1) The length of the annual growing season in the Keweenaw Peninsula is about 40 days shorter than you would find downstate. The average annual snowfall is about 180".
2) The Soo Line used discarded stamp sand for ballast, which is the tailings left over from the processing of copper bearing rock into the more concentrated material that would then be smelted. Nothing grows well in stamp sand. The last remaining unremediated big pile of stamp sand is located at Gay, MI, on the eastern side of the Keweenaw Peninsula. The stamp mill at Gay closed down during the Depression in the early 30s, but if you look at the pile today, there still is nothing growing in the sand pile 80 years later.
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