The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is a "world set apart". It comprises one-third of the state's land, yet is home to only four percent of Michigan's population. There is a remarkable cultural difference between the "Yoopers", who are said to resemble people from Vermont or Alaska, and their fellow Michiganders below the Bridge. "Down below" (the Mackinac Bridge), people often think of the "U.P." as a place of poverty, cruel winters, huge black flies, and a backward population. Yoopers, in turn, do what they can to perpetuate this image, shrewdly protecting their isolated way of life from the "Trolls" and their downstate madness.
This world apart is also a place of natural wonders --- vast forests, waterfalls, and unspoiled shorelines along both Lake Michigan and Lake Superior. The Pictured Rocks, Isle Royale, and the Porcupine Mountains compare with national treasures anywhere in North America, yet are visited by relatively few tourists. Wilderness lakes and rivers abound, frequented primarily by kayakers, eagles, and loons. The Upper Peninsula is not a place that readily appeals to those who enjoy the McDonald's approach to the 21st Century. It is far better suited to rugged individualists, artistic temperaments, and to those who favor the American value system of the 1950's.
One can explore the Upper Peninsula via the Internet starting with UP Blue, which is at: www.december.com/places/up/blue.html


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