Annual Trip To The UP…AND WE SAW TWO BEARS!

Yup you read that right, TWO BEARS! Don’t worry, both were within reasonable distance away…but still pretty cool! Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is pretty chuck full of wildlife and it’s especially noticeable this time of year. With animals coming out of hibernation, and the lack of leaves on trees to hide things in the woods; You’re chances of seeing something on a hike are very high!

We weren’t uncertain to whether or not we would even be able to make this annual trip of ours to the cabin (due to COVID and the stay-at-home order here in Michigan.) However, when Governor Whitmer loosed the restrictions allowing people to go to their second residences, we ran for it! Obviously following all necessary precautions- wearing masks at gas stations, bringing in all our own food from a grocery store around home, and only going to the cabin!

The trip was nothing short of amazing, per usual! In fact, because Kwin doesn’t have to be at work currently we were able to stay longer than ever… 6 days! Whew, that’s a long time staying at a primitive cabin with no running water, electricity, or cell phone service. But man, it was much needed during this time of craziness!

We spent lots of time hiking (averaging 8-10miles per day,) reading, doing chores around the cabin, fishing, searching for the biggest White Pines we could find (we found one with 14ft circumference) and spending quality time with each other!
Would you believe me if I told you there were still HUGE snowbanks? Welp, there was! The currently melting snow resulted in REALLY high water levels in the rivers and HUGE waterfalls, I had never seen them pumping so much!

Kwin and I enjoy and look forward to this trip so much!
With the sprouting tree buds, the chirping birds, muddy terrain, and sunny days…It’s a true sign that we’ve made it through another Michigan winter!
I hope you enjoy the blog and are getting outside during this beautiful spring weather yourself!

PS. For anyone who cares, baby girl did great with all the hiking and activity this past week! I cannot wait to bring her up to the cabin with us and make a whole bunch of new memories with her(:

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New Traditions, same old Upper Peninsula

Someone told me the other day “Jeeze, you guys are always in the Upper Peninsula..why don’t you just move up there?” This is a great point, and honestly Kwin and I have talked about it! The vast open land, crystal clear blue waters of Lake Superior, tranquility, and history of the land is VERY special to us. However, our family is here [in lower Michigan,] our friends are here; and if we lived in the Upper Peninsula then we wouldn’t have a place to escape to!

With every trip that we take to the UP we try to cover new territory, and this trips destinations were nothing short of AMAZING!

Grand Island

Kwin and I love camping at the Tourist park in Munising [it really is a perfect location!] Being that it’s only a short 1/4mile paddle across to ¬†Grand Island, it makes for fun day trips and awesome sunsets!

Our first “new destination” was biking around ‘Grand Island.’ The bike trail is about 23 miles long. I would rate it beginner/moderate difficulty. IF YOU EVER GO TO GRAND ISLAND I HIGHLY RECOMMEND DOING THIS! Not only is it a great workout…but the Lake Superior views are stunning.

Grand Islands history dates back to the 1800’s, when the Native American Chippewa tribe were the main occupants. The secluded nature of the island, yet still having an easy paddle to the main land, made it a pretty ideal location! If you are interested in learning more about the history, check out the book ‘Face In The Rock’ by Loren Graham; Kwin absolutely loves this book. He actually has ‘Chemaun Poll’ (a Native American legend believed that if you tapped your birch bark canoe while saying this you could go anywhere in the lake…and FAST) on his board during the lake crossings.

While on Grand Island, we had the pleasure of meeting Loren Graham. Thanks, to Corey Adkins from 9&10News, Kwin and I were able to tour the North Lighthouse (privately owned by Loren and his wife) along with talking to him about the book, the Native American culture, and the history of the lighthouse! Check out the interview and short segment on 9&10news here!

Marquette

We couldn’t go to the UP without making a stop in Marquette! Biking, hiking, jumping off black rocks, epic sunsets, and paddling are only a few activities that we did.

Our Second “New Destination” was paddling to a secluded island just off the Presque Isle shoreline. Let me tell you, having a beach to yourself to read, swim and cliff jump is something special! What makes the Lake Superior shoreline different than any of the other Great Lakes is the rocky appearance-Hello Cliff Jumping!

Michigamme

Between Marquette and our cabin is a little town called Michigamme. A little history lesson: in 1985 the Department of Natural Resources wanted to reestablish a Moose population in Michigan, and what better place than the Upper Peninsula. January 1985, 29 moose were transported from Ontario, Canada to Michigamme, MI. Sense then the population has grown to 400+ moose! Some of them have traveled to other parts of the Upper Peninsula, but if you’re in the Michigamme area your chances of finding a moose are pretty high!

Our Third “New Destination” was setting up camp at the Van Riper State Park, and biking all around the area [we ended up doing about 47miles] HOPING TO FIND A MOOSE! I have never seen one in my life, and Kwin has only seen a handful before, so we were determined! Unfortunately, it was sunny and 90+ degrees…so most of the moose were tuckered away from the heat.

I hope you’ve all enjoyed, and now that you’ve made it through the beautiful pictures, check out Kwin’s video [HERE] of the trip!