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The 60th WBCCI International Rally will be held at the Upper Peninsula State Fairgrounds, Escanaba, Michigan July 22–29, 2017. (Note the Dates) President Richard Girard and his wife Jan enthusiastically encourage you to attend! The UP is a popular destination. Lay your plans now!

Holy Wah! Ya tinkn t’go ta Escanaba in da heart and soul of da U.P., dat Superior State? You betcha, you in for BIG treat! Hey! What da heck? Read on...

Escanaba (Elevation 607 ft.), is the 3 rd largest city in the U.P. Incidentally, the U.P. stands for Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, often referred to as God’s Country, located just north of the Mackinac Bridge and south of Heaven. The people from the UP are known as Yoopers. (There are 3 types: Native...born in the UP, Long Timers...lived in the UP most of their lives, and just plain Yoopers...everyone else who lives there) The official language is Yoopanese (a dialect of English native to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan). Yoopers are fiercely proud of their land, heritage (primarily Scandinavian) and way of life.

Escanaba is a town of about 12,500, located in Delta County (county population of nearly 36,000) which boasts over 200 miles of varied fresh water shoreline, the most of any county in the continental United States, including beautiful sand beaches, marshes and wetlands for bird and wildlife viewing, as well as stunning limestone cliffs. Escanaba is in the Eastern time zone.

The North woods of Michigan is legendary for an abundance of wildlife including black bear, moose, wolf, fox, beaver, quail, grouse, wild turkey, rabbit and the white tail deer. Some of the best hunting and fishing in the world exists here! Come prepared for fresh PURE air and crystal clear water!

Some interesting history about the UP: The UP didn’t use to belong to Michigan! To make a long story short, Michigan owned the Toledo Strip which Ohio wanted badly. After years of bickering and some bloodshed (a stabbing and a dead pig sothe story goes) a deal was finally struck: Michigan conceded to the “wasteland of the UP” for the Toledo Strip. However, it turns out that logging and minerals proved to be a GREAT asset and wealth for the State of Michigan. In fact, the steel used to build your tow vehicles probably came from the rich iron ore mines of the UP, many of which are still active today, along with copper, nickel and gold. Logging continues to exist and paper mills are an important industry.

Another interesting tidbit: The Monarch Butterflies’ annual migration passes through here just north and east of Escanaba on the Bay de Noc in late summer, August and September, as thousands of the beautiful orange butterflies rest-up and await a north wind to help carry them across the open waters of Lake Michigan and Green Bay to Door County in Wisconsin en route to Mexico.

Back to Escanaba. There are few worries about traffic jams, car crashes, crime or severe weather in Escanaba. Nestled near the top of Lake Michigan, on Little Bay de Noc, miles of beautiful sandy public beaches, bike paths, light houses, and hiking trails await you, along with championship golf courses, fishing, bird watching, boating, and casinos. In fact, there is so much to do in the UP, you could spend your whole summer here and many folks do just that!

In 1920, Henry Ford wrote about Yooperland, “It’s one of the prettiest places in the world!” Did you know there’s even a movie about Escanaba? Jeff Daniels starred in the 2001 movie, Escanaba in da Moonlight, a comedy about Yoopers and their sacred Deer Camp.

You might be thinking, what’s there to do in such a small town? Plenty! Folks travel from all over to visit Escanaba and the UP. While you won’t find many big box stores and few franchise restaurants, nonetheless, Escanaba has much to offer.

Article by:
Jane Carmichael, #3230 and John Sellers, #1587
Contributed by: Bill and Marti Upton, WBCCI #3691
Long-Time Yoopers

Category: 2017 Escanaba, MI