Michigan -The Back of the Beyond?

For some reason Michigan has come up in conversation a few times lately, so I thought I’d take the opportunity to share some cool information about my habitat.

First, we’re known as the Great Lake State, and we’re as easy to findΒ  on a map as Florida. Yup, we’re the state that looks like a mitten, although there’s a lot more to us than our resemblance to winter outerwear. Yup, we also have an Upper Peninsula. And to reach it, without taking the long way (via Wisconsin), or by boat, we have to travel across the Mackinaw Bridge…the third longest suspension bridge in the world. It is beautiful. It’s a masterpiece. And I hate it passionately. Mostly because I also hate heights, and I come close to having a panic attack every time I cross it.

I’ve never made a secret that I live in the country in a small community. So small, in fact, that the four small towns closest to me have a total population of 14,617. If you expand that to include the ‘big’ cities within thirty miles, that number jumps up to 188,358. Those thriving metropolises are Lansing (our state capital) and Battle Creek (home of Sugar Bear and Tony the Tiger).

I didn’t realize just how sparsely populated these areas are until I took a look at Detroit (706,985) – andΒ  compared all of them to cities like New York City (8,244,910)and Los Angeles (3,819,702).

But Michigan is a totally cool state. We have a little bit of everything, even tropical weather. Surrounded by so much water, it can get super humid in the summer. Interesting fact: we’re never more than six miles from an inland lake or river – no matter where we are.

We do have surfing:

Did you notice the ice on that guy’s head? You have to be pretty hardy to surf in our lakes. And yes, I went with a video filmed in Minnesota, but only because they’re still surfing in OUR lake. And it’s a cool video. πŸ™‚

And totally cool land formations:

Pictured Rocks is located in our coldest lake, Superior. If you remember the Gordon Lightfoot song, The Edmund Fitzgerald, this is the lake it sunk in.

Speaking of sinking:

Some experts believe that up to 10,000 ships have been lost in the Great Lakes through the centuries, and the location of about a thousand of them are known at this time. Divers come from all over the globe to see them.

Like Islands? We have some of those, too:

Six United States Presidents have stayed at the Grand Hotel. It is the largest ‘summer only’ hotel in the world. In addition, Somewhere in Time (Christopher Reeve/Jane Seymour) was filmed there.

Other claims to fame:

Okay, so maybe Da Yoopers are strictly a Michigan thing. We like ’em.

We are home to celebrities who are a little more well known: Francis Ford Coppola (uncle of Nicholas Cage), Tim Allen, Jeff Daniels, Bruce Campbell (my man Sam in Burn Notice), Taylor Lautner (feel free to swoon), Stevie Wonder, Alice Cooper, and Gerald Ford, 38th POTUS.

So anyway…there you have it. Just a few of the reasons I love the fact that I was born and raised…and very proud to say that I still live…in a mitten.

Well…here are a couple more reasons:

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19 Comments

Filed under Michigan

19 responses to “Michigan -The Back of the Beyond?

  1. A great tribute to our home state Kristy! We both live in the sticks… Wife and I are seriously considering moving to Nevada asap though. Had enough of the cold and grey. After 52 years, I’m ready!

  2. My dad was born and raised in Michigan, so I used to get up there every summer once we moved back to the states on a permanent level. Many of my aunts, uncles & cousins are still there. They laugh at me because they know the moment I get there I have one thing I crave…A Coney Island burger and gravy fries. Sooo bad for you, but sooo good! The only family reunion I was able to participate in was actually held at Mackinaw. Loved the weekend we spent there. It was absolutely beautiful. (Michigan is so underrated)

    • Okay…so where do you get a Coney Island burger and gravy fries? And what exactly are they? Apparently I’ve missed out on some local cuisine. πŸ™‚

      You are totally right about Michigan being underrated. We do have a little bit of everything. I never even touched on things like Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes (our version of a desert). That was where I learned that running down a huge, sandy hill was a once-in-a-lifetime experience (as in, do it once and you’ll NEVER want to do it again…cause you have to get back up again). πŸ™‚

      • I guess they’re most popular in Jackson, Flint & Southeastern Michigan… My dad was born & raised in the Flint area. They’re actually best known for their hotdogs. Any time I’ve heard of them, Angelo’s has usually been mentioned.

        As for your dunes…yes, those & Indiana’s were popular go-to areas for us, too. They’re great!

        • I live in mid-Michigan, and don’t get to those areas very often. I’ll have to remember to check those out the next time I go to Frankenmuth though. πŸ™‚

          I didn’t know Indiana had dunes, too. Of course I could care less about seeing another sand dune. On the trip I learned the hill lesson, I learned another one. I was sitting on the seat in the rear of the buggy with a couple of cousins. One suggested we raise our arms up in the air when the driver sent us airborne over the next hill. I’m sure we all wore bruises on our backs for weeks. Another once in a lifetime experience. πŸ™‚

  3. This makes me miss my home state! Except for the snow, which I hear you’re covered under right now πŸ™‚ Great job highlighting the beauty of Michigan!

    • I think they’re covered over up north more than we are here, Rebecca. Mid-Michigan hasn’t gotten a whole lot of the white stuff the past couple of years, which is a shame. If it’s got to be cold, might as well have plenty of snow.

      And thanks! I love this state. πŸ™‚

      • Ahhh, ok. My parents are in GR and were dumped on this weekend! And I agree, if it’s going to be cold, it might as well snow.

        I saw in another comment that you haven’t been to Mackinac Island yet?! You must go – it’s beautiful! Hubs and I were married up there and it was perfect ❀

        • Wow…I am WAY behind on the comments. I’m sorry!

          I think they get more snow along the lake shore…or at least if they’re closer to it than I am. Someday I’d like to buy property on Lake Michigan because I love it over there. πŸ™‚

          I really am hoping to get some time away this summer, and Mackinaw Island is one of the places I really want to visit. How cool that you were married there! πŸ™‚

  4. I’ve never been but my father always wanted to go to the Grand Hotel – ever since we saw the movie. I’m sorry he never made it. I know a certain husband that would love to dive all the wrecks in the lake and the pictured rocks look amazing. That sing-a-long was a lot of fun. But the Da Yoopers, ya, they might be best left at home. Just saying.

    • Aww…but Da Yoopers are famous, Debra. Jeff Daniels wrote a movie called Escanaba in Da Moonlight, though I will admit you probably have to be a Yooper…or a guy…to appreciate it. My brother loved it. I didn’t love it quite so much. πŸ™‚

      I’m hoping to get to the island this summer. I’ve never actually been there, but the one time I thought about it, I asked one of the guys from the ferries that take you there where the life jackets were (my kids were still quite small). He said if one of them fell off the boat, they’d throw something to them. So I decided I didn’t want to go after all. Looking back, I like to think he was just being a smart mouth.

      My sister dove down to one of the ship wrecks once (her scuba diving hobby was pretty short-lived). I guess it was really cool.

      So you come out. Your hubby can look at dead boats and we can visit the island. πŸ™‚

  5. Okay, okay, I believe you Kristy! After your post I want to visit Michigan. And the one thing that cinched the deal was the surfing, cause my digs are in Surf City! Seriously, my wish is to see Mackinac Island. You do live in a very cool place. πŸ™‚

    • LOL…funny, Karen. Yeah, I have to admit that being in Lake Superior (which is too cold to swim in even in the summer) in the middle of winter isn’t my idea of a good time either. You should come with Debra, then we can all go see the island. πŸ™‚

      And yes, thanks, I do think I live in a very cool place. Literally sometimes. Tonight it’s 43 degrees…if it stays there today, I may have to grab a lawn chair and work on my tan. πŸ™‚

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