Tuesday, August 21, 2007

UP'ers vs. Downers

at Point Abbaye, Upper Penninsula, Michigan

I've been pretty much a resident of Michigan all my life. I was in the UP (upper peninsula) as a child with my parents. They would go up on weekends with their snowmobiles to ride the trails, me and my sister in tow in our own little sleigh pulled by my Dad. It's a long, long way up from south-west Michigan for just a weekend. My dad said 'yeah, we were crazy.' In your 30's you do crazy stuff with your kids I guess. My wife's from Kentucky so she hadn't even a clue what a snowmobile looked like, so for her, the UP is a bit of a novelty. For me, it's true Michigan - unspoilt for the most part. The towns are quaint and the views of the Lac Superior are well, superior. You can kinda get away from it all there.

'can I have a fill-up pweese?'

For her part, Amelia got right into life up north - tent camping, having breakfast outside in the 50 degree morning and of course getting dirty. She also didn't seem particularly worried when her parents decided to try out the Subaru on a two track for 3 hours in bear country and got lost. She slept right through it.

'uh, is this a road?'

She also seemed undeterred by the cold bay of Munising...

I'm not sure how people make a go of it up there but some do, although one woman I met outside of a Subway in L'Anse who noticed I was a 'downstater' because of my Tigers shirt said she 'hated it up hee' r' I asked her why and she said she wasn't in 'the click' because she wasn't born up there. It prohibited her from getting a job and she was on disability and her ex was from up here but that didn't work out either and... ' Fortunately I had to go. My wife and daughter and I had a date with another waterfall:

Julia overlooking falls

then back 'downstate' and to work. Our vacation would soon be over and our posturing as 'real Michiganders' would end. The sun on our faces after a cool, cool Lake Superior morning would be our goodbye.

UP flickr set

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