Ellen Airgood–author of the novel, South of Superior, and the newly released young-adult novel, Prairie Evers–posted a link to the UP Book Tour 2012 on her Facebook page. I would love to get to at least a couple of the authors’ talks during my August circling of Lake Superior, but they take place in June and July. Darn. In case you are interested, here’s the UP Book Tour 2012 calendar.
If you want to visit Grand Marais, check out this page of nearby awesome attractions like Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore with Grand Sable Dunes. My first backpacking trip was to Pictured Rocks many years ago on the first weekend in May. My then stepdaughter, Katie, two others, and I hiked in and set up base camp at Mosquito campground (click here for map PDF). Fortunately it was too early for mosquitoes. The weather was actually quite strange. We were prepared for cold weather so were shocked when the temperature reached 80.
It was a gorgeous place to camp with a small cold stream, spring wildflowers and wild leeks, and, of course, the big lake stretched out in front of us. Katie threw a snowball while dressed in shorts, and every day she bravely dove in (and right out of) the cold blue lake. Brrr. At night in the campground we could hear loud splashes as massive chunks of ice fell off the sides of the pictured rocks. I imagined that must be what the calving of glaciers in Alaska sounds like.
One day we hiked to Chapel Falls taking a lunch of apples, peanut butter, and pita bread. While sitting in the wilderness by the falls enjoying our lunch, the beauty and silence was shattered by a jet ski. The jet skiers had come from Munising, took one look at the falls, and back they went. Wow. We all felt a little sick about the intrusion by folks there to just check “Chapel Falls” off a list rather than really experiencing the beauty and holiness of the falls and surrounding nature. And, of course, I couldn’t help but think of the petroleum pollutants spewing out of the jet ski in addition to the noise pollution.
Here’s an official link to backpacking at Pictured Rocks and here’s an article in Backpacker Magazine from May 2010. Hope you get to enjoy this gorgeous area! And on foot!