses of various shapes and sizes.20140924_15503220140924_155908 Some still function as churches, others have been repurposed into galleries or storefronts. 20140924_160116 A few appear not to have any further use at all.  Banks, government buildings, and other impressive structures have been built of huge red blocks, which have elegantly weathered the last century.20140924_15523320140924_140547 Blocks of working-class, two-family houses reminded me of the Detroit of my childhood, where my grandparents lived for years.20140924_155706 I really wished that I had a different camera (or perhaps more skill/patience to capture better images with the one I have).20140924_155533We decided to tour the Quincy Mine in Hancock.  Perhaps the coolest part of this tour was the cog railway which took us down the ridge to the mine itself.  With a grade of 33%, it would have been a tough hike, without this transport. 20140923_124630 We entered the mine at the 7th level, the lowest currently accessible.  The levels below that (down to the 92nd level, nearly two miles beneath the surface) are all flooded now.20140923_12223320140923_121531 Perhaps the part of the tour with the greatest impact on me was discussion of the miner’s miserable working conditions, which led to a bitter nine-month strike in 1913/14.  Ten hour days, dangerous conditions, and low pay kept miners enslaved to the company, which owned their houses, and the stores from which supplies were purchased.

The community was severely divided by the strike.  On Christmas Eve 1913, a party for strikers’ children was held at the Italian Hall, with hundreds of children and family in attendance.  Someone opened a door, shouted “Fire”, and a stampede for the exit ensued.  60 children and 13 adults were crushed.  There was no fire.  The site of the Hall is now a small park, and a remembrance ceremony is held every year on December 24.

Following the mine tour, we continued our day of mineral exploration with a visit to the Seamon Mineral Museum on the campus of Michigan Technological University in Houghton.  Had to climb one of the steepest hills ever on our bikes to get there – two blocks of it were too steep to pedal.  (Naturally, we found a better route AFTER we got to the top!)  The Mineral Musuem is a Rock Hound’s (or wannabee’s) dream.20140923_14485820140923_14400320140923_143822 My fingers twitched to touch these gorgeous specimens, most of which were in locked cases.  Geodes, gems, phosphorescent minerals…..all so beautiful.

Of course, we had to treat ourselves to a brew at the Keweenaw Brewing Company.  The big attraction of this spot (for us) was the cheap beer – $5 for two pints.  The beer itself, was middling.  But, it was a great day for the 40 mile round trip bike ride, so we were happy.

The rest of the time here is a blur in my mind.  A few more photos to view, then we’re off to Porcupine Mountain State Park.20140924_16073020140924_15152420140924_15143520140924_151711Took a tour of the old (built in 1908) Calumet Theater…..where I was treated to a private concert by the guy tuning the piano.  It was grand.20140924_134535Last, but not least, the troll murals in the bar at the Ambassador Restaurant in Houghton.20140923_15370820140923_153652