From Great Lakes Bureau Chief Mary Ellen Geist: Darn! The word is getting out. And yet I’m happy for my friends in the U.P. who feel that beautiful part of the world has been neglected far too long.
I fell in love with the U.P. when I was 18 years old. I was on a Freshman Orientation program at Kalamazoo College called “Land and Sea”.
It was early September. We hiked the 60 miles of the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore from the sandy beaches of Munising to the rocky cliffs of Grand Marais, rappelling down rocks and zipping across waterfalls at Tahquamenon. The first call of a loon on a still pond in a sweet-smelling cedar forest hooked me forever. We nursed our blistered feet in the chilly waters of Lake Superior and counted meteors that streaked through the skies each night. By day, the changing landscape of rocks, forests, and water left us in a constant state of awe.
I was born and raised in the Detroit area, and as we trekked this wide and uncluttered land, I felt a sense of shame that I had only come to the Upper Peninsula a few times.
Since then, I visit the Upper Peninsula as much as possible to go bird watching, to hike and sail, and visit the hipster cafes and breweries that are popping up from Houghton to Marquette to Sault Ste Marie. Now that the New York Times has discovered it, I expect more people may begin crossing the bridge. A note to New Yorkers: please don’t steal the U.P.’s pasties and start selling them in chic restaurants in Brooklyn!
Enjoy this article about Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.