Day 13: Wilderness State Park to Mackinaw City

7-18_soggytrailI’m sipping coffee in a cute little bookstore in Mackinaw City, trying to relax myself from the inside out. I walked from Wilderness State Park this morning through truly disgusting conditions. Last night’s storm showed no signs of stopping this morning so I sucked it up and headed out in the driving rain. The trail was so flooded that, for awhile, I was literally walking through a river.  I was mad at the world in my soggy shoes. The rain finally stopped but I’m soaked through.

I found this little shop that sells coffee and postcards I’m sitting here in my muddy gear, trying to act like I belong in a cafe. There are two guys in the back dressing up for an old-timey tourist photo in costumes that include dresses, fans, and long white gloves so I guess I’m not the only self-conscious person here.

Mackinaw City is my last stop in the Lower Peninsula- I’m thrilled to be so close to the mysterious wilderness of the Upper Peninsula! In my mind the UP possesses some quality of “otherness” that is very wild, very remote and very natural. On the opposite end of the spectrum is historical, car-free Mackinac Island- just a ferry ride away from where I am now. My memories of the place are not flattering, I remember the entire island as a tourist trap from which there is no escape. The air as a mixture of extremely sweet fudge and horse dung. I prefer the smell of walking on pine needles (though don’t have the right to cast judgement about smells in my current state.) Anyway, I just think Mackinaw is unfortunate portrayal of Michigan’s version of culture. Continue reading “Day 13: Wilderness State Park to Mackinaw City”