Michigan BLUE Magazine is deliberate in working with Michigan-based artists, writers and photographers; it is yet another way to profile the Great Lakes State and the talent of those residents who are lauded in each of those endeavors. This month, however, we share appreciation for the work of the Michigan BLUE Art Coordinator Kelly Nugent and Designer Melissa Brooks, who skillfully used outstanding photography and stories in unexpected ways, providing readers with a true sense of the theme of this issue, Travel and Adventure. Artful effort is apparent throughout and most especially in the feature stories of surfing, exploring Isle Royale and the 150-year-old Big Sable Point Lighthouse.
As readers peruse this issue, it may inspire a weekend adventure or a prolonged trip around both peninsulas. Tasting Room this month celebrates Long Road Distillers’ MICHIGIN, a well-liked and unique blend of seven products from around the state, including elusive juniper berries. The distinctive berry grows aplenty on Beaver Island. Thimbleberries are a lure, too. Adventure photographer Aaron Peterson compared Isle Royale to the thimbleberries he nabs for snacking while hiking the wilderness national park. “There are tickles of sweet chased with a slap of tart,” he once wrote, “to remind you that nothing here is easy.” Michigan Top 5 columnist Bob Gwizdz also notes Keweenaw Peninsula as the source for “the best thimbleberry jam in the world.”
Chuck Warren authors State of Mind this month and compares his early years growing up along the Atlantic Coast. He thought the tale of Gordon Lightfoot’s hit “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” was fiction… until he moved to Michigan. The licensed captain now knows the Big Lake to be fiercer than any ocean. His story of comparisons and adventures is a delight to read.
Warren’s tales also underscore the importance of Michigan lighthouses throughout Great Lakes maritime history. Michigan BLUE notes this month the 150th anniversary of Big Sable Point Lighthouse, which has provided guidance since 1867.
Readers may be vaguely familiar with Great Lakes surfing… or not. Third Coast Surf Shop keeper Ryan Gerard notes the sport has exploded since he first opened his store in 2005, although surfers have braved the cold, fall chase of the waves since World War II.
Carole Valade, Editor, Michigan BLUE Magazine