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Monday, July 17, 2017

Trying to put it into words

One week ago we started the drive back from the Upper Peninsula. It had been a week of relaxation and pleasant diversion. Michigan's Upper Peninsula is a place of primitive beauty, dark forests, thick swamp, sparsely populated, dense with trees, wild ferns and low brush. A sky so blue it looks artificial. There is nothing, and everything, and everywhere you are there is so much to see. I have spent the last week trying to digest everything, to make sense of the place, to put it it words.
And, I am surprised to admit, I am at a loss, to quote Bob Dylan "All my powers of expression and thoughts so sublime, could never do you justice in reason or rhyme." Not that I am comparing myself to Bob Dylan, whose "powers of expression" won him a Nobel Prize. But, anybody who knows me, or has spent anytime reading my blog, knows I can go on and on about very little. 

It is a magic place of power, myth, stark beauty, and ancient legend. The lake can be calm, still as glass, so clear you would swear you could touch the bottom only to find out the water is so deep a fully submerged kayak paddle is not long enough. You cruise over rocks that you know are just below the surface. It is the same lake that has recorded a 51 foot wave near Whitefish Point, not far from the Graveyard of the Shipwrecks and the Shipwreck Museum. Which is only 15 miles from where the Edmund Fitzgerald lies, all hands still manning their station. 


While in Marquette, the largest city on the Upper Peninsula we stopped at a lake side park, at just the right moment to watch a freighter dock and take on a load of iron ore. It was the Kaye E Barker. It was roughly the same size as the Edmund Fitzgerald, 730 feet long, 67 feet wide. Looking at it, how it dwarfed the train cars that brought the iron pellets, how the men walking across the deck looked so small, and you think how could a storm, on a lake, sink a ship so huge? But it does, and that fact fills you with awe. 

I was going to turn this into a picture post, short on words, long on images, and it turned out too wordy, so often the case. 

I am going to leave you with the following words. The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is a true hidden gem. Most of the cars we saw were from Michigan, a few from Wisconsin, and Ohio, and a rare license plate from some place else. Of all our vacations it was the brightest, most delightful, and relaxing. True, it was the first that my wife and I had alone. It is a place to visit, to love, and to share. So, I am sharing. If you don't visit, don't blame me, I told you.