Friday, August 1, 2008

Setting up housekeeping

And so, anyway, there we were, on our way back towards 'da Tech' (see last post) with the now 'our' car just chock full of stuff, including the wooden clothes dryer rack (altho it was not around hubby's neck, as had been my mother's 'perfect' solution to how we could possibly fit everything in).

We were headed to the Portage Lake 'Cabins', just a terrible misnomer, east of Houghton, Michigan, where da Tech was located.

I had all these imaginary visions of a quiet lake with individual log cabins (maybe? hopefully?) sequestered amongst the many trees. Perhaps a deer or two appearing when they thought we weren't looking. How romantic, I thought!

Well! Nothing could be further from the truth. (Wouldn't you know it?)

[I have just completed a several minute on-line Google search of 'Portage Lake', and it is nothing like I remember the configuration! (So what else is new?) I'm going to try and give you the current link, and then pinpoint -- as best I can -- where those 'cabins' were.

Do you see where the green and orange highway lines cross, at Houghton? All right. Now, follow the green line back to the east less than five miles, and that's where we were going. I'm going to try and get you to see a little more of the bigger picture. Hang on, OK?

Aah! Now, this is better! Be sure and scroll down from the top a bit until you find Houghton. Gives you a much clearer picture of where we were going, doesn't it?]

I have become so distracted from the original intention of this post that I have just decided to go with it! Hope that's all right with you. (?)

The Keweenaw Peninsula juts out into Lake Superior for many, many miles. The Portage River was dredged and opened out on the northern side in the late 1800's to provide a 'shortcut' around the long peninsula and indeed, sometimes even a safe haven for ships trying to navigate around Lake Superior's most violent storms.

One really fine story that I remember hearing from 'back in the day' was that of a captain who was navigating his pretty good-sized ship either up or down the canal. There's a lift bridge at Houghton -- you know, one of those where the center of the span goes straight up and down. The ship radios to the harbormaster that he/she's coming through. The harbormaster lifts the bridge. The ship goes through. The harbormaster lowers the bridge. So what's the problem?

Well! This one night, it seems that this particular ship's captain had radioed, radioed, and radioed yet once again the fact that his vessel was coming through and he needed to have the center span raised. No reply. No response. Nothing!

FInally, after realizing that he was about to hit the center span headon, the captain ordered that all anchors be lowered, thereby dragging and thus consequently severing all lines of communication between Houghton and points south and Hancock and points north.

Not that many minutes later, when officials reached the person in charge of lifting or lowering the bridge, he asked (and it was obvious that he had been awakened from an extremely sound sleep), "What ship?!?"


Tammy said...

I'm amazed the captain had the presence of mind to think of such a solution! I'd have been running around crazy saying, "Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh!" lol

Very interesting! Now go ahead and post what you originally wanted to post.....I want to hear about setting up housekeeping as well. :)

Goldenrod said...

What'd you think about those maps? Weren't they great? (Particularly the second one!) I was trying to find Tapiola, the little dinky community where I taught my very first year, but it's not on there.

Anyway, I spent many many minutes studying that second map ... so many memories came flooding back. I'll probably get five or six posts out of those memories. Maybe more.

I was on a real 'tear' yesterday, posting-wise. May or may not do another today. We'll see. Am going down to Pearland later to spend some time with Beth and her family. May decide to change the title on this post, too. Haven't decided yet.

Forwarded everything on to Craig. He has more than one site, and I'll bet he has a sitemeter on ALL of them! He'll be going absolutely crazy if he hasn't yet discovered what the problem is or how to fix it. There's a HUGE time difference! He's on the other side of the world. Don't know if he's sleeping right now or not, even.

Gonna go and check out your site, now that everything's fixed. Hooray for YOU!