June 28, 2018
We pushed hard to get the Keweenaw Peninsula in Michigan so that we were positioned to make our Ferry on Friday, June 29th. We didn’t know how far we’d get so we winged it for a few days. This meant we would arrive with no place to stay. I placed a call to Houghton RV Park without much hope of getting in. Their website makes it clear that they are almost always booked. I was pleasantly surprised when they told to me come on in, they had openings.
I rolled down over the hill, following the GPS and signage and HIT THE BRAKES! My side of the road was washed out. How could I have missed a road closed sign? (I didn’t) There was a front end loader working off to my left and a little sign on my right that said “RV Park” with an arrow to the left. When I followed the arrow, my eyes met those of the construction worker and he smiled and pointed behind his machine. He helpfully backed up to reveal a little one lane bridge with another sign pointing me that way. We rolled over the bridge and up the hill to the camp host to check in.
He was a nice, helpful fellow and cheerfully told us that Houghton had been hit with a 500 year flood just last week. It washed out roads, parks, bridges and poured mud down the streets and into houses. In fact it washed out that bridge we just drove over, but no worries, they patched it back up and opened it in less than two days… two days to shove the saturated ground back up the hill and build a bridge strong enough to support our motor home… whoa. My stomach did a few flips thinking about what could happen if that quick fix didn’t hold, BUT, it did… And now we knew why they had openings.
We were assigned a full hookup back-in site, right on the canal with a small shelter over a picnic table. There was a fire ring but our site had no real space to even set up a chair next to it. We didn’t care since we were only there one night but if you plan to stay there, try for the lower numbered sites as they had more room.
The RV park butts up against a beautiful city park that runs along the canal. There is a really cool Chutes and Ladders Playground next door and a very nice lighted and paved Canal Walk Trail that runs from there into town. AND it goes right to Roy’s Bakery. We hit Roy’s several times while we were in the area. They have excellent pasties; traditional, breakfast style, chicken and broccoli (Chloe’s and my fave). Who asked what a pastie is? That’s pronounced past-ee and is a little meat pie that is said to have first come to the Upper Peninsula with the Cornish Miners. The wives put their own decorative twists on the dough and the miners carried them down in their lunch buckets. Easy hand held meal… and soooo good when made right. Roy’s makes them right.
Roy’s also makes bread, pastries, cakes and cronuts. That is not a typo. A cronut is a donut made out of croissant dough, shaped into a donut type ring and deep fried. Drooling yet?
They slice the cronut like a bagel, fill it with buttercream frosting (vanilla or raspberry) and dust it with powdered sugar. Soooooo good. The staff was friendly and helpful and the seating areas were beautiful. You can eat inside or out on their raised patio with beautiful views of the lift bridge and canal.
Houghton is a college town. Michigan Tech is there so you have the added vibrancy that feeds off of that. We were there during the summer break so many places closed down fairly early. We were lucky to find a local to recommend a great place to eat.
We ate dinner at Ambassador Pizza and really enjoyed the atmosphere and really neat murals. This is in a historic building so be sure to check out the signs on the wall near the entrance. It was definitely a local hangout (our favorite type of place to visit) and a family gathering/dinner venue.
Houghton and Hancock (on the other side of the canal) are the gateways to the upper part of the Keweenaw Peninsula so you’ll be passing through there, and across that lift bridge, as you travel the area. Make sure you stop long enough to enjoy what the town has to offer.