Last minute I decide to enjoy my freedom and give myself four days to disconnect.
Once in Michigan disconnecting is easy, as I have no phone reception nor Wi-Fi
In the winter people cross-country ski over the frozen lake to Mackinac Island. In late summer, you can still take the ferry. And wow, upon arrival I fly back in time. I stand in the middle of a busy street and a special silence comes to my attention. Motor vehicles are not allowed. Horse and carriage are waiting to transport visitors. Amish visitors avoid cycling through horse poo. Every tourist chooses a bike or a carriage. I enjoy the disconnection on this Island.
A few hours later my ferry stays two hours longer than planned on the water. The anchor came loose and we are stuck on Lake Huron. Fortunately, I brought a book and try to read without becoming seasick.
On my way to Paradise, it rains. No one else is driving at this early hour on this desolate road. The only radio station that broadcasts clearly brings a sermon about ‘contentment’. I give the Bible radio a chance. The priest is a great storyteller. But thy who knows the world hears the dictatorial message. He belittles people who find satisfaction in organic food and yoga. Almost thirty minutes later he finally comes to the conclusion that we should be ‘content’ with food and clothes, nothing more. Well, I am content that it stopped raining, I am content I have arrived in Paradise and I am content not being religious.
Driving in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is very ‘zen’. I have given up the radio, my phone is out of service, every now and then I cross an oncoming vehicle and occasionally I pass a sleeping village. I am surrounded by silence, bright green, alert deer, spotted cranes and plenty of water.
In my airbnbs the doors are wide open and a welcome note guides me to my room. I don’t see the owners, I do see starry skies at night.
The fourth day I enter Wisconsin and the landscape changes immediately from forest to fields, from radio silence to too much choice, from alert deer to advertising boards, from no coverage to full coverage. The connecting has started.
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park
Cunnigham’s family restaurant in Macinaw City, for whitefish
Taqhuamenon Falls State Park, in Paradise
Pictured Rocks National Park, cruise and hikes
Falling Rock cafe and book store in Munising, for whitefish again
Seney National Wildlife Refuge
PS: on this trip I made acquaintance with Lake Huron and Lake Superior. Lake Erie I met on my road trip through Amish country and Lake Ontario on our road trip to Toronto and Niagara. Lake Michigan I speak almost daily. All Great Lakes seen!
(as English is not my native language, some weird translations may have popped up. Feel free to let me know. Also none of the above businesses have invited me to write for them, nor have I received any compensation from them.)