Upper Peninsula as cool as ever

There’s something about driving across the U.P. that cleanses the soul. I am in Gaylord, MI for the annual Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers conference. Mapquest pegged the trip at about 7 1/2 hours, 400+ miles around the top. It was either that or take the Badger from Manitowoc to Ludington. I decided the cost of the ferry was not worth it for a couple hours and a half  tank of gas saved, so I drove. There was no way I was going to go around the southern end of the lake, even though driving through Chicago on Sunday is about as benign as it ever gets.

Miles of straight road, little traffic and nothing but woods in between a few small towns and Escanaba, the only city of note on HWY 2. It’s pretty clear the tourism season is over – shops were closed, towns empty. Hard to say what these folks live on half the year, but the U.P. has not changed significantly since I used to cross it regularly back in the ’70s on my way to Buffalo from Ashland, in an earlier life. One welcome change: passing lanes every 10 miles or so, which means the crazy Michiganders are not crawling up your back all the time. Kept cruise at 61 and enjoyed the trip.

When I pulled into Treetops Resort tonight at about 10:00 EDT, Chris Young and Bob Groene were just heading out to a local pub. Bob wants to get in a round of golf in the morning before the conference gets rolling. I think I can swing that, no pun intended. Haven’t played all year, but this is not the first time I dust off the clubs in September. Summers are busy for me!

More from the conference as it happens!


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