Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Eight things I learned about the U.P.

A brief summary of what I learned on our trip to the Upper Peninsula...

1. A "river" in Michigan's Upper Peninsula wouldn't qualify as a river in my part of the country. We have minimum size requirements. In the U.P., any trickle that flows into Lake Superior is a "river."

2. The days of summer are long when you're that far north. A 10 PM sunset was a new experience. Pretty cool to have that much daylight... but I'm a bit of a nocturnal naturalist and prefer a bit more dark of night.

3. The supposed great fishing to be found in the U.P. isn't easy to find. In fact, we never found it. We apparently came close according to a local fly fishing guide we met... but of course we didn't wade far enough downstream to reach the good spots.

4. "Yoopers" talk funny.

5. The mosquitoes and biting flies of the U.P. in July rival are worse than anything you might ever encounter in a southern swamp.

6. It isn't that difficult to find southern style sweet tea in the U.P.... which is a very good thing. Kelly has to have her sweet tea.

7. At least every other vehicle has a kayak (often two kayaks) strapped to the roof. It appears to be permanent storage for some, but regardless, if you want to look cool in the U.P., you must have at least one small rotomolded plastic boat strapped to the roof of your car. Fortunately for us, we fit right in with the cool kids.

8. If you're interested in kayaking, or pretty much any other type of outdoor adventure in the U.P., "Uncle Ducky" is the man you need to see. Here are his websites:

"Uncle Ducky" sold us our kayaking tour package of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore that included my new Emotion Grand Slam Angler kayak. It was my Christmas gift from Kelly. (Thanks, babe.) We took one kayak with us to the U.P. and came back with two. Definitely the best souvenir I ever brought home from a trip.

"Christmas in July"

I'll be posting more about our great northern adventure (including photos) soon. Y'all come back and check 'em out.

21 comments:

  1. I love it..."Definitely the best souvenir ..." Looking forward to more .Thanks!

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  2. Congrats buddy. Yep, Yoopers talk funny but I've found them to be the sault of the earth. Welcome back and I look forward to the details.

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  3. welcome back. Yoopers are basically canadians. 10 o'clock sunsets are nice. Unfortunately, in the dead of winter, it gets dark up north around 5 pm. Look forward to hearing more about your trip.

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  4. If you visited the sylvania wilderness, I will be forever jealous.

    Look forward to reading about you adventures. Kelly sounds like a keeper.

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  5. I'm glad you got to experience the local flavor and color Jay. Yes, the UP will make you work for it's fish, but when it's good, it's good. I'm looking forward to seeing more from your trip! Oh, and awesome souvenir, I want one.

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  6. Looks like Kelly earned some points. Did I miss your stop in IL? Let me know if it's still coming up.

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  7. H-bone, best souvenir ever indeed. It even has MI registration stickers... so it really is an authentic MI souvenir.

    Cofisher, the folks up there seemed really genuine and just as hospitable as any southerners I've ever met. I guess there is such a thing as "northern hospitality."

    Ivan, interestingly, it gets dark at 5 in winter down south too. Considering the seasonal angle of the Earth and latitude, I might have guessed it would get dark even earlier up there... but it sounds like we're in the same boat there.

    Clif, no need to be jealous... at least not for the places we visited. If you want, you can be jealous of my new boat. Kelly is definitely a keeper.

    Jason, we worked... but apparently not hard enough. We did have a good time though and enjoyed the beauty of the place.

    Mark, sorry we missed you. I'm sure we'll get back up there sometime in the near future. The Kankakee was flooded out, but we fished in Rock Creek at the state park. Kelly caught a couple of Smallies... and showed me up as usual... more about that later.

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  8. Sounds like it was a fun trip. I look forward to hearing more. As far as item number 1 on your list goes....The same holds true for Long Island. In upstate NY, the great trout "rivers" of L.I. barely qualify as decent-sized streams.

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  9. Kiwi, from what I saw in the U.P. many "rivers" wouldn't qualify as a babbling brook. There were a few that were literally 2 to 3 feet wide, 1 to 2 inches deep, and maybe flowing at 4 to 6 oz of water per second... sorry I can't think of how to describe a lot less than a whole cubic foot per second.

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  10. Looking forward to the "rest of the story". That part of the country is on my bucket list for a future trip at some point in time , I hear it's a pretty area. That's one heck of a belated or early Christmas gift , nice.
    Jeff

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  11. Jeff, it is a beautiful place, and I'm sure the fishing can be good too. The kayak and trip was a belated Christmas 2010 gift. It was worth the wait.

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  12. Always wanted to explore the UP, especially the Sylvania wilderness that Clif mentioned. Only made it as far as Mackinac Island so far though. Looking forward to your reports on that area.

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  13. I have been to the UP on my way to Canada. A great place for an adventure! Nice post.

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  14. Jay
    Wondered what happen to you, looks like you and Kelly had an adventure. What about the heat and humidity? It can't be as bad as it is here. Glad to you see you guys made it back o.k. and with the gift bonus.

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  15. Bill, there was no heat and humidity in the U.P... a nice cool breeze coming from Canada across Lake Superior. It was a nice break from our southern dog days.

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  16. a second kayak? That is great. I've been watching craigslist for a while now, hoping for a good deal. I'm looking forward to seeing the other photos.

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  17. David, a fourth kayak actually... but you can never have too many little plastic boats to play with in my opinion.

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  18. Now you two have a kayak for each foot.

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  19. Clif, thanks for the interesting visual. Now we just need a nifty little trailer to get them all down to the water at one time with one vehicle.

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  20. How many kayaks ?? You must have the urge to paddle...haha. I guess Christmas came early...now just remember that in December!! Glad you had a good trip!

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  21. RD, Christmas actually came late. This was last year's (2010) present. I don't mind waiting for a big payoff.

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