Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Apparently I'm Big in the UP, too.

The next morning we finally managed to make it to the Monks to buy some bread and jam. And when I say some, I mean that we were at Poorock Abbey for about ten minutes and managed to buy about $140 dollars worth of bread and jam. You feel almost obligated to, though, when you read such happy titles as “Portwine Jam” and “Lemon Pound Cake, Soaked in  Brandy.” So we bought a lot of delicious bread and then tried to make up our minds about what to do.

Eventually  it was decided to stay at another National forest campsite on the Sturgess River (where we had successfully managed to avoid bears the previous year) and to try a trip to visit the Hungarian Falls, a little-known, but rather pretty, set of waterfalls that was on the way.

This resulted in rather a little more time in the car, a stop off to grab some food for camp dinner, and consulting the magic box of knowledge for directions to the falls. The falls are located in an old factory and mining area that has seen better days; not least because the factories were horrible polluters that had destroyed a great deal of the land, causing them to eventually fall into decay and disrepair on a giant sledge of polluted runoff that was in the river. There were old factory mine tours and museums dotted along the way as we drove, and my boy remarked on some of the history of the region he recalled from his summer camp trips there as a young teen. The summer camp trips were how we had first learned about the Monks, the pretty parks, and Hungarian Falls.

The falls, it turns out, were not really a park, but sat on privately owned property; however, the owners had opened it to the public for visits, which we were very happy to take advantage of. Once we had  managed to find the actual turn-off we disembarked with  the dog and wandered up the semi-steep trail to the first of the two falls.(The falls are divided into two pieces, the Upper Hungarian Falls and the Lower Hungarian Falls.)

“These are very pretty,” I said to the Boy.

“As I recall the lower falls are more impressive.”

So we wandered off to check out the lower falls, back down the steep incline and following the river trail. He wasn’t kiddingthe lower falls were very pretty to behold and as I stood back from them I admired the view. To get closer I walked toward the edge of a bit of cliff and leaned over, looking down.

Down  below there was a woman and her son. The woman waved up at me. “Hi Sara!”


That  was unexpected.

“I know you; come on down.”

Clearly she knew me, but I wasn’t sure who this was. I racked my brain a bit but had some ideas. We managed to find a rather steep section of cliff that had some reasonable handholds, and grabbing on, very carefully, I scaled the cliff down.

“Shimer person?”

“Yep, I told you, I was on the UP!”

I was now making a bit of a better connection. After having acquired $140 worth of elicit Monk goods I had made an offhand social network post about said goods, to which one person had responded; it went like this:

Me: Who has 140$ worth  of Monk bread and jam.
Shimer person: I do, I’m on the UP.

At the time I was confused about what being on the UP meant, but hadn’t thought much of it. What I learned, however was that UP was apparently short for Upper Peninsula (pronounced U-P, rather than up). Furthermore, apparently when Shimer people visit the UP they do things like buy ridiculous amounts of Monk bread and visit Hungarian Falls. This confirms my belief that my life is wildly random.

We hung out for a few minutes, got eaten alive by mosquitoes, allowed the dog to be properly praised and loved, and finally scaled back up the cliff we had climbed down to find a car and head away in time to set up camp on the Sturgess before dark.

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