I'm back. Back from the edge of middle earth, from a little left of nowhere, from going "Forth!" (Wisconsin's state motto), from a Loop de Yoop (more on that in a minute), from a few days spent getting lost, all in the service of being Found. And more Sound. Regarding the following travelogue - focused more on an August road trip than an August retreat- sometimes I, too, gotta Getaway. But when you've found your place and you already live off the grid, in the woods, where to? This is when I heed the howl of the heavily forested and remotest region of our state, the rocky mass bordering three of the Great Lakes and extending outward from Wisconsin, that isthmus (my new favorite word) known as the Upper Hand, Michigan's Upper Peninsula or U.P.
Sometimes backlit by Aurora light displays, more recently by the high beams of my Volvo C30, this odd land is the Mexico of the Midwest, a funky frontier, warmly welcoming in its burnt-out, backwoods way. There's a strange... sense to the U.P., an attitude, an altitude, a feeling the place may be imputed with special powers. From Ironwood (a far West hamlet) to Iron River (a bigger township) to Iron Mountain (a virtual metropolis), here's a spirit of Unparalleled Personal independence, a character of forged mettle.
When I resided in Northern California a few years back, I heard the poet Robert Bly say, "If you live in a land for a period of time and you don't become the land, you know you must move on from that place." I was gone soon after. And back to Michigan. Following that channel of thought, part of my elation over this recent jaunt sprang from the new route taken, by way of the SS Badger - the coal-fired ferry chugging the great lakes since 1953. Wanting to take that trip since first learning of it upon moving to South Haven in 2014, the watery way opened up new access to Michigan's remotest corners. Couple a quick drive to Ludington with a chill, four- hour boat ride plus another few hours and, you're in The Porcupine Mountains, or Porkies, a group of small peaks spanning the northwest crook. Soon after, you're miles out by Nike on The Escarpment Trail, snapping pics like the above.
Conjuring up visions of The Higher Haven North, The Highest Haven (?) can you picture a tiny house on the shores of Lake Superior? As to becoming the land as well as the lakes, from the beaches of Mishigama to the shores of Gitche Gumee, perhaps in a few years it'll be a place of required study! Why not? Elsewhere on this web site it claims "the stately splendor of Southwest Michigan living" is a part of our appeal. We're expanding that vibe far and wide, to folks the world over, to learn of and seek out the healing power of The Great Lakes area.
For now, given our own late summer retreat, we're looking to the Fall. If you're one of the many people interested in meditation and healing but yoga not so much, join a like-minded group the weekend of September 22-23rd. We'll also offer a Barre exercise retreat the following weekend September 29th-30th, and other October and November events we'll have up my month's end. Toksha, Until then.