Yoop! We love the U.P.!

Gorgeous country, legendary trees and clean air, wide expanses of nature, and only an occasional horde of sand flies. It’s spectacular up here!

True confession: we’re not really “doing” the UP, the way we intend to do the National Parks. We have only one night at each stop while motoring across the UP and Wisconsin on the way to the grandkids. That, we’ve learned, is wholly insufficient time to actually see much of the area. Making camp, walking the dog, making meals, cleaning up and planning for the next day takes four(!) hours out of each day, and we drive another four hours. So from now on, when there is no strict deadline, we’ll only do a one-nighter as a rare exception. And have time for hikes.

Stayed in Tahquamenon River Mouth Campground last night, Munising City RV park tonight, Hancock City Park tomorrow night. Stopped at Whitefish Point in between, and Brown’s Fisheries in Paradise for midday dinner. Arrived 15 min after it opened for the day, and the place was JAMMED.

Munising is a charming town, larger than I remember some 40 years ago(!) and quite the tourist-pleasing place, as is Newberry. Tahquamenon Falls are just as tannic and bubbly as always (we’re told Tahquamenon means “shortcut”, probably in the Ojibwa or Menominee language, but that is disputed). The fresh whitefish on offer up here is splendid, and we picked up wild blueberries to nosh on in the morning.  Heading into the hill country of the UP from here on, and it will be big fun to actually see what the tectonic activity of eons ago worked in the landscape.

We’ll be back. Loads to see here.

Whitefish Point, looking like the top of the world!
Whitefish Point, looking like the top of the world!
Beach heather dominates here. Takes the place of beach grass in holding the sand.
Woolly beach heather dominates here. Takes the place of beach grass in holding the sand.
At least 10 Coast Guard Buildings at Whitefish Point. In spotless condition.
At least 10 Coast Guard Buildings at Whitefish Point. In spotless condition.
Lower Tahquamenon Falls. How well we remember you from childhood!
Lower Tahquamenon Falls. How well we remember you from childhood!
Another view of the Lower Falls. No wonder the Indians loved them.
Another view of the Lower Falls. No wonder the Indians loved them.
Our view of the Pictured Rocks, high above Munising perched on a glacial moraine.
Our view of the Pictured Rocks, high above Munising perched on a glacial moraine.

First “Journey” – a mini-trip

Hi folks!

We’re just back from a three-day jaunt down to Elkhart to pick up our trekking buggy (sorry, I’m stuck in Amish mode after having driven around LaGrange County to update my knowledge of the area’s Amish culture. I grew up on the Indiana-Michigan line, my Grandma was a Hoosier, and we made frequent trips to Shipshewana, Middlebury, Bristol and the like).

We LOVE Mohogany, our 24′ motor home. She’s just right, not too big, not too small. Four days at home and then we are off to the UP of Michigan for some awesome nature before heading to Minnesota for heavy-duty grandchildren time. Everything seems to work in the unit, but WiFi on the road may be an infrequent experience, as campgrounds don’t seem to be bristling with bandwidth. No biggie, we’re ok with being offline on a regular basis.

Shout outs to friends for the recommends on where to get fresh fish in the UP! Julia and Steve, we’re headed toward the WallEye and Salmon! We’ll try to post pix of the beautiful waterfalls and the amazing geology to come next week. Hope you are enjoying the last weeks of summer.

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Goats and shepherds on Birchbark Farm

Off the Cliff

Seven days left. Then the goats, ducks and barn cats are gone. The milking and cheesemaking cease. And we have two days to get our sh*t together and go pick up the MoHo (motor home). Her name will be Mohogany (see what we did there?) and she will be our every-other-six-weeks home for the next XX years.

So as to not lose our minds over losing our goats (actually, migrating them to another farm), we are giving our hearts to two new passions: our grandchildren. As farmers everywhere know, when you have livestock, you don’t travel at will. We’ve been here on the farm every summer for nine years, tending our goats. Now we have two splendid grandchildren and a HUGE hankering to see them regularly, so we’re going on the road.

That also means trekking. Lots of trekking. To all of North America’s road-accessible National and Provincial Parks. Some we’ll visit with the grands, many without. And for as long as she is able, our trusty 11-year-old Norwegian Elkhound Jules will be along.

So this is the maiden post. And the maiden voyage starts in ten days. Come along for the ride!

Cheers, Jill and George (and Jules)