Michigan

Grand Marais & Lake Superior, Michigan

We found our way Up North, where your phone says "no service" and touffalla trees are real. I try to cross the 45th Parallel at least once a year. It feels really good every time, things are just more chill near the North Pole. 

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There's nothing like spending hours on Michigan's lakeshores, specifically Lake Superior; hunting for agates, getting distracted by pretty rocks, braving the chilly surf for a swim, soaking up the goodness when magic hour perfectly illuminates all the beautiful natural treasures. 

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We built campfires by night on Muskallonge Lake at Deer Park Lodge, which was just a few hundred yards inland of Lake Superior. By we, I mean Jason. I made sure we had blankets and mantles and all the cozy things. 

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With dirt roads below and Sandhill Cranes swooping above, we ventured along the coast to spend a day in Grand Marais, a small outpost of a town overlooking a harbor and beach. We discovered beached shipwrecks, aging post offices, and the most delicious peaches either of us have ever had.

On the last night, we wandered over to Lake Superior at Muskallonge State Park beach. Jason went for a swim; I cozied up on some driftwood.

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There aren't a lot of people that far up north. Usually you're the only one on the beach. But that evening a tribe of fellow travelers congregated to soak up the beauty. A couple taking selfies, two best friends walking their dog, a playful group of children wandering into the surf. We watched them in delight, soaking up good vibes and a sunset to remember. 

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Until next time, Lake Superior...

A Great Grandmother Discovery

My 95-year-old grandmother was rummaging around her bottom dresser drawer when I noticed a flash of turquoise. 

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"Nana, what's that?" I asked, pointing at an ancient looking knit carefully folded. "Oh this? This was my mother's, your grandmother's. She used to wear it all the time." We quickly did some math and realized that made this garment nearly 100 years old. 

I picked it up and carefully threw it around my shoulders. My hands found two pockets in the perfect location and allowed me to wrap up.

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Nearly five years into Wild Mantle, I couldn't believe this treasure had been waiting for me all this time. Nana sent me home with it, of course.

It's not for sale, but I call it the Elizabeth. Discovering this family heirloom felt like a wink from my great-grandmother saying "keep going, Avi. There are exciting discoveries ahead."

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