Vicarious Travels in Michigan


To say the least, it’s been a tragic and trying year, something most of us could never have imagined. Here at BLUE, our hearts go out to those of our readers and others who may have lost someone due to the COVID-19 virus, or who fell ill and continue to struggle. Know we wish you well and all hope for better times.

Planning for this summer issue of BLUE got underway long before the virus arrived, and while its presence in Michigan surely will change many summer plans, we hope that you enjoy this issue, that it’s stories, columns and beautiful photos and illustrations provide a valuable distraction in hard times, bring smiles to faces and fuel future plans.

Travel writer Amy Eckert, who lives in Holland, enthusiastically approached me in May last year with a fascinating idea to write about touring the Big D’s historic river canals by kayak, about paddling tours being offered “through an overlooked piece of Detroit real estate, its Detroit River canals. …the historical tours have become extremely popular,” she wrote. “Located east of downtown, these canals were once haunted by the notorious bootleggers, the Purple Gang, and by auto barons, including Charles Fisher, who built his extraordinary mansion here in 1922.”

It sounded like fun.

Amy was excited about the story. And, of course, she would need to go on the tour last year to capture it first-hand, before winter closed in. Likewise, Bill Bowen, the Detroit photographer who shot the feature for us.

“This assignment was a blast.,” Bowen said. “Paddling around Detroit is always an adventure. …Photographing while paddling can be a challenge, especially with the old kayak I have. Meeting the DRS (Detroit River Sports) guests, who were all super friendly, couldn’t have been more fun. Being behind the scenes photographing the paddle to table event was great.”

Their feature story is found in this summer issue along with an important and colorful look at the effort by locals in Leland to save historic Fishtown from Lake Michigan’s rising waters. Also, we present the story of The Douglas House, an architectural gem in Harbor Springs on Lake Michigan that has been restored and added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Those are just a few of the opportunities that our readers have in this issue to vicariously get away from the travails of this year, or better yet, plan to actually experience them.

We hope you all stay safe and healthy.

Howard Meyerson – Managing Editor, Michigan BLUE Magazine.

*Photography Courtesy iStock

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