Living in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula
Being surrounded by nature and peace can do wonders for anyone looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of life. The beauty of Michigan’s forests in the upper peninsula offers diversity in the scenery with the variety of trees and wildlife in the area.
Michigan is home to so many people, from vacationers to residents, and the diversity of those living up in the Upper Peninsula is refreshing. So many are from different walks of life and backgrounds, yet they all call themselves “Yoopers”.
Most people living in the Upper Peninsula, are in more rural areas or smaller towns, where everyone knows everyone. For one mailman in the center of the U.P., he has seen it all from the people he delivers mail to. Eighty-six-year-old Ron Curtis drives his 2004 Ford Taurus 108 miles daily delivering mail to his resident Yoopers. Curtis has been living in the Upper Peninsula since he graduated high school, working in a small town near Munising.
Curtis has seen all of the residents on his mailing route around the Upper Peninsula, greeting both the families and their pets as he delivers the mail. Small communities such as the ones found in the Upper Peninsula are a close-knit community of friends and family members who are all Yoopers.
The Upper Peninsula is also home to a vast array of wildlife and nature. From the Lower Peninsula’s mixture of Beech, Maple, Oak, and Hickory trees, to the Upper Peninsula’s blend of Boreal, Conifer, Spruce, and Fir trees, and the land in between have a gradient mixture of the two, there is plenty of naturistic views and wildlife to be found in these forests.
However, as global-scale climate change is causing rising temperatures, it is resulting in the nature and wildlife populations dwindling and migrating away. The beauty that attracted residents to the Upper Peninsula, like Curtis, could be in danger of being a part of history.
The Upper Peninsula is home to so many different walks of life. It is important to so many people and ecosystems as it is where so many call home, or even a home away from home. From the farthest reaches of the state, Michigan has so much to offer its residents and is the only state in the contiguous United States to be broken into two peninsulas.
For people like Ron Curtis, Michigan’s diversity in cultures and nature, along with how distinctly different each peninsula can be, showcase the raw beauty and the alluring nature of Michigan’s upper peninsula. It is the embodiment of being one with nature and being able to break away from the clutter and hassle of modern life.
For more on Curtis’ story and on the global warming impacts on the Upper Peninsula, you can read about them at the Detroit Free Press. For Curtis’ story, click here. For the global warming story, click here.