Sunday, August 24, 2014

Yooper Summer Book Tour 2014

Ranger III ready for Isle Royale!
I have been on the road all summer! Well, I should say I've been a boat, an island, the trail, a seaplane dock, another boat, another island, more trails, a greenstone ridge, basalt outcroppings, boulders--and the road.

Edison Fishery outbuilding.
This would have been
fun to stay in!
My Michigan Summer Home was wherever I hung my hat--and hiking sticks. During my Yooper stay I stayed in hotels, camped in the Bear Track Studios "book mobile" van, and in our camper! It was divine.

My summer show season began July 7th at Mackinac Island and ended August 17th in Copper Harbor.

After my July Michigan Reading Association Summer Lit conference program stint on Mackinac Island and my week-long Sleeping Bear Dunes show/granddaughter vaca gig it was almost Yooper Time! I hurried home and prepped the van and packed the "book mobile" for my month-long Yooper Book Tour and my Trip of a Lifetime, Isle Royale, a trip I have been wanting to take for 24 years!

Da Yooper Lummakka.
Loves beer, eating tourist kids and polka--
not necessarily in that order.
My Yooper Tour included:  Marquette, Isle Royale, the Porcupine Mountains, and Copper and Eagle Harbors. Wow! I want to insert here, that we live in such a beautiful and amazing state full of incredible people, wildlife and history. Let me repeat, we live in such a beautiful and amazing state full of incredible people, wildlife and history! For me, it was a walk-about, a dreamtime and so much to take in a few short weeks! I returned home with my "yooper summer elixir" to store away to become future books, word and art--shared story.
Laughing Loon! Lol. Blah-lalalala!
I got to visit with a cabin-calling bull moose, a curious otter family, laughing loons, the grandparents of the famed Isle Royale Wolf and Moose Study. I enjoyed beach picnies, rock hunting and PASTIES. It was a gathering time of images, ideas, and memories for incubating and beginning winter projects.
Otters! Photo by Lisa Jennings

 Nature conservancy picnic with Lisa and Marie.
Toni's pasty--Yooper style with ketchup!





Research time in
Rolf and Candy Peterson's
backyard 















I swapped stories with sight-seeing veterans, enthusiastic camping parents, budding writers and I even met four retired teachers camping in the Porkies (whom I helped get their dinner fire going and showed them tips on how to make the next one!) So much fun, so many stories! So many things to do and places to see! I was never truly alone on any of these trails from Isle Royale to Copper Harbor. Everyone was out soaking in the summer.
Jeff and Josh on "moose watch"

On Isle Royale with my sister and her husband and son we often called out "trail appreciation!". This meant time for a moment to sink into the beauty of our surroundings and snap a photo. Ah! But wait!

On the down side of the trail I have to mention this one thing because we all want to keep our state pristine,"Where are your manners, people?!" I was sadly a witness to an entire family "camping" as they stripped a live cherry tree of its lower green, leafy branches for their fire next to their tent. Really people? Not cut, but snapped, bent and twisted the branches. Ow! Ouch! And NO! What the what?? HELLO! Outdoors etiquette is lacking in our parks and wild places. And we're not just talking littering. This etiquette--or lack of--was a topic of discussion that I had with a photographer in Copper Harbor.

He mentioned that the U.P. is becoming spoiled due to heavy tourism and a few rude dudes. These "campers" and "photographers" (trying to get "perfect" shots of wild areas) use everything from bow saws to chainsaws to alter the shrubs and trees or get firewood without having to leave camp. Again, wow! Wow!
Bear glyph on rock face--with other etchings.

And in Copper Harbor, where 1,000 year old petroglyphs can be found, boulders were etched with initials and graffiti. Word on the trail, is that attempts to protect the Viking ship glyph were futile as people ripped off the plexi cover, "just because they could". So please help spread the word, "Leave NO TRACE" should be stressed and followed up by "Leave NO DAMAGE". There is so much to see and do up here and it's just good manners and nice to keep it clean for the next Yooper traveler. Don't make me sick da Yooper Lummakka on ya!

Now with that, here are more Superior reasons why! And get up and out to the U.P. soon!

Gitche Gumee  Copper Country Wonderland
Pine song and sun
Wild Superior waves!
Top of the world! Lookout Louise, Isle Royale

Last Isle Royale hike with my sister Lisa, an awesome photographer.
Help promote "trail appreciation" and "Leave no Trace". 
Enjoy, explore, protect :) or else...


Lisa being attacked by Squatch outside of
Muldoon's Pasty, Fudge & Gift Shop, Munising.