Some wonderful folks over at The Poetry Question asked me to list my five must-reads or five favorite writers. There’s no way I could do so, but I tried to incorporate a range of voices, including some I’ve been lucky to learn from personally.
Check out my recommendations listed today on The Poetry Question’s #TPQ5 here.
From Saugatuck Dunes and windmills in Holland to sandboarding to Sleeping Bear to homemade cherry pie to Traverse City and drop-off cliffs and teal waters to the best fudge I’ve ever tasted on Mackinac Island to weird birds and crystal clear springs to drinking blueberries to sunsets and rainstorms and Pictured Rocks cruises to my first pasty to Ann Arbor and tiny surprises to all the waterfalls chased and miles driven home- here’s some of Michigan’s finest with my family.
Drove to the Saugatuck Sand Dunes & took a buggy ride, watched the most gorgeous sunset over the water, visited Mt. Baldhead Park
Visited the cute town of Holland & Windmill Island Gardens (next best thing if you can’t visit the Netherlands!), Ottawa Beach, spotted Big Red Lighthouse against some dark blue skies, hit up Tunnel Park, went sandboarding at Silver Lake Sand Dunes, Inspiration Point, Sleeping Bear Dunes State Park
Stopped through Traverse City and had some cherry pie, drove to Old Mission Peninsula to see the Old Mission Point Park & Lighthouse, admired the blue hues of Torch Lake, and cruised through the scenic Tunnel of Trees
Stayed the night in Mackinaw City, caught an early morning ferry to Mackinac Island to awe over Arch Rock, indulge in the best fudge, and Sanders hot fudge cream puff. This is a car-free island, so no motorized vehicles, and a lot of horse drawn carriages. Simply beautiful.
Left the city for Kitch-iti-Kipi, Manistique. The most beautiful teal water, and watching the fish swim below your feet!
One of our bucketlist items: Pictured Rocks National Landshore. Still stunned this place is real. We finished our outing just as the rain started falling. Obviously one of the highlights of our trip!
Tahquamenon Falls State Park (nicknamed “Root Beer Falls” for a good reason!), and the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum
We started our venture back home. Stopped at the Cross in the Woods, Stepping Stone Falls, Ann Arbor & Graffiti Alley, enjoyed some blueberry beer to toast to a wonderful trip!
If you live in the beautiful state of Michigan, how lucky you are! It was so good to get out and explore this beautiful state and make memories with my family after months of being cooped up. I feel very grateful to experience such natural beauty & calm my restless soul for a bit.
So now that we’re all experts at navigating the path between the refrigerator and the couch, what about some outside trails?
I recently came back to be with my parents in rural Pennsylvania, and there’s not much to do here in our small town. (Not that I’m out painting the town, anyway. I’m staying home!) However, I was getting restless for new scenery, and a lot of the local parks/attractions I’d already been to. That is, except for Nelson Ledges Quarry Park in Ohio.
We opted to spend a weekend out in nature, and who knew Ohio was keeping this gem hidden? I loved climbing over these giant rocks, squeezing myself between crevices, hiking all the paths to waterfalls.
Two weekends later, we woke up on a Sunday and decided to go for a drive. My mom had heard about Freedom Falls in Pennsylvania, and we ended up there. We parked on the dirt road and walked down to the falls, where there as only one other person there. I was amazed at how clear and crystal blue the water was. The gentleman that was there told us the falls weren’t as impressive as they usually are due to the lack of rain we’ve had this year, but I was still blown away by this little teal paradise in the middle of nowhere. We hiked down the river to the furnace and the tunnel, taking some nearby trails. Honestly, it was awesome.
There were also many covered bridges along the way:
Where have you explored lately? Any secret spots that are a close drive from northeast PA? Let me know- I’d love to hear!
Since creating my public Instagram account (@fromthissideofthesun) to showcase my travel adventures and writing, I’ve made so many connections & found friends in like-minded individuals. I’m so grateful that one of them, Edher, AKA The Cinnamon Traveler (find him on Instagram, and his Facebook page) asked to interview me on his YouTube channel.
Edher lives in Cusco, Peru and has conducted several interviews with travelers, bloggers, and more that I’ve found to be both fascinating and inspiring. He’s one of the most genuine people I’ve met, (which says a lot seeing as how we’ve only “met” a couple months ago, and have yet to meet in person!) and I’m so glad he shared his platform with me for me to tell my story as a solo female traveler.
I’m super awkward and there were some technical difficulties on my end, but I had such an amazing time chatting with him! Check out the full interview here.
Hosted with the Frostburg State University Center For Literary Arts, the Write Now Series is a collection of workshops, writing sessions, and salon-style literary discussions where student and community writers come together. Members are mentored by presses and established writers from all over the country and enjoy participating in a showcase reading at the end of each semester.
Check out the video, now available on YouTube, and find the Write Now Series on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Soundcloud, YouTube, and Spotify.
My segment is a reading of a handful of poems and only about five minutes long, so what are you waiting for?! Also, be sure to check out poet Rick Campbell, who gives a reading and an excellent interview as well.