The Drummond Island Experience
Kyle Thompson

To get to Drummond Island, located off the eastern tip of the Upper Peninsula, twelve of my close friends and I had to take a large blue ferry from De Tour Village to the island. The ferry holds about thirty cars and trucks. It seems like the forty foot long ship is about fifty years old, always working hard. There are many bumps and bruises scattered along the faded railings, and fumes from the cars swirl around and permeate my senses.

Although the ship is beat up, the view is spectacular. With a picturesque view of Lake Huron all around me, nothing else can invade my mind. The blue ship slips through the blue waves that makes me rock back and forth. The water is potent with aquatic smells and rough with the breeze from the lake. In the distance I see a very wooded island, a platform and an old two-lane road winding into the woods. My journey to Drummond Island is a great trip--second to none--for
going up north with friends to the fresh air and tranquility is a wonderful getaway.

After a ten minute ride we shuttled off the rusty platform of the ferry. The pickup truck I am riding in makes its way over the bumpy platform and off the ferry. Now we are detached from the outside world for the weekend.

Off we go, along the dusty trail leading into the massive woods full of towering evergreens. The sheer amount of timber is shocking. There is a tree for every man to have stepped on the island. There are tall trees, short trees, rotten trees and even sideways trees. The road twists and turns all the way along the coast line. Our home away from home is nothing fancy, just very isolated and peaceful.

I see a new challenge, the rocks and even more difficult terrain. I can see the path hasn't been traveled much in the past year. After awhile I can smell the pine aroma coming from the many pine trees. The trail is in three stages from gravel, to rocks and dirt and puddles, to worse--just rocks. At this point only a vehicle with four-wheel drive can continue the journey along the road. There is a very eerie overgrown feeling I get driving down the trail. The pathway is like a roughly-plowed field. The rocks throw me violently from side to side in the truck. In desperation, I grab for a handle to steady myself. The whole way there are different slimy, wet, slippery, large dirt-covered rocks. The rocks are three to four feet in diameter in a variety of positions all embedded in the soil. It's hard to believe how these rocks got there. It's no exaggeration: This is not an easy journey but a very long trip.

Throughout the years I have never run out of things to their look at on Drummed Island. In every direction is a beautiful view of Michigan's natural pristine environment. We go from a boat ride to a nearly impassable trail. I really look forward to this trip even though I will be staying in a large overcrowded tent with 12 others. The campsite we stay at consists of a Blair Witch cabin that is all but uninhabitable, and an old well with a pail. There are trees in every direction for miles around. There is not a house in sight or any modern amenities to be found. I and twelve of my close friends make the trip every year. We go to get away from the daily grind of our lives and just relax. All of us are clean before the trip. After we leave the island we are bruised, unshaved and dirty. This is our paradise.

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