There's a lot of talk about "up north."
It's the place everyone seems to want to go to escape the pressures and frantic pace of everyday life.
But where is "up north"?
For "up north" is not so much a location as it is a state of mind.
So, how do you know when you've arrived "up north"?
When you feel the cares of the world begin to slip away...
When you find yourself breathing a little deeper because the air seems purer somehow...
When you notice that the sky is bluer, the pines
are taller and the people smile a lot more...
It's then that you know your "UP NORTH"!
This poem refers to a place called Up North. Up North, at least for those that live in Michigan, is the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It's a place where many people have camps (or cabins as some will call them). They come there to relax on vacation. Everywhere you turn there seems to be a lake to swim in or a river to fish in. There's plenty of snow in the winter to build snowmen and to go downhill skiing. Others go Up North to hunt. Entire songs have been devoted to the 'sacred' time of deer season ("Second Week of Deer Camp" -Da Yoopers). Most people agree that life seems a little simpler and more laid back in the Upper Peninsula.
Up North also has its touches of a time long forgotten. Many camps do not have running water or electricity. This means getting to take a bath 'like Grandma use to' and getting to cook over a real fire. Outhouses even have folk tales told about them(The story goes that a man built his wife a new outhouse. It was a beautiful outhouse; the nicest anyone had ever seen. The outhouse reminded that guy of the local church. This outhouse was not quite like anything else. It had stain glass windows, double doors, everything! So the guy gets done and goes to 'try out the outhouse', but he can't. The outhouse is so beautiful, so 'heavenly' and so much like a church, he just can't use it.) The local accent is a living reminder of why this place was settled- for mining. The area was settled by many groups of people. Their languages are still evident today. Words like 'chook'(a hat) and 'pasty'(a type of food, a piece of pastry is wrapped around ground beef, potatoes, carrots, celery, and 'baggies(rutabagas)). Up North is someplace that isn't soon forgotten.