Thursday, November 19, 2009

Upper Peninsula Upventure: The Moose Capital of Michigan

Get on the blue highways, follow the blue highways
You know that they're there, you know that they're there
Where the real America lies

Graham Parker, "Blue Highways."

Graham Parker likely got the inspiration for that song from William Least Heat-Moons, Blue Highways: A Journey into America. His follow up, PrairyErth (A Deep Map): An Epic History of the Tallgrass Prairie Country, have both been inspirations for my travel writings. His follow ups (although I admit I haven't read his most recent book) have strayed into strident liberalism, and should be avoided. Unless of course you dig that sort of thing.

If you wander off interstates, that is, onto blue highways, you do see the "real America." Such as Newberry, Michigan. I filled up my gas tank at a BP station across the street from that moose sign, and I asked the twenty-ish check out clerk if there are really moose to be seen. Her reply was, "Well, we are the moose capital of Michigan." Great evasive answer--she has a future in politics. After a couple of more questions, she revealed that she's a lifelong Newberry resident, and she told me she had only once seen a moose--but it was on the very road--to Whitefish Point, that I was taking.

And guess what? I didn't see a moose.

Maybe next time.

Related post:

Upper Peninsula Upventure: Whitefish Point

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