Wisconsin December 27, 2017
11 Things Northwoods Residents Want The Rest Of Wisconsin To Know
There’s a mostly good-natured rivalry that exists between the people that live down in the southern part of the state (anywhere south of about Madison) and the Wisconsinites that dwell in less urban spots or up in the Northwoods. While we all agree living in Wisconsin is pretty awesome, there’s definitely some differences between our residents. Milwaukee and Madison tend to get most of the attention, so here’s some of the things our neighbors up north wish everyone else understood a bit more …
1. There's a whole lot of state north of Madison and Milwaukee ...
This is the number one divide between the so-called north and south of Wisconsin. Folks down south are city-dwellers and frankly can get a bit smug and unkind with their thoughts about the people who live up north. For some reason, those folks think it's perfectly fine to vacation up here, but look down upon it the rest of the year. I don't know how that works, but just because the northern part of the state is less populous doesn't make it any less important.
2. This is our idea of traffic.
Honestly, we think you're a little nuts to sit in traffic jams every day. We're used to a slower pace up north. When downstaters suddenly flock up north with the first sign of sunshine and the roads start getting jam packed, we're just as frustrated as you are. We're as likely to run into a deer as we are a traffic jam. Take a deep breath, forget about your normal city commute and stop honking your horn at every piece of farm equipment you see using the road.
3. The cold never bothered us much anyway.
People don't settle up north without understanding what they're getting themselves into. Up north, they know a thing or two about wind chills and heavy snows. We knew what we were getting ourselves into and we wouldn't change much about it. No matter how long we live here, there are always still people who meet us that can't wrap their head around us choosing to live here year round. Up here, we know it takes a special kind of person and we know strangers don't really get it. That's ok, that just leaves more gorgeous land for us.
4. Lake Superior is also a great lake - the greatest, in fact.
Milwaukee might be a great place by a great lake, but we don't really understand why that precludes folks down south from remembering that the state borders another Great Lake. Lake Michigan definitely gets more attention, but Lake Superior has plenty to offer. We have no idea why it so often gets overlooked. It's the largest freshwater lake in the world by surface area and has more water than the rest of the Great Lakes combined. It's home to 80 different species of fish. It's an important shipping lane and it's one of the best outdoor recreation spots in the world.
5. Yes, we use snowmobiles like we use cars.
Though there are a ton of snowmobile trails and it's a huge part of winter recreation up north, snowmobiles are also a super important and necessary way of life up north. You're as likely to see a row of them parked on any town's main street as your are cars in the middle of winter. They're just an easier means of transport when the roads are snow- and ice-covered.
6. The skies are better up here.
With so much less light pollution, the night sky up north is unlike anything you can possible see in the southern part of the state. Being able to look up and literally watch the world go by is one of the great perks of living in a part of the state (and the world) that takes life at a different pace.
7. We really are all that friendly.
Being neighbors up north means something. We help each other out and look out for each other. We leave our doors unlocked and our keys in the car. We're a community in every sense of the word and that means that our families extend far beyond any traditional blood ties or definitions. Maybe it's the camaraderie of surviving the winter or just knowing that these folks are kindred spirits, but up north, people are just that much friendly and apt to look out for one another.
8. We didn't all grow up on farms and we've probably not been cow tipping...
City folks, you know how you find it annoying and roll your eyes when people from other states assume Wisconsin is nothing but one giant farm? Imagine how we feel when you turn that stereotype on us. Yes, there's more farmland and open spaces north of Madison. No, that doesn't mean that any person that lives up north has first-hand experience milking cows or playing in farmland.
9. ... and we didn't learn how to drive on a tractor.
It's always baffling how the city-dwelling folks down in Madison and Milwaukee hate all the Wisconsin stereotypes but have no problem turning them around on folks who choose not to live that close to Illinois. Sure, some folks did grow up on farms - but so did plenty of people withing 20 or 30 minutes of the city.
10. You're on vacation, but this is our home.
Part-timers tend to forget that it's not all fun and games for everyone all the time. While it's nice that you're on vacation, this is our home. Littering, partying til all hours and treating service workers unkindly are all the sorts of behaviors you can see from folks when they're on a break from their real world. And while we totally understand that this is your vacation, this is our home and we hope you'll treat it - and us - with some respect.
11. We love it here and we wouldn't trade it for anything.
For all the complaints and stereotypes that come with being a resident of the Northwoods, folks up here wouldn't it trade it for anything.
We hope our readers that live up north will chime in with more things they wish the rest of the state knew. Just remember, it’s all in good fun!
Looking for more things that are uniquely Wisconsin? Check out
17 Downright Funny Memes You’ll Only Get If You’re From Wisconsin.