As you may or may not know, I have recently moved away from Louisville, KY in order to pursue a dream of mine that has nothing to do with music. Starting in August, I’ll be living and working at a winery in St. Helena, California on the north side of Napa. I’ll be there for 3 months and then I’ll head down to Mendoza, Argentina to apprentice with a winemaker down there. It’s all exciting and amazing, and I couldn’t be happier about it.
With change this big, I am going to try to keep everyone up to date as much as possible. Its really hard to keep everyone in the loop, so I’m going to try to update this thing with info on my travels, etc. We all know how good I am at keeping this up for an extended period of time, but I’ll do my best!
Let’s get it started! This pas week I went to Drummond Island with three very close friends named Sean, Brittanie, and Joey. My grandparents built a house on this island sometime around 1976 and they put a ridiculous amount of work into making it an amazing place my mom and her siblings could use and share with their families.
We used to go up to the Island every summer when I was a kid, and I never really fully grasped how blessed we were to have an adventurous outlet like that even though we were very far from being well-off. I had some epic and crazy boyhood adventures there when I was a kid, and I literally dream about it regularly. The last time I was on the Island, I was probably about 14 or 15. It was a great trip and it was the first trip where I actually felt the gravity of how cool it is to have a place to escape to and explore. Then high school came and jobs seemed SO important, and being available to hang out with friends seemed vital to my being, and I missed my chance to go up to the Island for a few years, but I always thought about it.
Then I moved away from Michigan in 2003 and spent the next decade (I definitely feel old saying that) living in Louisville or traveling around the country playing music. Then a 5-hr drive turned into a 13-hr drive and I never made it back.
I’ve tried to sit back and meditate on why the Island is so special to me and why it’s taken so long to get back. In the 13-14 years since I last went a lot has happened. I learned how to play guitar. I had every girlfriend I’ve ever had. My parents split up. All of my grandparents passed away. My brothers and sister provided me with seven nieces and nephews. I released some records. And so on and so on.
So much exists in that gulf of time I spent away from the Island, and I definitely assign a lot of feelings of security, harmony, and innocence to my memories there. So when I went back this past week I was beyond excited, but I was also a bit nervous. Sometimes it tough to watch the things we know the most intimately change beyond our control. I was worried that the cabin and the Island would just feel different somehow and that it would feel like I had just woken up from a vivid dream where I couldn’t quite remember any of the details.
Thankfully, I am happy to report that the Island is still my happy place. It has been very diligently cared for since my absence and it still feels like spending time with my grandpa and grandma even though they are off on new wild adventures.
Some quick thoughts before the pictures:
- Drummond Island is a 21-mile island off the eastern tip of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and is only accessible by ferry.
- Drummond is home to a ridiculous amount of diverse wildlife and will put you face to face with animals and other elements of nature like you’ve never experienced.
- Drummond is home to the Maxton Alvar Plains which is a nature preserve on the north side of the Island. Here you’ll find a truly diverse and important range of wildlife and it is also home to the Fossil Ledges which is a breathtaking display of evolutionary progress and stillness.
- Anytime you are on the northern edge of the island, you are less than a mile from Canada.
Also, for those of you still with me, there is most definitely some new music coming too. You should hear about it soon I think!