The Yooperest of the Yoopers

 Good morning, my friends. Today I'm writing from Munising in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

Probably, I should explain the title to this post. When we were in Michigan's Upper Peninsula back in 2014, it was explained to us that inhabitants of the Upper Peninsula were known as Yoopers. It makes sense when you say the letters U-P out loud. And since we spent the last couple of days in the uppermost part of the Upper Peninsula, I figure we were there with the Yooperest of the Yoopers. Look at the map below, and then try changing my mind. 

We visited two lighthouses (marked with red carets). And we stayed in Lac La Bell, in the green square. Yesterday's drive took us from Lac La Bell south to Munising, in the lower right-hand corner. Now we're with the lesser Yoopers. Or the lower Yoopers. Take your pick.

Also, it was explained to us that people who live below the Mackinac Bridge (in the "mitten," if you will) are known as Trolls. And I'm sorry, Gail and Katie, and whoever else lives there. It isn't decreed by me...I'm just the messenger. And if you don't believe me, then read on to see what Merriam-Webster has to say about it:

I certainly hope we can lay this matter to rest now. Also, as long as I'm showing pictures of the map, I should point out that when we reached the place on the map below that is circled in red, we entered into the Eastern time zone. To be clear, it's nothing like the Twilight Zone.

While in the northern-most reaches of the Upper Peninsula, we began seeing quite a bit of fall color. I took this picture at one of Michigan's roadside parks.

We've been in quite a bit of rain the past couple of days. It rained hard the whole live-long day on our way to Lac La Bell from Bayfield, Wisconsin. All of my pictures from that day are rain-spattered. There wasn't a lot to see, but we did see a few barns.

And a few abandoned structures. This area has a rich history with Native Americans, voyageurs and fur trappers, copper mining, and when you get right down to it, a lot of stout-hearted people who have found a way to survive some very, very brutal winters.

I barely caught this next barn out Mike's back window.

When we reached the conglomeration of cities including Houghton, Hancock, and a couple of others I can't remember (it was hard to tell where we were), we crossed over this drawbridge.

Up and over, and into the land of small remote towns and very few gas stations.

We found our campground, although the campground sent us a lot of warning emails telling "people towing large RV's and trailers" not to turn on this street or that street, and generally sounding the alarm for places we'd get lost with no place to turn around. Or else places with low-flying bridges. Believe me, we were careful. It wasn't as bad as I'm making it sound because the bottom line was to stay on US-41 and not deviate from that course. We spent our one wet night there, and then got up early the next morning. There were two lighthouses we wanted to see, and we had until noon to check out. So we had breakfast in Copper Harbor, and then headed about 10 miles north to see the Copper Harbor Lighthouse. 

I like a road like this where the trees form a tunnel.

Along our way, we came upon this big fellow. He's a big deer. He was so big, we thought he might be a moose until we got closer for a better look.

Reaching the tippy top of the peninsula, we could see the Copper Harbor Lighthouse from a lookout across the bay. You might recall I had some worries about this since I'd read one would need to take a boat out to see it. When I checked into the campground, I asked the owner. He gave me the skinny on where we could see it without needing to get on a boat. In the image below, you can see the lighthouse and the radio beacon, similar to the one we saw in the Apostle Islands. Neither are in use these days. The Copper Harbor Lighthouse was put into service in 1866. You can read more about it at the link I've given you.

Here, I've zoomed in a bit for a better look.

And here, I'm showing you how it's situated in the harbor. You can see it at the extreme right edge of the image.

From there, we headed back, taking a scenic loop to Eagle Harbor, where we could see another lighthouse. Along the way, we came upon a flock of wild turkeys. I was only able to capture one in my image, but I'm going to estimate there were about 20 altogether.

When we reached the Eagle Harbor Lighthouse, there was a small trail leading out to the lake.

To the right of the trail was this lookout structure. 

From there, the view was spectacular. Too bad about the cloud cover.

There were a few informational signs about the lake...

and the lighthouse. You can read more about the lighthouse right here.

Looking further to the right, the harbor looked like this.

To the right of that and kind of behind where we were standing was the lighthouse. It was too close for a good picture, and so I walked out on a short promontory to get a better angle.

Turning directly around from where I was standing, I had an expansive view of the harbor.

This sign was posted up nearer the lighthouse.

You can see the rock mentioned on the signage in the image below.

After we'd explored the immediate area, we returned to a turnout across the bay where we could see the lighthouse in its surroundings

Breakfast and our lighthouse tour had us back at our campsite before 10:00 a.m. with plenty of time to spare before our noon checkout. As we left the campground, we were amused by this row of a zillion mailboxes.

Heading back the way we came, it seemed as if even more leaves had turned overnight.

Also, we passed a lot of signs like this. Now, that's something you don't see just anywhere.

We went back across the same bridge we'd crossed over on our way.

Up and over one more time.

And then we just drove through intermittent rain showers until we reached our final destination in Munising. This is a pano from the campground. And we continue to be amazed at the immensity of Lake Superior. We've been in three states, always with the lake by our side. Indeed, one can travel to two countries, and still be beside the lake.

We returned to Munising for a chance to see the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore on a sunset cruise. We've done the same cruise before, but in cloudy weather...exactly like what we're having just now. It doesn't look like that's going to happen since we're expecting overcast skies for our entire three night stay. If you'd like to go on the cruise anyway, you can time travel back to our previous visit at this old blog post right here. If the weather improves, we could still change our minds. And, if not, it's no problem. We've been busy with a whole lot of sight-seeing, and so spending our three nights here with nothing special on the agenda sounds very inviting. We will have to do some grocery shopping though. Life goes on regardless of the weather.

Okay so it's a slow morning here. I'll get a start on my newest quilt block, and I'll probably bake another batch of those cookies for one (or two) from a few days ago. Mike has gone back to bed, and so we'll put off grocery shopping for a bit. The only other thing I want to do while we're in Munising is to try some pasties (pronounced with a short "a," like apple). Pasties are a regional food. If you're unfamiliar with them, you can read what they are right here. I had some on our previous visit, and found them underwhelming. Recently, I asked a group on Facebook who made the best pasties in Munising. I was directed to try the ones at Miners Pasties and Ice Cream. They seem only to have Facebook as a web presence, but you can see their menu right here. I can see a few there that look pretty good. And then, this place is a little like Bayfield. There are lots of little galleries and gift shops that I'll be happy to snoop. I'm looking forward to a little bit of rest here...right after we finish our grocery shopping. It's the fly in the ointment, but starvation is even less appealing.


Barbara said...

The Pasty is the Yooper Burrito of the Upper Peninsula ~ Daily Mining Gazette (said by a Naval Recruiter in Houghton in the early 90's)

Katie said...

Yes, yes, I know I'm a troll. I believe I made it all the way to college before being informed of this. Having lived here all my life, that's pretty sad, particularly since my family camped all over the UP and even into Canada when we were growing up. (Of course, we kids acted like spoiled brats at times, so probably calling us trolls wouls have been an upgrade?!) I've come to terms with it. But it is amusing to hear you talk about my state with such awe. Stuff that I've grown up taking for granted is causing you to confer with the Google and take lots of photos. The snowmobile signs will diminish if you get on bigger highways, but they will be joined by tractor signs if you don't as you traverse into the lower peninsula. And deer crossing signs. And warnings about bridges getting icy before roads. Apparently we like signs... If you're looking for more giant Paul Bunyan statues, a bit before (north of) the Mackinaw bridge, there is a little park overlook place called Castle Rock. You can hike up to an overlook (not too awful of a hike, for going way up), but Paul and his blue ox are there at the bottom to greet you. Please bring the sunshine down with you. It's grey and rainy here now.

Susan said...

Welcome to Michigan. I guess I am a troll since I live below (but not under) the Mighty Mac. When I hear the word trolls, I think of the little "dolls" with hair that were popular in my younger days, and also "The Three Billy Goats Gruff" fairy tale. Those are nice compared to the cyberspace trolls.
We have rain today which we need, but hopefully it will clear up for your outdoors plans.

Sherrill said...

So you said the lighthouse(s) were no longer in service but they're so well kept. Just wondering if you know whether they're inhabited or just kept up so nicely because they're treasures, beautiful, parks, something else? It's funny, I have a thing for lighthouses and barns (especially the nearly falling down ones) but I think lots of folks do. Hoping you get some dry days!!

Deb said...

Looks beautiful. Going to add to my bucket list.

Jocelyn said...

Loved all the pictures. And the fascinating facts. I would love to take a trip like that one day.

Magpie's Mumblings said...

One thing that's guaranteed when I visit here is that there's always something interesting to see and read about. Yoopers and trolls - who knew.