Map Quest

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If you want to come see me, follow the map and these directions:

1. From wherever you are, go to Interstate 75 which runs north and south from southern Florida to northern Michigan. Go north on I-75. Be careful. No matter where you are on I-75, the traffic is heavy. It is the most heavily traveled interstate highway in the U.S.

2. Depending on where you get on I-75, you will see lots of beautiful scenery. From the swamps of the Everglades in Florida, through Georgia’s piney forest, to the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in Tennessee and Kentucky. Next comes the Buckeye State of Ohio where you will find farming and manufacturing and, finally, Michigan, but Lower Michigan.

3. Lower Michigan is the mitten-shaped part of the state. I-75 will take you past Detroit and Flint, where I have relatives, then up through the central part of the state where my aunt and uncle made their home. A couple of more hours of driving and you are at the foot of the Mackinaw Bridge. It’s summer so the big bridge in the sky should be relatively easy to cross. In the winter, that is not always true. Of course, you can always get an escort to drive you across.

4.  When I went to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for the first time, we took a ferry across the Straits of Mackinaw. The Mackinaw Bridge is the longest suspension bridge between two anchorages (the Lower and Upper Peninsula of Michigan) in the Western Hemisphere and is five miles in length. It carries four lanes of I-75.

5.  Keep going north as you pass St. Ignace on the northern side of the Mackinaw Bridge. Remember that you go north until you run out of I-75 which is at Sault Ste. Marie, MI on Lake Superior. When you get to Sault Ste. Marie, turn west on MI-28, heading toward Marquette, MI at the western end of the Upper Peninsula. You will be treated to a beautiful drive along the southern shoreline of Lake Superior. The lake is wild and the shoreline is rocky. The rocks are the most beautiful you will ever see. Stop and pick up some.

6. Some of the attractions along the southern shore are Pictured Rocks National Seashore, Grand Island, and Munising Waterfalls…..and much more. You can stop or continue on to see me.

7.  You are still on MI-28 but now you are getting close to Marquette, MI. Start watching for an old road on your right which is called Old MI-28. When you see it, turn right onto Old MI-28. You will see a group of log cabins along this road. My cabin is the third  one on the right along the lakeshore. Aren’t the birch logs that it is made out of beautiful? You are in Shelter Bay, MI.

You have found me at this beautiful spot. You’ll know it’s my cabin by the great big rock in Lake Superior right in front of the cabin. See all the cars out back of the cabin? My family is having a party. Come join us. There is just one caveat. You’ve found me, but it’s the six-year old me and the year is around the early 1960’s.

I visited this cabin in Shelter Bay, with my parents, often during my childhood and growing up years. My dad’s family would always rent it and I remember my time there as one  big happy party. My dad’s family believed in having a party and they could throw a good one. All my great aunts and uncles would show up along with most of my dad’s siblings. My mother, who grew up in the Kentucky Bible Belt, was decidedly uncomfortable, but she had to learn to cope.

The cabin front, facing Lake Superior, was glass on three sides with cots around the outside of the room. At six years old, I still remembered a lot. The porcupines that lived under the porch. The fact that there was an outhouse, not a bathroom, took some getting used to since there were black bears roaming at night and the porcupines. In the kitchen, everyone cooked on an awesome wood stove. I can envision my grandfather sitting in a big chair by the fireplace that was used year round.

What I remember most was the love in that cabin when we were all there. There was so much love that I felt enveloped in it. Some days, I wish I could go back to being six years old and in that cabin again. Like today. I’ve lost a dear friend under difficult circumstances. Lake Superior, my family, most of them gone now, and the love in that cabin is calling me. #dailyprompt #writing #amwriting #blogging #everydayinspiration

 

 

Business Consultant and Freelance Writer

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Posted in Creative Nonfiction Essays
3 comments on “Map Quest
  1. You had me at “stop and pick up some rocks.” Can’t wait to read more of your writing!

    Liked by 1 person

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