Personal interpretations about traveling in Michigan:
I would never eat one of these but, I understand they are very good! They are available everywhere in the UP--didn't see them anywhere in Lower Michigan. (I think this may be attributed to the dense population of Scandinavian peoples in the UP.) This is a pastry in the shape of a half-moon filled with meat, vegetables and gravy.
Most conversations are followed with the word "eh?" Example: "I think it's going to rain today, eh?" The variations in speech between Upper and Lower Michigan was very noticeable. Again, due to the large population of Norwegian, Finnish and Swedish inhabitants. Those individuals that inhabit Upper Michigan, refer to those living in Lower Michigan as "trolls"; meaning they live "under the bridge" ("the bridge" referencing the Mackinac Bridge)
This has been one of the mainstays of the UP. Unfortunately, the logging industry decimated vast amounts of timber, right around the turn of the century, without regard to the environmental impact. Most of the timber you see standing currently, is 100 years old or less. 600+ year old timber only exists in but a few well preserved places. I think the state of Maine, went through something similar with logging in it's state, before safe-guards were put into place. Can you imagine removing EVERY single tree?
This was another industry, that permanently scarred the landscape of the UP. Most of the peoples that lived in the UP, were employed in one of two industries--logging...or mining. Copper. Most of the mining done in the UP was done in regards to this mineral. Iron ore was second. Large mines employed lots of people; some of these mines forever devastated the landscape with their "strip-mining" techniques. After WWII, and the automobile industry took off in the private sector, most residence took off for Detroit in search of jobs. What was a population of 300,000 was reduced to less than 100,000. Much of the "Old Money" still lives in the area (referencing the timber and mine owners & their families) Highway 41 (yes, it's the same road that meanders through Highland, Saint John & points south) was one of the main roads used to transport products from the mines, into the rest of the country; with it's starting point in a place called Copper Harbor. Houghton and Hancock (Houghton is on the south side of the river, Hancock is on the north--almost directly accoss from each other.) are on a main waterway, used transport iron-ore and copper from the region. Houghton still has the large skelton of a copper mill, where the melting of copper--then pouring into ingots--was done. Many places like Iron Mountain and Ironwood, received their names from the tremendous amount of iron-ore that was so prevelant in the UP; these places are now mostly known as ski attractions.
Hmm...let's see. If you want Subway's sandwiches, these are EVERYWHERE! There's a few McDonald's. Mostly small Ma & Pa type places (unless you are in one of the "larger" towns--I use "larger" loosely!) Tried an Italian restaurant in downtown Escanaba--I wouldn't recommend ANYONE to eat there! It resembled over-cooked microwaved noodles, Iceburg lettuce salad, and sauce that was probably reheated several days in a row, due to lack of customers! So the next restaurant was Mexican in St. Ignace (by the Mackinac Bridge) Rancid tortilla chips (huh???) and frozen tamales! The only thing that rescued us, were the beans and rice that was served with our meal! Okay, we tried one more time! This time it was at a Chinese/Thai restaurant in Manistee. This restaurant was just plain confused! Ever eaten the Chinese version of Pad See Ew? (The opperative word here is "EWWWW!!!") It resembeled more of some obscure Chinese dish with brown sauce! (Those of you that have dined on Thai food, know how unique and wonderful their cusine is.) They weren't even close on this one! Quiznos here we come!
This is in reference to those signs you see along side the road. You know which ones I'm refering to: "watch for falling rocks" (are we talking copper or iron ore here?), "deer crossing next 14 miles", (does it take them 14 miles to cross the road?) "bear-crossing" (bears???) "watch for snow-mobiles" (in July?) "moose-crossing" (yeah, right! I hate to see them insult some of the local residents by refering to them in this manner!) "watch for ice on bridge" (this is something that happens in summer too?) "turkey-crossing" (now, are we refering to the kind of turkeys with or without wings?) "trucks entering the highway" (and they would be coming from where?) ", "fog next 12 miles" (this one was true! especially along the stretch of highway 28 that runs from Marquette all the way to Munising MI.), "icey road ahead" (hmm...this is July correct?) "lane ends-merge right" (Right of where? If I merge right, I will drive off the road!) "watch for falling debris" (okay, I give up!). This is only a fraction of the "watch" signs scattered along throughout bothe Upper and Lower Michigan.
(To be continued!)