Being A Temporary ‘Yooper’


Folks in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan call themselves ‘Yoopers’ and they call the folks in the Lower Peninsula ‘Trolls’…. under the bridge…get it?  😊

Popular food up here, at least for the tourists, are Pasties, which consist of some kind of meat, and veggies like carrots, turnips, onions, and potatoes, diced up inside a folded over pie crust.  You can find vegitarian ones too, without meat.  Also you’ve got your standard slabs of fudge, and there is the saltwater taffy ( though the lakes are promoted as salt free, shark free, always fresh, and sometimes frozen. )

All that touristy stuff, and yet the UP is even more laid back than the LP, with no big cities, and even more green and blue, if that be possible.

This peninsula is boardered by Lake Superior on the north, and the St Mary’s River, with Canada across the way.  On the south it’s Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.  The east gives you the continuation of the St Mary’s River which becomes the St Lawrence Seaway.  On the west is Wisconsin.  Since the Mackanac Bridge was opened in 1957, you can see why, especially the old-timers up here, identify with Wisconsin more than Michigan…it was the only land connection for a very long time.

The eastern side of the UP has a strong French influence,and  the west side is more Nordic.  Overall, for me at least, there is still a Native American feeling, but I’m not sure what that means exactly….it’s a feeling.

We have been at this nice little RV Park in St Ignace,


and this has been my view for the past week.



When I passed through here in late May I reserved this site in the ‘front row’ for my return to St Ignace.  I wanted the view, even though I’d need help backing in.  The park is crowded now though, and the sites are fairly narrow.

IMG_5017There is no one in the site next to me in this picture, but you can see how close the one on the other side is.

Oh but the view…..

IMG_5016From my back window.

The park is across the road from Lake Michigan but they have lake access, so we can walk down the hill anytime and the dogs can take a little dip.


While here we’ve been to the Museum of Ojibwa Culture,


the Fort de Baudelaire Museum, the Mackinac Straights Photo Gallery,


the Father Marquette Memorial, along with a slew of souvenir shops.  Also we visit many areas along the Lake Michigan shoreline to view the many moods of the lake, and we take the 50ish mile drive up I-75 to Sault Ste Marie to see the Soo Locks in action.

IMG_5169This is the freighter that I saw go through the locks.  It’s 990 feet long!

I find that dogs are not allowed in the viewing area at the locks, so Joy and Shiloh wait for me in JR, in the shade, windows open.  I put 2 quarters in the parking meter, giving me one hour, and in that time I am  able to see a tour boat, a barge, and a huge freighter go from the lower east side of the locks, to the higher west.  Lake Superior is 21 feet higher in elevation than Lake Huron, so they raise and lower the water elevation in the locks.  Three locks are used,and I saw two of them in action at the same time.  I was able to trot back to the dogs and get there before the meter ran out!  That was a lucky break, because often it’s hours between uses, according to recent history print outs.

IMG_5137Locks with low water.

IMG_5163Locks filled.

Freighters facinate me, but so do the Great Lakes, and so does the Mackinac Bridge.  Some bridge facts for you:

Total length of the bridge and approaches…28,195 feet

Height of main towers above the water…552 feet


Depth of tower piers below water…200 feet

Number of main cables…2

Diameter of main cables…24 1/2 inches

Number of wires in each cable….12,580


Total length of cable wires….41,000 miles

Weight of cables, wires and fittings….12,500 tons

Total estimated weight of superstructure….66,000 tons

IMG_4990Facing north, from close to the middle of the span.

So, I’ve got more pictures than words right now.  I am going to try to post another blog, with mostly pictures I’ve been taking…coming soon, if I’m successful!


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12 Responses to Being A Temporary ‘Yooper’

  1. Gypsy says:

    I’ve recently discovered your blog. I never thought I’d like to travel to that neck of the woods but the way you’ve presented this makes me want to visit. There! I’ve added it to my list. Will be with dog and camper so this is doable.

    Thanks for sharing your travels!

  2. dawnkinster says:

    I love the UP. Lived in Hancock/Houghton for 6 years in the 80s. Still pulls at my heart. And Lake Superior? Just magnificent.

  3. Andrea in Glendale says:

    Beautiful pics Mickey. Gives us a real good flavor for this part of the country.

  4. Candace H. says:

    Went to stay with my Aunt and Uncle in Marquette in ’65 & ’66. Love it up there. We stayed in a cottage on Lake Ishpeming for 2 weeks, heaven! Water skiing, camp fires, strawberries and mosquito bites. When I remember the UP that is what I remember. When I think of the rest of Michigan in the summer I think of water, humidity and mosquitoes. You have made me think about returning…haven’t been there since ’87.
    So nice to hear you are enjoying the trip.

    • HinCandace, I’m so glad this brought back such pleasant memories for you! Well except the mosquito bites! Nothing pleasant about that, as I have also remembered, over and over again, despite spraying myself down with repellent. they have always been especially fond of me for some reason.
      There is still a lot of unspoiled land up here, because of the winters I guess. This year with the extra rain it’s so lush and green…and so many flowers. So lovely.

  5. MG says:

    Thanks for all of the pictures! This brings me home… I grew up in Sault, Ontario and have seen much of what you’ve shown in this post. Looking forward to spending time on Lake Superior this summer/fall. 🙂

    • Hi MG, beautiful place isn’t it? You were fortunate to grow up in such beautiful nature. Wow, winters must have been something! But when we are kids it’s just all fun. 😊
      Glad to bring back good memories for you. Glad to hear you will be enjoying Lake Superior this summer!

      • MG says:

        Thanks! Yes, I think I was lucky to grow up with so much beautiful nature around me. Winters seemed harsher back then but kids don’t care, lol. Lots of fort building, ice skating, broom ball, sledding, snowball fights, etc. Hope you get north of the border some time! 🙂

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