Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Northern Michigan Once Again – Part 6: Hemingway Sites

On this trip Up North in Michigan we visited some Hemingway sites.  In 1899 Ernest Hemingway’s parents bought a piece of property on what is now called Walloon Lake, a few miles south of Petoskey.  On this property they had built a cottage at which their growing family was to spend all or most of summers for well over 20 years.  Hemingway himself was brought north when he about two months old for a week while his parents arranged for construction, and he would then spend 19 full summers in the area. 

Walloon Lake, from a spot near the Hemingway Cottage
A few years after buying the property on Walloon Lake, Hemingway’s parents bought a small farm on the opposite shore which was named Longfield Farm.  The Hemingway children helped work the fields in the summers, supplementing the labors of a tenant farmer.  The family had some of the production shipped south for the family’s dinner table in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park.

From a spot near the Longfield Farm site,
looking east across Walloon Lake to the Hemingway cottage site
After his wedding and reception in 1921 at Horton Bay on nearby Lake Charlevoix, Hemingway and his new wife Hadley were driven down Sumner Road to the above spot on Walloon Lake across from the family cottage, steps from Longfield Farm, from where Hemingway rowed himself and his bride across the lake to the cottage, where they spent their honeymoon (sick with bad colds for the first few days).  It was a good pull, for the distance from one shore to the other is considerable.

Seemingly before he even was of school age, Hemingway loved to fish in the trout streams of northern Michigan.  A favorite spot early on was Horton Creek, which flowed into Horton Bay in the nearby lake now called Lake Charlevoix. 

Horton Creek, looking north from the bridge
on the Charlevoix-Boyne City Road 
In his mid-teens, Hemingway began spending more time at Longfield Farm, working it during the day.  Many evenings he would walk the three miles or so west to the shore of Lake Charlevoix and the little hamlet of Horton Bay (sometimes called Hortons Bay or Horton's Bay by Hemingway and others), where he would hang out at a small inn and restaurant called Pinehurst and at the General Store.  Next to the General Store is a building that became the Red Foxx Inn, now a quaint bookstore and memorabilia shop welcoming visitors and Hemingway fans on Fridays and Saturdays.  Both buildings were in use in Hemingway's time, as they are to this day. 

The Horton Bay General Store, with the "high false front," as Hemingway described it in a story;
the Red Fox Inn building sits to the right in the photo
In Horton Bay Hemingway he fell in with a small crowd that summered or worked in the area, most notably the Smith siblings Bill and Katy and their friend Carl Edgar (with whom he would later live for a while in Kansas City).  The Smith family would figure quite large in his life. 

Hemingway would sometimes sell the trout he caught to Liz Dilworth, who with her husband Jim owed and ran Pinehurst, where for a few years Hemingway often ate and slept.  The "resort" property consisted of two small buildings – Pinehurst and Shangri-La – located just south of the Charlevoix – Boyne City Road, about 100 yards up Lake Street from Horton Bay on the north shore of Lake Charlevoix.  In 1921, the reception after Hemingway’s marriage to Hadley Richardson was held here.    

Pinehurst in Horton Bay; Shangri-La stands to the right out of the photo
In the last few summers Hemingway spent up north, Bill Smith had a car and the group traveled around the area, to trout streams and to local towns Petoskey, Charlevoix and Boyne City on Lake Charlevoix, and Walloon Lake Village on Walloon Lake.  In fact, for a short time Hemingway lived in rooming houses in Petoskey and in Boyne City.  In Petoskey, one can drive by 602 State Street, just off the downtown area, and see the well-kept up home that was once Mrs. Potter's boarding house where he lived for almost three months in the fall of 1919.   

Hemingway famously set many of his short stories in northern Michigan, most of them semi-autobiographical featuring his fictional alter-ego Nick Adams.  The Nick Adams Stories span the protagonist’s life from a young boy living with his parents to a young man with his own son.  Many of them are set in the northern Michigan of Hemingway’s youth, notably along the shores of Walloon Lake and around Horton Bay on Lake Charlevoix.         

Horton Bay, from the foot of Lake Street, looking southwest;
in the distance is the finger of land that juts into Lake Charlevoix to form the bay  

From Hemingway's very autobiographical short story Summer People, published posthumously, which describes a clandestine love affair with a young woman named "Kate" who in real life was Katy Smith, who would introduce Hemingway to his first wife, indirectly introduce him to his second wife, and through Hemingway would meet the man who would become her husband, John Dos Passos:
Halfway down the gravel road [Lake Street, now paved] from Hortons Bay, the town, to the lake there was a spring.  The water came up in a tile sunk beside the road, lipping over the cracked edge of the tile and flowing through the close-growing mint into the swamp.  In the dark Nick put his arm down into the spring but he could not hold it there because of the cold.  He felt the featherings of the sand spouting up from the spring cones at the bottom against his fingers.  Nick thought, I wish I could put all of myself in there.  I bet that would fix me.  He pulled his arm out and sat down at the edge of the road.  It was a hot night."     
The spring in Horton Bay, still there today beside the road
The spring is still there and I put my arm in it and it was very cold.
R Balsamo

[Note: Click on the "Hemingway" link below to see related posts; Also, click on any above photo to enlarge it] 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Northern Michigan Once Again – Part 5

The Petoskey area was our base for the second part of our excursion.  The city of Petoskey sits on the southern shore of Little Traverse Bay, a large inlet of northern Lake Michigan.  It’s a good-sized town by northern Michigan standards, and has a thriving, picturesque downtown.  The Petoskey area grew large as a vacation destination at the turn of the 20th Century, attracting thousands of summer visitors to its clean air, rolling landscapes, cool waters, and Chautauqua-like summer encampments sponsored by religious groups. 

Downtown Petoskey, Michigan
The city is named after Chief Petosega, whose father was a French Canadian fur trader and whose mother was an Ottawa Indian.  Petoskey in turn gave its name to fragments of fossilized coral, common along the northeastern Lake Michigan shoreline, called Petoskey stones.  The city is the birth place of noted Civil War historian Bruce Catton, whose widely-celebrated books I read voraciously years ago (and have reread many times since) as they came out around the time of the one hundredth anniversary of that war.

Looking Northwest Across Little Traverse Bay, From Its Southern Shore,
With Open Lake Michigan to the Left.  A Solitary Gull Heads For Shore.
One day we cruised around the east end of Little Traverse Bay to its north shore and the city of Harbor Springs.  We were very pleasantly surprised by how attractive a place it is.  Smaller than Petoskey and Traverse City, at one time though it was a bustling place as the terminus of many Great Lakes steamship lines that brought visitors to the area from big lakeside cities further south.  

Downtown Harbor Springs, Michigan
Harbor Springs sits within a small bay formed by a long finger of land in the shape of a backward comma that juts out into the much larger Little Traverse Bay and that shelters what is said to be the deepest natural harbor on the Great Lakes.  Travelers would disembark at Harbor Springs and take local short-distance trains or smaller ships to nearby towns such as Bay View, Petoskey, Walloon Village, and Charlevoix.
View of Harbor Springs from a Pier in the Harbor 
A road leading north out of Harbor Springs runs along the Lake Michigan shoreline, offering beautiful views of the Lake and of Beaver Island, at times through woods so dense they form the well-known “Tunnel of Trees” over the narrow lane.  On a clear and warm sunny day, we cruised this road for some time to take it all in.     

The "Tunnel of Trees" North of Harbor Springs
R Balsamo

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Northern Michigan Once Again -- Part 4

Today we left Traverse City and drove north along U.S. Route 31.  At Charlevoix we stopped for refreshment and a stroll.  Visible from the downtown main street is a small lake called Round Lake.  It is essentially a small ante-lake to the much larger Lake Charlevoix, which connects to Round Lake through a narrow channel, and Round Lake in turn flows into Lake Michigan.  Here is a shot of Round Lake, with the narrow entrance to Lake Charlevoix in the distance, looking east:

More about this at a later date, but we cruised over to Horton Bay, roughly in the middle of Lake Charlevoix's  long northern shore.  Horton Bay is Hemingway country.  For a few years in his late teens and early twenties, Hemingway spent a lot of time here and used the small hamlet as a setting in a number of his semi-autobiographical Nick Adams stories.  Here is a photo from Lake Street, looking across the Charlevoix-Boyne City Road at the General Store (left) and Red Fox Inn, which is now a bookstore and memorabilia shop.  Both buildings were in use in Hemingway's time as they still are now.  Pinehurst is just behind the camera; it is a modest sized building that in Hemingway's time was a small inn and restaurant, a place where Hemingway often ate and slept.

Finally, we drove to Walloon Village at the foot of the sprawling Walloon Lake, on which the Hemingway cottage sits.  We had a nightcap at a busling new lakeside restaurant there, and strolled to the pier to watch the sunset:

More to come.

R Balsamo

Friday, September 11, 2015

Northern Michigan Once Again -- Part 3

From our base in Traverse City, today we visited the Lelanau Penninsula.  We first headed west to reach Lake Michigan at the little town of Empire, a small stretch of private property that bisects the huge, sprawling Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, a national park.  Empire has a beautiful stretch of beach with some great views.

Looking south from the beach at Empire, from Empire Bluff on the left across Platte Bay to Betsie Point, which juts out near the western end of the large, inland Crystal Lake:

Turning around on the Beach at Empire, looking northwest through a small flock of gulls on the move to see South Manitou Island and then, to the right, the steep cliffs, some pure sand and some covered with trees and grass, of Sleeping Bear Dunes; the gulls were startled by a hawk circling above:

Then we drove north into the Sleeping Bear Dunes national park and, as we did last year, stopped for a ride along the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive.  We left our car and walked to the not-to-be-missed scenic overlook, which affords a majestic view of Lake Michigan and the dunes.  The overlook is about 450 feet above the water.  This photo is looking south across Platte Bay, the outcropping at Empire Bluff, and Betsie Point.  The water along the shoreline is a turquoise blue:

We then moved on to the historic preservation site of Glen Haven, and old logging harbor on Sleeping Bear Bay just west of the town of Glen Harbor.  Finally, we drove to Leland, where we walked around and stopped in the Bluebird for their noted whitefish.  Here is a photo of the Lelanau River as it flows over the small dam near its mouth into Lake Michigan; the small, historic Fishtown area lies between the dam and the lake:

Now it's on to points further north.

R Balsamo

9/11 Fourteen Years On -- Europe's Cultural Suicide

Fourteen years after the September 11, 2001, radical Muslim attack on various targets in the United States, an increasingly dazed and deluded Europe, incapacitated by white guilt, enfeebled by the degradation of the male gene pool after two relatively-recent horrific wars, and beguiled by the need for young workers to support an increasingly aging society (fantasizing that young Muslims will work hard to support retired white Christian Europeans), after resisting Muslim invaders for 1,300 years from the fields of Tours to the gates of Vienna, now willingly allows and indeed encourages tens of thousands (with perhaps hundreds of thousands to come) of young Muslim men, accompanied by a few women and children to foster the ruse they are simply "migrants," to invade and occupy their countries.

I think I am on firm ground in saying such a thing has never happened before in human history.  Invading masses of men are just walking through Europe headed towards the countries with the most generous welfare benefits and the most enfeebled citizens and the most leaders contemptuous of people of their own ethnicity.  Muslims in Western Europe are not well integrated, and many reject integration, and many second generation Muslims, born in Europe, have rushed to the Middle East to join radical movements.  Equality for women, acceptance of homosexuality, freedom of religious worship -- these are just some of the Western values not present in the Muslim world.  To think that the next few hundred thousand Muslim migrants will integrate any better into Western culture is a pipe dream.  But the leftist and ultra-liberal destroyers of Western culture welcome the invasion and urge the West to take in yet more.  They have made the enemy of their enemy their friend.  This will end very badly.

R Balsamo

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Northern Michigan Once Again -- Part 2

Today we toured the Old Mission Penninsula, a 22-mile, finger-like projection that bisects the southern half of Grand Traverse Bay into east and west bays.  Homes line its southern shores and are scattered elsewhere, but overall the land is mostly agricultural -- grapes, apples, and cherries.  There are eight wineries on the peninsula, and also bays and beaches and at least one modest marina.  Beautiful views of the east, west, and northern parts of Grand Traverse Bay are all around.

Here is a view from the west side of Old Mission Peninsula, about 1/3 of the way up, looking southwest over the West Arm of Grand Traverse Bay to the land on the far side:

Below is the view from a large bay, Bowers Harbor, on the west side of the peninsula, looking southwest again; there are three land masses visible from left to right, starting with the one in the distance below the big trees: Power Island; then further in the distance is the east side of the Lelanau Peninsula; and finally closer again is the southwest tip of Bowers Harbor bay.

The harbor in Bowers Harbor:

Here is a common view in the interior of the peninsula, where vineyards abound:

At the northern tip of the peninsula stands the old lighthouse, looking out wistfully to northern Grand Traverse Bay and open Lake Michigan beyond.  It rests almost exactly on the 45th parallel, the half-way point between the equator and the North Pole.  It is no longer in use but is open to the public as a small museum:

Finally, a view from the east side of Old Mission Peninsula, looking across the East Arm of Grand Traverse Bay at the far shoreline just south of Elk Rapids:

R Balsamo

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Northern Michigan Once Again -- Part 1

What a difference a year makes, to borrow a phrase.  Last year at this time we took a drive Up North to northern Michigan and encountered exceptionally cold weather the whole week, and lots of rain as well.  Today we set out again, a year later, under clear, sunny skies and a warm breeze.

Starting on Lake Michigan's southern shore, we headed north and made our way onto US Route 31.  This year, our first detour was a short meander through Ludington, the eastern shore terminus of the car ferry between Wisconsin and Michigan.  The "Spartan" was moored along the quay.

We resumed our northward drive and then made a second detour to cruise around in the lakeside town of Manistee, which sits on the Manistee River just before it flows into Lake Michigan.

Manistee has a small but attractive downtown, stretching a few blocks along the river.  It has what appears to be a still-operational movie theater -- the "Vogue."

We continued on and a short way north of Manistee reached the starting point of Michigan's celebrated Route M22.  We took it north until we stopped for a nice dinner on the terrace of the Arcadia Bluffs Golf Club clubhouse, a spot overlooking a few holes of a beautiful golf course with a stunning backdrop view of Lake Michigan.

Then it was on to Traverse City, which will be the base of our touring for the next few days.

R Balsamo