If I can't get you up to the UP to hike or hunt, maybe I can get you go and drink.

A guide to Yooper Bars published by a father and son a few years back continues to be a cult classic Michigan challenge.

Some of the appeal of the Upper Peninsula is the people, and whenever I would head to God's Country, after a day of hiking, it was always the best to find a local bar and go knock back a few with the locals. It was my weird way of vacationing. Get up, drive, hike, and then go have a beer at a Yooper Bar.

Little did I know there was a guide to Yooper Bars published a few years back by a father and son with a unique way of bonding. Randy and Kevin Kluck spent 4 years and drove 47,000 miles to visit 109 Yooper Bars for their guide. The guide has since expanded to 120 spots.

“When we first started, I don’t think we were really cognizant of what kind of bonding experience it was going to be,” Kevin told Gannett Publishing. “But we were already so close to begin with that a lot of it was business as usual for us.”

The best description of the Guide comes from that same article:

“Yooper Bars” (is) more than just a drinking guide. With its affectionate descriptions of the unique world inside each bar, it was an ode to Upper Peninsula life. It showed that many bars serve as more than just a place to drink for a small town’s residents. And it gave a father and son something important that neither at the time knew they would need.

The guide now as its own Facebook page, still sells well on Amazon (this particular copy is selling for $505 for some reason), and was once featured in the New York Times. It has also become a challenge for some Michiganders to try and hit all the bars in the book over a period of time.

Kevin Kluck got together recently with Ryan Garza and Brian Kaufman of the Detroit Free Press to talk about the drinking guide and how it bonded him to his late father, Randy.

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