Along the Huron River: Explore and Enjoy!

How is your Ann Arbor history and geography? Where would you find these in Ann Arbor: Picnic Island, Lover’s Lane, Cat Hole, the Pudding Stone, Cascade Glen or the Botsford Homestead? Hint: they all appear on walks along the Huron River detailed in the new book Riverwalks: Ann Arbor by Brenda Bentley. (Ok, some of the names have changed.)

I wasn’t expecting what I discovered in this book. The detailed instructions, with maps, for 31 ambles around all points of the Huron River would be expected in a walking guidebook. It was the history, of the river and Ann Arbor’s relationship to it over the years, with beautiful, old-time photographs of early Ann Arbor locations, all woven through a story-like narrative, with the Huron River a larger-than-life presence holding it all together, which surprised and delighted me. This book makes me feel like I am living beside a treasure, which I want to explore and get to know better.

An excellent organization working to protect and educate people about the Huron River is the Huron River Watershed Council and we carry its publication the Huron River Report in our periodicals department.

To celebrate our beautiful river, hike (or row) on over to Gallup Park, on Sunday, July 12th for Huron River Day.

Parks in Washtenaw County

Rolling Hills Water ParkRolling Hills Water Park

Memorial Day weekend signifies more than just the remembrance of departed veterans, but also as a non-meterological beginning to Summer. Most students are making their way through their final weeks of school, daydreaming about the possibilites this Summer offers. This is also the time when County Parks and Preserves open to the public. Soon, AADL will be offering a program called "Park and Read," which is simlar to the Museum Adventure Passes, that will be good for a free one-day admission to any Michigan State Park. Fortunately, Washtenaw County proudly boasts 12 parks and 16 preserves, including the ever popular Rolling Hills Water Park, which supplies the County with a great place to cool off, get together with friends and even play a round of disc golf.

Come and visit one of Washtenaw County's Parks or Preserves today!

Canoeing Anyone??

With Memorial Day quickly approaching, now is a great time to don your sunscreen, fill your cooler, and head out on one of our many Michigan waterways. If you are a fan of canoeing/kayaking, pick up a copy of Doc Fletcher's new book Michigan Rivers Less Paddled : The Rivers, The Towns, The Taverns here at the AADL. This handy guide will provide you with plenty of ideas for canoeing excursions around the area, including local pubs to hit at the end of your journey. Jerry Dennis' Canoeing Michigan Rivers : A Comprehensive Guide to 45 Rivers is another guide to consider if you are looking for new routes to explore. If you are not the proud owner of a canoe or kayak, there are plenty of rental places in the area. Visit Huron River Net for a list of businesses that will gladly provide you with that canoe you need.

Time to Climb Everest

While we enjoy a spring afternoon, Mt. Everest expedition teams are sleeping somewhere near or on the mountain. Depending on the approach they staked their tents in Tibet or Nepal.

Keep on top of the latest Everest expedition news: MountEverest.net

Elevations
Ann Arbor: 256 m (840 ft) What's the highest point in Ann Arbor?
Nepal-side base camp: 5,380 m (17,700 ft)
Tibet-side base camp: 5,180 m (16,990 ft)
Mt. Everest peak: 8,844.43 m ± 0.21 m (29,017.16 ± 0.69 ft)

Everest books:
1996 climb
2006 climb

Everest DVDs:
1996 climb
Everest: beyond the limit

Vacations to Enrich Your Life

On our new book shelf here at the AADL you can pick up a copy of The 100 Best Worldwide Vacations to Enrich Your Life, written by Pam Grout & published by National Geographic. The author's intent, as she states in the introduction, is to alter your idea of what vacation is meant to be and offer you the potential to change your life. The experiences are divided into four categories: arts and crafts getaways, learning retreats, volunteer vacations, and wellness escapes. Even if you can't afford some of the fabulous ideas set forth in this book, it's still enjoyable to read about them. Consider a three-day mahout (elephant wrangler) training course in Thailand. Spend a month working for African Impact, a lion rehabilitation center in Zimbabwe. Master the art of blending scotch at the Glengoyne Distillery in the Scottish highlands. Ride horses to Machu Picchu's sacred sister city, Choquequirao, Peru.
The trip that caught my attention is run by COBATI (Community-Based Tourism Initiatives) in Kampala, Uganda. Instead of a typical African safari package that does little to benefit the locals, COBATI homestays offer the amazing opportunity to stay in small, rural villages and learn about the real Uganda. Visit banana plantations, stay with midwives, learn beekeeping & mushroom growing, attend community weddings, visit flower farms and see homesteads with Ankole longhorn cattle (indigenous to Uganda for at least seven centuries). Interested? Visit www.cobati.or.ug or head to the library for a copy of this unique travel guide.

AADL Productions Podcast: Festifools

festifoolfestifool

A festival of fools will descend on Main Street for the third annual Festifools event next Sunday, April 5, from 4-5 p.m. Last week, we had the opportunity to interview Mark Tucker, the creative force behind Festifools, at his studio. Mark talks about his background in float building, this year's Festifools theme, and he takes us on tour of the studio and the various stages of creating a papier-mâché puppet.

Ever gone fishing with John?

fishing with johnfishing with john

Well, here is your chance. You can be taken away on a fishing trip with Mr. John Lurie in the DVD Fishing With John. And to make things even more fun… Matt Dillon comes along on at trip to Costa Rica and Tom Waits joins him while fishing for snapper in Jamaica. This gem of a TV series, with directing, writing and music done by Lurie, is from 1991 and is available from The Criterion Collection. The deadpan dialog and lack of knowledge of actual fishing leaves these trips as something to be seen. The drowsy lull of the narrator and the whole show itself is reminiscent of the fishing shows you’d wake up at 3am to find on the tube, only it’s John Lurie and a friend fishing each time, and you’re sucked in and can’t stop watching. Jim Jarmusch, Willem Dafoe and Dennis Hopper also appear on episodes of Fishing With John. File under: hilarious.

Sean Connery + Nonstop Shenanigans

Darby and King BrianDarby and King Brian

What better way to celebrate the banishing of snakes from Ireland than to watch a young Sean Connery sing Pretty Irish Girl? In Darby O'Gill and the Little People, Disney created some pre-CGI special effects that, amazingly, still hold up. Just try to guess how the scenes involving Darby (Albert Sharpe) and King Brian of the Leprechauns (Jimmy O'Dea) were created. You'll be amazed to find out that both actors were nearly the same height and that there was no chroma key involved!

Dec. 6, 1947 - Everglades National Park, Florida dedicated by President Harry S Truman

"Here are no lofty peaks seeking the sky, no mighty glaciers or rushing streams wearing away the uplifted land. Here is land, tranquil in its quiet beauty, serving not as the source of water, but as the receiver of it. To its natural abundance we owe the spectacular plant and animal life that distinguishes this place from all others in our country." With these words, Truman formally dedicated Everglades National Park. This event culminated years of effort by a dedicated group of conservationists to make a national park in the Florida Everglades a reality. For a fascinating and comprehensive history of this amazing wetland, check out Michael Grunwald's The Swamp: The Everglades, Florida, and the Politics of Paradise. Thinking of visiting the park? Check out Hidden Florida Keys and Everglades or Adventure guide to the Florida Keys & Everglades National Park.

Age 50+ Nia Exercise

Join Megan Rose, dance and fitness instructor at the Ann Arbor YMCA, in the gentle music and movement exercise called Nia. This will take place at the Malletts Creek Branch on Thurs., Dec. 4 at 1-2 pm. Nia was developed in 1983 as an effective body-mind workout minus the jarring joint gyrations of aerobics. This program is designed for ages 50 +, but everyone is welcome. Doing Nia will inspire you to combine music and movement in unique ways for yourself at home. Please join us for this fun exercise program at the library!

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