Taking Octoberfest Around the Gitche Gumee

Back in 2020 when the world was figuring out COVID and Canada wouldn’t let us in (wisely so, since Americans were lagging in the precautionary game), my husband and I cancelled our Lake Superior Circle Tour. The trip was to be our annual Octoberfest, but we instead meandered Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota’s northern shores. It was great fun.

Well, here it is two years later and we’re finally doing that glorious circle of the great Gitche Gumee (Gichigami). As I finalize plans, I hear our names called by the beautiful parks, the power of waterfalls, the glowing sunrises and sunsets, the hypnotic waters of Lake Superior, and yes, the welcoming craft breweries (it is a brewery tour, after all). We are very excited!

It’s often said that planning vacations is as fun as taking them. I agree. For our upcoming tour, I’ve been following the FB Lake Superior Circle Tour Group, the Lake Superior Circle Tour Adventure Guide, and a podcast by the National Parks of Lake Superior Foundation (NPLSF). Together, I’m finding everything we might need for Superior explorations.

  • Craft Breweries: Here’s my list.
  • Weather: They say there can just as easily be snow as there is peak color. We’ll come prepared and ready to enjoy no matter what!
  • State, National and Provincial Parks: Oh my, what stunning displays of God’s creation!
  • The Arts: This poem speaks to my heart, as does this sunrise in Grand Marais, MN, 2020.


The big lake calls me

She laps at my soul

And embraces my dreams

The big lake holds me

A part of my heart

Presenting the possibilities

The big lake changes me

From hurried and hassled

To calm and balanced

The big lake enfolds me

At home

At peace

Nancy Franz, educator, philanthropist, explorer

And now, may I present…

Each year I design a poster to commemorate our trip and exercise my creative brain. I’m accumulating quite the collection!

Here’s my poster for our 2022 Octoberfest Brewery Tour. It’s done in Lake Superior blues and lots of North American red. I can’t wait to hit the road and see if my concept is on par for this adventure!

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