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Archive for October, 2009

P1020876
Sorry, this is turning into a photo/river tripping blog. When in Michigan…
This is me on the Upper Peninsula’s Two-Hearted River, a twisty tea-colored little woodland stream that finally slips through a gauntlet of dunes and dumps into Lake Superior, which, as you know, is like God’s own birdbath. The Two-Hearted is the nominal setting of Ernest Hemingway’s short story “Big Two-Hearted River,” which is collected in The Nick Adams Stories.
My friend Fred Maxwell says that he read on Wikipedia that it’s thought that Hemingway, like a true stingy-ass honey-hole-hiding fisherman, was actually describing the UP’s Fox River in his story, but gave it the Two-Hearted’s name, perhaps to throw off tourists and poachers, or maybe because Two-Hearted is just such a goddamn beautiful name for a river. I haven’t bothered to look it up. I’m not sure it matters to me.
I spent two days and one night on it, maybe 24 miles’ worth, the first day portaging 13 unstable logjams and the second day blissing the fuck out.
When I put in there was a guy walking down the bank fishing. About halfway downriver at the state campground where I camped there was another guy with an RV and an ATV who left in the morning to fish for steelhead. The night before he came over and looked at my anemic little sock-drying campfire and offered to let me borrow his chainsaw. I thanked him but no. I asked and he explained to me why there are salmon out there nowhere near the sea. It’s because they were imported to the Great Lakes purposefully to eat a smaller fish that was imported to the Great Lakes accidentally, and they started spawning up these little tea-colored woodland streams. More or less. They’re stocked as sport fish as well.
I threw a spinner out from the sand ramp for a while but I have yet to discover the finer joys of fishing, though I’m not through looking.
I did take lots of what came out looking like portraits of trees, among other things, and posted the better ones to flickr. The one at top links to Part 1. The one below links to Part 2.
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Last weekend I traveled with my fellow fellows to northern Michigan, in the neighborhood of Boyne City and Lake Charlevoix, for some quality time with the leaves. I stayed over on Sunday and paddled about four blustery hours down the Jordan River, Michigan’s first-designated Wild and Scenic such. Spectacular.

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