32 unruly (and HUNGRY) folks

We’ve been booth-babing for our eastern yooperland chapter of North Country Trail volunteers over at the Quiet Water Symposium for more years than I am strong enough to remember. It is always the first Saturday in March and man is it a busy event!

A couple of other Michigan chapters usually show up too, the Jordan 45 and Chief Noonday, and they were also there this year. Both of those chapters maintain trail in the lower peninsula, known to some as Trollandia, i.e, if you live *below* the [Mackinac] bridge, you are a troll. The GG and I live well below the bridge but we hang out with a yooper NCT chapter and every single year I have a version of this conversation:

Booth visitor: So you are with the Hiawatha Shore-to-Shore chapter?

Me [noticing that he is festooned with NCT regalia]: Yes. Which chapter do you hang out with?

BV: I’m with the Jordan 45. I am a troll.

Me [with gusto]: I AM A TROLL TOO!

BV [stepping back a bit in puzzlement, like does she know what a troll is]: Really?

Me: Yes, I live in Ann Arbor.

Our conversation ensued about his childhood in Willis, which is southeast of the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti area and my childhood in Sault Ste. Marie.

I actually love these kinds of conversations, not only because I love to bust stereotypes. The North Country Trail stretches from the state of New York to the state of North Dakota, so why nitpick about who lives where in what state.

People were calling me a dual citizen this weekend. And I am. Because, yes, I am a troll. I have lived on The Planet Ann Arbor for most of my adult life. It’s where we own our primary residence and it’s where we brought up the beach urchins and it’s where I go to work every day and it’s where we walk downtown or wherever. I love my life here. But I grew up in Sault Ste. Siberia and own and maintain a cabin and property on the yooperland beach that my grandparents bought with a couple of friends back in the 1920s. So…

Without going into too much history and/or detail, our yooperland NCT chapter and some of the trollandia chapters have gotten friendly with each other and so last night, something like 32 people headed over to the East Lansing Pizza House and somehow they accommodated us in a back room thanks to our beloved Lansing member. Sooooo much fun.

An update about our crappy hotel. I slept like a LOG last night. We did the continental brek this morning and it was great (for me). I had a mini bagel and a WONDERFUL clementine. And coffee. After they found some cups… It was okay but I am still shipping for Kellogg Center for next year.

One Response to “32 unruly (and HUNGRY) folks”

  1. Margaret Says:

    Sounds like lots of fun! You belong in different worlds, as do most of us, in one way or another. In your case, it’s more geographical, in mine the difference between a married woman and a widow.