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On the way back to Calumet I noticed the Centennial Mine Shaft and that the road to the Shaft was open. Later in the day we decided to drive back to take a closer look and hopefully get a few photos.

 

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Dark-eyed Junco

White-breasted Nuthatch

House Sparrow

Red-breasted Woodpecker

Black-capped Chickadee

After visiting Copper Harbor we decided to skip the finish the second stage of the CopperDog 15o and drive back to Houghton and see if we could catch to CopperDog 150 Doghouse Race. I also had to purchase a new pair of ski boots because my current boots were being held together with shoe glue. Unfortunately the races were over by the time we reached Calumet. I managed a few photos of some of the doghouses and race participants.

 

After watching the start of the second stage of the CopperDog 150 at Eagle Harbor we drove highway 26 to Copper Harbor and then up to the end of highway 41. Highway 26 is a nice drive along the shore of Lake Superior. This is a shot of the Eagle Harbor Lighthouse.

We pulled off and took photographs at several places along the road. There were a number of folks out on the ice taking selfies. The second shot is a panorama looking out onto Lake Superior.

We drove out to the end of highway 41 and took some shots of the Copper Harbor Lighthouse. It was a little disappointing because there was not a lot of ice formations this year. Usually we stop at Fort Wilkins but there was not as much snow as we have seen in the past.

Saturday morning we drove up to Eagle Harbor to watch the second stage of the race. More photos from the race can be found on my website.

We arrived in time to watch the mushers get their dogs ready for the days race.

Some of the dogs seemed to be a little excited. This one was under the truck trembling. On the other hand the second dog was relaxed.

A race of this size cannot happen without lots of volunteers. Here they are heading out to meet the mushers and teams they will help get to the starting line.

Just before the start the trail crew heads out onto the course to make sure it is clear and safe for the racers.

I walked around and watch the mushers and volunteers hitch up the dogs to the sleds. With some of the teams it is quite a challenge to get them to the starting lines. Other teams just wander up.

I spend some time at the starting line photographing the teams as they were taking off.

I happened to be out on the course photographing when I captured this scary sequence. The race officials had only put snow on one side of the road. Unfortunately several of the dog teams decided to head down the asphalt side rather than the snow covered side. The racer then fell down in her attempt to stop the team since they did seem to be obeying her commands to stop. At the start of a race the mushers usually have to step on the breaks to keep the dogs in check because they have so much pent up energy. The dogs dragged her at least 60 yards. She was still being dragged when she turned a corner. She must have been Ok because she finished the race in 6th place. Several other teams had problems before the race officials lined up a bunch of people to prevent the dogs from straying onto the asphalt.

This is where her team should have been.

 

This past weekend my wife and I drove up to Calumet, Michigan to watch the CopperDog 150 Sled Dog Race and to do a little cross country skiing. We just made it in time to walk around before the race and take in the sites. More photos from the race can be found on my website.

The mushers are usually happy to let the kids pet the dogs.

Generally the mushers feed the dogs a couple of hours before the race and then put them back into their homes until they are ready to race. They usually look a little pathetic as the look out the doors. Some of the dogs are a little more reluctant than others to be put back into their homes. This one put up quite a struggle before he finally was put into his home.

The runners on the sleds are a fiberglass material and the mushers have to wax them before the race.

Generally the Michigan Tech and Finlandia University mascots are at the race.

A popular spot before the race is the Hot Chocolate and cookie stand.The sheriffs department heads out onto the course before the race to insure there are no problems along the course which crosses the main road in several locations.

There are a lot of official photographers to capture the race. Video seems to be growing in popularity.

The color guard brings out the flags before the race. This year there were racers from South Africa, Canada and the United States.

Just before the race starts the trail crew heads out to insure that everything is ready for the race. The Michigan Tech and Finlandia mascots were riding on the sleds.

We watched from the start line as the 10 team sled dogs headed out onto the course.

 

There are a few birds that are usually around in good numbers but for some reason I haven’t seem them very often this winter.

Blue Jay

Common Redpoll

American Goldfinch

This has been a great winter to photograph Northern Cardinals. I’ve had as many as eight at my feeder at any given time and they have been feeding during the day. It is probably do to the fact that I’ve not see any hawks around this winter.

These two did not seem very happy to be out in the snowfall.

We made a stop at Devil’s Punchbowl last week. With the warm weather it was clear that the Ice would soon be gone.

We made a visit to Tripp Falls Ravine this past week. The warm weather had caused considerable melting of the ice walls and the small stream was flowing. The first photo shows the condition of the ice wall and the large chunks of ice that have broken off. It is a bit dangerous to be walking under the ice wall in warm weather.