UP 200

11/25/2013

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Picture
Musher at the UP 200 Photo taken by The Peninsulas at the start of the February 2010 UP 200

UP 200

The UP 200 is a 240 mile dog sled race from Marquette to Grand Marais and back to Marquette. The race started in 1990 and occurs each year in February. Forty sled teams, which consist of 12 dogs on each team, take off from downtown Marquette. The trail consists of "stretches of near-wilderness, creek crossings, hills and valleys, and heavily forested land" (up200.org). Mushers come from all over Canada and the U.S., including Marquette county. This event is a unique because it a qualifying event for the Iditarod, the most famous dog sled race in Alaska. 

During my time as a teacher in the U.P., I decided to share local events with my students through classroom themes. In March 2010, our theme was dog sled racing. We read leveled books about Alaskan sled dogs, researched the Iditarod, and completed a read aloud of "Stone Fox," while we worked on comprehension strategies. A local musher brought in his gear and shared about life as a musher. I encouraged my students to attend the UP 200 and attended the event myself to gather pictures and information to share with my students. This unit was the most fun we had as class and the most fun I have had as teacher, even to the this day. We worked on improving our reading, writing, and math skills while learning about the local community. 



Information and quote from UP200.org gathered on November 23, 2013.

 
 

Allow me to introduce myself: the name is Beth Graham and I am lucky to call our intelligent and beautiful blogger, Melissa, my BFF. I also got to share a room with her while she was teaching in Ishpeming (I'm an SLP...look it up). But my bio isn't why we're here. We're here because it's deer season.

A year ago, on Thanksgiving Eve, I was exactly where all hunters want to be; sitting in my deer blind watching the does. I was a little edgy because I knew, in all likelihood, this would be my last hunt of the year. There was a lot of family coming to town for the holiday. This was my 6th year hunting and I still fell under the category of, "Buckless Yooper" (insert intense music here). Around 3:30 pm a decent sized spike horn started making appearances. But he was chasing one of my does and I never had a clear shot at him. My adrenaline was sure pumping though. Around 4:30 my girls started to meander on their way. Then HE came in. A beautiful 5 pointer. I set up my shot, clicked off the safety, and...

BANG!

As I shot, the buck stood up on his hind legs to rub his antlers in a branch. Shit! Did I miss because of it? I knew it was a good shot but couldn't account for his movement. He bolted. That's when I got the adrenaline shakes. A hundred things were buzzing in my head, but I managed to get a text to my husband, Justin, who was sitting at our camp. "That was me! Five pointer at least. It ran. Oh shit." Justin isn't the most technologically advanced guy and I'm only allowed to text him during deer season. When he hadn't responded in 30 seconds I sent out eight more rapid-fire texts. He finally responded, "ok." I guess my adrenaline rush hadn't reached him. I promised myself I'd wait 15 minutes before going to collect Justin and start tracking my deer (you don't want to come up on a deer that's laying down and dying and push it further away). I'd like to say it was the longest 15 minutes of my life, but I only made it 10 minutes before I hightailed it back to camp. I know I was talking 100 miles an hour when I came through the door and found Justin reading. READING?!?!? He apparently didn't realize I'd just shot a BUCK! At this point, my version of the story and Justin's differ. But I'm writing this so you'll hear it how I remember:) He made me drink a beer to use up more time. He might as well have poked a hole in the bottom and had me shotgun it. Knowing I should wait and actually waiting are two horribly different things. Finally he started getting his outdoor clothes on. Finally we headed out.

First stop, the scene of the shot. Blood! And lung tissue!! We were on the trail. The blood trail was far apart and there was little snow. But I'm an excellent tracker and was literally running from one blood spot to the next. And then the trail ran cold.

My heart dropped.

My stomach dropped.

We backtracked.

We split up and went down different paths. And then I saw it, blood! I called for Justin and he started to laugh as I was hunting for more blood to follow. "Turn around," he told me. And there he was, my first buck.

The rest of the night was a blur. Family and friends flocked to our camp and celebrated with me. And, of course, there was the traditional shot of blackberry brandy for the successful hunt to go with all the beer.

"The second week of deer camp, is the greatest time of year!" ~Da Yoopers, "Second Week of Deer Camp," 1987

 
 
Edgar B. Speer

Meet the Edgar B. Speer. She is another beauty of the Great Lakes. She was built in Ohio and launched in 1980. She is another one of the Great Lakes' 1,000 footers. She belongs to United States Steel Co. out of Duluth, MN. She can carry 73,700 tons of cargo during her mid-summer draft. She is equipped with a unique self-unloading system and can only be serviced in Gary, IN and Conneaut, OH. These are the only two ports that can accommodate her unloading system. 

-Picture and information gathered from http://www.boatnerd.com/pictures/fleet/speer.htm on November 20, 2013. 
 
 
Yoopers and Trolls

Yoopers and Trolls...  two very distinct Michigan terms for two very different groups of people. The only thing these two terms have in common is they both represent Michiganders and that's it! 



Let's begin with the Trolls:

  • Trolls is the Yooper term for Michiganders who live below the Mackinac Bridge because afterall, only trolls live under bridges. This means any person who lives in the lower peninsula has earned the nickname "Trolls" courtesy of our friends from the north. 
  • Trolls LOVE their Detroit Lions and refer to their biggest City, "Detroit". Did I mention they despise the Packers!?! This is important to remember later in this blog. 
  • Trolls refer to being "up north" and northern Michigan as anything that is north of Clare. 
  • Trolls use their hands as a map to show where they live. If you haven't noticed yet, the Lower Peninsula of Michigan looks like a mitten which makes it a readily available map for trolls to use when describing where they live. 
  • Many trolls play Euchre for fun. Euchre is a card game that is played primarily in the Mid-West.
  • Inland Lakes are typically All-Sports Lakes with weekend cabins/cottages all around them. 
  • Second homes "up north" are called Cabins by Trolls. 
  • Snow days occur in the Lower Peninsula for children with 3 or more inches. Six inches of snow can shut down school districts for two days! 
  • Weatherman brace Trolls for snowstorms that may drop only 3 or 4 inches of snow. The BIG snow storms come with 6 or more inches. 
  • Famous musicians from the Lower Peninsula of Michigan include Eminem, Kid Rock, Madonna, Ted Nugent, Bob Seger... to name a few. 

Now it's time to explain da Yoopers....


  • Yoopers are people born and raised in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. There is so much to explain about the Yoopers. 
  • The first notable difference between Yoopers and Trolls is the Yoopers' distinct accents and the unmistakable "eh" that comes at the end of their sentences/questions. "Say yah to da U.P., eh!" 
  • Yoopers LOVE the Green Bay Packers and associate with the "big city" of Green Bay. Many yoopers especially on the western side of the U.P. associate themselves with Wisconsin more than they do with the Lower Peninsula/Detroit. 
  • Pasties are a common Yooper meal that can be found at many different restaurants. Pasties are a pastry case filled with meat and vegetables. 
  • Mining is a LARGE part of the U.P. economy and in fact almost everyone works at a mine or knows someone who works at a mine especially around the Ishpeming Area. 
  • Cribbage is popular card game in the U.P. 
  • Inland lakes in the U.P. are often no-wake lakes and do not have cabins around them. For example; Teal Lake in Negaunee, MI. 
  • Along with the famous, "Eh" in the Yooper dialect. They also have interesting phrases only unique to them. For example, "Borrow me a pencil"  or "Stupid hurts" when someone falls out of chairs.
  • Second homes of Yoopers are referred to as Camps and are often near their original homes. Camps usually do not have electricity or indoor plumbing which means outhouses. 
  • Da Yoopers love their Sauna's (pronounced Sow-na). As cold as it gets up there, I'm sure anyone would appreciate a nice warm stay in a sauna. 
  • Snow days only occur for Yooper Children when there is a foot or more of snow. Children of the U.P. will sing the Heikki Lunta song, flush ice down the toilet,  and sleep with their PJ bottoms inside out with spoons under the pillows to ensure a snowday the next day. 
  • Snow storms often bring a foot or more of snow.
  • Streets in the U.P. remain snow and ice covered until spring which means Yoopers do not see black pavement until spring arrives. 
  • There are more bars in a downtown stretch than there is people in that town...or so it seems. 
  • The famous Yooper musicians are "Da Yoopers" based out of Marquette County.
  • Deer camp is extremely important to Yoopers. 
  • Heikki Lunta is the Snow God of Yooper mythology and is the product of the Finnish-American presence and the large amount of snow in the U.P.
  • Halloween costumes and Easter dresses are often accompanied with snowpants because snow typically arrives in October in the U.P and doesn't leave until May.

In Conclusion.... 
We could go on and on about the differences between Trolls and da Yoopers. We may all be from the great state of Michigan, but we are cearly two separate cultures and identities. 


             

             




 
 
Stewart J. Cort

Stewart J. Cort is a Great Lake Freighter and was constructed in 1970. She was the first 1,000 footer freighter built. An interesting fact is she was built in Mississippi. She was cut apart and then brought to Pennsylvania where her two sides were reconnected. She was named after Stewart J. Cort, who was a vice-president of Bethlehem Steel. 

Cort is the only freighter who has her pilot house in the front of the ship. She is a self-unloading ship, but uses a unique unloading system. This, however, means she can only visit certain ports that can accommodate her unique unloading system. 

-Info and picture taken from http://www.boatnerd.com/pictures/fleet/cort.htm on November 21, 2013. 
 
 
MV Paul R. Tregurtha

Meet the MV Paul R. Tregurtha. She is another one of the Great Lake bulk freighters. She was designed by the American Ship Building Company to carry iron ore from the many Lake Superior ports to Republic Steel Mill at Indiana Harbor. She was also designed to carry passengers. So not only was she was equipped to carry cargo, but she was also one of the first freighters to carry passengers which meant elevators, air conditioning, and fancy decor. 


Paul R. Tregurtha was launched in February 4, 1981 as the William J. De Lancey and took her first voyage in May 1981. Her name was changed to the Paul R. Tregurtha in May 1990 after the Republic Steel contract was terminated. She is still sailing the Great Lakes today and is known as the "Queen of the Lakes" because she is the largest operating ship on the Great Lakes currently. She was last of the 1,000 footers (13 ships total) created by the American Ship Building Company as well as was their last and final ship ever built. 


Today she carries iron ore and coal throughout the Great Lakes region. She currently holds the record for the most cargo tonnage to pass through the Soo Locks in Sault Ste. Marie, MI with 3,004,957 net tons set back in 2001. The Soo Locks are channels that help ships change depths in order to sail from the St. Mary's River to Lake Superior or from Lake Superior to the St. Mary's River. 



If she looks familiar, it's because she was showcased on the Discovery Channel's series "Mighty Ships". 

Information and Picture taken from wikipedia.org on November 16, 2013. 
 
 
Meet the Stormy Kromer! If you live in or frequent the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (known simply around Michigan as the U.P.), then you probably have heard about, seen, or even wear your very own Stormy Kromer on your head! Personally, I hadn't heard about the Stormy Kromers until I moved to Ishpeming (located in the U.P.) and many of my yooper friends wore these hats. It is the "in" thing around those parts. 

After returning back downstate, I learned more about these very hats and quickly realized why these hats are the thing to wear in up north backwoods. The main reason why many yoopers sport these hats during the winter is because they are a product of the U.P. Stormy Kromer hats are made right in Ironwood, Michigan. The hats are also wildly popular because they are designed to help keep you warm when you are outside in the cold and if you know anything about Michigan's Upper Peninsula, then you know it can be QUITE cold around there. These hats are extremely popular with hunters and people who enjoy outdoor sports.


Stormy Kromer now has a full line of hats aimed at women. Not only can you get your hat in pastels and other more "feminine" colors, but you can also purchase them with accents such as flowers.

Don't forget your can of pop or beer...Stormy Kromer also markets can coozies!!


A little extra interesting information from wikipedia.... 

Stormy Kromer is named for George "Stormy" Kromer, a semi-professional baseball player who later worked as a railroad engineer. Kromer lost many hats to the wind while working on trains, and in 1903 he asked his wife Ida to make him a warm hat that would stay on more securely. She modified a baseball cap into what became the Stormy Kromer cap.[2]


Due to popularity with other employees of the railroad, the Kromers formed the Kromer Cap Company in 1903 to produce the caps.[2][4] In 1919, due to ever increasing demand, the Kromers opened a factory in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.[3] George Kromer sold the company in 1965 to Richard Grossman.[5] In 2001, the Kromer Cap Company planned to cease production of Stormy Kromer caps.[2][6] The rights to the caps were purchased by Bob Jacquart, owner of Jacquart Fabric Products, and production moved to Ironwood, Michigan.[1] Stormy Kromer Mercantile was formed, increasing production to over 50,000 caps annually from the previous 3000-6000 caps.[1][2]

President Barack Obama was presented with several Stormy Kromer caps when he visited Marquette, Michigan, on February 10, 2011 to speak about wireless communication technologies.[7] It has become a traditional garb in the Upper Peninsula.[8][9][10]

A version that is a 'tip of the hat' to the chapeau's Wisconsin roots is available in Green Bay Packers green with the team logo and sold through Lambeau Field.[11]

The hats are unusual in that they carry a lifetime warranty against defects, and a three year "insurance policy" for events such as loss, once the product is registered.[12] Versions for women are available, and they are called the "Ida Kromer" or some variant of "Petal Pusher."[13]