Our theme for the month of October was selected by readers and is a format challenge: write a post completely in dialogue.
This looks like as good a place as any to park. Just gonna pull off as far as I dare without getting stuck… Ehh, that should do it.
Should I write a note? I better write a note just in case. Someone comes across this pickup truck on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere, they’re gonna be curious. ‘Gone…camping—not…in…trouble!’
Gosh this snow is deep. There isn’t even a trail… Just some good ol’ fashioned bushwacking!
Google satellite view is the best thing in the world… That rocky bald should be just around the next bend, maybe in a few hundred feet or so… I wonder how many people have explored back here?
Do NOT close out the Google maps app. I might never find my way outta here…ah heck, it’s not gonna snow tonight. I guess I could always follow my footprints back.
Should be just a few hundred feet more…
Aaaaand there she is! Damn, that’s a beautiful peak! What a profile! Kinda looks like the Old Man of the Mountain. Except the UP version, maybe, like ‘Jimmer Negamanee from Menominee.’ Mt. Jimmer Negamanee. Yeah, I like that.
Damn, I wish I had somebody to share this with.
I should camp right on the top. How cool would that be? I wonder if there’s an easy way to get up those rocks?
God damn this hill is steep.
Huh. A carabiner. Somebody’s been here before.
I don’t know about this, these rocks are pretty sketchy… I’m completely alone out here. No cell service… I’d be in serious shit if I broke something out here.
Taryn would not approve.
If I can just get my leg up to that ledge…
Taryn would not approve.
It looks like it kind of opens up once I get past this tricky part…
TARYN WOULD NOT APPROVE.
Yeah fuck it this route’s not gonna work. I better scale around to the other side and see if there’s a better way up.
There we go, that’s much better. I can climb that.
Wow. What a view! Better snap a few photos for the ‘gram. Too bad the sky is all gloomy like that. Ah well, nothing a little ‘contrast’ and ‘saturation’ can’t fix. These’ll be great.
I think it’s time for a victory beer. Time to break out the UPA…
Ahh, that’s the stuff. I bet I look like a real badass up here. Drinkin’ a beer on this rock with a backpack on, looking off into the mountains… It’s too bad there’s nobody to share this with. It’s like that old adage, ‘If a tree falls in the woods’… If you went on a sick backpacking trip and nobody verifies how awesome it was, does it even matter? Pics or it didn’t happen, right?
Nah, that’s a bad mindset. Still, though. I wish someone else was here.
Yeah this is definitely the place to camp for the night. Ah, there’s a nice flat spot next to the cliff. Just enough room for a tent and a fire. Couple trees for the hammock, aw man, this looks perfect! Definitely one of the best campsites I’ve ever had!
I say that a lot…
Whatever. That just means I keep picking better spots. This has gotta be one of the best spots I’ve ever pitched a tent.
It’s too bad the clouds are so overcast. I bet you could see a killer sunset from up here. Taryn would love this spot. I’ll have to take her back here sometime. Would she have climbed that cliff? Ehh, probably not. Well, maybe. She still surprises me.
This fire’s gonna look awesome right next to the cliff like that. Perfect Instagram moment. Too bad my phone doesn’t get reception, this’d make a hell of a story…
I wonder what kind of stuff Chris McCandless thought about when he camped alone? Probably not Instagram. Did somebody really find that “Happiness only real when shared” quote from his journal, or was that just Hollywood’s touch? It’s too bad he never hitchhiked through Michigan, he woulda loved it up here.
It’s cold as shit out here. Eh, at least the beer’s cold. Time to break out the brats.
Man, I love Johnsonville brats. These things are clutch. Easiest backpacking meal there is, hands down. People who camp with stoves and utensils are chumps. Give me a lighter and a pack of brats and I’m good to go! If ever I were to sponsor a product…
Ah, who am I kidding. It’d be Duluth Trading Co. underwear.
Man, I should’ve brought more beers.
Getting dark already? Not much of a sunset tonight…
This contract is long as hell. I wonder what everyone’s doing back home? Friday night in GR… Taryn’s probably making dinner for friends right now, or curled up watching Netflix. The guys are probably out at Cannonsburg, or maybe having a bonfire at Bristol… eating Johnsonville brats, I bet. Heh heh. They’re probably just about done with snow for the year down there. Man, I wish I could call or text somebody right now. I wonder if anyone’s wondering what I’m doing right now?
Jimmer Negamanee was weird as hell. He must’ve been on acid. That whole movie was weird as hell.
Note to self: Send a Snapchat tomorrow and caption it, “Escanaba in da Daylight.”
What the hell was that?!? Owl? Coyote? Yeah, definitely a coyote. Sounds a lot yippier than a wolf. That’s uh, pretty creepy though. Man, what a weird call.
I can’t believe I still haven’t seen a bear in Michigan. For as much time as I spend outside, and as careless as I am hanging food up, that’s pretty ridiculous. Man what I wouldn’t give to see a bear right now. That’d make my year, that’d be so cool. Too bad they’re hibernating.
I wonder what would happen if a bear did show up though? I guess it is April. Maybe they are waking up right about now. Maybe they’re hungry. I wonder what I should do with the rest of these brats? I really don’t need four more… Seems a waste to throw them in the fire. I guess I could eat them all, if I space them out over a few hours. Eh, I don’t have enough beer to stay awake that long though.
That’s one thing that sucks about winter camping. There’s nothing to do after it gets dark, except drink beer and stare at the fire.
Should I throw these brats off the cliff? Can I throw them far enough away where a bear wouldn’t think to come up here? Could a bear climb that cliff?
Of course they can. Wow, that was a stupid thought.
I’m being paranoid. Michigan bears just run away from people. That’s what I’ve been told, anyway… It’d be great to just see one at the base of the cliff, walking around through the woods.
Well gosh, then I really wouldn’t be able to get to sleep.
Winter camping isn’t nearly as fun by yourself.
Ok, screw this, I’m going to bed, I don’t care if it’s just nine o’clock.
It’s cold as shit out here.
Wolves don’t hibernate. I think it was snowing during that ‘Beauty and the Beast’ scene, wasn’t it? When Belle’s father is traveling through the spooky woods? I don’t know. No, they definitely don’t hibernate. ‘Once more into the fray…’ Liam Neeson fought off a whole pack in the snow. They love snow! Fuck.
There it is again! Another coyote… I think.
Man, I wish Taryn was here right now.
It’s cold as shit.
Nick Meekhof (’15) graduated with a major in writing and a minor in geography. A farmer for the first twenty-three years of his life, Nick currently works for the Michigan Department of Agriculture. When he’s not traversing the state conducting orchard inspections, he can be found exploring the rivers, forests, and small towns all throughout the Great Lakes State. His current goals include kayaking one hundred Michigan rivers, swimming in Lake Michigan during every month of the year, and visiting as many Michigan breweries as possible.