….My move to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan — so I can finally write my sacred book IN PEACE!
September 12-13 from Apollo, Pennsylvania to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan!
14 hours in The Beast (a 1996 Crown Victoria) – 857 miles (1,600 kilometers) from Apollo, Pennsylvania to Ontanagon, Michigan!
THE MIGHTY MACKINAC BRIDGE
separates the lower peninsula of Michigan from the upper
The bridge is a whopping 8,614 feet (2,626 meters) long, and is located where Lake Michigan meets Lake Huron.
Brrrrr… highs in the low 20s (-7 C) in January….
Very nordic climate and people, with many Finns and northern Germans….Lots of natural blonds in the Upper Peninsula…
Local middle-school kids dissecting something
Engineering students at Michigan Technical University in Houghton, 40 miles NE of here… These kids look just like their Finnish or German ancestors.
Houghton, Michigan is on a beautiful canal
Students frolic at the Winter Festival — the colder the better
Michigan Tech coed soccer team
A favorite local microbrewery beer
Typical local guys, the brewer-owners at the Keweenaw Brewery in Houghton — very white and northern-European looking
From right to left: the Mackinac Bridge, yours truly, and The Beast, a 450-horsepower, 4.65 liter Crown Vic… The radiator water temperature never went above 1/4 for the whole trip, though we were very heavy-laden for the move and I inflated the tires to 40 pounds per square inch. Despite the time, early morning, about 8 am, notice how the light was very white (not creamy-yellow) — typical of northern latitudes. It feels like Canada, where I have often traveled.
In British red is Canada…still under the Queen ….
At the Marquette, Michigan visitor center you can see the log cabin at the left and Lake Superior behind me.
Margi at Twin Lakes in the western Upper Peninsula; she is glad to get away from the stress, the chemtrails in Pennsylvania, the fluoride water, the fracking pollution…. At night you can see a billion stars here….
Note the sturdy construction of the fire-engine-red park bench. This area is heavily German and Finnish, with a great work ethic; homes and yards are usually immaculate. ( I do see abandoned houses in the countryside that could be refurbished.)
The Duck Dynasty visited us too
Most of all, I love living where crime is so low one almost never sees a cop…. Only crime here is seagulls pooping on the windshield. The Upper Peninsula has a 250,000 population, about 95% white, and very Wisconsin/Minnesota/Midwestern in terms of outright friendliness.The Upper Peninsula (“U.P.”) people call themselves “Yoopers”
At night you can see the Northern Lights over Lake Superior…theAurora Borealis
Ontanagon is right on the Ontanagon river, with its own marina, and this vast lake, the biggest in the world! Since the French first explored this area for the white man, its name is Lake Superior (le Lac Suprieur
), not “Superior Lake”
. This is like other French words — with the adjective following the noun — that crossed over into English, such as “court martial” or “attorney general.”
My nice little house with a big sun deck, 306 S. Steel St., Ontanagon MI 49953.This area gets hundreds of inches of snow each winter, so many houses have steep roofs. They often also slope sideways, German- or Scandinavian style, not front-to-back as in the English style. (That way no snow slides off the roof onto your head. )
As you can see, this town of 1400 is surrounded otherwise by forests. Copper mining used to be a huge industry but now it is mostly lumber. The locals have a strong Minnesota-sounding accent, and they say “you betcha” — and some say “heh?” the way Canadians end a sentence with “eh?”Very Midwestern mindset — be friendly, reliable and don’t put on airs.
Not as much heroin as in Pennsylvania, but some bath salters, pain-pill abusers, and of course there is always alcohol. But almost everyone is really friendly, almost as much as Southerners. It was four days before I saw my first cop (a state police small SUV). Ontonagon has no police force…. The county has a sheriff and just 6,000 people total.
15 miles to the west are the gorgeous Porcupine Mountains… here is the Lake of the Clouds in autumn:
Skiing in the Porcupine Mountains
Greenstone Falls in the Porcupine Mountains
Craggy shoreline on Lake Superior
The beach on Lake Superior