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The UP's Copper Cabin for Brooke's 36th Birthday

 

We went big for my birthday cabin weekend this year. Scott even said, What is this your 40th birthday? Usually we just do one or two nights somewhere but this year we did 4 nights. 

I figured we wouldn't be traveling quite as much this year, so we could splurge a bit for Brooke's birthday weekend.

We started our first night at a yurt in Cable, Wisconsin to break up the drive.

 
It was a pretty hike in. 

They insisted you'd need snowshoes or a fat bike, but really the trail was tamped down so much we could've used just boots.

I had no idea we would be staying in the middle of miles of skiing and snowshoeing trails. You can snowshoe or ski right up to the yurt. 
 
 
There it is amongst the trees.

Once we arrived I wanted to explore the area, but my family thought it was more fun to stay cozy inside.

I hiked back and forth twice unlike a certain ghost like lady (whoops, overexposed that shot).
 
We noticed these random animal sculptures on our walk in. When looking through a booklet in the yurt, there is a snowshoe trail where you have to find each animal.

Would have been fun to do with the kids but alas I went alone.


I found most of them. Some may have been hidden in the snow.


 

Meadow, Theo and I enjoyed the cozy yurt.

For dinner we made a no cook option: mock duck banh mis.

Apparently Theo's stomach was full despite not eating much throughout the day.

If you're looking for a place where you want to be out skiing all day and need a place to sleep at night, this is your place. The yurt is rustic. Just a couple bunkbeds, a table and wood stove. 

A chunk of the night was spent first getting the wood stove going. We all went to bed early with the fire roaring. It was warm, almost 80 degrees. At 2 am or thereabouts I woke up and noticed the fire was out. I had to spend the next hour getting the fire going again.  Then again a few hours later.


These two goofs were ready for the main leg of our long weekend trip.


I'd come back again when Theo is a little older so we can all go skiing.

Or...snowshoeing. Maybe by then we'll get into skiing.


Then we said goodbye to the yurt and Wisconsin.



Theo got upset on the sled ride back. A couple somehow got him to calm down when they passed and then Theo wanted to walk back. Kids...

I was surprised to come down the hill to a full parking lot. When we arrived the day before only one other car was here. Everyone was interested in our stay at the yurt. 

We then met up with Blake and Daniel in Ironwood, Michigan. I was ready for lunch. Sadly the local pasty shop was frozen bake-at-home takeout only. We found a local bakery, Bake Superior Bread, that had sandwiches to go. These were some pretty hefty sandwiches.

The kids were happy with their nut butter and Keewenaw blueberry jam sandwiches.

This place was so good.

We booked Hipcamp's Copper Cabin in the Keweenaw Peninsula back in November and I've been excited to go since. Back at home most of the snow had already melted so it was treat to see 3 feet of snow on the ground. We met up with Chuck who mentioned the snow total was actually low this year.
 

We had to cross a Theo sized bridge over a creek.

Chuck walked us back to the cabin along the owners Linda and Darryl's massive acreage.
 
 

Once we arrived the cabin was even better in person. We immediately knew we were going to enjoy our stay.

Chuck provided me with all the details I'd need to keep the place going throughout the weekend. The cabin is completely off the grid. Power is provided by solar panels and heat is provided by a small propane heater and Jotul the fire god (aka an awesome wood stove).

The one room cabin had a sleeping loft upstairs.

(Is that a single room then?)

Oh, hey you can even see my bald head from the loft space.

Daniel was very excited by the complimentary herb. It's legal in Michigan, I suppose.

We settled right in.

In the summer the energy efficient fridge keeps your food cold. This time of year there's a big cooler on the entryway.

The kids enjoyed the rock collection.

Obviously, there was also a slab of copper. This was the copper mining epicenter of the Midwest back in the day.


Daniel, isn't this place dreamy? Yes, yes it is.


I wanted to explore outside before it got dark, but again everyone wanted to stay inside. I took Ruthie with me and chased her around.

It was so dang cozy.

Daniel and I did go on a quick hike back to the cars for our snowshoes and their Switch.

The walk to the cabin was only .6 miles.
 
At night we got to see the unique lighting.


 
At night it was even cozier. Blake also got a Nintendo Switch so of course we had to visit each others islands on Animal Crossing.

I was going to take the weekend off from Zelda and the Switch, but Brooke surprisingly wanted to bring the Nintendo along.

We were going on an 8 hour car ride, isn't that what it's for?

The cabin included paints.

Meadow painted a summer rendering of the cabin bridge.

Then it was breakfast time.

The snow pile reached the window. Ruth loved being able to look in.

Today we explored the property. After checking Google Maps we realized we were actually on an unplowed road.

We followed it as far as it would go.


Theo and Meadow love having Blake, Daniel and Ruthie around.

Can you blame them?

Check out my sweet new jacket I got from REI for a song. Perfect for a weekend in the UP.


The unplowed road went on and on.

I guess some people only come here in the summer.
 

 
We made it to the end of the road and turned back.

Brooke loved the giant piles of snow on the roofs.

Some of them would hang 4 feet over.

I spotted just a bit of moss peaking through the snow.

Meadow had some homework she had to do.

The tiki god woodstove kept us warm. There was also a propane heater too.

That's Jotul to you. Once the wood-fired stove got going it took over.


Meadow loved the loft space.

Puzzle o'clock I guess.

I could totally live this off-grid life year round.

A small hill goes down to the river. It worked as a nice little sledding hill.

We were all clearly having a good time.

The cabin also includes a sauna and future bath house.


Brooke and went for a walk without the kids before dinner.

For dinner I made one of our favorites: sausage and kale split pea soup.

Apparently we used all the spoons for our soup so Blake used a sharp knife to eat his pudding cup.

That's weird.
 
Meadow and I shared a bed the second night, but she kind of hogs the bed.
 
Brooke made breakfast in her new favorite leggings. At some point I guess you realize jeans aren't great for snowshoeing and hiking.

The kids weren't done playing with their Switches.

The lighting is so dreamy when the sun comes in.

That's not the light, that's just me, Brooke.

Another breakfast feast on our second morning. It was almost as good as Paul Bunyan's.

We made a joke about getting some Busch Light and Daniel took us up when he went on a snack run. We turned it into a poor-man's mimosa.

I had saved some areas nearby to explore. 

So we headed to our cars with our snowshoes in toe.

We checked out Haven Falls first. I wasn't expecting it to be completely frozen still, that we even drove by at first not even noticing it.

The snow was lovely.

Super Theo was ready for our next stop.

We tried to go to an old growth pine forest and another waterfall, but we've learned that only major streets are plowed around here during Winter and everything else is open for snowmobiles. 

We did find a good place to snowshoe along Lake Superior across from Copper Harbor at Hunter's Point Park.

There were small pieces of ice all around the beach (yes this is normally a beach). They looked like crystals and Meadow wanted to bring them all back to the cabin.


The ice formations on the lake were pretty cool.

Ruthie is a great snowshoeing partner, though at this point half of us took off our snowshoes. Daniel's had broken. Whoops.


We kept hiking along Hunter's Point. This felt a lot like combining Artists' Point in Grand Marais with Park Point in Duluth.



Should have brought our ice skates.

I'm not sure I would've trusted the ice at this point.

Meadow exclaimed again, "This is the best day ever!"

Rad look, Lake Superior!

Theo always decides the sled isn't good enough for him and decides to hike.


This picture makes Theo look like he has a mustache.

Maybe he does.





You've got this, Super Theo.

We made it all the way to the end of the point.


Then Brooke took over pulling the little guy.


This is the part that felt just like Artists' Points woods.


Hey, downtown Copper Harbor.

Meadow brought her biggest gem back with us in our roofbox.

Our walk back to the cabin involves crossing a snowmobile trail. A lot of snowmobilers zip by. 

In Daniel's quest to get more snacks he picked up a four flavor cake for my birthday. Thanks Daniel.

We didn't have birthday candles so a giant candle would do.

I hope you got your wish, old lady!

Theo, Meadow and I played outside even though we just got back from our hike. I guess the cake gave us some energy.

Theo was obsessed with the eye window. When looking at the listing he kept wanting to go back to the photo that showed it. He was even more excited that he could see it from the window in the sleeping loft.


A rare photo of the four of us all reading together.

In the morning we had our last breakfast before packing up.

I whipped up a lumberjack breakfast to send us on our way.

I don't think any of us wanted to leave.


All full and ready to go, I suppose.
 
Goodbye awesome cabin.




Bye Blake and Daniel. We got packed up a bit after they left and I just barely made it up the hill out of the driveway. We were close to needing a tow truck.
 
Once we got back to the car Theo was crying because he didn't want to leave. I don't blame you kiddo.

I love the layers of snowstorms. 

Gross and magnificent at the same time.

We took a quick detour to Porcupine Mountains. Again we were met with unplowed roads. We got a quick glimpse of the ski hill when turning around.

It was worth it. We might come up here one of these years for Brooke's birthday weekend.

I saw a sign for a waterfall alongisde Porcupine Mountains as we were leaving. And again it was completely frozen. Well you could hear it under the ice.

So then we raced back to the car and back on our way home.
 
Thanks Animal Crossing friends.
 
We weren't hungry and then all of sudden we were super hungry. We ended up settling on Kwik Trip pizza. It'll do, pig.

Back at home I opened my gift from these guys. A little bike bag for my bike seat and a pooper scooper for backcountry camping. 

Weird presents, but she seemed happy. I guess she couldn't complain after a weekend at the Copper Cabin.

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