Dreams of Summer

Fort Wilkins State Park, Michigan

A long, long time ago it seems, I dimly remember gliding in my kayak across a mirror-smooth lake at sunset. I arrived in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula in mid-September, just as that northern land began its transition to Fall. That trip began in August, near the southern end of Michigan’s western shore. A friend had invited me to tag along on a ramble through the state, hopping from park to park in our RVs, stopping to dip a paddle in a lake here and there, and snapping photos of sights along the way.

Three-span camelback bridge over the St. Joseph River, Mottville, Michigan

Somewhere in Ohio I left the Interstate and my trip through the flat, featureless heartland changed character. Close to the land, traversing the small towns, rivers, and farms, I saw what the straight lanes of the four-lane obscured: many small sights that seldom reach the big city news but still make life interesting here, like a camelback bridge, or an abandoned church along an old state highway no one travels anymore.

My life got busy after that two-month jaunt, filled up with writing and other tasks, and memories of the road remained tucked away at the back of my mind, waiting for me to tire of the world and return to them. Because I undertook the journey without a clear plan or goal, finding a rationale for documenting it eludes me. I guess I’ll have to find one somewhere among the memories.

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