Say Ya to da UP, Eh?

We made it to St. Ignace, MI after a day of motoring that was a bit longer than I had hoped. When we left the M1 Concourse in Pontiac it was a beautiful, sunny day and as we drove north the weather continued to deteriorate. Watch the video and you’ll see what I mean.

A pano from the M1 Concourse start in Pontiac.
A pano from the M1 Concourse start in Pontiac.

Our first stop was Midland, MI for the “Surprise and Delight,”  at the Gourmet Cupcake Shoppe. The folks there had labored through the night to make thousands of cupcakes and MINI cookies. I had hoped to get a yellow MINI convertible cookie but alas, we were too late so I had a yummy mini cupcake instead. Afterward, we headed out to a childhood neighborhood of Mrs. MINIBee, so Hope could see it. Then it was back on the road.

Cookies from the Surprise and Delight stop in Midland
Cookies from the Surprise and Delight stop in Midland.

The Michigan back roads were very nice and much smoother than the Interstate. We were making great time until we arrived in cherry country on Michigan 31, and passing through several small tourist towns with just two lanes really slowed us down. We had prepaid tickets for a ferry to Mackinac Island, so we were running out of time. In hindsight I wish we had just taken I-75 straight up this time.

By the time we reached the Mackinac Bridge it was storming and there was a high wind advisory. I stopped to turn on the video camera so we could record the crossing, then took the inside lane to minimize the wind. It was an adventure! The biggest challenge was keeping everything straight while driving on the metal grate on the inside lane. We were hit with a few big wind gusts that made the Beehive shudder, but we made it across just fine.

The Straits State Park Campground was literally right across the bridge, so we made a quick dash to un-hitch the hive and get to the ferry. We can see the bridge from the campground! The last boat to Mackinac Island was 7 PM and the last one back was 9 PM, so we didn’t have much time. Once there, everything is a few steps off the boat dock, so we did a little shopping and grabbed some to-go food to turn the trip back into a dinner cruise.

Hope and I on the Mackinac Island Ferry.
Hope and I on the Mackinac Island Ferry.

The island looked beautiful and in the rain the streets were clear, with bikes parked everywhere and very little noise except for the occasional clip-clop of a horse and carriage trotting by. Car traffic is minimized there (next to no cars), which was actually kind of nice for a change. Weird thing to say when you’re traveling on a cross-country tour with car enthusiasts, but I’m sure you understand what I mean. We didn’t get to see any of it, so we’ll definitely have to come back. That come-back list is getting longer and longer!

Main Street on Mackinac Island
Main Street on Mackinac Island

The sun began peaking through the clouds on the way back and we were treated to a beautiful double rainbow that looked a little like Aurora Borealis and two rainbows mixed together. A nice way to end the day.

Hope hangs onto her hat as she stands on the ferry with the rainbow behind her.
Hope hangs onto her hat as she stands on the ferry with the rainbow behind her.

This is Yooperland, and I am a Yooper who was born in Marquette. Yooper is derived from U.P. (Upper Peninsula) and although the U.P is part of Michigan it more closely identifies with Wisconsin. Up here the locals have a unique accent and dialect that is nearly Canadian: “Say ya to da U.P., eh? Come sit on the davenport and have a sohhhda. You Betcha!”

Temperatures dropped to the upper 50s overnight and that was refreshing change. You gotta love Upper Michigan in the summer…9o degrees during the day and 50s at night.

So we are off to explore Yooperland on the way to Green Bay. I’m still on the hunt for a pasty so that will be an early goal.


The sunset over St. Ignace on the way back from the Island was stunning.
The sunset over St. Ignace on the way back from the Island was stunning. The rainbow is at far right.


4 thoughts on “Say Ya to da UP, Eh?

  1. Brilliant post Jack! Motor on my friend, keep those awesome pics & videos coming please. I did not know you are from the UP. Now I know who to ask for insider secret stuff for when motor throw the UP in our retirement years 😎

    1. The U.P. is beautiful in the summer, Jeff. I have been coming here since I was a little kid because my grandparents lived up here. It’s brutal in the winter though, unless you just come to play in the snow for a few days. Thanks!

  2. Love this post – fantastic photos and the video was great. That’s a really long bridge and glad you explained the metal grid – made for a great image, but looked quite wild. I love the look of that Island, so quaint. Reading your updates is creating itchy feet! 🙂

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