In September we added 17 more days to our Upper Peninsula stay. We would have stayed another week or two but for a hard commitment back in Florida and enough family and friend visits along the way pushing our schedule. It was a good two and a half weeks. We continued our Marquette Tourist Park stay for a couple of days, then shifted back to Munising for three, with the idea being that bouncing back and forth between the two towns would provide an efficient way of working the markets in both places while allowing us some waterfront time in the excellent Munising Campground.
Not everything works out perfectly, or course. The first Munising market of the month was a bit of a bust: the event seems dependent on excellent weather, live music, and the availability of hot food, none of which were available in this market’s final weeks of the season. The Marquette Wednesday evening market was likewise quite slow, and certainly not worth the one hour drive there and back from Munising. I ended up cancelling the next week’s stay in Munising (and the market there,) resolving to complete our UP time solely in Marquette.
With Rosemarie flying back to Virginia for another visit with Linda (in her fifth year with ALS) I handled our second to last Marquette Saturday markets alone while she was gone. It was a successful event, despite my limited ability to keep up with the restocking of the sales racks the way Rose would if she were present.
When Rose returned a few days later, we closed out our Marquette market season with one final Saturday event. It was great, and left us eager to return to the UP for more. Marquette’s Saturday market during the summer, with decent weather, is an incredibly consistent money maker.
For those of you weary of reading about all this vendor and market nonsense: you are in luck: we don’t have another event until late October. That means more than a month of posts with no painfully specific and repetitive discussions of where we sold, why we chose that location, how well we did, and future plans to return. Of course, we enjoy farmers markets so much that when we don’t sell at one we often attend, so you might hear about a few purely from a buyers perspective.
I lied, here is one more paragraph on the market vendor subject: while Rosemarie spent nearly a week in VA, I entertained myself with two main activities; market preps and geocaching. Rose is so much better at keeping our inventory up, the display racks full, and our back up options ready, and she did a phenomenal job of setting me up for success. But nothing makes you learn like jumping in and doing it, so the big market I did while she was gone really helped me learn and understand her preparatory and storage system. At the end of the week I felt much more knowledgeable about our product.
Anyway, I did a lot of geocaching, but I will leave the specifics for a separate post I have in mind: “Geocaching the UP.” Expect that within a couple of weeks. For now, suffice it to say that between Grand Marais, Munising, and Marquette, I did more than a hundred caches in the region and some of them were just outstandingly fun adventures.
With our days in Marquette coming to a close, once Rosemarie returned from Virginia we sought to enjoy the best of what we had experienced this summer, especially the food and bar scene. We returned to the Rice Paddy, had drinks and bought a case of 51K IPA (our new favorite beer) at Black Rocks Brewery, tried something new at Dia de los Tacos, split a gourmet burger from The Burger Bus, and experimented with pizza slices from a couple of new places. All but the last were excellent. I just don’t know what to say about Marquette pizza, other than that we have not found one place we liked, while every other food category has produced great results.
And so we head south now, with a nearly 3,000 mile zig-zag across a dozen states in order to visit friends and family on the way to Central Florida, with plans to arrive there no later than mid October. After a month in CFL we will bounce back and forth across the SW and SE coasts for a couple of months before ending the year in Key West.