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Explore Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and discover its long and fascinating history with new book

Ralph G. Pifer offers his travel expertise in ‘Michigan’s Western U.P.’

DIXON, Ill. — Ralph G. Pifer, who has explored Michigan’s Upper Peninsula for more than 40 years, highlights sites for travelers and the area’s historical significance in his new travel guide titled “Michigan’s Western U.P.: An Old Professor’s Travel Guide of Twenty-five Selected Locations (Ironwood to Baraga)” (published by Archway Publishing).

From Baraga to the Wisconsin border as well as the “historic and wild unsettled tip” of the Keweenaw Peninsula, Pifer talks about the various places to explore in the Western part of Michigan’s U.P. The author highlights the places to enjoy like the hundreds of lakes, streams, rivers and Lake Superior. He explains how the old mountains are among the oldest on earth and full of wildlife such as bears, moose, wolves, deer, wild turkeys and eagles. Pifer offers readers a variety of travel tips to make their trip a safe, comfortable, and fun one that, in his words, takes “them off the beaten track to places that are not tourist traps.”

The author hopes to impress upon readers that “The U.P. is a place with a long and fascinating history. It has experienced booms and busts, burned to the ground, been clear cut, overfished, furiously mined for copper, silver, and gold, but it retains the feeling of our country before it was totally tamed and degraded. Ernest Hemingway and Jim Harrison fished, hunted, and lived there–and their writing deeply reflects the place, history, and people.”

Ralph G. Pifer is a retired associate professor of psychology and social science. During his career, he was recognized as “Professor of the Year” and named multiple times by students as the most influential professor in their academic careers. His lifelong interests in geology, nature, and photography have served him well in his explorations of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula for more than 40 years. He lives in Dixon, Illinois, with his wife, cat, and box turtle.