I love Oregon, I love being there, the people, the feeling the smell the nature I love it all…however I found a new place I like but in a different way and for a different reason. OK maybe it’s not so new too me but I saw it in a whole new light this time. I have been to the UP many many times in my life, but this time I just felt it there, and by “it” I mean a connection, that I haven’t had anywhere else in this stupid state. I hate Michigan I have for years and years but suppose I should clarify that I hate Michigan south of Cadillac so the west Michigan, Lansing, Flint, k-zoo and Detroit area(duhh who doesn’t hate Detroit and Flint).
A few weeks back My dog Harley and I spent the better part of a week up in the northern part of the UP (Michigan’s upper peninsula for you who lack knowledge). I went to write, to get some miles under me, to feel away from things. I needed to clear my mind, center myself perhaps…and just be in a world of my own for a bit. The UP was my last choice of places to go to write and travel too. I think while I was up there with just my dog Harley that it ended up being the better option in the end. The trees and their smell were different; nature had more feeling it was more genuine more history maybe, the air smelled better and cleaner. The people were real and less pretentious and full of them self like people often are here in west Michigan. The people in the UP seem to have a real sense of who they are and are ok with it and have no need to follow trends and the joneses, there not out to impress anyone…they are not looking to meet or exceed anyone’s expectations on life other than their own. They go about their lives, do their thing, and seem quite happy about it. Everything is chill, laid back and less stressful….up there it is about really enjoying your day and NOT how much you accomplish during the day. (It’s like the Oregon coast in many many ways just less tourists maybe and a little different scenery)
There is no prepay gas stations, if you drive off you are a fuck but they roll with it. People smoke, do not feel bad about it, they do it some bars and do not feel bad either, they drink, and are not judged. They ride snowmobiles and hang dead animals anywhere they want if they choose to. They have big dogs and people don’t run for the hills at the site of them like they do in west Michigan They hike in woods because they like to and want to not because there some jack wad from the burbs trying to be outdoorsy on weekend for looks. There content with sitting and just being and enjoying life and less concerned with doing, outdoing, and worrying. I went into a shop up in the Munising area and the owner came out smoking a cigarette (something frowned upon and outlawed in Michigan by the liberal health conscious fucks and their moronic and idealistic agendas and stupid laws). She looked at me and said “are you one of those people from over the bridge that are gunna bitch about this, cuz if you are you might want to leave” not the best business ideals but it’s her business and not the states. she does what she wants and can, I would, I do and I have. I flashed my pack of Winston’s, she smiled and I went to my shopping. …she was a nice old woman.
The speed limits are generally 55 but generally not enforced since everyone did 65 or more in a 55. They do it because they can and they want too and the cops care little. These people know how to drive in the winter without turning into whiny bitches and freak out like most people in GRAND FUCKING RAPIDS DO because the salt trucks (which they do not use in the UP) or plows have not come through. The small shops open about *insert any time really* and close whenever they want. The people are friendly enough to talk too and have a decent conversation with just in passing. They are not looking at their watches or cell phone trying to pretend there in a hurry and have somewhere important to be as people from west Michigan often do. I saw Old men and kids sit on docks or shorelines and fish, and skip stones on the calm clear water. People walk down the small city street and long tree lined roads for the hell of it with no particular reason for doing so other than because they can and choose too. Life moves at snail’s pace in many parts of the UP and the people are ok with that it seems, why shouldn’t they be ok with it…its awesome…