UP of Michigan

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Mutti, Dec 9, 2005.

  1. Mutti

    Mutti Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Would like to hear about your life in the UP. What part of the state do you live in? Land prices,towns,churches,shopping. We are homesick for Mi and want to live way north this time. Thanks for any info. DEE
     
  2. Mutti

    Mutti Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hey, no one here from the far north? Bump for the weekend readers. DEE
     

  3. pickapeppa

    pickapeppa Well-Known Member

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    There are a couple from UP here. I'm also interested in hearing on this subject. We used to vacation up very near the UP. It was, well, I won't say how wonderful it was because now everything is getting commercialized and out-of-reach for Joe Snow. If you go for a drive, you'll find little places tucked back in the woods that are abandoned and for sale. It's COLD. If you are into gardening, you can get killing freezes in June. It's rare, but has been known to happen. Good luck in your search. Looking forward to replies alongside.
     
  4. AngieM2

    AngieM2 Big Front Porch advocate

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    I know there are a couple of people from the UP online.
    happyooper - is up there in the UP.

    I lived up there for 18 months in the early 70's. I remember the snow started in Sept, and ended in May. summer was July 4th.
    over 200 inches of snow fall a year.
    Anchorage was usually about 2 degrees warmer
    3500 in town, Munising Michigan
    Grand Island was off shore
    2 crimes during tourists season, rest of time, you could walk across town at 11pm and no one would bother you...

    Loved it, have good memories of it.

    Hope someone else can give you more up to date information.

    Angie
     
  5. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

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    Kind of like living in Southwest montana but with closer water and fewer mountains is how I always describe the UP! Used to go there as a kid often since we lived in middle michigan at the time. I went there a couple of times as an adult for extradition pickups and once was snowed in at the holiday in with a bunch of long shoremen- we played poker for two days and the hotel made snowbound stew..was quite fun but would not want to have that happen all of the time.
     
  6. affenpinschermom

    affenpinschermom Well-Known Member

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    We lived there for 15 years prior to moving to Kentucky. I'd go back in a heart beat and may very well do so again. We lived 30 miles of Marquette in a tiny town called Big Bay. It was a little inconvenient as there was nothing there and you had to drive a bad road in lots of snow to get to Marquette, but aside from that we loved it. You can plan on an average snow fall in that area of about 250" of snow every year and over 300" has been seen. It is a very long winter. You do get some below zero weather, but it is not extremely cold due to the warming from L.Superior. It is gorgeous, beautiful falls, but very, very buggy summers. We had a wonderful garden, no problems as long as you watched the weather and didn't plant too early. We actually had less trouble gardening there then here in Ky. with it's extreme heat and humidity. The people are rugged individuals, many very talented. Lots of artisitic people do to long winters. Jobs are very scarce.
    I miss it very much in spite of a few of it's draw backs. Good choice to move as far as I am concerned.
    A former Yooper
     
  7. willow_girl

    willow_girl Very Dairy

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    It is COLD! Land is overpriced IMO and rocky -- don't plan on gardening unless you're into raised beds!

    There is some dairy farming over in Chippewa County, I believe. I've heard the weather in the area around Manistique is moderated somewhat by lake effect and is less cold and bleak than the rest of the peninsula.

    Of course, I'm just a troll (I live below the bridge)! :D
     
  8. Nax

    Nax Well-Known Member

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    The UP has always been a romantic ideal to me, but when I consider all the negatives, I'm about as far North as I want to get. I want to continue my small farm, and I fear the growing season is just a little too short, the summer nights a little too cool, and the soil a little too poor. I'm not as rugged as I would like to be. :viking:

    But I have heard that the peninsula around Manistique is more temperate, sticking out into Lake Michigan as it does.

    Edited: Whoops, Willowgirl, my fellow troll, beat me to it.
     
  9. debitaber

    debitaber Well-Known Member

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    we used to live in the far north. and it was a wonderful place, yes the winters are very long, and there isn't alot of work, but oh so beautiful. i loved it. good fishing, and we always were swiming, but the lakes are cold. We always went to school, not as much snow days, as down state. Our gardens always did well, as long as you plant the first week of June. and use seeds for short summers.
    but the fruit is wonderful, and the scenery is bueatiful. I would go back in a heat beat, if hubby could get a job. we are down state, and truly , I liked it better up north. people were nicer too. But It is a slower pace.
     
  10. affenpinschermom

    affenpinschermom Well-Known Member

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    Our garden season was fine once you were used to it. We grew everything we grow here, except sweet potatoes. I had peach trees, yes peaches, sweet and pie cherries, apples and a beautiful herb garden. We used raised beds, but didn't have to. Yep, the first couple of years we picked rock, but we did here too. No big deal.
     
  11. debitaber

    debitaber Well-Known Member

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    I live in southern michigan now, and we pick rock every year. this land is good, but oh my the rocks it has.
     
  12. albionjessica

    albionjessica Hiccoughs after eating

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    My parents live in the UP right now, and I lived there with them for three years. They're in Gladstone, right outside of Escanaba on the lake. I wouldn't go back there for any amount of money... and I am dead serious. Gladstone was a very snooty town, where you were treated like dirt unless your family either had a lot of money or a long history there. We moved there after living in Alaska, so it was a big let-down as far as nature and landscape goes. The only "mountains" are little hills that take about an hour to climb, max. A lot of the land is either swamp or rock, but you can find a few little patches where things will grow well without much change to the soil. There are some really beautiful places, like Kitchitikipi (pretty sure I spelled that wrong), Tahquamenon Falls State Park, Grand Marais, Pictured Rocks, Fayette, and the Purcupine Mountain Wilderness State Park. It's great for fall drives to see the leaves changing, and a very popular place to snowmobile.

    Around Esky, jobs are very low-paying and hard to come by. I wouldn't know about churches because I am atheist. Shopping is mainly in a few select places (Escanaba and Marquette for my folks), and of course... it won't be as wide of a selection as a big city. You can get all of your necessities and a few pleasantries in town, and buy other stuff online. (The shopping issue shouldn't bother someone used to living in small towns.)

    Basically, my opinion of the UP is that it's great for visiting, but I would never freely choose to live there. My parents, on the other hand, would probably never leave unless it was to go back to Alaska. They love it up there.

    Why don't you visit for a few weeks, talk with the locals, see some sights, and see if you like it from there?
     
  13. djuhnke

    djuhnke Well-Known Member

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    We used to have a hunting cabin near bruce's crossing when I was a kid. Propane everything (no electricity). Lots of snow and in summer the bugs would carry you away. Sandy rocky soil makes for hard growing (unless its strawberries)
     
  14. Jim-mi

    Jim-mi Well-Known Member

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    Escanaba has been cursed with a new wallys china mart. So if that is your cup of tea for "shopping" then figure on a goodly amount of driving to get there. If your in the eastern UP then you'll have to cross the big Mac bridge and drive down to Gaylord for a wallys china.

    Best solution; Learn to totally do without a china mart for your needs.

    pst ... I'm told that the upers are closing the doors and not allowing any emigrants in. They are concerned about overcrowding.
    Drop your money on the counter and move on................
     
  15. KRH

    KRH Resident Wino

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    Being a life long Troll I have spent alot of time in the UP. Mostly in the Manistique area but I have been across most of it. First off I love it up there and if the right oportunity came along I would be there in a second.
    But all the things you have heard here are true.
    Its beautiful but, long winters with lots of snow are the norm, growing seasons are long enough and summer days are warm but, bugs of all shapes and sizes are enough to drive you mad, you can grow fruit trees well if you find a nice hill amongst the miles of swampland, you can find all the solitude you ever dreamed of but, no eletric and miles of unplowed roads in those places make day to day living very tough in the seemingly endless winters.

    IMHO
    Its all a matter of personal likes and dislikes, intended land usage, and knowlege or lack of it that makes the UP a good or not so good place to live.
     
  16. Maggie

    Maggie Well-Known Member Supporter

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    WELL, here is an opinion from someone who actually LIVES in the UP!! We moved here 7 yrs. ago from S.E. Wisconsin and really enjoy living here. I love it up here. We garden vegetables, have apple and pear trees, grow asparagus, raspberries, sunchokes, some herbs, and get loads of concord grapes from a friend who lives 10 miles away. I do quite a lot of canning.
    Come late March, we tap our maple trees and cook down sap to make Maple Syrup! It is a WONDERFUL time of the year and great for family-time together. It's also a great learning process!! The Lord is So Good.
    DH and DS help out with hay making every summer. This brings in an extra little income. It also helps feed our rabbits and goats, and lines our chicken nest boxes for our fresh eggs!
    We heat with a woodburner which is inside our house. The wood is cut by DH and DS and split by them, also. It is cut from our hardwoods or from a friend's property. DH and DS may start selling firewood this coming year.
    We do NOT own a 4-wheel drive vehicle (at least one that runs!). In winter we get to town (about 30 miles away) at least every 10-14 days.
    In our eyes, people are a LOT more friendly up here. DD went to WI for 2 weeks in 2003, and even at 18 years old, she commented how mean people were down there compared to up here. Most people will start a conversation with you at the store, gas station, parking lot, etc. Life is good, God is great! Have a great day, Maggie