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Sunday, September 6, 2015

Yoopers and Trolls

Happy to report we have safely destinated (?) to the Wandering Wheels Campground here in beautiful Munising, Michigan, which is very much in the Upper Peninsula and on the shores of Lake Superior. We arrived here after a good trip from Mackinaw City Friday and tentatively plan to pull out to Houghton, Mi Tuesday. This campground is an OK park but in my opinion is overpriced at $44.95/day. But I guess in all fairness, they have to make all they can while they can because they have such a short camping season. The reason we have tentative plans to leave Tuesday is the park we hope to hit next is closed due to the holiday and we haven't been able to nail down a site. We may be back in the Jello mode again! Probably the biggest attraction here in Munising is the Pictured Rocks National Park. The park is located on the banks of Lake Superior with the most scenic part of the park being the limestone cliffs joining the lake. The limestone walls have been eroded over many years to form different and interesting formations and are many different colors from the different minerals staining the sandstone. The walls and cliffs can best be seen from the lake and is the reason we chose the sunset cruise on Pictured Rock Cruises, Inc. Our cruise boarded at 6 PM and lasted 2.5 hours. The cost was $37.00 each. The Munising area is also well known for many waterfalls, sandy beaches, and lighthouses. In speaking to several residents of this area, we are told the winters here are extremely cold and snowy with average low temperatures of 11 degrees in January and February and 152" average snowfall each winter. Beautiful area, but I think we'll stick to sunny Florida in the winter!
            I guess many of you are wondering about the title of the blog being Yoopers and Trolls. My understanding of the term Yoopers is a name the people of the Upper Peninsula proudly call themselves and is derived from Finnish, French Canadian, Cornish, Scandinavian, German, or Native American descent. There is a distinct dialect among Yoopers and is not hard for a non-Yooper to understand. My understanding the only way to be considered to be a Yooper is having been born in the U P.  Now a Troll is a non-Yooper and is normally referred to as people from the lower peninsula. Residents of the Lower Peninsula are jokingly referred to as "flat-landers," or "trolls" by residents of the Upper Peninsula, because they live "under or below the bridge". Another colorful term for this area is a Pastie which is a large to medium sized round battered pie common to Northern Ireland and is generally served with chips to form a "pastie supper". Recipes vary, but the most common ingredients are minced pork, onion, potato and seasoning formed into a 'round' (just like a burger) which is then covered in a batter mix and deep fried. We haven't tried one yet, but we sure intend to. They sound delicious.

Map of our route through the Upper Peninsula starting in Mackinaw City and ending in Houghton, Mi. From there we will head south into Wisconsin.

Pier on Lake Superior where we met our tour boat

Very nice marina

Our tour boat that will handle about 150 passengers. There is an upper and lower deck and a back patio.

East Channel Lighthouse on Grand Island.

Miner's Castle. The state has built a  walkway to an overlook.

Lower section of Miner's Castle only visible from water.

Twelve mile Beach where you can rent a kayak. Most were the 2 person sea kayaks.

Colorful sandstone formations

Different minerals in the ground produce different colors when they are washed over the sandstone.

There were many naturally carved caves and arches along the waters edge.

More Kayaks

The water is extremely clear and deep. The deepest water in the lake is over 1300 feet deep.

This is a small inlet in the sandstone where the captain pulled our ship all the way into. We were so close we could reach out and touch the walls.

Looking up while in the channel.

This is the channel he pulled us into.

Lower deck of our boat.

We were fortunate to have a pretty sunset on the way back in.

We came upon a group of kayakers on the way back. We weren't as close as this looks. I had the camera at max zoom.

This shows the distance we  actually were from them. I thought it was a pretty cool picture.

They had to contend with our wake after we passed them.

Nice day on Lake Superior. All the tours and campgrounds will be shut down before long getting ready for the long winter.


  1. real good picture's as always,History,did you stay a week at that camp ground?

  2. From Betty: I looked back at my travel notes. Your last 2 campgrounds were the same ones we stayed at! It's probably not that unusual, because of their location. We had booked a boat tour of the Pictured Rocks, but it was rainy, so we cancelled. Loving reading your well-written, informative blogs; also enjoying your pictures.

  3. Love the colorful sandstone formations and all the other pictures are beautiful too!