Memories, myths, and meanings of the largest contiguous piece of wild land in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula.
It’s a book about mice who sing, elk who wear collars, deer who kiss, and birds who could dictate their compositions to Mozart. It’s about the human species interacting in generous and sometimes misguided ways with the rest of life. It’s about men trying to ripen pinecones into pineapples and women taking better aim with a revolver than expected. It’s about poetry—from Mary Oliver, Lao Tzu, and Theodore Roethke—and seeing hawks dive in a night sky or feeling oil geologists shake the earth below. It’s about finding fish dead in the river by the thousands and crouching behind a stump to watch beaver build a dwelling. While this book considers life beyond the boundaries of Pigeon River Country, it is steeped in the specifics of a place that lives mostly on its own, instead of human, terms.
The Pigeon River Country is a remote northern forest, ecologically distinct from most of the United States. Laced with waterways, it has a storied past. Dale Clarke Franz has collected personal accounts from various people intrigued with the Pigeon River Country—including loggers, conservationists, mill workers, campers, even the young Ernest Hemingway, who said he loved the forest “better than anything in the world.” There are comprehensive discussions of the area’s flora and fauna, guides to trails and camping sites, and photos showcasing the changing face of this hidden national treasure.