Original Facebook post July 25 at 12:46 PM
A few years ago I had to spend an entire summer in AZ, something I try never to do because of the blistering heat. I went to my local library to look for something to take my mind of it the microwave we call summer and spotted a book called, "A Cold Day In Paradise". I read the jacket and saw that it was set in Paradise, Michigan in the Upper Peninsula and figured it might help me keep cool thoughts. Anyway, I read it and loved it. Then I got everything the author of the Alex McKnight series wrote and read them in order. By the time I was done, the worst of the heat was over and I sent the author, Steve Hamilton an email thanking him for a chill way to pass the summer.
To my surprise, Steve wrote back. That exchange led to a few more, which led to him and me meeting up for drinks a couple of times when he came into AZ to promote his books. He was really a super, down to earth guy, who was still working full time, being a Dad and husband, and somehow disciplining himself to write every day.
So, while planning my LIfe Is A Highway road trip, I purposely chose to spend my last night in my home state in Paradise so I could see this real and fictional town. As I pulled in I saw a sign saying "Paradise. Glad You Made It!" (which is what I'm hoping I'll see upon arrival in heaven) at the Whitefish Township Community Center. I also saw an advertisement for a free Music On The Bay concert - rain or shine - that night featuring The Mighty Hiawatha Band. While they were setting up, I offered to shoot some promo pics for them and they graciously obliged. Then I joined the crowd of people who came to enjoy their very entertaining mix of country and rock. A special thanks to Claudia Stanko-Bedell for giving this road warrior a little taste of Paradise with her Music On The Bay series.
Afterwards I toured the small town, saw the Berry Patch Restaurant I'd read Steve talk about in an interview and had a delicious dinner at The Inn Gastropub & Smokehouse (which is the closest reality comes to the famed fictional Glasgow Inn). That night I car camped along the bay and woke to a spectacular sunrise over the water. Oh, and just for the record, it was about 40 degrees that July morning. So yeah, it truly was a cold day in Paradise.
Lastly, regarding the Molson Canadian beer pictured. I had to wait until I got to Canada to get the real thing that Alex McKnight insists tastes better than it's USA version. And yeah, upon sampling, I'd have to have to say the refreshing difference - real or imaginary - was a McKnight to remember.
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