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.