You don’t need to know much about geography to appreciate the fact that Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is in the north. The very, very far north.
Here are the facts: Marquette, the largest “city” and unofficial capital of the U.P. is located 150 miles north of the 45th parallel. Quebec City is farther south!
And there’s lots and lots of rocks and trees up here. Great if you like rock collecting, because the rugged ankle-breaking granite is everywhere. And the forests are so thick that sadly, every year, some tourist gets lost. It happened when I was here this Spring and they lived off Girl Scout cookies for two weeks! I’d suggest staying on well marked trails, but keep in mind that ATV riders and snowmobilers race through the woods and are not likely to slow down. They rule the trails … and take up parking spots at the Hardee’s.
Did I previously mention that there are over one hundred ghost towns in the U.P.? I’ve read the old mine shafts are abandoned and filled with water or home to bats. If you’re given the option of vacationing to a U.P. ghost town or Disney World, vote for the Disney World vacation!
Orlando, Florida, land of endless summer versus the U.P. with nearly endless winter. Locals say if you need to make yourself miserable or atone for a life of sin, then maybe you’re a candidate for their glacier-land. Some parts of the Upper Peninsula gets as much as 300 inches of snow in one winter. And it doesn’t melt all winter. The first snowflake that falls on October 1st is still there under a huge drift on April 27th. Maybe May 17th.
Way back, some Yooper created a “snow scoop” to shovel his driveway. Made from metal, it’s a giant version of the sand scoops his kids used during their Florida beach vacation. I can personally attest that these scoops work efficiently at clearing mountains of snow off porches and walkways. I was happy to have one at my disposal last winter.
But that’s a distant memory while I enjoy the perfection that is U.P. fall weather. Cool overnight and warm days … I know they’ll pay for this later with some terrible, white, climatic calamity.