In chest waders with a fly rod, I walked back from the creek after striking out fishing for Steelhead trout. I wasn’t much of a bike rider then. A camouflaged gentlemen rolled up the double track in a blue sun-faded early 80’s Chevy Imapla with black steel wheels sans hubcaps. Using the crank on the inside of the door, adding to the backwoods drama, he physically rolled down his window. Locking eyes, he quizzed me, “Nuttindoinaina?” I stopped dead in my tracks. A bit of water sloshed in my waders around my feet. What the hell did he say? Nuttindoinaina. Miles from anything resembling civilization, I wasn’t scared, only caught off guard that I had to translate the native dialect in this land. Nuttindoinaina was his way of asking, "Nothing going on huh?" “Oh. No. Didn’t catch anything,” I answered. He thanked me with a nod and a wave and drove off. A few miles from the town of Gay (really...look it up), that was my first encounter with a real live native Yooper, a person from the upper peninsula of Michigan. I’m thinking about going back, this time with a bike.
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