John and Diana are traveling around the country with a 37-foot RV and an 18-year-old cat. This is their story.
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Pine Mountain Ski Jump
The "King of Hills" is a 123.5-meter ski slide, the world's highest artificial ski jump. The tour book also said "Free Viewing". I am not sure what it meant by the last statement, but John and I thought that it meant free viewing from the top so we climbed up that ski jump. Just kidding, actually I am not sure what possessed us to climb that jump! Coming down was a bit tricky because of the steep slope. I soon learned that it was best not to look down! It was a bigger thrill for me, once I was back on the solid ground, to find a young deer staring at me from out of the woods. Below is a view of the town from a hill over Millie's Mine, a favorite bat viewing area.. In the distance is the Menominee mountain range.
We are leaving this area today, heading further west out of the Upper Peninsula into Minnesota. Before leaving this area I want to mention a few other places we visited while in Iron Mountain. The town has several interesting museums. One of them is the Cornish Pumping Engine and Mining Museum. An old, very large pumping engine, which weights 160 tons and is 154 feet tall, is the focal point of that museum. It was steam driven and used to pump out the water of several mines in the area. It began operation in 1893, and was replaced in 1914 by an electric powered pump. In another building of that same museum is a restored WW11 military glider. The Ford Company Plant in the nearby town of Kingsford produced 4,190 of them between 1942 and 1945 for combat operations. That was an interesting piece of history for me as I knew nothing of the existence of those gliders. The gliders had to be towed by larger powered aircraft to the landing zone by a long nylon cord.
In our tour of the town we also stopped to see the old historic Immaculate Conception Church. It was built in 1903 by Irish immigrant miners who wanted a Catholic church which looked like their parish churches in Italy.