Dear Crabby, How Do You Define ‘Up North?’

Dear Crabby,

Recently, a coworker and I were talking about going ‘Up North’ for the weekend. What surprised us is we both have different definitions of where that is. What say you? Where is ‘Up North?’

Nathan Nord

Dear Nathan Nord,

This does seem to be a question which Michiganders definitely have strong opinions about. My guess is if you asked da Yoopers, they’d say only the Upper Peninsula can rightfully be considered ‘Up North.’ I know as a kid, any time we crossed over from Wayne County into Oakland County it felt like we were Up North. Everything was so open and green. Felt like a whole different world sometimes. In fact, as a little kid I was worried we’d get lost in the great wide open space. And my older siblings did nothing to calm my fears. One time when my dad stopped for gas, he didn’t realize I wasn’t in the car (my siblings had assured him I was) and started taking off! He didn’t get far before he realized, turned around and came back to get me. Of course, my siblings got in trouble and I got to sit up front between mom and dad while they were squished in the back seats. But back to your question… I’ve noticed that Michiganders are very partial to specific parts of the ‘hand’ and that seems to determine where they call Up North. So, if you’re a thumb person, Port Austin is probably your happy place. There are plenty of options over on the west side of the state: Ludington and Pentwater spring to mind. If you’re a middle sort of person, Houghton Lake is perfectly placed. And then along M-22 you have Elberta, Glen Arbor, and Leland among others. If you enjoy driving to the top of the mitten and fudge, then of course Mackinac Island is your perfect destination. Now, for anyone who actually lives in any of these places, I have no clue what they consider Up North. I guess we should count ourselves lucky that we live in a great state with so many options. I mean, think about people in New York. The have the Catskills and the Adirondack Mountains, but do they have pasties? Or the Sleeping Bear Dunes? Blue Moon ice cream? I think not! Honestly, I don’t think we will ever be able to get people on the same page with this one. But I do know Michiganders do take their Up North time seriously, and I’d suggest to anyone who already doesn’t have a favorite Up North spot to find one before outsiders start swooping in. Being able to get away Up North helps recharge the batteries and puts you in a different state of mind. It also puts you further away from Ohio, and that’s always a good thing.

Hope you have a great time Up North.
Dear Crabby

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  1. Orville Hoksch says

    Dear Crabby should go in to politics. That was one of the best “non answers” I’ve ever seen.

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