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Northwoods by Great Lakes

Private room in house hosted by James
2 guests1 bedroom1 bed1 private bathroom
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James is a Superhost
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Great location
95% of recent guests gave the location a 5-star rating.
Purposely priced low. A well-lit corner bedroom on the ground floor and a private bathroom across from the bedroom. The bedroom has an Ethan Allen canopy queen bed, a closet, and shelves. Ideal for one person or a couple which wishes to share a queen bed. Cot also available. Always a shining clean white bathtub/shower, toilet and sink! Enjoy local hospitality with breakfast and other meals served and made from basic ingredients. Extra wine glasses. No hotel styrofoam here! Late arrivals OK.

The space
We are located in an area of Michigan known as the Upper Peninsula or the U.P. (not to be confused with India's Uttar Pradesh state). The house was built in a row of similar houses in April, 1912 by Norwegian lumbermen and it has a footprint of 880 square feet. When entering the house, you will be greeted by a living room which comprises of a wall to wall scholarly library with plenty of seating and lighting. From the living room you enter a kitchen and a dining room. Along one wall of the kitchen and dining room there are custom-made floor to ceiling wooden shelves containing cooking utensils as well as equipment for home canning and food preservation. While a small house makes for better conservation of heat in the winter, a library and a full kitchen provide for other needs. In my estimation, their presence along with frequent guests help balance the long dark winter. A good kitchen and library provide both intellectual and physical sustenance.

Across the street is a woods and Rose Island Park along the Ontonagon River is a block away. Lake Superior's waves can occasionally be heard crashing on the shoreline. On this date in June, 2021 I walked across the bridge onto Rose Island and went down the path leading to the harbor entrance. I was checking to see whether or not this place would be a suitable place to release Painted Turtle rescues. Along the way I saw three families of Canadian Geese with goslings about 5 weeks old. I passed a beaver lodge as well. The town's electricity was cut one evening last December when beavers cut down a tree which brought down an electrical line. Usually most visitors are here for the parks, beaches and waterfalls as well as to get away from the heat.

The house is a quiet relaxing place. A recent guest spent the evening reading Jon Krakauer's Into the Wild. Tasty and filling meals are included as part of the listing - a contrast to other local listings and even area hotels. Homemade yoghurt, feta cheese, bagels, and scones are often on hand for breakfast in addition to eggs and bacon, waffles (with locally sapped maple syrup and preserves made from local fruit), popovers, coffee. Accommodations made for vegan, vegetarian and keto diets, e.g. removing bread from a recipe, eliminating milk or cream from curried apple soup, etc. If desired, a dinner will be ready for a guest's arrival. Extra wine glasses available.

The bedroom os located off the back hallway across the way from the bathroom. Above the bed is a ceiling fan (there is another small fan for placing on the bureau). This room also has three opening windows. The view from this bedroom includes a bed of ostrich king ferns directly beneathe the window and of a raspberry hedge further back (usually ripe at the end of July). The yard in back is also shaded by two box alder trees. Flower and herb garden in the front yard.

No discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, religion or religious sect, nationality, race, sexuality or political opinion. So whether you are from the Upper Peninsula or Uttar Pradesh, I am well-acquainted with both the requirements by and the accomodations that need to made for travelers based on their religions, diets or lifestyles. A weapon-free house.

Places for sleeping

What this place offers

Beach access – Beachfront
Free parking on premises
Washing machine
Patio or balcony
Luggage drop-off allowed
Hair dryer

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4.90 out of 5 stars from 29 reviews


Where you’ll be

Ontonagon, Michigan, United States

I am 15 miles east of the Porcupine State Park, Michigan's largest state park. Ontonagon County is a land of forests, waterfalls and Lake Superior shoreline. A hiking destination during the short summer, it also offers skiing in the longer winter. For backpackers and serious hikers I recommend the set of maps issued by the forestry service for the Ottawa National Forest. These are the only maps I know of which include hundreds of national forest roads, lakes, rivers and streams in Ontonagon County. They include all roads, including many missing from highway and GPS maps. Cellphone reception is sketchy in many areas. (Want to hide out? Or perhaps do you want to get out once you've gotten in? The second would be the one for me. These are the maps to get!) There is an eastern, a central, a southern and a western map: four in all. The western one includes the Porcupine State Park. National Forest Road No. 400, for example, is the only way to reach Cascade Falls. The GPS and cellphone maps, by contrast, do not give satisfactory detail. You may also notice that highway signs for the waterfalls are sometimes missing or misleading. The forestry service has at least three offices in the area. One is in Bessemer 60 miles away on Hwy. 2. Another is on Hwy. 45 in Watersmeet 48 miles south of Ontonagon. That office is south of the intersection of Hwy. 2 and 45. The closest one to Ontonagon is about three miles south of town (on the left going south) on Hwy. 45.

My house is a 20 minute walk to Lake Superior. In case you fish or canoe, I am a half block from the Ontonagon River, which is the Upper Peninsula's largest river. There is a boardwalk leading from nearby Zinc Street through the park to the riverside quay. From there one might walk on Rose Island down to Lake Superior. Of course, one could also continue on Zinc Street through the back streets and get to the lake as well. River Street parallels Rose Island and this is Ontonagon's commercial and entertainment hub, though the supermarket and dollar stores are on Hwy. 38. The Eagle Club and the VFW bar/restaurants are open to visitors as well as the other commercial establishments on nearby River St. Every bar and restaurant offers Wi-fi (as well as the public library and laundromat). I personally prefer the spaciousness and lighting of the VFW and the Eagles Club (Stubbs and Shamrock bars are rather dark, though pool is offered at Stubbs and on Thursday nights there is a pool competition. Roxy's is my preferred bar simply because it offers good hamburgers and fries. It is a little quirk at places such as Roxy's and Syl's restaurants that they do not serve pickles with sandwiches unless the customer asks for them. If you want your onions grilled and your buns grilled, Roxey's will do that but remember to request it). If you go to Syl's, don't go there for its coffee, which is extremely weak and will set you back $1.65 before taxes and tips. There is a newly opened restaurant on River Street called the UP North Cafe (a pun on Upper Peninsula). The closest coffee and sandwich place is Connie's, which is a two block walk down South Steel St. to River Street. It has a take out window and some chairs outside. This place along with the Holiday gas station across the street are the only two public establishments with good coffee. Holiday gas station usually has an online coupon for 69-cent coffee. All places mentioned above are within 20 minutes' walk of my house.

Ontonagon is 110 miles west of Marquette, 75 miles north of Eagle River (100 miles from Minocqua ) , and 65 miles east of Ironwood. No fast food restaurants around for 50 miles. Environmentalists should know that no local stores promote recycling in any way. However, I recycle all paper, glass, most plastic, and metal. All garbage is composted.

Hosted by James

Joined in May 2018
  • 34 Reviews
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Former field translator in Iraq for marines and later for the Navy Seals in Bahrain. Studied Arabic in Georgetown Univ. and Russian at Middlebury College. I lived in Iran and learned Persian. I have also lived in Libya, Malaysia, Bulgaria and Albania. I was born in Detroit, but grew up a Badger despite my Wolverine beginnings. Later on I lived in Wallingford, Connecticut, Washington, D.C., Austin, Texas and in the U.P. since 2007. I enjoy reading. I like the BBC World News and Sky News. I listen to Terri Gross on Fresh Air.
Former field translator in Iraq for marines and later for the Navy Seals in Bahrain. Studied Arabic in Georgetown Univ. and Russian at Middlebury College. I lived in Iran and learn…
During your stay
I will be available to serve breakfast and to welcome guests on their arrival. I have taken both Moderna anti-covid boosters and continnue to adhere fully to the government's guidelines. My quarters are upstairs.
James is a Superhost
Superhosts are experienced, highly rated hosts who are committed to providing great stays for guests.
  • Languages: العربية, English, Русский
  • Response rate: 100%
  • Response time: within an hour
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Things to know

House rules
Check-in: Flexible
Check out: 1:00 pm
Not suitable for children and infants
No smoking
No pets
No parties or events
Health & safety
Committed to Airbnb's enhanced cleaning process. Show more
Airbnb's social distancing and other COVID-19-related guidelines apply
Carbon monoxide alarm
Smoke alarm
Cancellation policy