I can feel the wedding coming closer, but I am mainly interested in the honeymoon, particularly the drive and tour through the Upper Penninsula of Michigan. Becky and I have been singing improvised, faithful, and comical variations of the Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. I am too young to have any degree of connection to the historical event itself, but it is a catchy song and plenty good as well.
I want to get the biggest bang possible out of the trip, hopefully by absorbing tidbits of information that will add some new angle to the scenery. When I travel around Alaska I am constantly struck by the notion that this is the Last Frontier. It truly is. While people have certainly walked and lived in the vastness of Alaska for thousands of years, it is very easy to view it all as a world with dew still on it. It’s a safe bet to make. If what you are looking at does not have a structure or road on it, it probably never has had one. The trees are not second growth. It’s mint condition so to speak. In Wisconsin, particularly in the south half of the state, I was constantly trying to imagine what it all looked like before the dairy farms sliced it all into postage stamps. This is not some moral judgment -- far from it. It’s just apples and oranges, and I love both. I suspect this cavern will narrow as I read more of Alaskan history, but I don’t think it’s unreasonable to place Alaska in a unique earthly prism of largely untouched country.
As I think of the beautiful drive ahead of us through the UP, Michigan, and the Lake Michigan side of Wisconsin, I want to know what happened in those places before we drove through. Where did Hemingway fish and camp? What about all of those Lake Superior shipwrecks? What did they mine there?
I’ve never read The Song of Hiawatha and I plan on doing that before the trip (or at least denting it).
I should yet again reread Hemingway’s Nick Adams Stories, though Becky has never read them. Maybe I can read them aloud to pass the time on our long drives? They seem perfectly suited to that. I cannot wait to tool around Walloon Lake and squint to envision the water and trees as they were a hundred years ago.