I am a self-proclaimed, quintessential Florida east coast beach lover. Sunrises with sand between my toes. Warm, moist salt infused breezes playing with my hair. Pelicans flying overhead. That’s my thing.
So any visit to Michigan would understandably get me excited thinking about visiting my family, right? But that’s not where I was headed for this assignment. My destination was Munising, in the central section of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, a remote finger of land surrounded by enormous (currently frozen) Lake Superior. Fun fact – Lake Superior is the world’s largest fresh water lake, containing 10% of the world’s fresh water. Yes, the WORLD.
This is going be a new experience for me, but then again the most important lesson in traveling is to leave your inhibitions at the door, and that’s just what I intend to do. Where is Munising? Fun fact – Munising is the snowmobile capital and the UP boasts more than 3,000 miles of groomed trails. That equates to snowmobiling from Orlando, Florida to Seattle, Washington! Click to find out: http://www.exploremunising.com/getting-here/
The “UP” is a mix of dense forest, lakes, rivers and quaint towns with more trees than people. Great. The “Yoopers” (full-time residents) assure me there’s no shortage of winter activities and sights to fill my time and blog. Fun fact – The word Yooper was first published in 1979 and added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary in 2014.
With an incredible amount of love and pride, locals talk about their go-to comfort food, the Pastie. You can’t visit the UP without eating a pastie. These meat pies are generously sized and packed with seasoned meat and veggies. Cornish and Finnish miners who immigrated during the cooper rush of the 1800’s brought this food with them. It served as a quick handheld meal for the miners who couldn’t leave the mines to eat. Pasties are a staple in the UP, and today you can try a wide variety of fillings from original with beef/onions/rutabaga to vegetarian flavors. One is enough to feed two people!
The UP has more than 100 waterfalls, and those are the only ones that have been noted on the state map. I choose local Munising Falls, one of the areas larger falls, for my first hike. The hike in was like walking into an enchanted winter wonderland. Suddenly the falls appeared before me. It drops about 50’ and during the winter the falls freeze into a beautiful ice column. Ice climbing if off-limits at this falls, but is popular in the area where ice climbing is permitted. I’ll stick to taking photos.
On the way home I decided to stop at locally owned Falling Rock Café and bookstore for a quick lunch. It’s situated only a couple blocks from my cottage, and offers good food & hot beverages. The BBQ chicken sandwich I had today was fantastic. I’ll be back to peruse the stacks and nosh again before the months pass. http://www.fallingrockscafe.com
Wherever you are, go in peace, stay warm and eat well.