U.P. Road Trip in the Fall

Special thanks to Michael Trudeau for taking us along for a road trip through the U.P. The fall is a great time to get out and enjoy the sights our state has to offer. Read more with Pure Michigan Connect!

With the Mackinac Bridge shrinking in my rear view mirror, I headed west on route 2 full of excitement and wonder for what I would encounter in the next four days. I was really astonished with the Keweenaw Peninsula for it seemed to come to life for me during my visit. Houghton and Hancock were bustling with vitality and they appeared to exist within their own little world without a care of what was happening elsewhere. Calumet welcomed me as if to say, "We were waiting for you." The people of Calumet knew they lived in a very special place and took great pleasure in sharing their own unique perspective of what Calumet is to them.

Calumet is history in the living, and I felt a genuine sense of what life could have been like during the copper mining era thanks to this well-preserved town. Heading north out of Calumet on US 41, I became astounded as the vast array of fall colors just seemed to envelope me in their beauty. US 41 north of Mohawk became a narrow, hilly, two-lane highway that was literally cut right through the forest. There was no place to pull off the road, no shoulder or even a place to change a flat tire, should that happen. I had to stop on the crest of a hill in the road to take pictures, which could have been dangerous had another vehicle been coming along.

After driving under this colorful canopy of birches, maples, and oaks, I came into the very small hamlet known as Copper Harbor, which lies at nearly the northernmost point in Michigan. A quick stroll through this town lets you know that not too many people call this hamlet home. It was quite obvious that the summer season had to come to an end and other than a few color seekers, this place was gearing-up for the long hard winter that lie ahead. I had been told that if I make it to Copper Harbor, I must travel the well known scenic byway known as Brockway Mountain Drive. I located the famous road and began my ascent to a spectacle I had no idea was waiting for me. The northern starting point of this amazing drive has a turn-out for visitors who could walk out to an overlook of Copper Harbor and Lake Superior. This took my breath away. I stood in amazement at the beauty and tranquility of the vast rolling hills packed with vibrant foliage and a sleepy little harbor town.

As I drove along this rustic byway, I stopped every few yards to capture with my camera the awe of nature that was mine for the taking. Hardly any other vehicles were present while I was documenting my journey, and I felt as though I was on top of the world. Well, I was only on top of Michigan, but I was very pleased with where I had come.

Michael Trudeau is a resident of Indiana but a Michigander at heart. He enjoys camping and exploring the U.P. with his dog, Linus.