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This "Michigan" section is a catch-all for things about Michigan and our permanent home in southwestern Michigan. Michigan is an interesting and varied place. It's the largest state East of the Mississippi River by far if you consider land and water area (just nudged out by Georgia if you consider land only). Minnesota claims to be the "Land of 10,000 Lakes" but Michigan has closer to 11,000. Of course, Michigan is the "Great Lake State" - the only state to border on 4 of the 5 Great Lakes.

Michigan has a population of almost 10 million but most of the population is in the southern portion of the state. To say Northern Michigan is uncrowded is a gross understatement. For instance, take the Upper Peninsula (as opposed to the Lower Peninsula - the rest of Michigan) which is the size of Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, combined. In fact, I've always expected someone would take it. Wisconsin or Canada, for instance. From a geographical standpoint, they both have stronger claims to it than Michigan. For that matter, maybe they have already taken it. As long as they keep renting cabins to fishermen and operating the Iron Mountain ski area, no one would ever notice. Because almost no one lives there.

Anyway, the point is that Michigan has tremendous variation. It's rural, but Detroit dominates the southeastern part. In the southwest, where we live, Chicago is more important. Between the Bears and the Lions, and the Tigers and the White Sox, travelling across the state can be dangerous. With the ups and downs of the auto industry and other major factory businesses, Michigan has seen some tough times. But Michigan has a sense of humor. How else can you explain "Kalamazoo"?

We'll add Michigan information over time (especially southwestern Michigan). I've got in mind events like the Annual Pickle Festival (which is so much fun, they have to do it twice a year) and the Cherry Pit Spitting Contest. I could use some help. In particular, I'm looking for volunteers willing to do an in-depth investigation of the wineries in Berrien County.

I'm also using this section for anything from the Midwest. Later I'll add another section for other specific areas.


Introduction to Southwestern Michigan

Dunes in the Winter

Summer on the Beach - 2004

Apple Cider Century - 2004

Greenup Illinois Fall Festival - 2004