Monday, October 4, 2010

Back to the UP

The first and only camping trip which I took with my first husband and son was to Michigan’s UP in the summer of 1989. Nick was three and a half years old by then, full of life and questions. And sometimes answers. He was - and still is – the blood line of his Grandpa Loehmer.

I was a different person then. The first time I had been to this Michigan state park, Bewabic near Crystal Falls, I had been a kid, fresh out of high school. My eyes were wide open to the wonders of the world and my whole life was ahead of me. Suddenly, a mere nine years later, I was so changed. My whole life was no longer in the future it was right there by my side in my husband and my son.

The weather did not cooperate. We tented the first night, but after a steady drizzle most of the first day, we sought sturdier accommodations. Being that it was the summer tourism season, all of the hotels had no vacancy signs.

Finally, as we arrived along Lake Superior and the town of Ontonagon, we found yet another resort, Lambert’s Cottages. Daniel pulled up to the manager’s office. They had one cabin open, a small single bedroom with a small couch, just big enough for Nick. It was dark by the time we were settled.

In the morning, the sun rose warm and red over Lake Superior. The sky was clear. The water was brooding as it usually is after the rain, as if thinking why did I give way to sunshine, why can’t I always be in control of the weather, the world?

I was refreshed, renewed, as I always am when I am on Lake Superior. I thought back to all the times I had been here before. The Lake was always in a different mood, it is so much like me. Maybe that’s why, the older I get, the more I feel its pull. Or with the passing of time, and of people, Gitche Gumee is what always brings me back to my childhood.
Nick and I at Fort Wilkins State Park, in Michigan's UP, in July 1989
(I made the shirt that I am wearing, but I don't know what is up with my fluffy hair.)

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