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All Things Michigan

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Filtering by Tag: michigan-upper-peninsula

2014 Trenary Outhouse Classic is February 22nd

Andrew Norton

Winter is tough. Yoopers have to be even tougher to make it through an Upper Peninsula winter. This winter has been one of the coldest and snowiest of recent memory and the need to get out and blow off some steam is greater than most years. Yoopers have found a great way to get out of the winter blahs - the Trenary Outhouse Classic. 2014 marks the 21st year for this Yooper tradition.

Want an idea of what the Trenary Outhouse Classic is all about? Watch this video from the 2013 Trenary Outhouse Classic.

Check out the Trenary Outhouse Classic website for more information.

First look at the Yooper Gift Basket

Andrew Norton

Well, the prototype for the Yooper Gift Basket is (finally) complete. I really like the way it turned out and hope you do too. Of course, that's why it is a prototype. It's really subject to change.

The U.P. never looked so good!

I've created a photo set a flickr showing the process of making the Yooper Gift Basket if you're interested.

Also, be sure to vote on whether or not you would be interested in a Yooper Gift Basket. I think I'll be creating a second poll later this week about what to put in the gift basket.

Article on driving Michigan's U.P.

Andrew Norton

It's nice to see Michigan's Upper Peninsula get some more love from the national media. The only downside? Where's the love from Michigan's media in the lower peninsula? We have such a treasure north of the Mackinac Bridge that (in my humble opinion) does not get touted enough. Anyway, back to the aforementioned article on the U.P. It's written from the perspective of a native Detroiter whose last visit was as a child and is now returning to look for nature and antiques. At least, that's what I took from the article.

It's a brief foray into the wonders (both the natural and those built by man) of the U.P. In fact, I would say that my biggest complaint about the article is that it is too brief. It only mentions traveling from the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore on up to Copper Harbor and all in between. My second biggest complaint is that there seems to be a preset notion in the writer's mind that comes through in his writing. It's like he expects to find that the U.P. is some backwards locale with a garage sale economy.

However, with that said, my favorite quote from the article might have been meant as a jab, but I take it as a complement -

the U.P. is an out-of-the-way, out-of-the-past American preserve.

I like the fact that the U.P. has not yet (and hopefully never will) become part of the homogenized, cookie cutter, chunk of America that has Wal-Marted it's way across small towns rendering them nearly identical to the one you previously passed through.

The U.P. and it's residents are unique and I would never change that.

With all that said, if you want to read the article - click here.

Upper Peninsula gardeners practice patience

Andrew Norton

I'm a lower peninsula gardener and I sometimes rush things a bit to see how early I can get stuff growing in the garden. I would fail miserably if I was growing a garden in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. The Ironwood Daily Globe has an article about how residents of the U.P. cope with the much shorter growing season. Most folks start their plants indoors and transfer them to outdoor cold frames in order to get a jump on the June 15th deadline that marks the last day for a killing frost in the U.P.

As if the weather isn't a big enough obstacle, Yoopers must also contend with herds of hungry deer and wild turkeys chomping away the fruits of their labor. Strands of electric wire keep most deer away, but not the turkeys.

You have to be a dedicated gardener in the U.P. I tip my hat to them and salute them with my trowel.

Marquette history museum to feature Yoopers exhibit

Andrew Norton

Coming this April to the Marquette County Historical Museum is an exhibit dedicated to those wonderful souls who call Michigan's Upper Peninsula home and are affectionately referred to as 'Yoopers.' The exhibit will be called "Anatomy of a Yooper." This appears to be a play on the popular novel "An Anatomy of a Murder" written by Marquette resident Robert Traver and also made into a great film starring James Stewart. Robert Traver is the pen name for John Voelker a former Michigan Supreme Court justice. Local residents are being asked to submit stories, photos, or artifacts that help show that 'Yooper' spirit. Directly from the museum's website is this further explanation of what they are looking for:

Unique words and phrases, ethnic customs, coping with the weather, excellent work ethic, unique foods and ways of preparing them, camps and camping, ingenuity with recycling items to make useful things such as Finnish rag rugs and snowshoes, coping with bug season and anything else that makes Yoopers stand apart from the rest.

This sounds like a fun and entertaining exhibit. I wish Marquette wasn't so far away as this is something that will be quite interesting and I would like to see it.

Read the article in The Mining Journal.

Smoke or Clouds? Nope, Just Swarms of Bugs

Andrew Norton

Recently, residents of Delta County in Michigan's Upper Peninsula have been spotting what appears to be black smoke or dark rain clouds. These "clouds" are made up of billions of Midges, a flying insect that hatches from water. Clouds of Midges will be seen throughout the summer, but the spring seems to be when the largest and most noticeable swarms occur. Thankfully, Midges do not have the ability to bite and draw blood like mosquitoes. The biggest problem with them is that when they die, their carcasses tend to pile up and smell like dead fish.

Check out the full article in today's Mining Journal.