Month: May 2015

Adventurous Read

This book review is touching. For anyone that’s read The Fox Trails, you know that I held no punches and didn’t censor myself in sharing. It’s all in there -the good, the bad, and the ugly. What touched me about this particular review is how the reader shared her vulnerability and the process of judgement that she went through while taking in the material. I appreciate that honesty and I encourage others to share their thoughts on the book. Reviews are always welcome! I would love to have some fresh opinions like this shared on the amazon page as there’s only been 6 reviews and each are 5 stars. I invite all feedback, especially criticism; it’s important for potential customers.

Next month will mark the one-year anniversary of the book release! Much appreciation for the support.

Happy Trails,


A Bookworm's View

The Fox Trails:  A Bicycle Adventure Along the Mississippi River by Michael Jason Fox was a wild ride!  When I first picked up the book, I figured it would be a typical travel guide highlighting destinations and sights along the Mississippi.  I was really surprised when I realized it is more of a deeply personal journey of self-discovery in addition to the stories about people and places encountered along the way.  The writing style was unique in that each chapter of the book recounts events that happened in one day, thus the book is 31 chapters and his bicycle journey lasted 31 days.  Along with sharing his personal experiences he includes historical facts about Mark Twain, various places and events involving the Mississippi and other landmarks.

The book is a fine example of storytelling but at times I was shocked by the sheer honesty of the author as he recounts…

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How I Got My Bike

Dear Friends,

Happy Friday. I just bought a bicycle! Check it out….


I found it on Craigslist. The gentlemen selling it wanted a little more than I was willing to pay. It was his wife’s bike and she barely rode it. Mint condition but 10 years old, what’s that worth? I’m horrible at haggling and I asked Tamarack for some guidance in negotiating; this is what he told me…

“Don’t negotiate. Just go there and tell him what you’re willing to pay. If the offer isn’t accepted, leave your number and they’ll call you back if they change their mind.”

So that’s what I did. My offer and his bottom line were $50 apart unfortunately, so we shook hands and I told him to give me a call if he might decide differently. I actually heard from him the next day. He told me his wife gave him some grief. She said, “Why didn’t you sell that young man the bike? At least he would use it. Call him back and get rid of it or I won’t be cooking you dinner tonight.”

I was happy to hear from him and I thought this story was cute enough to share with you all. Thanks to this couple, I now have a bicycle that is capable of everything I wish to do on two wheels. I fly on the pavement and I cruise silently on the trails, deep in the woods. I hope Keenan and his wife will one day see the photos and read the stories of what I do on this bike. The adventures will be grand -they already are- and the gratitude is great.

Happy Trails,


Under Construction

Dear Friends,

Another work week begins, another Monday, and another chance to find meaning in the mundane…Do you enjoy going to work?  I moved to the Northwoods to live the simple life and I find myself busier than ever. We do it all out here though. The Teaching Drum Outdoor School purchased the neighbor’s property. We added some nice land to our acreage but also another house and a trailer home full of garbage. We really opened a can of worms with this old house; Bob Vila wouldn’t even touch it and Nicole Curtis is busy in Detroit. That leaves me. Check it out…

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We jacked up the floor from the basement using cribbing and constructed a 20′ wooden glulam beam to support the joists and to straighten the floor. It took a small army to raise it into place

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We took apart the walls and straightened them as well, cutting holes out and re-framing for 10 new windows.

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We took off the vinyl siding and the siding beneath that and then re-sheathed the house and installed log siding (it was last year that we got these logs, salvaged off of an old cabin and I was among those pulling huge spikes out of the boards and stacking them -thinking, “Why are we doing this? We’re never gonna use this shit.”) Sure enough, they’ve found a home.

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I’ve been living in this house while working on it. That might sound like a nightmare to you; I had a dream recently and I’d like to share it here…

Renovating a house, we enter the basement and find bones. The energy is dark and those who lived here before us were into some strange fetishes. The place is all jacked up on stilts and we go through a process of lowering the house down to the foundation. We open a corner and move the door, adjusting the hinges…and then the dream flashes to the future and the cabin is finished. I give it a tour, exploring the rooms. Standing in a room that feels like mine, I see a beautiful view from the window but then I realize that with this beautiful view, anyone approaching the front door will be able to easily see into my room. There’s a tinge of regret and I wonder if I chose wisely..

I wake up and process those images and the feelings behind them. I write the dream down and the first thought that comes is: The window goes both ways. To be in touch with our dreams, this is something to work on; it can be the most valuable guidance available. From the one above, I see that I’m not just rebuilding a house, I’m renovating a person. I gaze out the windows of this developing home and I look at an amazing world. The more open I become, the easier it is for others to see in, and that’s a little scary sometimes, but the window goes both ways and that’s a beautiful view.

To another adventurous day,

Happy Trails,