Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Michigan Geography, a Lesson

It has come to my attention in the last few weeks that some people who are not from Michigan don't realize that Michigan is two peninsulas, not just one. I've heard from two new-Michiganders that they used to think Michigan was just the mitten! But no, we are two parts. The mitten and the U.P. (upper peninsula) In fact, our state motto is "If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you."

Between you and me, I've always thought that state motto was super lame. I'd love something more hardcore. The word "pleasant" just doesn't make us seem very tough. And I mean, who's seeking these pleasant peninsulas? Has anyone ever sought out a peninsula? I doubt it. But I missed the meeting when the motto was decided, so that's what it's gotta be.

Some other little facts about Michigan that you might enjoy:

*Florida has the panhandle, Michigan has the thumb. Even our weather people very seriously say, "a storm will be passing through the thumb later today."

*Canada is right here. Like, right here. I ran another 5K this weekend at the Detroit River Fest and looking over the water could tell that Windsor was having their own festival as well. I couldn't go to that one though, because my passport has expired.

Of course in the US, we have eagles on our carousels.
Here's a better picture showing the closeness. I took this in the parking structure.

That land over there across the river? Canada. I'm not welcome there (until I get my passport renewed).
I made this little map to show some important places in Michigan, and to give you a better idea about what Michigan is all about. There WILL be a quiz later so pay attention!

The mitten peninsula gets more attention than the U.P. for a variety of reasons, namely:

1. No one can make the shape of the U.P. with their hand without a lot of contorting.
2. No one lives in the U.P. (That's not true. It just feels true. It's always a surprise when you meet someone from there.)
3. We resent that they (yoopers) call us trolls because we live under (south of) the Mackinac bridge (which connects the peninsulas).*
4. Kid Rock isn't from there. Neither is Madonna.
5. It's wild and untamed up there (no well-known water parks).
6. There's no Detroit in the U.P.

So there you have it. Michigan is two parts, has a thumb, Great Lakes, Canada next door, and a five mile bridge connecting the two parts. Oh, I forgot to mention that it's awesome. But that should go without saying.

*We actually don't care.


lizzie mc.- said...

I was thinking back to when you considered renaming your blog that it should include Michigan in there somewhere. Unfortunately Texas is way too far from MI. Sad face.

violet50 said...

I forget that it's funny for people to refer to a part of Michigan as "the thumb" - especially news people. And, for that matter, "the U.P.". We shouldn't mind being called trolls when we call them "yoopers". Good post about some of our idiosyncrasies.

Katherine said...

YAY, MICHIGAN! Man, it's really the best state ever. I don't know why any other state even tries.

Mark said...

Two thoughts on your map:

1) I know you did this for artistic/space reasons, but Saginaw is not part of the "thumb".

2) I'm so pleased that along with yourself, you also labelled me! I did not realize you thought of me as the "capital". I'm flattered.

Liz said...

I always like to say "what's better than one Michigan, two michigans." And that's what it feels like, the mitten and the u.p. What do you get when you combine the mitten with the u.p.? The greatest state(after Utah of course).