Looking Back and Forward

As some of you have no doubt noticed, Explorer is boasting a new look. As the new year dawns in the Copper Country, I thought it would be fitting to give Explorer a makeover to match. It’s still a work in progress, but by the end of the week the final touches should be wrapped up and she’ll be all new. So in the meantime, thanks for your patience. Some parts of the site may look a little “off” until I get it all done. Bear with me.

For today I thought we’d take a look back at last year. There are currently over 120 posts on this side, a lot to read and look through for newcomers. So I’d thought I’d give everyone a “must-see” list of interesting posts from last year. A little smorgasbord from all the places and ruins we have seen so far, just to keep you interest perked for the posts yet to come. So take a quick trip across the Keweenaw with me by stopping by these ten interesting places we have visited so far.

Inside the Roundhouse
One of the first panoramic images I took during our explorations (and most likely the birthplace of the idea) this 360 degree view of the inside of the Quincy and Torch Lake Railroad Roundhouse gives you the definite impression of “being there”.

Video: The New Q&TL RR
Video is an important component of this site, as some things you have to see in motion to appreciate. A prime example of this is the new cog-rail train that runs down the side of Quincy Hill. Built by the Quincy Hoist Association to bring tourists down the hill to the mine entrance, seeing this machine in operation is one of those events only video can do justice to.

The Cliffs in Fall
As fall arrived in the Copper Country, we got some great vista’s during our journeys of the seasons in transition. This shot (taken from the Ojibway Mine rock pile) shows famous cliff range in a whole new light. The sun had come out only for a few minutes – bathing the scene in a wonderful yellow glow – before disappearing behind clouds for the rest of the day.

Trolley in a Field
One of the oddest discoveries along our travels, this old Houghton Traction Company trolley car sits in a field rotting away. Brought here by some enterprising individual as a ready-made cabin, this is probably the last standing (sort of) trolley car in the Keweenaw.

Stamps, Jigs, and Wifleys
Besides looking at ruins, we also like to give a little history here at Explorer. Here is a post describing the technology used in a copper stamp mill. A little food for the brain.

The Barren Beach
Probably one of the most iconic images across the Copper Country is the site of a stamp sand beach along the shores of our lakes and ponds. Here is one of the largest, the expansive sands at Gay, in a panoramic image that illustrates the scars of industry upon the landscape.

Stories of Men
Most ruins we discover are devoid of much detail – large concrete slabs, poor rock walls, maybe a smokestack or two. Sometimes, however, we discover details of a time before our own. Here we discover an old Dry, with ghostly remnants of the men that once toiled below the ground.

Video: Waves
Much larger then any lake, Lake Superior can be more aptly described as an inland sea. When the winds kick up and the waves crash against the rocky shore – as they do here in this video – you best stay far away from her fury.

A Metropolitan View
While not in ruin, the town and villages across the Keweenaw offer an excellent window into the past. Here are views of Calumet, framed in a more Metropolitan style, that provide glimpses into the towns more vibrant past.

First National Bank
There are many buildings of ornate and grand design that still stand across the Keweenaw. While most copper money went east to Boston, some of it managed to leave a mark in buildings such as this one in Laurium.

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