The Upper Peninsula in Michigan: Run for Life and a run into Bay Cliff Health Camp
Thursday, June 13th at 10:15pm:
It's the night before my flight and I'm still rushing to get everything done before the crazy 2 weeks ahead of me. One thing I need to do is to make my GBU sign tonight so I will have it in case we get the interview we're hoping for upon my arrival in Marquette. My flight leaves at 6am but I am landing in Green Bay, WI to get my rental car and make the 4-hour drive north to Marquette. If flights all go according to schedule I should make the 4pm interview with 2 hours to spare but just in case I want to be ready with my sign already done.
The reason I'm posting the below details is because we have a contest on Facebook now where we're asking our friends to make their own GBU signs and take fun photos with them to win cash and prizes. Many people have asked me how I make my signs so I'll post the details here but for the record: There are no restrictions or requirements for the contest other than the sign should say "Get Back UP Today!" Anything goes!
However, if you want to make your own sign...for races or events where you're supporting someone...the following tips will help you create a sign that's weather-resistant and easy for everyone to see!
|If you don't have an Exacto knife a pair of scissors works great. This pair is actually a child-safe version but still works well: score the line along your pencil mark, making several passes going a bit deeper each time...|
|...or use an Exacto blade to get it done in one pass.|
|Either way, after you score the board you can bend it back against your score-line to open the seam.|
|Then take your scissors to make the last cut.|
|Peel your sticker off before drawing!|
|The wider-tipped your marker is the quicker you'll get this part finished.|
|I like contrast in my sign so I always use at least 2 colors but that's totally an artistic choice.|
Mike, thank you so much for accommodating me and for sharing this message with your viewers. I got an email from my Dad's cousin in a town an hour south of Marquette saying she saw the story there--totally shocked to see me on her TV! The great news is that many others saw the story too and started calling to get more information on the brace I wear...hopefully more Yoopers will be Gettin' BackUP soon!
And, for those who don't know...
So after the interview I felt I finally had a chance to breathe and enjoy my arrival in my birth-town. Jim and I set out to walk around Marquette, the most populous city in the U.P. ("yoo-pee", go ahead and giggle, Jackson and Joey!) Jim has never been to the UP during the summer so I was really excited to share with him the beauty of the land and the people here. As the locals like to say about the seasons in the UP, "Summer is a Wednesday in August". True to form, we'll see temps in the 30's while we're here but with the first day in the upper 60's since last summer it's a perfect evening to walk around.
In case you want more background on Marquette...
|Downtown Marquette with Lake Superior way in the background.|
|We stopped for an appetizer along Washington St for locally grown fare...|
|Here's the link to the menu:|
|This sign pretty much sums up my favorite food memories of spending my summers in "da U.P." as a kid!|
|City Hall building.|
|This is the venue for the race "expo". It's 7pm when we arrive but the sun is still high in the sky this far north.|
|Amy Harju! I am so excited to meet her in person, what a wonderful woman. She had a kidney transplant and now is an active role model and advocate for organ donations. Thanks, Amy, for welcoming us to your event!|
|I love the "slow food" and "buy local" movement across the US.|
|Big smiles greet us at check-in.|
|The theme for the event.|
|Jim is smiling so big because he only has to run a 10K tomorrow.|
Don't worry, Jim, we'll be back to Half Marathons in 7 days.
|Another view as we walk downtown towards the Harbor for more food. It's 8pm now and probably won't be dark until 10pm...another perk of summer when I was a kid up here!|
|Another great restaurant along the waterfront on Frontage St.|
|The menus at L'Attitude shows that da Yoopers have more to offer than deer meat and whitefish these days!|
|Interior of L'Attitude.|
|Fresh local cheese and honey.|
|L'Attitude from the outside.|
Note: Michigan boasts one of the better time zone anomalies with the example of the U.P. where one can travel due East and have to turn a clock backwards rather than forwards which is opposite than what you'd normally expect. See the link and scroll to "Anomaly in Michigan" for better info.
Saturday, June 15th--RACE DAY!!
We woke up to a cloudy, cool morning but the crisp air is a welcome change to the 92-degrees, 85% humidity we left in NC. The Run For Life U.P. is being held in Lower Harbor Park along Lake Superior here in Marquette.
|Race organizers are setting up when we arrive.|
|I meet Abbey from the Mining News Journal at 7am before the race start. We had a great conversation this morning, it's wonderful to hear how people like her move to the U.P. and discover they never want to leave.|
|I love all the new friends I get to meet on this journey...|
|And I get to award Abbey with the GBU medal for her efforts in spreading the word! See below for the link to her fantastic article:|
|Jim is ready to run!|
|Amy Harju deserves way more than this Get Back UP medal for her advocacy efforts. Today is a perfect example of the many ways she gives back.|
|The runners start to arrive just as the rain starts to fall.|
|The rain may be affecting the balloons but not the spirits of the runners here!|
|Hundreds of runners come out to show their support for the Donate Life campaign during today's Run For Life U.P. 5K and 10K.|
|And we're off! I made a conscious decision to enjoy the scenery along this run and stopped for numerous photos along the way.|
|Most of the runners were opting for the 5K while a handful of us went on to do the 10K. Here the runners are at the 2K mark before the turn-around.|
|Marquette Maritime Museum along the harbor.|
|More runners make their way around the Maritime Museum.|
|The crowd thins out after the 5K turn-around spot. Jim|
|Another park along the race course.|
|Jim runs towards the 10K turn-around spot with the Ore Dock in the background.|
|A waterfall in the background is a barrier for the small lake behind it. We're almost to the Ore Docks where we turn around.|
|A perfect day to run. The rain stopped and the temps are now around 55 degrees.|
|Jim enjoys the views of Lake Superior on his left...|
|...As do I!|
|What a great water stop!!! The rain stopped but the kids weren't convinced yet. Thanks, volunteers, for making this a great 10K!|
|The rocks along Presque Isle as we head back towards Harbor Park.|
|It's shaping up to be a beautiful morning as the sun starts to peek out of the clouds.|
Also, with my phone not charged I left it in the hotel room while Jim and I enjoyed the Marquette area for the afternoon and evening. We also did laundry due to the short amount of time either of us would be home before taking off again, it was great to have a guest laundry room at our Holiday Inn in Marquette. We went to sleep early tonight to make sure we were up early enough to sight-see on Sunday.
Sunday, June 16th: Marquette and Munising adventures
Jim only has a short time to explore with me since he leaves tomorrow before I head up to Big Bay. Here are some photos of Sunday adventures:
|My birthplace to the left, my Grandma's house and my dad's hometown to the right!|
A bit of brief info for you on the U.P., see the note about the Scandinavian history:
|SISU is a saying, cheer, mantra and way of living in "da yoo pee".|
|This is for you, Peter Allard!|
|Looking away from the lake on Washington St.|
|The view from The Vierling looking out over the lake.|
|Inside the Vierling, a restaurant with an amazing history.|
|I had the local goat cheese and beet salad.|
|Jim had the spinach and bacon salad.|
|We took a moment during brunch at the Vierling to write postcards to friends and family.|
|Some of the original stained glass at the Vierling.|
|Yes, I'm a Yooper and proud of it!|
|Father's day is today... greetings to my dad and stepdad!|
|I don't know if you can read the small print but the message on both sides of the theater's marquee is totally appropriate for the Yoopers: "Coming Soon... SUMMER".|
|Jim and I pop into the Huron Bakery...FOR COFFEE ONLY...on our way to Munising today....|
|Sigh. These treats looked so good but after our run yesterday and healthy brunch we opted for the hot coffee only as we made the drive over to Munising.|
|Maybe I'll come back when Jim heads home. :-)|
|Jim enjoys the sun and, dare we say it, Summer in the U.P.!|
|I wanted to send my dad his very original greeting from his old stomping ground. Happy Father's Day, Dad!|
(Bob, Happy Father's Day to you, too but we got to celebrate on Fisher's Island last week so it's dad's turn now...
I love you both!
|Jim enjoying the magnitude of the water and majestic views on a calm day on Lake Superior.|
|Ever as cold as I remember Lake Superior!! I can't believe my sisters and I would beg to swim in this every summer. My days in NC have made me soft, I could only stay in long enough for Jim to take the photo.|
|Perfect area for a nap I'm thinking.|
|We made it to Munising, a charming little maritime city. Here we stopped at Falling Rock Cafe and Bookstore for lunch.|
|Great sandwiches and coffee at this local favorite.|
|We're number 2! I love their table markers, real UP birch.|
|Jim gives the cafe a thumbs up.|
|Very comfy, cozy, friendly store and cafe.|
|Jim got the fresh smoked whitefish salad, which he shared with me. YUM! I really miss fresh whitefish.|
|I got the homemade Lentil Soup and Rye toast...equally delicious.|
|Goodbye, Falling Rock... we're off to Pictured Rocks.|
|These aromatic shrubs are everywhere we turn.|
|A perfect day to be on the water.|
|Heading out on the harbor.|
|Back to Marquette and over to the Superior Dome. Looks kinda like an alien space ship, doesn't it?|
|Dad and Mom both were in school here back in the day...|
|A better view and a better sense of how huge these docks are. A train is loaded above with about 25 cars full of ore.|
|The trestle bridge over the highway where the ore gets transported from the holding operation to the docks for unloading.|
|For over 100 years this particular ore dock has been in operation.|
|And then it's back to the Wild Rover on Washington street for dinner... I had a great homemade veggie burger but the pretzel bun was too big to eat.|
Monday, June 17th:
Today was a work day for both Jim and myself. I had a lot of computer work to catch up on plus a conference call to plan for the Philly RnR run in September. With phone and internet service being touch-and-go in the U.P. I had to stick close to the hotel to get everything done. Then I had to drive Jim to the airport, about an hour-long roundtrip, before returning to the hotel to get everything ready for my drive to Big Bay in the morning.
I enjoyed a leisurely morning, sleeping in until 8:30am, and spent some time watching TV while I downloaded my photos for the blog. I have an hour's drive up to Big Bay today where I'm meeting another reporter then spending the evening at Bay Cliff Health Camp. Then I have to drive all the way back to Green Bay tonight since my flight leaves at 5:25am tomorrow morning. I'm enjoying every bit of rest I can get right now, it will be a crazy day!
|I get a great grilled veggie sandwich on homemade gluten-free bread at Babycakes on Washington Street to fuel me for the trip to Big Bay.|
|Goodbye, Babycakes...thanks for the great food and coffee!|
|A view on a road just off of County Rd. 550, I took the detour to try to see the beaches along the lake.|
|Resting on a stack of birch trees after a short trail hike on the way to Big Bay.|
|Hmmm...not sure quite what to make of this.|
|The famous Thunder Bay Inn, setting for Jimmy Stewart movie, "Anatomy of a Murder".|
|Check out the link for the history of the murder and the inn:|
|I have totally loved the fact that our sign has the "UP" in it while you see "UP" everywhere here in the Upper Peninsula. The GetBackUP sign is hangin' out with the FoxUP sign on the side of the vehicle.|
|Kelsey gets a medal for her joyful spirit, talented reporting and for getting our message out once more throughout the U.P. and northern Wisconsin. Thank you, Kelsey, YOU ROCK!|
And last but not least, I want to share the story of Bay Cliff with you. I first learned of this camp when they applied for a grant from the Dralla Foundation 2 years ago. They were a unanimous selection by our review committee since they fell so perfectly in line with our mission of "providing those with disabilities the opportunity to have the best days of their life". I was so moved by the campers and the staff and volunteers here that I have few words to say exactly how special this place is.
I was (understandably) not permitted to take photos or video while in the camp but I was given a tour of the facilities by the teen campers then had dinner with all 135 campers. I sat at a table with the 5-8 year old girls and thoroughly enjoyed my time with everyone. After dinner we had the Flag ceremony and then I met with the older campers to share my story and to make Get Back UP signs for their cabins.
I truly hated to leave but I had a 5 hour drive back to Green Bay and it was almost 9:00pm when I left Big Bay.
Please check out their website and if you know anyone in a position to donate items or monies to this organization I can tell you it will all go to great use:
|Thank you, Bay Cliff, for making me feel so special. I was so inspired by the campers and the rest of your team...I will not forget my time here. You are all heroes and I am so grateful for what you do!!!|
Luckily my drive back to Green Bay went smoothly, especially since it stayed light until 10pm, I only had to drive in the dark for 2 and a half hours. I made it to my airport-area hotel by 12:30 in the morning (gained an hour going into Wisconsin!) where I slept for 3 hours before going to the airport to return my car and board my 5:20 a.m. flight back to Greensboro.
I will be in Greensboro for 12 hours before boarding my next flight to Seattle for the Rock n' Roll Half on Saturday. Hope to see you there!