In my last post I wrote about Munising Falls, located in Michigan (USA). This made me think about the beauty of Michigan, my home state.
Here are a few interesting facts about Michigan:
Standing anywhere in the state a person is within 85 miles of one of the Great Lakes. It is the only state that touches 4 of the 5 Great Lakes. (Can you name the five Great Lakes?)
Michigan has the longest freshwater shoreline in the world. It has more shoreline than any other state except Alaska. It has more than 11,000 inland lakes and more than 36,000 miles of streams. It has 116 lighthouses and navigational lights. I LOVE lighthouses.
Michigan has the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes, which was voted the Most Beautiful Place in America in 2011. It has many historical places to visit, like Mackinac Island. It has many beautiful National and State Parks. It has trees! I am amazed whenever I return home from vacationing in other states at the number of trees we have. I always exclaim, “Wow! We live in the middle of a dang FOREST!” And I live in the south, not up where the forests really begin.
What I most love about Michigan is what makes us utterly unique: our shape and what we call ourselves.
Michigan is made up of two large peninsulas, the Upper Peninsula and the Lower Peninsula. The two Peninsulas are tied together by the beautiful Mackinac Bridge. The Mackinac is one of the longest suspension bridges in the world. It spans 5 miles over the Straits of Mackinac.
The Peninsulas are in the shape of mittens. Because of this, those of us from Michigan always use our hands as maps to show our location or give directions. This is a habit that others sometimes find strange, but I and other natives love having a map always at hand (pun absolutely intended).
The Upper Peninsula is usually referred to as “the UP.” Not “up” as the opposite of “down,” but the letters U and P. People who live in the U.P. are referred to as “Yoopers,” which comes from the term “U.P.ers.” Say UPers fast and you have “Yoopers.” Yoopers call residents of the Lower Peninsula “Trolls” because we live south of the Mackinac Bridge–or “under the bridge,” like the trolls in the children’s story “The Three Billy Goats Gruff.” Yoopers have their own unique dialect. They don’t much like trolls, but I’d gladly become a Yooper–even if they do have 9 months of winter and 3 months of poor sledding–because it’s beautiful in da’ UP, eh?
Here are a couple of hilarious Youtube videos about Yoopers:
What other places can boast of Trolls living under the Bridge? Or Yoopers? Or a map hand?
I love my state.