Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Travelogue A La Hemingway

Breaking from tradition, our two-family camping trip this summer is headed for Muskallonge State Park in the Upper Peninsula. For the past dozen or so years my family has joined my sister-in-law's family in camping at Silver Lake State Park near the sand dunes off Lake Michigan. So something new this year.

Though we booked our reservations for the middle of July, I already have begun researching recreational opportunities. Nearby is the Two-Hearted River which was featured in a short story by Ernest Hemingway. Then there is the North Country Trail, longest hiking tail in the U.S., which runs from North Dakota to New York. It actually traverses the state park where we'll be pitching our tents.

So I'm already pondering some father-son bonding opportunities in the wilderness. I love this stuff. I'm eligible for retirement this month and my fantasy is to begin a second career as a travel writer, my dream job. Of course, my travel resume is a bit sparse since I'm afraid to fly. I'm not sure an essay on "My hiking trip over the dunes of western Michigan" would get me a by-line in National Geographic.

What I'd like to write is a sequel to Patricia Schultz's best-seller "1000 Places To See Before You Die." Maybe "1000 Places You Can See Without Having To Fly Anywhere."

I'd have to pick some intriguing, exotic locales. So far, I haven't been too good at that. When we went to Chicago a couple weeks ago, our family actually visited two tourist venues, Navy Pier and the Sears Tower, that are listed by MSN's travel website among 15 places that tourists should avoid. Of the 15 such travel destinations at that website, we've been to five--the others being Boston's Faneuil Hall, Times Square and the Animal Kingdom at Disneyworld.

Maybe if I can write like Hemingway I'll find a travel editor who'll take notice anyway. By the way, Hemingway ironically never saw the Two-Hearted River. He actually canoed the nearby Fox River but chose to change the name of the river in his story to the "Big Two-Hearted River." He picked that name after seeing it on a map of the Upper Peninsula, figuring it would appeal more to his publisher and readers.

Hea! Mmmmmmmmmm, that gives me an idea.

Blog topic for next week: "My hiking trip over the dunes of western Siberia."

Now we're cooking. Look for my by-line soon in National Geographic.


Blogger Peter said...

You don't have to fly Dave, you can still catch a "slow boat to China" etc. but you will need to be retired to have enough time to do it

6:06 PM  
Anonymous squirrel said...

Have fun camping. Do they have mosquitos up that way? Or is Oklahoma their favorite summer destination? Looking forward to reading your articles in National Geographic, you can do it Dave I have faith in ya. :)

6:47 PM  
Blogger simply me said...

Its 8am having a bit of coffee before I head out to work (I'm a little slow this morning)Honestly I'd rather stay home, read your blog and write. The bills have to get paid I guess. Dave, I say go for it....there are many beautiful places in the US in which access by car, train, canoe are all possible. Your good sense of humor will also help...have a good day.

5:06 AM  
Blogger Babette said...

When I was growing up my family used to camp at Tahquamenon Falls State Park. Bruce and I fished the Big Two-Hearted River on our honeymoon. Hemingway is one of our favorite authors. It is hard to beat fresh, pan-fried trout for breakfast.

5:57 PM  
Blogger Matty said...

Why not Dave? If you're gonna dream, dream big! How about 1,000 places to visit for the timid soul? That would be a best-seller! I hope you enjoy your vacation and let us know all the highlights. I'm an armchair traveller myself..I get to travel and the price is right.
Have a wonderful time!

7:32 PM  
Blogger Babette said...

I forgot to say that trout goes well with GREEN peppercorns.

We have the game version of "1000 Places To See Before You Die."

Have a fun vacation!

8:26 PM  
Blogger Lee said...

Who needs to fly, Dave? You have a wide, beautiful, vast and wonderful country there of your own to motor home! And you can take your computer with you and write your stories along the way. :)

8:31 PM  
Blogger Lee said...

"buy" a motor home, you're walking "by"! ;)

8:32 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

Hi, just popped in to see if you would tell me what is a "Tiki Bar"?
via/ lzblogger.

5:25 PM  
Blogger Kacey said...

Don't try to do the hike from North Dakota to New York all at once --- you'd blow out a tennis shoe, for sure! If great writers are supposed to write about something they really know --- you better stick to Michigan. It truly is a wonderful state for the traveler. And rivers?---Check out the AuSable ---- it's so close to home!

7:58 PM  
Blogger Kate said...

no I did not see the movie.. and no tiki bars here. Probably to cold or windy!!! Your drink would get knocked right out of your hand!!! LOL

9:23 PM  
Blogger Carine said...

Well Dave, I'm not a camper-but you make it sound very appealing!
Have a wonderful time.

10:24 PM  
Blogger poopie said...

Eligible for retirement???????? I wish ;) Still lookin' for SugarDaddy to make that happen. I bet it's a lot cooler up there camping in the summer than it is in Tennessee. Less bugs too.

7:49 PM  
Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

We have dunes in Oregon. So I think you ought to find all the dunes in the U.S. and walk hither and yon until you find -- and report on -- all of them. Wish I had thought of it......

8:35 PM  
Anonymous schnoodlepooh said...

When you write your travel guide about places you can visit without flying, I want a copy! I am afraid of flying also. In fact, that's probably a really good idea for a travel guide. There are probably some other people out there who don't want to fly.

11:16 AM  
Anonymous Gabe Talaga said...

I play basketball on Wednesday nights in Traverse City and one of the guys we play with is Jerry Dennis, local author. Here is a link:

So maybe your hiking trip over the dunes of West Michigan won't get you into National Geographic, but if your story captures the minds of the readers, you may get voted Michigan's top book.

8:10 AM  
Blogger Lucy Stern said...

OK Dave, Here you go: Try this information.
How to get from New York to London

Take 60 seconds to do this, I guarantee you will show someone else, it's too funny not to.

1. go to
2. click on "maps"
3. click on "get directions"
4. type "New York" in the first box (the "from" box)
5. type "London" in the second box (the "to" box)
6. press on "get directions" button
7. scroll down to step #24

11:40 AM  
Blogger simply me said...

Dave - I could use a smile - where are u? I hate to pressure on you but I love reading your blog and its been a couple of days.

: - )

12:46 PM  
Blogger "The Captain" said...

Dave T,
I saw you on Spiders blog. That was a funny picture on the tshirt.

8:44 PM  
Anonymous Deb said...

Hey Dave, you're a very talented writer, and if travel writing is where your heart is, then follow your bliss.

4:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


11:01 PM  

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