Sunday, June 04, 2006

5/3-5/5/2006 - Ceresco, Michigan

And so I pad my way into Ceresco, MI. As I root about the internet for information on this fair city, I find much less than I do about Ceresco, WI, but that's not my point. Back in the east, I frequently found cities' official websites and was able to use that to track down interesting historical facets to dig into. In the midwest, I am finding such sites more infrequently.

I wonder whether that is a legitimate regional difference. For example, are we Northeasterners the types who loudly proclaim whatever the heck we happen to be doing while the Midwesterners quietly go about their business? Or are we intellectual types who take pride in self-examination while they are content to what is be.

Were I really going on this hike, I would be struck by the changing character of the U.S. and Canada as I set foot in such different regions. In reality I am forced to sit in my ivory enclave in Massachusetts and surmise about what would have been.

Incidentally, Ceresco, Wisconsin was the home of the "Wisconsin Phalanx," an attempt at Utopian living modeled on the philosophy of Charles Fourier. The U.S. is littered with such attempts. A few of them ended in tragedy, but most just faded out as jaded citizens faced the reality that Utopia wasn't worth the effort.

Fourier's Utopia was based on limited population, capitalism and, um, whoopee. The largest, most succesful American version of his Utopia was the "North American Phalanx," in Monmouth County, NJ, of all places. It muddled its way through about 12 years of existance before booze (abolition) women (suffrage) and God (religious affiliation) drove the community apart.

42,300 perfect steps over the past 3 days. Cheers,