The South Shore of Lake Superior is as impressive as the north shore
After we crossed into the United States at Sarnia, we travelled through a fantastic area—the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It is separate and apart from the southern part of Michigan and its people are different—very different.
When we drove into the area in the late afternoon it rained heavily so we saw little. The next morning however we woke up to gray clouds that quickly turned into blue skies. The sun was shining on us. In my humble opinion, the forests of the Upper Peninsula rival those of New England.
The Upper Peninsula is filled with wonderful waterfalls. From my experience, the only place that rivals it is Iceland.
Everywhere we drove we kept seeing signs that talked about Yoopers. What are Yoopers. I remember that last time I drove through this area I was very puzzled about this until we stopped a small bar and grille in the middle of nowhere.
It was a large “family” restaurant and bar. To Canadian it made no sense to have children in a bar, but I thought it was wonderful. Why not? Let the kids see adults drink responsibly? It was a large bar with 2 customers and a waitress at very opposite ends of the bar. Cliff and Norm from Cheersit seemed to us.
The waitress was as tough as Carla from Cheers. She had a tough looking barbed wire tattoo on her biceps. I would never tangle with her. But she was very friendly. Thank god for that.
The first man was dressed in a cowboy hat, Photographer’s vest, bottle-brush mustache, and large glasses. And this was the elegant one. You would not call him elegant. The other was even less elegant. I asked the first one Yooper was. We had seen a Yooper sign, and wondered what it meant. So I bravely asked the 2 customers.
He looked at me for a long time without saying a word. Then he took a sip of his beer, briefly coughed and explained, ‘it took me 70 years to learn to say Yooper and now I are one.” That did it. I wanted to be an honorary Yooper! All I had to do was move here, and I was prepared to do that.
Yoopers, it turned out, were people who lived in the Upper Peninsula. But that was not all. They were proud rural rednecks who took pride in their simple nature. Yoopers love beer, hunting, bonfires, the great outdoors, and pasties. That word pastie does not rhyme with tasty. They are sort of like meat pies. A 7 course meal is a pastie and a six pack of beer. Yes now I claim I are one too.
I peered at all of the snow-mobile paraphernalia around the bar. This was a snowmobiler’ and hunters’ bar. And proud of it. I really liked the saying on a sticker in the men’s washroom . It said, “Kiss my Big Cat Ass,” referring to Arctic Cat snowmobiles. We drove by a place that with full honesty described itself as “Yooper Tourist Trap.”
I loved the autumn colours at Deer Lake
I could not resist an impressionistic image of the forest.
The Upper Peninsula is very near to heaven.