You Might Be A Yooper If You Can Climb A Frozen Waterfall

A “yooper” lives in the Upper Peninsula  of Michigan – which is where we’ve been camping for the past couple of weeks. The UP is an outdoor enthusiast’s playground at any season. Since I’m not keen on freezing temperatures, I’m glad we got to experience it in the summer.

Lake Superior forms the northern boundary of the state, and is also the border to Canada. First of all, it’s more like the ocean. I’m talking HUGE! Secondly, when you’re that far north, you expect something akin to Alaska . . . not sand dunes and blue green waters typical of the tropics. It’s crazy! Crazy beautiful!

Part of the coastline is made up of the scenic Pictured Rocks – a line of gorgeous bluffs with waterfalls that plummet into the lake. During the warmer months, a group of boating outfitters will happily take you on a cruise so see the storied Pictured Rocks or even treat you to a glass-bottom boat ride over some shipwrecks. The water is that clear and pristine. But during the winter, this vacation paradise turns into a winter wonderland. People actually ice climb many of those towering waterfalls!

Inland from the coast, lies an abundance of small lakes which offer boating, swimming, fishing or just colorful sunsets. Oh, and mosquitoes. There are definitely some ravenous little critters flying around which means homemade repellents probably won’t cut it. Camping in the UP requires DEET . . . and perhaps a shotgun filled with buckshot. The mosquitoes are that big. You might take out a few biting black flies, too.

The insects were the only negative to this vast, pristine land that I could find. I suspect it takes a hearty individual to live in upper Michigan year round and the ones I encountered were some of the nicest folks you could hope to meet.

Will I ever be a yooper? Possibly . . . but only if seasonal visitors qualify for the title.