Monday, April 16, 2007

Home Again

Awaiting us upon our return to the Copper Country from our vacation in Florida was a good covering of snow, the results of a blizzard that passed through a couple of weeks ago. Reported was a snowfall of 45-54 inches at Delaware, a defunct copper mining mining location 10 miles west of Copper Harbor and 67 inches in Painsdale, a small village about 12 miles south of Houghton. It is melting fast, however, and if we could get a good spring rain it would all but disappear.

Our friend Jim Junttila from Laurium, an outdoor writer for the Daily Mining Gazette and other publications was out on a photographic prowl on April 11 and captured the Isle Royale Queen IV frozen in a swirl of ice. With the Houghton-Hancock lift bridge in the backgfround, it makes for an interesting picture which we will add to our extensive collection. Jim can be contacted at

The Queen lies at her winter wharf on what is called the Portage Canal (technically it is Portage Lake), a waterway the final mile of which was dredged long ago to create a passageway completely across the Keweenaw Peninsula. With minimal ice movement, the boat is quite safe and weathers the winters well. Every five years we have her put into drydock for a hull inspection and cleaning. Presently, our captains are getting her ready to sail to Isle Royale National Park on May 14, the opening voyage for the 2007 season.

A great number and variety of Isle Royale and Queen pictures and be seen at Captain Ben's blog:


Ben Kilpela said...

Great shot, Dad. You're starting to get pretty good with that camera. That ice pattern behind the Queen must be from when the brothers lighted up two of the engines a few days back.

Capt. Donald Kilpela Sr. said...

I can't take credit, Ben. As I mentioned in the blog, credit goes to Jim Junttila, an outdoor writer for the "Daily Mining Gazette."