So tell me about da UP, eh?

It looks like I’m gonna be moving to Menominee, Michigan.

My SO recently got a (temporary) job there, and we were gonna do the long-distance relationship thing for a while, but now I got laid off so it looks like I’m gonna join him there.

My job prospects here don’t look so good, and I can keep getting NH unemployment out there, so there’s no point in keeping this expensive apartment when he’s got one there for less than half the price.

So tell me what its like. It’s obviously like total boonies, but I can dig that. We’ll be living in town, and not like we go out much anyway. Our idea of a good evening is grilling steaks, playing computer games and watching something from Netflix. We would like to get a boat eventually, but that should be even more fun on the great lakes than here.

I’ve spent a fair amount of time on camping trips in the UP over the years. It is really beautiful and not so much in the boonies as some might think. Green Bay is relatively nearby. Further north up near Houghton on the Keewanaw Peninsula is pretty cool with several old mining towns and abandoned copper mines. Up in Eagle River an order of monks have settled and sell homemade jelly, jam and fresh baked bread and other goodies in their roadside store. Expect a lot of wildlife and plenty of nice state parks if you get into camping.

Get use to spelling Menomomee…Memonimee…oh whatever.

I’m sure Athena our resident Yooper, will check in and advise you of all its wonderfullness.

In the meantime, rent Escanaba in da Moonlight to familiarize yourself with the glories of deer camp, eh?

One of my friends is going to Northern Michigan University in da UP. We were thinking of putting together a UP survival kit for her:

1 24 case of beer
2 tennis rackets for making snowshoes
1 can of “bear repellent”
1 cyanide capsule
Another 24 case of beer


Beer will not be a problem. Menominee apparently has 9 bars, whereas there are none within walking distance in the suburb I’m now living in.

Shooting shouldn’t be either. Michigan’s gun laws don’t compare to New Hampshire’s (duh) but they’re not too bad either. Dunno if there’s any real ranges around there, but surely there are places to plink out in the woods.

And yeah we like camping and wildlife. Are the mosquitos (or black flies or whatever) big enough to carry people off?

I’ve only been up there in August and haven’t really noticed mosquitos or any of their friends. The locals have mentioned “black fly season” but I’ve haven’t had the pleasure of experiencing it myself.

Hey, you got michigan in my canada.

You got canada in my michigan!

The upper peninsula. Two great nations that make kind of a mess when you breed them.

:stuck_out_tongue: Actually, I think they just become indistinguishable when you mix 'em.

I lived in the UP when I was very young, so all my memories are from that perspective. Beautiful country. Lots of woods. Lots of fishing. Lots & lots of skeeters. And people tend to talk funny. Since you’re coming from NH, they will almost certainly think you talk funny.

We’d visit Taquanamon Falls every summer. It’s not Niagra, but it’s nice.


Doo-dooo, do do do!

I like the UP a whole lot…in the summer. In the winter, it’s really not my thing. Summer = three months of bad sledding. Wear lots of flannel, and develop a real appreciation of nature, and you’ll be all set. Best of luck, eh! :cool:

Yes, you’ll need lots and lots of mosquito repellent. And maybe a bug zapper. Start incorporating a lot of garlic and citrus into your diet, and scatter cloves/peels randomly near windows and doorways. Oooh, and some of these in your pocket, too.

Heh, I just returned from a week at my parent’s place up north, can ya tell?

Oh, and “up north” means Canada to the yoopers, anything over the Zilwaukee/Mackinac bridge to most of the lower peninsula, and any and every other location possible to folks from the fine metropolitan areas around Detroit, A2 and Flint. I think. Sometimes folks get “up north” confused with “any destination where hunting, camping, boating, fishing, four-wheeling, tubing or beer-drinking happens” so watch out for that!

I’ll go out on a limb here and betcha that there’s a range or seven within easy distance, no worries.

“Up North” starts at the line beginning in Tawas, extending through West Branch, dipping down to Clare, then extending out to Ludington. However, that means that there is a 100 - 120 mile reach of the Lower Peninsula that is “Up North” that the Yoopers still consider troll country (beneath the Bridge).

Actually, in Menominee, you’re really in Wisconsin and don’t know it (but when the bars close at 2:00 am, you can drive over to Marinette in Wisconsin and the Central Time Zone for another hour of drinking). You are also a lot closer to Green Bay than any comparably sized town in Michigan.

My picks for things to do (especially if you are not going to live there forever, so you ought to get the maximum “tourist” value out of being there for a while):

The Garden Peninsula
(About 90 miles Northeast of Menominee on Lake Michigan, between Escanaba and Manistique)
_ Most of the peninsula is flat grass, but down on the west shore, beyond the wide spot that is the village of Garden is the Fayette ghost town which is both historically interesting (it is now a state park) and also scenic.
South of Fayette are Indian pictographs on rocks along the lake, but that may be on private propery, now, so I don’t know that you can get to it.
East of Fayette at the end of an SUV-killing logging road is Portage Bay State Campground. It has pit toilets and a hand pump for water, but there are a couple of nature trails through marshland, the bay is small, enclosed, and shallow with a sand bottom, so the water is warm enough for swimming even in the early summer, and the campsites are located between a pair of forested dunes so that many of them are very private and protected if there is much wind.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore out of Munising
_ Against expectations, I suggest taking the cruise along the rocks on a rainy day. The rocks are weathered limestone, shaped by Lake Superior storms, but they get their name from the minerals leeching through the soil and trickling down the rock faces. They are pretty in the sunshine (so you might want to make two trips), but the sunlight washes out some of the color and I find them prettier in the rain.

Keweenaw Peninsula (pronounced (at least by trolls) KEE we naw despite the spelling)
_ Fort Wilkins out at the end of the peninsula is mildly interesting, but it is in a very pretty location. To travel the shore, you need to get onto county roads, but US 41 up the center of the peninsula goes through some marvelous forest. (This is one that should be travelled in bright sunshine.)
There is also at least one no longer active copper mine that you can visit.
West of the Keweenaw are the Porcupine [del]Moderately High Hills[/del] Mountains that have a lot of pretty country and some great views and hiking.
(Copper Harbor at the end of the peninsula is one place where you can board a ferry to Isle Royale National Park. Be aware, however, that there are NO FACILITIES on Isle Royale. The boat dumps you off, picks up the last load of returning camping hikers, and leaves you to your own devices for a week or so.)

Tahquamenon Falls are in the Northeast, just west of Whitefish Bay. They are located in a beech-maple crown forest and are well worth a visit.
From the falls, if you head East to Paradise and go north along the bay, you come to the Whitefish Point Lighthouse. The actual light has been automated, so the lighthouse has been turned into a pretty interesting museum, specializing in information on all the wrecks on that shore, including that of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Sault Ste. Marie (sault pronounced soo) is an OK town on the U.S. side and a bigger city on the Canadian side. You can watch ships pass through the Soo Locks from Lake Superior down toward Lake Huron, visit the Valley Camp (an old lake freighter) and take a cruise through the locks, themselves.

South of the Soo on Lake Huron is Mackinac Island (pronounced mackinaw like the blankets) which has a lot of touristy stuff including an 1812 era fort, lots of fudge, many ancient hotels and modern B&Bs, and does not permit automobiles so that transportation is by bike, foot, or horsedrawn wagon.
Across the Straits of Mackinac on the other side of “the Bridge” is the town of Mackinaw City with its reconstructed Fort Michilimackinac and they are working to restore a small ship recovered from the waters of the Straits. The Mackinac Bridge has the longest suspension span from pier to pier in the world, although it is not the longest bridge nor does it have the longest span between the vertical suspension pillars. On Labor Day, they close it to traffic for a few hours while a whole slew of people walk across it, often led by the governor. (Distance: about five miles across.)

Oh my! Another yooperdoper!

When are you going to be here? Right now is pretty much the beginning of the best time of the year in da UP - July through mid-October is just beautiful. Warm, but not too warm. The bugs are mostly gone (June is the prime bug month). Menominee is on Lake Michigan, so you might even be able to swim in it! Lake Superior won’t warm up until August, and even then “warm” is a relative term. The UP has trees, and lakes, and more trees, and more lakes… and locals who talk funny.

I haven’t spent a lot of time in Menominee/Marinette, other than the time our van broke down on the way up here and we had to wait in the parking lot of the auto parts store for hours, so I can’t tell you a whole lot about the town itself. It’s not too far from Green Bay, which is the Big City for yoopers. From what I remember, Menominee is large enough to have a few bars/restaurants and probably a movie theater, so it counts as a UP metropolis.

tomndebb did a good inventory of the various places in the UP. As far as activities, well, Netflix has decent turnaround :slight_smile: Other than that, the boat idea is a good one. If you’re into outdoorsy stuff, try kayaking - I’m sure there must be a kayak place in Menominee, and we’ve often gazed at the Lake there thinking it’d be great paddling. There’s also great mountain biking, hiking, and camping in the UP. You’re coming up on high summer, so the berries will be coming out, if you’re into picking blueberries/rapsberries/blackberries/strawberries.

Take some time on a weekend or a day off and do some exploring in your car. There’s all sorts of neat stuff to find on a day’s drive, and there’s plenty of great scenery.

People-wise, the UP can be tough if you’re not from here. Hell, I’m from here, and I have a hard time with them sometimes. People here are very, very laid back. Don’t be suprised, for example, if you have a hard time getting places/people to call you back. Nobody’s in a hurry to work up here. People tend to be a bit distrustful of outsiders at first, but as soon as you kick back and convince 'em that you’re not some uppity east-coaster, they’ll like you just fine.

Get used to ordering stuff off the Internet; there’s few large stores, and places don’t stock a lot of stuff. I hope you can cook - you’re not going to find a lot of interesting restaurants, but the bar food (hamburgers, pasties) is usually pretty decent.

Can’t think of much else right now, but if I didn’t cover anything feel free to ask.

Ah! Da UP!

SpouseO went to Michigan Tech, in Houghton. Miles from anywhere. You’re in a huge metropolitan area, yourself.

The UP’s great. It’s georgeous. Simply georgeous. (Just wait 'till fall.) Ya, winter’s long, but there’s likely festivals and such that’ll help.

I dunno - I guess if you’re citified, it’ll be a big change, as there’s not much urban up there. But if you’re from a smaller town (as am I - small rural western WI town), it really isn’t much of a change (but prettier).

Most of what I was going to say has already been covered. Just wanted to chime in and say I grew up there.

Great place, lots to see. I’ve lived there most of my life and there’s still stuff I haven’t seen up there yet.

It almost qualifies as a different country, in my opinion. Just get used to driving long distances to get places…I still have a tendency to think of a 40 minute drive as “just around the corner.” :slight_smile:

My family is from the UP, and I’ve spent many a vacation and holiday near Iron Mountain.

When wandering around, keep an eye out for stores/restaurants in out of the way places. You can find little restaurants or bakeries or stores tucked in to the back of the gas station, or the small engine repair shop (no, I’m not kidding).

If you like hiking, you will be in paradise. Consider ATVs and snowmobiles. Read the local paper; lots of stuff might be going on, music, clubs, community theatre.

Whitefish Point. See the Shipwreck museum, featuring the bell from the Edmund Fitzgerald, plus lots of other neat stuff.

Nope. The four Michigan counties along the Wisconsin border are on Central time.

The only thing I can add is that if you like a cold swim, you can’t beat Lake Superior.


You will be close to Shotgun Eddy’s for rafting. You take an all day (2-man rubber raft) trip down the Wolf River. There are some nice rapids and a couple waterfalls. You MUST ride down Big Smokey, that’s the final waterfall and the end of the trip. It MUST BE Shotgun Eddy’s, don’t waste your time or money on the other raft places in the area.

Shotgun Eddy’s
Description: Shotgun Eddy is located along the famous Wolf River just 25 miles north of Shawano on Hwy 55. A small drive for a great experience. The rafting season open on May 1 and closes in September. Camp sites at Shotgun Eddy right on the river and is the starting point of some of their raft trips.

I would recommend one of the other camp grounds nearby over SGE’s, you can thank me later.

There’s also a big casino on the Menomenee Indian reservation.

As far as work in the UP, anything to do with snowmobiles is probably a good idea.

Have fun, eh.

Thanks. Either the line has changed or some other rule has, then. I was stranded in Ironwood (before most of you were born) and the car dealer took me out for a few brews. When the Michigan bar closed, he drove over the line to a Wisconsin place.