A few days ago I posted some spices obtained at the Alden spice mill. Here is a picture of the marina there. This is where, so many years ago, my great grandfather docked everyday at noon for lunch. A place where the passengers would switch steam boats (from the Mabel to the Ruth) and continue on to Eastport or Bellaire, while my grandfather would return with opposite passengers to Elk Rapids. His origin.
Every day he grilled a huge sirloin (or other steak) on a little grill he put on the shore, while he opened the steam valves on the boat and steamed himself a couple potatoes, slathered in a pound a butter. That was lunch every day. Nobody mentioned other veggies. He lived to 75, was never fat, all with no help from modern medicine. Probably too many carbs, but all whole food, and no doubt grass fed meat primarily.
That’s Grandpa Sharp standing up by the wheelhouse, docked somewhere I can’t read. Back then, there were no roads around Torch/Elk Lakes and he transported wealthy tourists from 1880 until 1917 (he really started long before that). When they stopped using horse and buggies, and consequently built the roads, he was out of business and had to move to Oxford to do carpentry work. Elk Rapids, which had been a bustling lumber town, had become a ghost town. Or soon would be.
“Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs. I am haunted by waters.”-Norman Maclean
Maybe my favorite quote of all time. That is writing that puts goose bumps on your arms.
In my family, we are haunted by waters.
Fly-fishing today with my friend Geoff out on the Au Sable. Not sure we’ll do the “holy water,” the main branch, but probably stick to the south branch if the water isn’t too high. Mostly catch and release on the Au Sable but you can keep a couple brown trout or brook trout on that stretch of the Mason Tract. They are calling for rain, but will chance it. We’ll gather Dad and Josh up afterward and eat at Cellar 152 downtown here. Our local pub is being rebuilt and likely will not hold the same charm for us it once did. I’ll have either a bunless burger or a salmon salad. A glass of wine and an “Americano.” Lovely cup of espresso-like coffee I love.
It’s chilly here, still, in northern Michigan. Summer may never arrive, but we’ll pretend otherwise.
Happy Tuesday. I recommend grabbing a rod.