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Hemingway Adventure

Little Traverse Bay, Michigan

Indian River, Michigan, USA 
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At a gun shop in rural Michigan I test drive a Wheatherby double-barrelled over and under muzzle-loader and try to pretend I know what all that means. The array of weapons is fearsome, the people who sell them quite the opposite.
Michael Palin - Hemingway AdventureStop at a town called Indian River. It has one long main street and looks like most other small towns on the way to somewhere. My eye is caught by a low single-storey building in between Top Shoppe Resort Wear and Hair Creations Inc. It’s a hunting store with a large ad for Winchester rifles on the door and puts me in mind of a passage I’ve just been reading in ‘Fathers and Sons’.

Someone has to give you your first gun ... and you have to live where there is game or fish if you are to learn about them, and now, at thirty eight, he loved to fish and to shoot exactly as much as when he first had gone with his father. It was a passion that had never slackened.

Beside the ad for rifles, there is a friendly warning on the door. ‘This property is protected by an armed American citizen. (Nothing in here is worth dying for.)’

Inside is a select but comprehensive armoury of rifles, handguns, long-bows with telescopic sights, shells, shot, powder and other life-ending accessories. There’s also a fascinating and graphic range of hunting products with names like Gland-U-Lure and Natural Doe in Heat Urine, as well as frankly surreal items such as A Guide to Successful Turkey Calling and The Polar Heat Seat complete with provocative instructions, ‘Hold Your Hand On Seat - Feel It Start Heating!’
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Hemingway Adventure
  • Chapter: Little Traverse Bay, Michigan
  • Country/sea: USA
  • Place: Indian River, Michigan
  • Book page no: 32

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