Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Upper Peninsula Upventure: The Finale

So please don't tell Columbus
Don't tell his queen for sure
That I had the accurate compass
And I discovered America.

Graham Parker, "I Discovered America," 2007.

During the course of my four blog-o-vacations, yes, I discovered America. Kansas, Mississippi, California, and now the Upper Peninsula of Michigan are in my rear view mirror.

Blessed with 1,700 miles of shoreline, covered with forests, lakes, and wetlands, filled with history, the U.P. should be on your must-see travel list. Besides that, there are several casinos and ski resorts on the Upper Peninsula, so there is fun to be had there.

Unlike my other travel subjects, because of its isolation, the U.P. can only be a destination vacation. It's a peninsula, well, you knew that, so it's unlikely that a driver will just pass through it en route to someplace else. That can also be said about the lower peninsula of Michigan. Which leads me to call out Travel Michigan, the state's tourism wing, for producing to me what is hands-down the worst state travel guide (And I've seen a lot of them) I've ever thumbed through. Other states divide their attractions geographically--northeast, south and the like. But not Michigan. It divvies up its sites as "Ports of Call", "Colors of Michigan," and "Shopping List." But when travelers choose a state, or if circumstances bring them there, they generally only will spend time in one section of it. Or, as is common with Kansas, they'll drive across the state en route to someplace else. But how many people drive from Detroit to Ironwood, Michigan's most westernmost city?

Michigan just has to be different. But the U.P. guide I received from the Upper Peninsula Travel & Recreation Association was much better, and the attractions were divided geographically. Thank you.

As I mentioned several times during my many Upper Peninsula Upventure posts, the Keweenaw Peninsula, "Copper Country," was the favorite part of my trip. The rocky shorelines, the trees, the hills, and the abandoned mines were unbelievably alluring; the Keweenaw almost kept me from visiting the rest of the U.P.

And it is worth adding to your traveling itinery. People I know love it, and in 2005, ShermansTravel listed the U.P. among its Top Ten Summer Destinations.

Thank you, Upper Peninsula. "You betcha" I'll be back. Perhaps I'll spend a couple of days at Isle Royale National Park. But Keweenaw for sure.

Earlier posts:

Moose quilt
Christmas, Michigan
Northwoods cabin
L'Anse Indian Reservation
US Route 41
Olkies and its Indian head sign
Party Store
Hiawatha, the World's Tallest Indian
The Moose Capital of Michigan
Father Marquette
Mackinac Bridge
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
The Soo Locks
Lake Superior State University
Bishop Baraga and St. Mary's Pro-Cathedral
Eat signs
Hardwood Cafe
Da Yoopers Tourist Trap
Making a buck
Munising Falls
Eagle River Falls
Canyon Falls
Agate Falls
Little Girls Point
Gogebic Range
More Pictured Rocks
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Munising Bay
Seney, Hemingway, and Post-traumatic Stress Syndrome
Hickey Creek
Ishpeming and Iron Mining
Calumet, Michigan's St. Anne's Church
Keweenaw Waterway Bridge
The Keweenaw Waterway
Keweenaw National Historical Park, Quincy, Part One
Keweenaw National Historical Park, Calumet
Calumet, Michigan's St. John the Baptist Church
Little Gippers Preschool, Calumet, Michigan
A brief history of copper mining
Calumet, Michigan's St. Paul the Apostle Church
Finland, Finland, Finland
Escanaba's Sand Point Lighthouse
Manistique East Breakwater Light
Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse
Wawatam Lighthouse
Whitefish Point Light
The Munising Front Range Light
Grand Island East Harbor Lighthouse
Copper Harbor Lighthouse
Eagle Harbor Lighthouse

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Tregonsee said...

Thanks for the tour of the UP. I have been taking notes, and collecting waypoints for my GPS. All things being equal, I will head out in the coming fall.


Marathon Pundit said...

Let me know how that turns out. I'm glad that I was of assistance to you.

Tregonsee said...

It turned out GREAT. While I was late enough that a few things were already closed for the season, the great weather, uncrowded access, and beautiful colors made up for it. In some places the emptiness and vegetation reminded me of driving around the High Country of AZ, NM, and CO. They don't have as many lighthouses though. ;) I will definitely be heading back another time.

Your travels through the Four Corners area have also been a pleasure to follow. In this case, I have been there many times, and it brought back fine memories. Again, thanks for the letting us ride along with you!

Marathon Pundit said...

Thanks for letting me know...and the pleasure is mine. John