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Jeff Smith's Blog (153)

Channeling Hitchcock's The Birds on a Lake Michigan Island

Remnants of cottage built long ago amid a gull colony on a Lake Michigan island.

Note: Gull Island is a no-access, critical area that is off limits to the public year round.

There's an island up near Northport, Michigan, near the tip of…

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Added by Jeff Smith on May 7, 2014 at 3:30pm — 2 Comments

Pictured Rocks Vacation — Right. Now.

 

The renowned arch at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, which you can walk under this winter, thanks to such frosty weather.

A few years ago, a friend of mine, Steve Largent, allowed us to run a photo like the one above in Traverse, Northern Michigan's Magazine.…

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Added by Jeff Smith on February 12, 2014 at 11:00am — 1 Comment

New Snow Bike (aka Fat Bike) Video Feature, Shot Near Marquette, by Aaron Peterson

Snow bikes, officially called fat bikes, riding near Lake Superior, just north of Marquette. Image by Aaron Peterson, from Cold Rolled video feature. (Good to know: you don't have to ride this extreme if you don't want…

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Added by Jeff Smith on December 9, 2013 at 9:30am — No Comments

Inspiring Signs of Economic Progress in Manistee County

Just before deer season 2013, a gentleman by the name of Tim Ervin called me to see if I'd like to do another Manistee Day. Manistee Day is the informal name we have given to an occasional—maybe once every few years—rite in which Tim Ervin drives Jeff Smith around Manistee and shows off some of the latest stuff Tim loves about his home county.

Tim Ervin is a connector in the fullest sense of the word. "I'll have to put in you touch with..." is a phrase that comes from his…

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Added by Jeff Smith on December 3, 2013 at 11:30am — No Comments

Perfect Day-Trip Idea: Pedal the Leelanau Trail from Suttons Bay to Traverse City

Stopping by a newly planted hops field along the Leelanau Trail.

With summer winding down, I strongly recommend doing what you can to soak up summer good times now. That in mind, I did a little research for a perfect daytrip for anybody living in or spending time in Traverse City. It's…

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Added by Jeff Smith on August 19, 2013 at 9:00am — No Comments

How to Make Cowboy Coffee

Cowboy coffee. That's what you are looking at here, with a MyNorth logo formed into the surface, of course.

Why is this important? Because cowboy coffee is your ticket to completely bonafide excellent java out on the trail. This photo was taken deep in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, miles from…

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Added by Jeff Smith on August 11, 2013 at 7:30pm — No Comments

2013 Traverse City Film Festival: Panel Discussion with Michael Moore, Zal Batmanglij and Brit Marling

From left: Brit Marling, Zal Batmanglij and Michael Moore

The morning panel discussion at the Traverse City Film Festival had Michael Moore talking with Zal Batmanglij and Brit Marling, who have a decade-long friendship and have collaborated…

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Added by Jeff Smith on August 1, 2013 at 3:30pm — No Comments

Peek inside new Traverse City microbrewery Brewery Terra Firma

As Traverse City's food and drink scene continues to evolve, we've seen a number of new microbreweries enter the mix. The newest one is Brewery Terra Firma, just south of Traverse City on Hartman Road. Terra Firma is the region's first microbrewer to expand the concept to include a farming component. The brewery will grow hops onsite and raise other vegetables to add flavor to the fermentation. I recently had a tour of the new digs by management crew Josh Janowiak, Charles Kinzel and John…

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Added by Jeff Smith on July 24, 2013 at 3:30pm — No Comments

Traverse City Winemakers Party Sommelier Does a Mind Share

From left: Sommelier Claudia Tyagi, Traverse Travel Editor Kim Schneider and Andy McFarlane, event mastermind. Tyagi was offering tasty background on the wines to be served at the Winemakers Party, June 21 at the Grand Traverse Commons.

On the evening when daylight lingers as…

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Added by Jeff Smith on May 24, 2013 at 9:30am — No Comments

Postcard from the Subnivean Zone!

 

Channels dug beneath the snow this winter.

What, you may be asking, is the subnivean zone. Well, it is a magical world that exists between the bottom of the snow and the top of the ground, and there's a lot more animal action there than what you may be aware of, a secret…

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Added by Jeff Smith on April 29, 2013 at 11:00am — 1 Comment

Northern Michigan Wines: Leelanau Peninsula Wine Tasting for Media

Wine tasting room at Blustone Vineyards, a sleek, contemporary space set amid captivating rolling Leelanau hills and orchards just north of Lake Leelanau village.

At the invitation of the Leelanau Peninsula Vintners Association, I hit the wine trail last…

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Added by Jeff Smith on April 24, 2013 at 5:06pm — No Comments

Hotel Indigo Groundbreaking Celebration

With shovels, from left: Mayor Michael Estes, Brownfield coordinator Jean Derenzy, Managing Partner Jeff Schmitz, with Grand Traverse Hotel Properties.

The owners of Hotel Indigo, the long-talked-about boutique hotel that is being built in Traverse…

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Added by Jeff Smith on April 12, 2013 at 4:30pm — No Comments

Spring Equinox on Good Harbor Bay, Sleeping Bear Dunes

Good Harbor Bay on the first day of spring, 2013.

When I first moved to Northern Michigan, I was so surprised at how much beauty I found in what was then called "the off season." These pictures are a perfect example of what I mean. They were taken at sunset…

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Added by Jeff Smith on March 26, 2013 at 8:00am — 2 Comments

Northern Michigan Restaurants: Barista Spencer McQueen Heading to AeroPress Competition

Barista Spencer McQueen, in the new Cavallino Cafe, brews a cup with an AeroPress coffee press.

When I think about the best changes in American culture during my lifetime, the proliferation of the new American café is right there in the Top 10. Sure, the great coffee and aromas are…

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Added by Jeff Smith on March 21, 2013 at 4:00pm — No Comments

Northern Michigan Outdoors: Cross-Country Skiing Sleeping Bear Dunes -- Off Trail

Rico Cruz (front) and Brian Price on cross-country skis, cutting through the cattails near Shell Lake in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.

I have a friend who loves to cross-country ski, but avoids trails. For him XC means sticking to the roots of the…

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Added by Jeff Smith on March 17, 2013 at 3:29pm — No Comments

Northern Michigan Life: Abused Mailboxes

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Added by Jeff Smith on March 15, 2013 at 6:48am — No Comments

Northern Michigan Vacation: Winter Camping in Porcupine Mountains

Camping compadre Tim, up on the Escarpment Trail, Porcupine Mountains, Michigan.

I had the great pleasure recently of heading up to the Porcupine Mountains for a winter campout in the snowy backcountry with a couple of longtime pals from Minnesota.

 

The Porkies are…

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Added by Jeff Smith on March 5, 2013 at 9:33am — No Comments

Northern Michigan Vacation: Winter Camping in Porcupine Mountains

Camping compadre Tim sporting a snappy MyNorth beanie (compass always pointing NORTH!), up on the Escarpment Trail, Porcupine Mountains, Michigan.

I had the great pleasure recently of heading up to the Porcupine Mountains for a winter campout in the snowy backcountry with a couple of…

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Added by Jeff Smith on March 5, 2013 at 9:30am — No Comments

ShapeMichigan and Jeff Smith's Inspiring Tips for Sticking with a Workout

Pushing into the backcountry with your grown-up kids, one more reason to stay fit and strong.

The other night at the Great Wolf Lodge, I attended a regional kickoff of a health initiative called ShapeMichigan, the two main local sponsors of the event being…

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Added by Jeff Smith on November 19, 2012 at 10:00am — No Comments

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