Collage correspondence, part 2: Michigan’s Lower Peninsula

After driving across the southern part of Wiconsin, with stops at Governor Dodge State Park, Devil’s Lake State Pak, and Kettle Moraine State Forest, I took a carferry across lake Michigan. It was a coal-powered steamship, the last such operating vessel on the Great Lakes, and it trailed brown clouds of rust belt pride all the way from Manitowoc to Ludington.

Michigan’s Lower Peninsula was a beautiful place — Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness and Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore were among my favorite places I visited that month. Here are some of the custom postcards I made in the Lower Peninsula:

Cranberries postcard collage - Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Michigan

James — Sleeping Bear Dunes was one of the highlights of my trip — I spent four days and three nights there. The first couple days were spent under a low pressure system that dropped some rain and took its sweet time moving on, but the next two days were beautiful. Invasive zebra mussels have colonized Lake Michigan. They feed by filtering particles out of the water, so thanks to them the lake is crystal clear and brilliantly blue. It’s the most aesthetically pleasing form of ecological devastation I’ve ever seen.

Postcard collage of man in sleeping bag at Sleeping Bear Dunes

Hello Jenny! Thank you for backing my Kickstarter project! Sleeping Bear Dunes was a magical place. At first I thought it was home to thousands of regular-size sleeping bags filled with little men, but upon closer inspection I realized they were giant sleeping bags filled with regular-size men! The park ranger said they migrate there every year from the outskirts of Chicago. He also warned me not to get too close — they release Axe body spray when frightened.


Postcard collage of muscle car convertible and "natural lazers"

Dear Mackenzie — Did you know that the Michigan shoreline is home to America’s only 100% natural lazer light show? It’s true!* Every night in the summer, brilliant agates and the rare, endangered piping plover activate a symbiotic lazer spectacle designed to daze bugs that they catch and then eat. (Well, the plover eats them. The agate’s role is less well understood.) Today, the natural lazers sync up with Pink Floyd’s The Wall, which is blasted nightly from teenagers’ convertibles.
*Note: Is not actually true


Postcard collage of Michigan map, old car, and text reading "Function, Structure, and Symbol"

Hello Zee! Thanks for backing my Kickstarter project. This postcard reflects my experience crossing the Mackinac Bridge. Before you cross, the bridgemaster makes you write a 5,000-word essay on function, structure, and symbol. If you fail to impress him you can try again in two weeks or else drive all the way around Lake Michigan. I talked about cars in my essay and I think that made him happy, so he let me pass.


Postcard collage of man jumping Mackinac Bridge on skis, with text "RUDE" and "'70"

Dear Addis — Thanks for backing my Kickstarter project! This is the Mackinac Bridge. I drove over it and the crossing was completely uneventful. But! In 1989 a woman driving a 1987 Yugo stopped her car on the bridge, and a gust of wind blew her car over the 36-inch barricade and into the water. It’s true. I checked the citations on Wikipedia. No one has ever jumped it on skis, though; this is just a collage.

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