Aug 31, 2009

You'll know you're there when you get there

Every Friday during the summer here in Michigan, the roads leading north are crowded with people making their way “UP NORTH”. They are headed to their cabins, or to a rental on the lake, or camping. They carry bicycles, canoes and ATV’s. They haul boats and campers. They leave right after work on Friday and come home again late Sunday night.

Up North travel doesn’t end after summer is over. Campers and boaters pass the baton to hunters in the fall and to the snowmobilers for our 5 months of winter. The weekly trek up I75 never ends. The hunters don’t carry anything visible on the way up but if they are successful they proudly tie the poor, dead deer to their vehicle for all to see. It’s a grisly sight, but if the population wasn’t controlled by hunting, the deer would become a hazard to themselves and to motorists. There just aren’t any predators left to hunt them.

There’s some debate over where the “Up North” border lies. It’s hard to define but you can feel it when you are Up North. The air is not as heavy, the smells of pine and cedar fill the air, the landscape looks more wild. My tell-tale sign is the sudden feeling of freedom, as if somebody has lifted a huge burden off my shoulders.

The worst two weekends for traveling Up North are Memorial Day (we made it through another winter) and Labor Day (we’d better enjoy it before it’s over). If you don’t time it right your travel time can be doubled.

So here we are in the dwindling days of summer. Between Mom’s surgery and all the visitors, we haven’t done any trips Up North this year. This is our last chance. We have a pop-up camper and if my husband hadn’t hurt his leg we would be taking that Up North this Labor Day weekend. Instead we are going to have to settle for a small rental at KOA, they call them Kamping Kabins. (I never noticed before but they need to be careful about abbreviating that.)

I’m looking forward to sitting around the campfire, walking along the lakeshore and hiking. Well, a leisurely stroll through the woods anyway. I don’t think you get to call it hiking if you wear your flip flops. Going to take my lounge chair and a good book and enjoy summer while I can.


  1. I would like to one day go further north than 'Up north'. Some where that I come back with that permanent Pine Smell in my car.

    As long as the Kampin' Kabins had hot water and WiFi. I'm fine..

  2. Have up there. It is bound to be cooler than a summer in Orlando.
    sounds fun. Enjoy!

  3. At least you are still getting away, even if it is closer to home. I hope you have a good time and get to relax. Enjoy your reading.

  4. I'm so jealous of you! I LOVE going up North--it's just such a relaxing place. The U.P. is my favorite.

    Hey, do the Kamping Kabins have bathrooms? I can't deal with no bathroom. :)

  5. Grish - You can just buy a pine air freshener. Personally I like the Pina Colada ones. I actually think some of them do have wireless.

    Mom - very strange summer here.
    Coolest one I can ever remember. Doesn't bother me though, I hate hot weather.

    Rae - It will be nice. We missed out on the Kabins though. Apparently everybody booked one yesterday.... plan B.

    MHP - The UP is like a whole different country. You know if you've been there what I'm talking about. If I had time I would go to Wisconisn. Beautiful.

  6. MHP - The KOA Kabins have public restrooms and showers. Not in the Kabins. But they are very clean and standing in line for the shower gives you the chance to meet people.

  7. Is plan B camping in tents?
    I love camping in tents!

  8. Sling - I used to love tents but the pop-up is much more comfortable. Plan B is a work in progress at the moment. That's what happens to us procrastinators.

  9. Y'all folks have a good time there up yonder north . In Australia to go north means to go to hotter country. We call them the banana benders - bananas grow well up north - they call us the cockroaches because they think we are hidden away in the cold and dark - not true - and I have bananas in my back yard