Notes from the North Country, by Lon and Lynn Emerick

It happens on almost every outing of the Thoreau Sauntering Club: a pleasant surprise. We have been astonished by the sight of two tundra swans resting in a small slip of open water on a remote lake in winter; amazed by the aquatic mating frenzy of hundreds of carp at the end of the Stonington Peninsula; dazzled by the worldly wisdom of a retired government courier with ten million flying miles. And, recognizing the tenuous nature of life, the good fortune to find slices of American pie in all the right places.
We like to pretend that good fortune follows us because we are such warm, sensitive, intelligent (and humble) individuals. But we know that luck favors those who enter each adventure in a spirit of playfulness, with open minds and hearts and an abiding expectation that wonderment is all around us on this gorgeous peninsula.
If you would seek a pleasant sojourn, look about you in this paradise—and remember to leave the rest of your life at the trailhead.
When people see us larking about—how could they miss four maturegents in distinctive caps and sweatshirts (we even have a flag, a large flag, with the club logo on it)—they hint that they would like to join our sauntering club.
We always demur, pointing out that nothing is to prevent them from forming their own outdoor adventure group. On several occasions, we have invited interested people to join one of our excursions and learn how we organized the Thoreau Sauntering Club.
Some observers think we are having way too much fun on our monthly outings. They are right. Together we have reveled in scores of remarkable sites— many of which we might never have visited on our own. Here are just a few:
• a traverse of the Carp River Valley (between Marquette Mountain and the Marquette Branch Prison area) on snowshoes
• a seminar and trek at Hilton Pond with sage Earl Hilton
• a saunter into spring and nesting herons at Gene’s Pond in Dickinson County
Rob Yuill, poet laureate of the Sauntering Club, wrote a song, our anthem if you will, and I include it here for its public premiere. It captures the spirit of the Thoreau Sauntering Club.

Sauntering Song (to the tune of “Row, row, row, your boat”)
Here we go a sauntering
o-ver the U, P.,
Strolling, talking, eating too
it suits us to a “T.”
Each month we take a different trip
to places known or not,
Cautiously adventurous
we give each thing a shot.

Our leader knows just where to go
to places rarely seen,
He searches for that perfect spot—
a place to eat, I mean.

In sauntering we eat of course
the limit is the sky,
We try to find at each locale
the best place for some pie.

When soggy is the path we tread
or heat begins to fry,
We keep our spirits bright and strong
and have a piece of pie.

Our saunter in mid year is a
triathalon of sorts,
The last leg is the hardest part
to eat ice cream in shorts.

We’ll go until we’re doddering
and hiking is a dream,
If we can’t walk or ramble much
we still can eat ice cream.

—Lon and Lynn Emerick

Editor’s Note: Comments are welcome by writing MM or to marquettemonthly@

Lon and Lynn Emerick’s Upper Peninsula books: The Superior Peninsula, Going Back to Central, Lumberjack—Inside an Era, Sharing the Journey, You Wouldn’t Like it Here and You STILL Wouldn’t Like it Here are available at area book and gift stores or by visiting the North Country Publishing site at

Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook Email

No comments yet... Be the first to leave a reply!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.