Sunday, September 18, 2011

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 18

I try to not be very sentimental, but often fail.  I still sleep with the same stuffed rabbit that I've had since longer than I can remember.  When I got married, I carried my grandfathers with me.  The inside pocket on my coat contained one of the shells from Grandpa Morrison's 21 gun salute and my Grandpa Sebeck's money clip that he had used for as long as anybody can remember.  I also had both a Morrison Clan belt buckle and kilt pin at the wedding.  

The one thing that I miss more than anything else in the world is fall in the UP.  There's something special about fall in the picturesque wilderness of the UP that you just can't duplicate anyplace else.  People talk about how great the leaves are in New England during the fall.  I don't doubt that they're pretty excellent, but the truth is that it's too commercialized and touristy.  You can't get anyplace to actually look at leaves because the entire eastern seaboard has taken the weekend to go look.  In the UP, however, the only traffic in your way of checking out the scenery is hunters and deer.  Not only can you see better leaves and drive better roads, but you can do it at speed.   In fact, fall in the UP (especially the Keweenaw) is so great that the video game Dirt 3 features not just one, but an entire series of tracks in the Keweenaw Peninsula.  There's even the Lake Superior Performance Rally, which has been known to draw big named racers like Travis Pastrana from across the country.

Aside from driving the UP to check out the great colors, there are other things that the UP is great for in the fall.  Take fresh venison for example.  I don't hunt.  I don't exactly have any moral opposition to it, but my dad's a teacher, and we never had the time available for me to learn how and to spend the time at camp.  That doesn't, however, mean that I can't reap the benefits of hunting.  My brother-in-law is a pretty great hunter.  In fact, when they built their house, they situated a bedroom window to line up straight down an alley in the trees.  This window flips down into the bedroom and means that he can actually bag his first buck of the season minutes after waking up, in his underwear.  Needless to say, there's plenty of fresh venison to be had.  Venison is a great meat that is full of fantastic flavor and just a little gamy.  

Then, there's the weather.  Fall is great in the UP for weather.  Temperatures throughout September average in the 60s, in the 50s during October, and in the high 30's in November.  I can't think of better weather for a season.  It's cool enough that you can wear flannel and sweaters all that you like, but not so cold that you can't enjoy an ice cream cone or a cold beer.  

Most of all, I miss the people in the UP.  I regularly talk about how taking a trip to the UP is like taking a trip back in time.  Socially, the area is stuck twenty to thirty years in the past on most things.  But, putting that aside, the people are some of the nicest and most well meaning people that you'll ever meet.  Within a few minutes of meeting anybody, you're family.  Maybe it's because I grew up there, but no matter where my blood relatives move, I will always feel at home in the UP, and there's no better time to have the feeling than fall.

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