Places we won’t forget

In October of 2010, photographer Jeff Garland spent a couple days meandering along Old U.S. 27. From roadside cabins and vintage signs to Swiss chalets and neon diners, BLUE featured sights Jeff captured in 2011’s Fall edition.
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letter from the editor of michigan blue magazine

In October of 2010, photographer Jeff Garland spent a couple days meandering along Old U.S. 27. From roadside cabins and vintage signs to Swiss chalets and neon diners, BLUE featured sights Jeff captured in 2011’s Fall edition.

This year’s autumn issue highlights impressions made and taken along Lake Huron’s coast last fall, when the Metro Detroit-area native embarked on U.S. Highway 23 (page 32). On the Sunrise Side, Jeff found that the rich histories of small towns and unspoiled beauty of state parks fringing the scenic route are immersive: North of Harrisville, he passed over a creek rippling with running salmon, and spent half an hour standing in cold water, snapping pictures.

He also spent as much time in warm conversation with the local couple who shared he’d find the fish there.

Such moments make unhurried journeys to new places memorable.

Beyond Michigan’s great boggy flats to the Upper Peninsula’s northern rim is a place made sacred by the smallest, most remarkable things (page 28). Petoskey-based college instructor James McCullough learned this as a boy when he and his father made a pilgrimage to meet renowned “Anatomy of a Murder” author John Voelker, who led them by Jeep through a wilderness maze to his veiled trout waters and retreat.

“He could have hired architects to erect a monumental home on some western river or over the Escanaba,” McCullough notes, “but instead he…built a cedar and pine cabin shaped like a miniature barn, tucked a stone’s throw from the pond.” 

While the nostalgic appeal of such a cabin hasn’t lost its magic, personal taste and everyday practicality find footing in three distinctive residential designs nestled near water (page 38): an updated “cabin” overlooking Torch Lake from a forested bluff; a custom log home along the Au Sable’s most sacred stretch; and a modern family haven with expansive views of Pigeon Creek’s wetlands. Inventive design makes the most of these scenic places.

“We call it the ‘Inglenook,’” says architect Mark Johnson of the Torch Lake home’s two-level octagon-shaped gathering space. “It’s where (the family) goes for the sunset.”

But autumn in Michigan  also justifies faraway jaunts to unforgettable places.

“The best journeys often end at a natural landmark,” notes BLUE’s Michigan Top 5 columnist, Jim DuFresne (page 51), whose favorites include Lake of the Clouds and Upper Tahquamenon Falls. “Beauty like ours is worth hours in the car, especially when the vista is framed by fiery fall colors.”

Make time this season to take them in at a place you’ve never been. But don’t hurry. There’s much to remember along the way that you won’t want to miss.

With heartfelt thanks for reading, Lisa M. Jensen, Editor, Michigan BLUE Magazine.

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