I am lucky enough to have been born and raised in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, known as the UP (you pea) to those of us in the region. My family still lives up there and each summer we go up to see them and enjoy some good summer weather and outdoor activities. For this trip we decided to stop at Tahquamenon Falls, which is a state park in the eastern UP. It is a big park with a lot of hiking trails and two main areas of waterfalls. We didn’t do much hiking due to time limits but it was still a nice place to stop.
The lower falls are a little smaller but there are boats to rent so you can paddle around below the lower falls. The water is brown from the tannins in it that come from the cedar trees on the river banks and watershed.
The upper falls are pretty spectacular! The kids couldn’t believe it. They were pretty excited, and you can see why!
We would have loved to have stayed longer but we still had about 4 hours of driving to get to my home town. Summers there are usually quite a bit cooler than they are where I live now but this year it was unusually cold. That didn’t stop us from having fun! We saw some old friends and spent time with family. Some of our friends have a cottage on Lake Superior, and it was a cold day to visit them. We did some kayaking on a small lake, even my 8 year old daughter had fun doing that, in her own kayak too! There was time to play in grandma and grandpa’s creek….
And one cool, windy, overcast evening, the kids were in the lake with a friend for two hours…
The adults didn’t go in because it was a little cool for swimming… but that didn’t stop the kids. The lake is too much fun for them to care about the cold!
After a week of rest and relaxation it was time to head back. We stopped at a store that sells a lot of Finnish things – foods, textiles, glassware, jewelry, sauna supplies and other things. I have gotten a taste for Salmiakki, which is dark licorice but it has a salty taste. I didn’t like it at first, in fact I couldn’t een eat it. But after trying it a few times, and after getting a little box in the mail from my friend Mari at SaimaaLife.com, it started to grow on me so to speak. It is definitely an acquired taste, but I have grown to like it enough to look for places to buy it. I also bought some Finnish coffee called Presidentti. The Finns are very serious about their coffee! Now that I have some Finnish coffee I will need to make some Pulla (Finnish cardamom bread) to go with it.
You can see I might have tasted the salmiakki before taking its picture! :)
All in all it was a good trip, with traffic that wasn’t heavy and good weather for driving. I am hoping that it has recharged me enough to get me through everything I need to do this summer. I would highly recommend the UP for a vacation spot, it is beautiful in the summer when the days are long and warm enough to enjoy a full day outdoors.