Monday, July 31, 2006

Yoopin' It Up

We’re going fishing we just can’t wait
We love the smell of stinky bait
Leaky boats, waders too, a cooler full of ice cold brew
Reel ‘em in, watch ‘em flop, i love to fish i just can’t stop
When this fishing trip is through
I’ll bet i have more fish than you
I’ll bet i have more fish than you. -- "Da Fishing Trip," Da Yoopers

I'm going on vacation next week. A real vacation. The first one in a long, long time.

I'm going to the Upper Peninsula, to the shores of Lake Superior, up by Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and the Seney Wildlife Refuge.

The itinerary is pretty fluid -- a side excursion to the Soo Locks, some salmon fishing, some basic tourist rubbernecking. My previous exposure to the Upper Peninsula has been limited to St. Ignace -- sometimes known as "Swingin' Iggy" by the ironic residents of those parts -- and the regionally famous Mystery Spot (no jokes, please). So I'm entertaining suggestions for places to go/things to do from those of you who've traveled more extensively above the Big Mac. Quirky, off-the-beaten-path (but not too far off) places of interest are especially appreciated.

So whadda we wanna see up dere, eh?

The pasty -- the ultimate Upper Peninsulan soul food. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia Posted by Picasa


David said...

Oh you're making me home sick. First the mention of Lake Superior...and then you post a pic of my beloved pasty! See my post on the 23rd Psalm in regards to how I feel about the U.P.

Have a wonderful trip!

Rainbow Pastor said...

I've been Youping! The last time was thirty years ago now, and it was only to St.Ignace.

But before that (way before, even wayer...we met dinosaurs, OK?), we took a trip that led us on a loop around Lake Michigan. We entered the Youp at Iron Mountain (toured an iron mine), drove along the shore to Escanaba (best trout EVER! My gold standard to this day) and Manistque, then up north to Pictured Rocks and Tahquamenon (sp?) Falls.

Any of the above are worth it...but then, my opinion is based on experiences older than dirt, so take it for what that's worth.

Mmmm, pasty....

Beth said...

It doesn't sound like you're going into the Keewenaw Penisula (that's the other thumb), but if you do, stop at the Soumi Bakery in Houghton/Hancock for a great breakfast. Also the Ambassador bar for pizza.

Eat thimble berries!!! This is a wild local berry that tastes like a more delicate version of the raspberry. I'm pretty sure they're in season now. They are very, very, very very good. My mom is from Detroit and she always describes them as a strictly Youp phenonmenon, but maybe they also have them on your end of the lower mitten.

Copper Harbor is beautiful. Has a nice Hotel (forget the name) right on the beach. The lake will most likely be freezing

David said...

Not to mention Brockway Mountain Drive for a breath taking view of the Big Lake. Beth is right about thimble berries.....ummmm good!

Shupac said...

You might want to swing by the little harbor town of Grand Marais, at the east end of pictured rocks. Whether you imbibe or not, visit the brewpub there, very homey and not a dive in the least, with good food. The Seney national wildlife refuge (at, yes, Seney, just south of GM) has a very neat drive-through trail past some good wildlife viewing areas. Try to hit it early or late in the day, and bring binoculars. There are walking trails too if you're more adventurous. Whitefish Point is a nice sidetrip too if you're coming from the Sault.

My philosophy is that there are no bad places up there.

Mata H said...

I definitely agree about Copper Harbor - I was there about 3 years ago and it was really beautiful -- and the drive up is fabulous. I stayed in an unintentionally retro family-run motel (which I liked a lot) with excessively pink rooms, very reasonable rates, and a stunning view of the lake. The nights are cool, starry and clear.

Anonymous said...

*drool!* It's still St. Ignace, but take a gander and let me know if Bessie's Pasties is still there. Best. Pasties. Ever. Period.

I did much of Rainbow Pastor's "loop" last year, and agree with all her spots. Copper Harbor was beautiful too, and if it weren't so cold and rainy when we visited, the nuns never could've torn me away from the rocky beach.

[Jealous] ;-)

Anonymous said...

LutheranChik, greetings from a longtime lurker who spends part of every summer in da UP. I know you like craft fairs and such ...and there is a great one coming up Saturday Aug 12th in Hessel, MI, which is on the water, about 20 minutes East of the Mackinac Bridge on M-134.

It is the annual Antique Boat Show and Art Fair, now in its 30th year or something. It's a juried art fair, right down on the pier,very festive, Big Band is playing, fried whitefish sandwiches for sale, loads of interesting stuff. The antique boats -- more than 100 of them -- are wooden runabouts, beautifully restored. And you can walk right up to them on the docks, and talk to the owners.

There is a small ticket price to get in, but it's well worth it.

Have a great trip! Buy only Joanne's Fudge in Mackinac City, it is THE BEST.

P.S. (an after-thought) said...

I just got back from Lake Michigan. Wish it was just for vacation, but alas, it was because of family illness.

Love the area you are talking about visiting. I haven't been there since about 1990.

Yeah, just wade in the Big Lake and you will chill your ankle bones. A great way to counteract this heat.