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UPfirst Natural Fridays! 
One year of photo articles about Upper Peninsula people and places at UPfirst.com

On the Drive from Hancock to Marquette
Friday, September 28, 2007
Story and Photos by Michaeleen O'Sullivan
UPfirst Feature Writer

Western Upper Peninsula, Michigan--When I travel to Hancock from Marquette for business, I always take extra time to enjoy the drive on the way back.  Today I'll take you on a photo tour--featuring a look inside Chassell's one-and-only Einerlei--during last Friday's journey along US 41 in Michigan's Western Upper Peninsula.

After a two-hour rainy morning drive from Marquette, I warmed quickly with a cozy greeting by Certified Coding Specialists Debra Fasana and Raquel Saari and their Supervisor, Robin Fike, at Portage Health in Hancock.

We had fun visiting and catching up during a celebratory lunch for Debra and Raquel with their co-workers in the Portage Health Medical Records Department.

Deb Fasana (left) and Raquel Saari,
Portage Health Outpatient Coders,
display their AHIMA certificates designating
them as Certified Coding Specialists
outside the Medical Records Department
at Portage Health in Hancock, Michigan, last Friday

After my visit with Debra and Raquel at Portage Health, on the way out of Houghton on US 41, a downpour flooding the highway stopped traffic for a few minutes.

Hundreds of Michigan Technological University (MTU) students splashed in the water or stood nearby watching the commotion.

A yellow VW is visible being somewhat swallowed by the rising water.

The police directed traffic through the submerged area of US 41 through MTU campus, alleviating any problems for motorists.

After a little picture-taking, I was off to a must stop! along the scenic Western Upper Peninsula Lake Shore: Einerlei in Chassell.

This world-class shop in a tiny little town--with its flare for arranging pastels of fabrics, photos, prints, books, and much, much more--is unmatched in its sophistication and elegance.

Visit the wonderful Einerlei in Chassell, Michigan
Be sure to browse all of the many rooms--don't miss upstairs!
Or shop Einerlei online at

One beautiful soft pink sweater in an Einerlei bag and 40 bucks lighter....on the road again....

If you make the drive from Marquette to Hancock on a regular basis, you've probably wondered--what's The Cozy Inn and what's it doing way out in the middle of nowhere?

About halfway between Houghton and Marquette along US 41, you'll spot this small, unique, ancient UP bar, restaurant, and pool lounge.

True, The Cozy Inn is located in an official ghost-town of Nestoria, Michigan.  But to those of us who know the rugged forests of Nestoria Location and Baraga County, The Cozy Inn certainly is a most cozy haven--and the first outpost of civilization--when emerging from the deep woods after hours and sometimes days of wilderness adventure, many times trouble, and most often toil.

Loggers frequent The Cozy, as do Baraga County locals and those who travel from Marquette and other places for The Cozy's great burgers and homemade fries.

And, if you haven't yet, plan a visit soon to check out the Friday night bashes!  The Cozy Inn is known far and wide for their famous Friday night fish fry!

Nestoria's Cozy Inn on US 41, about halfway
between Houghton and Marquette,
famous for Friday Night Fish Fry!

A gaze at the tracks across from The Cozy Inn--if you're heading toward Marquette, just after the Herman-Nestoria Road on your left--leads toward a site, two miles up headwaters of the Sturgeon River, of special personal significance.

There, over the Sturgeon River and through the woods up a steep ridge, my husband, Todd, and I built what a DNR official once called, "The most remote log cabin in Baraga County."
(Don't get me started on cabin-building stories!)

A logging truck--more common in the UP than the US Mail--zooms by me as I stand on the bridge soaking up the Nestoria sights.
(PS - Kids--don't try this--a State Trooper stopped and told me it wasn't safe to be walking on the bridge...Ooops!)

Back to my car parked at The Cozy--too early yet for the Friday fish fry crowd--and moving on toward Michigamme...

My last stop for the day was the US 41 Scenic Turnout in Michigamme, about a half hour outside of Marquette.
With skies only a little gray by the afternoon, the colors looked peaking from Hancock to Marquette.

 Home safe and sound in Forestville--another official UP ghost-town
of Upper Michigan--in Marquette Township.

Of course, there is so much more to see in the Northwestern UP:
the KBIC Cultural Center Pow Wow Campground in Baraga,
all of the captivating shoreline,
the Baraga Ojibwa Casino,
the pretty little village of L'Anse,
the Famous Hilltop Restaurant,
the elegant Tony's Supper Club....Ahhh...

but only so much fun can be had in one day!

The fall colors are peaking!

Because of the UP drought, the colors are not their normal exquisite vibrancy,
but if you're gonna get out there, time to do it now!