On Saturday we packed up and drove straight for the bridge. That would be the only important bridge in Michigan, the one that separates the Upper Peninsula from Greater Michigan, and da Yoopers from da Trolls. We had reservations for 2 weeks of rustic bliss in a cabin just northwest of Marquette. On the cold days, like the one when we arrived, the wood burning stove was wonderful, and on the hot ones the outdoor fire pit and the tripod were great. The cabin had two bunk beds, a picnic table, a porch that overlooked a sharp bend in Harlow creek, and was about a quarter mile from any roads. That also meant a quarter mile from our car, where all the stuff we brought happened to be. Once we moved in, we rarely needed to be anywhere else. The woodshed was well stocked, there was a vault toilet to avoid, and a very nice front porch facing the creek.
The woods were a mixture of oak, red and mountain maple, white pine, balsam fir, and birch. The kids found all sorts of raw materials to play with, from tubes of birch bark to use as armor, to maple switches to use for whip bows. Once it warmed up, they we in the creek swimming, catching frogs, skipping stones, playing in the sand, and bathing.
We made several trips to to Lake Superior while the air was warm, but the water was frigid enough to discourage anything more that wading, which itself was rather excruciating.
As the weather cooled again, we went on long hiking excursions to nearby outlooks and “mountains” where we beheld some breathtaking views, and herded the kids away from precarious edges.
The rustic experience really allowed us to appreciate many of the everyday conveniences that we do not think much about… like plumbing, electricity, and running water. At the same time, we have a renewed understanding of the amount of work involved to live like most of the world lives. Even that setting was not quite as rustic as it might seem. There was a vault toilet, someone else collected, seasoned, cut, split, and stocked the wood, the creek was close enough to bathe in, and the cabin was already built and weather-sealed. Still pretty posh, really. The water pump was a little way from the cabin and we had to haul water a few times a day. It did not taste so good, and we had to boil it before using it. We enjoyed it all because it was a choice, and we knew it would not be for very long. We were dirty much of the time.
Although we reserved the cabin for 2 weeks, after one and a half we decided that we had our fill and that this was not an endurance test, but a vacation. Plus, it looked likely that we would run out of coffee… So we packed up, and drove home. The rest of the vacation time will be spend relaxing in our current (but not future) home by the lake.
In the evenings we read Little House in the big Woods to the kids, and B and I read some of the other books we brought. I especially enjoyed Watch with Me by Wendell Berry. It is a set of tales set in Port William and focused on the character of Ptolemy Proudfoot. We read some of those aloud too. Very fun. In the mornings I brewed coffee (via moka pot) that we enjoyed on the porch before we started on breakfast.
Many photos are now up, have a look, eh?:
|Little Presque Isle|