I'm writing today from the dining hall at Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies, a familiar place to some of you readers. I was a student here while in college, then spent two summer working on a mural and in the kitchen, and now I've been coming here for my spring vacation for the last several years. I'm kitchen staff while here, but it's really all about being in the woods and on the trails, making some art and reading books, and hanging out with cool environmentally-aware people. I will post photos of the mural in the next few days, I can see it from where I'm sitting but do not have the camera handy.
I arrived last night, after a very long day in the car. The drive should take about 10 1/2 hours, including a straight shot through Canada. I packed up Sadie (my mountain bike) and lots of art supplies along with my clothes and whatnot, and hit the road in shockingly good time at 8:06 AM. All went very well until I realized that the book on CD I was listening to was putting me to sleep and so I stopped to take a nap at a rest area near London. Refreshed, I put in some Brazilian lounge music, and cruised happily along until getting stuck in border traffic in Sarnia/Port Huron...two hours! Somewhere around the "I've been in the car for 11 hours" point I started singing along with Emmylou Harris really loudly. But all's well, I arrived around 8:45, with the sun still shining in these northern latitudes, and pulled into the driveway at Au Sable accompanied by a huge rush of nostalgia.
Places are very important to me, I become attached to the land and woods in places that I love. That keeps me coming back here year and after year.