Autumn in the UP

We just returned from a week-long trip to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. I am from the Houghton area, the home of Michigan Tech, so when we go to the UP, that’s where we go. Usually by this time of year, the fall colors are past peak, but we were really lucky this year! The first couple of days we were home, the colors were actually AT peak. Then it was very windy, and suddenly, they were past peak. I have not been back during the color season so it was a real treat! We even had an unusual 80 degree day. Then, of course, two days later it was only 47 and we needed to dig out the sweaters and run the furnace!

One of the highlights of our trip was touring the Quincy Mine Steam Hoist. The No. 2 shaft is a very important and well-recognized landmark in the area, as it’s on top of a steep hill and can be seen easily. There is a tram that goes down a very steep hill and we all took a ride on that. You can tour the mine as well (it was the old Tech mine, for those of you who are Old Skool). Will and I returned for the mine tour as I didn’t think Sophie would have handled it well. It was probably a little bit much for Will, he kept asking me when we were going to go in the mine, when we were already in it!! I think he expected to see trains (of course) and I had to explain to him that it’s been many, many years since there were actually trains or cars in the mine. It was a really interesting tour and I tried to imagine how much activity there used to be when all the mines were operational. It must have been a very busy, and noisy, place.

One of the other highlights of the trip was spending some time with Nancy at IT Chick, Running Dork. We have been friends since grade school and we lost touch about 15 years ago. I just recently found her on Facebook and we’ve had fun catching up ever since! We had lunch a couple of times, had dinner out once, went to the Keweenaw Brewing Company for some beer, went to the Mine Shaft to play games with the kids, went to the LSPR Rally meet and greet, and took the kids to the beach at Lake Superior. She’d asked about a pair of hand knit mittens so I offered to make them if she bought the yarn – we did that and I got them done for her in 4 days!! (Pics on my Ravelry page – I’m having issues with WordPress images right now!)

Another really neat thing we did was go to a pancake breakfast at my old school, E.B. Holman. I hadn’t been inside the building for years, and I can’t even remember now why or when I went. Even though they added on to the building, it seemed so small! And the playground was a lot cooler than it used to be. However, the gym, the desks, so many things were the same. I started kindergarten there in 1974!!! So that was a long time ago. I even ran into an old classmate and his family when we took the kids over to the playground. It was fun catching up!

Before this becomes a book, Sophie turned 20 months old today. I’m going through the pictures of our trip and she is starting to look less like a baby. She can do so many things, she feeds herself and drinks from a real cup. She is obsessed with the potty and pees in it about once a day. She can take off most of her clothes and tries to put some of them on. She can say so many words now – bubble, ball, doll, *duck sound*, *rocket sound*, please, thank you, hello, bye bye, no, banana, milk, grandpa, grandma, mama, dada, and probably more that I can’t think of. She is still sleeping like crap, but I shouldn’t expect that to change any time soon, because she seems to think every day is Christmas! (She still calls cats “bvvv” and I don’t know why really!) I am constantly reminded why the time between 18 months and 2 years is not for the faint of heart. She’s giving all of us a run for our money!

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