Fridays drive up to Copper Harbor involved a stop at the Michigan House Cafe & Brewpub for lunch and an attempt to drink a glass of their beer. Its a great joint in a stone building built during the copper boom of the 1890's, and the mural above is over the antique bar. I've stopped there a number of times but the brew house is so small that they always seemed to be out of their own beer when I was there. Being a goal oriented individual, I've managed to hit all 8 brewpubs/microbreweries in Michigan's UP. What I had not done was have a house brewed beer at all of them. Fortunately, this time the Michigan House was out of their pale ale but had their stout on tap. Mission accomplished! I was so excited about the beer and home cut french fries however, that I forgot to plug the parking meter. When we walked out both cars had bright yellow tickets under the windshield wipers.
In Minneapolis that means major bucks and I cringed a bit. The meter rate in a lot of areas is $1.50 an hour and if the meter expires its a $34 fine. The enforce the damn things until 10pm in most of the areas that you want to park in and I even got a ticket at 7pm on a Sunday night in a Park Board area. The spot I had parked in was near the University so I could have received my ticket from the university cops, the City of Minneapolis, the Park Police, and probably the sheriff, State Patrol, FBI, and Secret Service as well. With all those agencies to support, no wonder the fine is $34. We got to our cars and checked out the 'damages' on the ticket. Note the fine schedule below:
Three bucks! Now that's reasonable. We never even noticed the meters, which were tucked back against the buildings. That makes complete sense in an area that gets 300" of snow a year and needs to quickly and efficiently clear the sidewalks. The parking rate in downtown Calumet is 5 cents per half hour. One dime to park for a nice beer and sandwich at the brewpub. Since it was about 1pm and we wanted to hit the water, we tossed the tickets in our respective glove compartments and headed for the put in at Copper Harbor.
Fast forward to Sunday. We were driving back when I remembered the ticket. We looked for the Police Department but then noticed that the ticket could be inserted into a convenient Fine-O-Meter, in various locations. GalwayGuy jumped out at the first available Fine-O-Meter and we were on our way, free of any possible parking warrants that might be issued by the Village of Calumet. Just another of many reasons why the Keweenaw Peninsula is on the short list of my favorite places to visit.