“By the shores of Gitche Gumee, by the shining big-sea water…”
So begins Longfellow’s poem “Song of Hiawatha” — the scene takes place here on these southern shores, and it’s easy to see why what we call Lake Superior, the Native Americans called Gitche Gumee, meaning “big water.”
Our “Salute to the Military” event, August 22, 23, 24 & 25th, is still locking and loading, but we have zeroed in on the target location. This being our 4th year, we have seen the need to move out of the woods and bring our forces to bear, where the most action will be. So, we are moving the front of our action to Gitche Gumee RV Park which is located right off the sandy beaches of Lake Superior, 11 miles east of Marquette and 33 miles west of Munising. This will give us immediate access to motels, camp grounds, casino, bars, restaurants, shops and a manifest of activities to keep everybody busy, along the shores of Lake Superior.
Bands are still being booked and we wish we could tell you more right now, but until things are final, we hate to say something and then it does not happen. One thing we do know, this will be bigger and better than any of the first three years. It just keeps growing and we are working hard to stay ahead of it. So far this year’s line-up will be:
Mo Jo Perry
Carbellion, from Milwaukee, WI
Sit Down Francis from Escanaba
The Porcupine Bash Band
Gitche Gumee RV Park is across from 2 miles of sandy Lake Superior beach, yet still right outside of Metro Marquette. With access to quad trails Mt. biking, beach fires on Superior, all sorts of outdoor adventure, and great shopping.
The campground is multi-level, with this top level being closest to the beach and the lower level more heavily treed with larger sites, much further apart with more privacy between sites.
Other Campground Features include:
Big rig friendly – many large pull through sites
Laundromat (4 washers/dryers)
Lodge with pool table, games, lending library, big TV
Free movies nightly in a large covered pavilion with huge screen
High end air compressor for filling big rig tires (no charge)
Advance ticket prices will stay the same, $30 per person for the 4 day pass, and some have already made their ticket orders. We will be updating information as soon as we can.
Camping prices vary and can be reserved in advance with your tickets.
As different event and activities come on board with the event, they will be announced right away. So keep checking back for the latest info.
We are really excited about this year’s event and know that it has moved on up to the next level, surely on it’s way to being a premier fun-time music event, as well as an entertaining and exciting weekend. This will be the place to be.
Attention On Deck As We Salute Our Military – 2012
Well, the 3rd annual Porcupine Press Bash “Saluting Our Military” event is now behind us and what a BASH it was!! My best bro, 20 year Army vet Staff Sergeant Bryan Quasius (Medic) and I were on the road from Sheboygan, WI at 11:00am, Thursday, August 23rd. We were headed north to the beautiful and serene Otter Lake Campground with a sense of adventure we always feel when we are on a road trip. It was the first time we had seen each other, since his going away party two years ago, before his deployment to Iraq and the Persian Gulf, to pull another one of his Tours of Duty. Like all close friends, we hit it off like we never lost those two years together. The four and a half hour trip went by in a blur of conversation, music, B.S and times gone by of our past shenanigans together.
We arrived at Otter Lake Campground to be greeted by Da Cap’n Michael Van Den Branden and Da Cap’n’s Woman Robin Lindenberg. After a quick meet and greet, Robin gave us our wrist bands and assigned us our domicile for the weekend. Bryan and I were tenting it this weekend. You give us some ground to lie on; a rock to rest our heads upon and some brewski’s and we are a pretty happy bunch! No fluff for this motley crew! We camped up with a very nice couple Todd and Kelli Howard Gokee. They were a very hospitable pair and kept us liquid fueled maniacs fed during the weekend! Thanks you guys! We enjoyed making you kids laugh with our stories. Kelli is a veteran. She ended her military career as an E5 Sergeant after being severely wounded during an Easter Sunday fire fight in 2004, while stationed in Iraq with the Ironsides Transportation Unit. She earned a Purple Heart and numerous other medals for her heroism during this fight. I was proud to be in her presence and to find two more people that will be lifelong friends.
Thursday night’s line-up for music started off with a band duo named Hipps -n- Ricco. They got us pumped up for the Friday night featured act “The Dan Lawson Band.” Dan and his band rocked the house with their bluesy style of play well into the evening. Friday also brought an invite from Robin for a backstage B.B.Q where Bryan and I got to meet Dan and his band along with Dan’s lovely wife, Brenda. You could not ask for a more affable, cool group of people to be around. On the menu included Steak, Ribs, Burgers and fresh Lake Trout, caught the day before, on the mighty Lake Superior by Dan and Brenda. The cooking was done under the watchful eye of Pat Baldwin, from Mason, WI, while this author “supervised.” Pat, did a superb job, as I can attest to consuming 5 to 6lbs of meat and fish! I had no room for vegetables, being the true glutinous carnivore that I am and I was fully sated.
Friday night’s music line-up consisted of the gorgeous Kelli of The Shotgun Kelli Band. Kelli and her band mates took first place earlier this year in the amateur country artist awards at “Hodag Music Festival” in Rhinelander, WI. After hearing them perform, I can see why. I wish Kelli and her band nothing but the best in the future and would not be surprised to see them as a household name in the next couple of years. Next in the line-up came a band seamlessly out of now where named “Sit Down Francis” out of Escanaba, MI. I had the pleasure to meet up with them before their show and get their story. What a cool bunch of dudes they are! When it came time for them to play, I was simply in shock with the splendor in which I was allowed to witness! These boys can straight up play and put on one Hell of a show!! They even played after the show in their room until the wee hours of the morning. I’m telling anyone reading this that can get them gigs to do so! They will not disappoint and you have my word on that! Simply awesome!
Saturday morning found me going on a solo mountain bike ride around the beautiful Otter Lake and Hiawatha National Forest. After my ride, Bryan and I decided to head out of camp for the day to see the sights and swim Lake Superior. We saw too many waterfalls to mention, went to the beautiful “Pictured Rocks” and generally had a great day.
Saturday night’s line-up consisted of my home towns very own “Carbellion” out of Sheboygan, Wisconsin. They Thrash Metaled their way through their set like Carbellion only can! I loved every minute of it and my hat goes off once again to another flawless evening by them! Thanks boys! I would also like to extend my gratitude to Doug Jimmer, owner of “JD’s Bar on Broadway” in Green Bay, WI for sponsoring Carbellions trip to Da’ great U.P ‘eh. Make sure you stop in to say “Hi” if you are ever in the neighborhood. It was my pleasure to meet Doug as well. To end the Bash, it was once again Dan Lawson and his boys to encore their Friday night opener. Being a guitarist and musician myself, I could tell Dan was totally in control of his guitar this night. Some of us call it “making love to your guitar” and that’s exactly what he was doing. I had several moments where shivers were running up and down my spine during that performance. Bravo!
In the end folks, we have a special thing going on here with the “Porupine Bash and The Salute to Our Military Event.” We have plenty of room to grow out at Otter Lake Campground and I know we will continue to make it even better. So, if you did not make it this year, plan on it for next year. For those who made it, tell your friends about what a great weekend it is! Let’s make the 4th annual event even bigger!
I would like to extend my thanks and gratitude to the “Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association, Michigan Chapter 35-1” for their dedication. I greatly appreciated the beautiful march and the rising of our great flag, the first flag to fly on the new flag pole and one that was certified to have flown in Iraq, and to Kelli’s speech during the raising. Finally, a big shout out to the men and women who put their ass on the line for ours each and every day! All gave some, some gave all. The men and women, who have paid the ultimate sacrifice with their lives for yours and mine, deserve and should be in the deepest mode of your gratitude and conciseness! After all, this is what this event is all about. I for one, thank them all! Hope to see you all next year!!
Photos by: Robin Lindenberg, John Colley, & AJ Heyn