Up North

Michigan is already north for lots of people…but those who live in the mitten…down in the suburbs of Detroit, Grand Rapids, well, they’re not ‘up north’ so to speak.  Going up north is anywhere past the Flint or Saginaw line (and you’re free to have your own opinion of where that invisible line starts…this is mine).  Lots of southern Michiganders own cottages on lakes in northern Michigan.  Others rent a cottage for a week, or whatever suits their fancy.  It’s their little get-away within the state.  A home away from home.  A place of escape…rest and relaxation.

Mullet vs. Mullett

You can rent cottages along one of the Great Lakes or along an inland body of water, Silver Lake, Green Lake, or Mullett Lake (it was named after John Mullett.  Have to admit, I always thought of, yeah, a mullet and wondered what would possess a person to name a lake after the hideous hair style), and so on.  It’s your choice.  I’ve done both, and I have to say I like the inland lakes better.  Why do I prefer the inland as opposed to the Great Lakes?  The top most reason would be that they are warmer.  They are not this huge body of water that never really warms up for the summer.

Marina on Lake Michigan in Petoskey, MI

Mullett Lake

My first memory of swimming in one of Michigan’s smaller lakes was when I was about 2-3 years old.  My mom, sister, and I were all on a raft…precious.  Great bonding time, that is until the raft tipped, and we took a plunge.  I recall looking through the brownish water up towards the sun.  I thought I was going to drown.  Once I surfaced, to my absolute indignation, my mom and sister were cracking up.  Apparently, my “near-death” experience was all blown out of proportion in my head.

Fortunately it was not a life scarring experience, and I have since enjoyed many trips up north since than.

There are quite a few things to do up north.  Fishing, hiking, swimming, visiting Sleeping Bear Dunes, sailing, tubing down the Sturgeon River (the river is spring fed, so it’s freezing.  Still fun though)…they’re all up for grabs.  You can also visit the trademark tourist attraction or traps…Castle Rock, The Mystery Spot, Mackinaw Island or Mackinaw City.  Traverse City is gorgeous in the late springtime with all of cherry trees in bloom.  They claim to be the Cherry Capital of the World.  Their annual crop of cherries is around 300 millions pounds.  So, I suppose they have a right to that claim they make.

Sleeping Bear Dunes (thanks to Andrew McFarlane)

...more of the sand dunes (thanks to Kerry Kelly)

It’s a simple pleasure in life, but one of my favorite things to do up north are the cookouts around the campfire…competition for the Perfect Marshmallow…shooing the dog away from the food…watching the sky grow darker…and finally laying out on the dock gazing up into the star-studded sky looking for shooting stars, hearing the soft splash of the water against the shore and the lonely call of the loon off in the distance.  Yep, it’s a wonderful life.

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