Three days ago, on 09-06, it was 906 day here in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. A day drenched in Yooper pride because of our uniqueness. A day to celebrate the things we’re proud of and the things we survive. Because there has to be both in order to keep remembering the why of it all as the nights dip to frostiness far too early and the leaves are already about 20% changed to color at the beginning of September. And who wouldn’t rather celebrate than complain? Not this girl!
When we first moved here, because of the remote location of our home, I legitimately thought I’d only eat at restaurants when we would travel. Living in the west-mitten my whole life, driving to a location an hour away was something we saved for a couple times a year. Now, that’s how far I go to get groceries and gas. I imagined we’d be snowed in and be in danger of being buried alive on the regular. I fascinated people by saying one sentence, “Where I’m moving, there is no Walgreens!!!!” No Rite Aid, no CVS, no MEIJER!!! A lot of that is still true, however we did get a Walgreens an hour away within a year or so of moving here. And I did write to Meijer and tell them they were missing the market-boat due to our universities, and by golly, the Meijer trucks came across the bridge when a location was put in Marquette (1 hr. 45 min. from us) about two years ago. You’re welcome, Yoop. When we go to Marquette, we have a Kohl’s, a TARGET!!!, an Ulta, Starbucks, and a handful of fun restaurant options. We call that going to Mankato (Little House fans get it). Load up the wagon, Pa! Ma needs to spend her Kohl’s cash!
But we are literally 135 miles from an Olive Garden, 164 miles from a mall, and the nearest bookstore that is not a little mom and pop is also an almost two hundred mile drive! Pizza delivery is a thing we showed our grandkids on vacation — “Darlins, they bring pizza to your DOOR!!”
We are beautiful and backwoods, what we lack in convenience we make up for in peace and quiet. Our land is dramatic and definitely feels like it was written in a minor key. But there’s a reason those who live here will, in the same sentence, brag about it and try to tell you you’d hate it here. :o)
On 906 day, a Facebook page entitled Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula (check them out!!) published these facts and I just knew you’d find them fascinating. I will source their sources at the bottom of this post.
So, there ya have it! I have one more place up here that I want to tell you about before I get to my 91st little thing. I think it will surprise you! But I hope you enjoyed these little factoids. I’d love to know if you think you could ever stand to live so remotely. During these tumultuous days, we have heard folks say they understand the draw of getting *lost* in this faraway wilderness. But in the day-to-day, does it just sound impossible, or is there part of you that would love to live on lots of acres with lots of wildlife and very few folks nearby?
Michigan’s Upper Peninsula Upper Peninsula Supply Co
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