Tag Archives: Leslie Allen

Sweatin’ to the Oldies—Yooper style

by Leslie Allen It was a hot, dry, windy day, the kind of day that jangles the wind chimes and scurries the dust up the driveway, through the house. At first it feels delightfully hot and summery; then the nerves fray and the throat dries. Time to relax in the sauna. One hears much about […]

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Sculpture park offers more than art

by Leslie Allen Lakenenland, the Upper Peninsula’s premiere sculpture park, is going strong. There are two perch- and bluegill-stocked ponds, a gazebo where you might find fishing poles, a band shell under construction, one of the nicest little outhouses you’ll ever see, always a new sculpture or two, and, of course, the campfire ring with plenty […]

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Taking a fresh look at Munising

by Leslie Allen If you live in Munising, you live in one of the most beautiful places in the world. You see it driving east down the arc of M-28 into town as your eyes sweep across the sparkling blue circle of the bay and climb the cliffs on the far side of the water. […]

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Imp Lake: the stuff of paperback mysteries

by Leslie Allen As we drove down the two-track, scanning the woods for a dead tree, the mosquitoes lay in wait, huddling in the undergrowth, preparing to swarm. “There’s one.” “Too small.” We traveled on, jostling gently back and forth over ruts and stones. “There’s one over there…” “No, it’s too far in. We don’t […]

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Small town, rich history: Traunik at a crossroads

by Leslie Allen Photos Courtesy of A.J. and Jeff Fischer Traunik is a dot on a map, a blip on the radar, a blink in the road. Traunik, north of Trenary and south of Chatham, is an historic location named after a community in Slovenia, the home of many of its settlers. It’s an old […]

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On the Tyoga Trail

by Leslie Allen The Tyoga Historical Pathway is a 1.4-mile loop, a tangled trail cutting through the gnarled woods that cover the rocky land between Lake Superior and M-28 in western Alger County. The trail circles and winds through the lumber-camp town of Tyoga, which existed from about 1905 to 1908, and the town’s tale […]

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Hamming it up in the U.P

by Leslie Allen On a summer’s evening, they’re out in the woods on what they call a “fox hunt”—men and women, in teams of two or three, each following a waggling antenna, listening closely to the staccato beeps of Morse Code coming through their handheld radios. The beeps eventually lead them to the “fox,” a […]

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Journey to fit strip funding tiring for some

by Leslie Allen It’s hard to know exactly where an idea is going to lead. In 1978, Rico Zenti, Jr., had an idea that would put exercise stations for chin-ups, sit-ups, leg stretches, and the like along a walking and jogging trail in Marquette. Zenti took the idea to the city’s parks and recreation board, which […]

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Lessons from the Cranberry Bog

by Leslie Allen There are cranberry bogs throughout the U.P., I am sure, but my evidence is purely anecdotal. I have heard of bogs in Marquette and Alger counties, down in Nahma, and Whitefish Point is the Cranberry Capital of Michigan, as named this past spring by our esteemed legislature down in Lansing. Many years […]

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Mysterious light continues to intrigue, by Leslie Allen

Mysterious light continues to intrigue Up ahead, deep in the dark woods, a light appears: a pinprick of white, barely visible. Without warning, it expands, seems to be hurtling toward you, brightly shining, glowing, growing. Just as suddenly it retreats and dims. It subsides to a pinprick and is gone. This is the Paulding Light, […]

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Local pirate leaves a legacy of tales, by Leslie Allen

Local pirate leaves a legacy of tales Trying to track the tales of Roarin’ Dan Seavey, the Great Lakes Pirate, is like being on a tiny ship in a November gale on the north end of Lake Michigan, searching for port through a swirling kaleidoscope. By all accounts, Seavey was a rogue, a thief, a […]

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Where the buffalo roam, by Leslie Allen

If someone said, “Picture a buffalo herd,” does your mind go to the open plains of the Dakotas where grass and sky stretch beyond the horizon, beyond imagination? Do you see hundreds of buffalo grazing idly on a grassy expanse? Do you see an uncountable number galloping as one in a billow of dust, a […]

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Finding the sweet spot, by Leslie Allen

I went and visited a guy north of town—north of Bruce Crossing, that is—who makes and sells honey. He’s not to be confused with the guy south of town who used to make and sell honey. That was Cole’s Apiary, run by Otto Cole, and then his son Walt. They’ve been out of business twenty […]

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Finding vinyl without a scratch, by Leslie Allen

The working title of this article, “In Search of Vinyl: Criss-crossing the Central U.P. in a Quixotic Quest for Tom Jones” (subtitle: What’s so unusual about that?), had to be thrown out. It was all too easy. One trip to Leftovertures in Manistique, and I was done. “Tom Jones is not a big mover,” Gene […]

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A salve for all seasons, by Leslie Allen

If you grew up in Big Bay in the 1940s, ’50s or ’60s, fell down and skinned your knee, got a cut or a burn, it’s likely your medical treatment consisted of a good swathing in “Grandma Salve.” At that time, the salve came out of any old jar Pauline Cram, the salve’s maker, had […]

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