Sunday, October 12, 2008

Forlorn in the north




The Lady Friend and I drove back to Evanston this weekend from the Writer's Lair, now closed up for the winter, and we just had to stop half a dozen times so that I could photograph roadside ruins such as this desolate farm just off U.S. 45 a few miles north of Bruce Crossing, Michigan.

Upper Michigan is full of such abandoned dreams. Hopeful settlers emigrated there from Europe 100 to 150 years ago, seeking their fortunes first in the copper rush of the 1840s, then the lumber boom of the 1880s and 1890s, and finally the subsistence farm movement of the early 1900s. Now the mines are closed, the forests are largely second-growth pulpwood, and the few remaining farmers scrabble to survive.

Yet the land's wild beauty lives on, and even the fading remnants of failure capture the eye. There's something noble and monumental about these testaments to human effort, however fleeting they may be as nature slowly absorbs their bones.

8 comments:

  1. I'm gonna miss you writing about Ontonagon, it's always nice when you write about local things, sort of like hearing Jan Tucker everyday.

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  2. Thank you, Ginger! We'll be back early next May and will stay till the middle of October.

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  3. On the other hand, welcome back to the hustle and bustle of the metro life. You arrive just at the end of the Construction Season (still in full bloom) and just before the Winter Season. Ah, what fun!

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  4. Absolutely beautiful day in Porcupine County; 75 and sunny.

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  5. oops; sun is gone!

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  6. Anonymous, the weather along the shore of Lake Superior is even more changeable than it is down in Chicago. Many's the time I've awakened to clear skies and after breakfast walked out to the barn under pounding raindrops.

    And vice versa half the time . . .

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  7. See you next Spring. Maybe when you and the Lady Friend come back you can autograph my Cache of Corpses? I would be absolutely thrilled to meet you and get your autograph.

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  8. Most happy to autograph your books, Jeremy!

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