Keweenaw Diaries Part 1: Trapped in Paradise

Eagle Harbor, MI – I am trapped in a paradise, immobilized next to an animated orange fire, within earshot of the storm just now whistling over Lake Superior; I am be-blanketed on the couch of a log cabin far more spectacular than my budget for this trip could ever approach. 

On the downside, my car quit on me a few hours ago; my trusty Toyota Sienna-turned camper-van’s automatic shifter stopped communicating with its transmission somehow. The fact that the transmission itself hasn’t been acting up is the only thing keeping me from full-scale panic. Unless I can miraculously YouTube-fix-it myself this development could lead to me imposing on my host even longer, a prospect I expect one of us would be much more excited about than the other.

The gentleman host in question is scientist-and-poet Bill Rose, who over email agreed to spend one day driving around with me, conveying the fiery volcanic origins and mining history of the Keweenaw Peninsula in a series of illustrative stops. We were accompanied by delightful Erika Vye, a Candian geologist who makes her home 10 miles up the road in Copper Harbor and seems to have at least three jobs. 

The marvelous Erika Vye and the patron of my art, Bill Rose on his Lake Superior-fronted summer home near Eagle Harbor.

My original housing plan for the night before our outing fell through, and I called to ask Bill whether I might park my rolling memory foam bed on his property, only to learn his property conveniently included a guest house with en suite with a view of his 10-acre island across Lake Superior. He’s been generous enough to let me stay there over the past few days as I travel around working on food stories, connecting with nature and getting to know some locals.

He might have to burn me out of this place.

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