From George Zimmermann’s resolution to attend Elvisfest and Dave Lorenz’s goal of going ice climbing, to Kirsten Borgstrom’s promise to try dog sledding in 2010, our team is resolved to travel the state in 2010 and take in as much Pure Michigan as they can. Today, we’re introducing you to Maria Wygnal, and sharing her goals for 2010.
Maria is a travel marketing specialist with Travel Michigan/Michigan Economic Development Corp. She grew up in the greater Lansing area and currently lives in East Lansing. Her interests include travel, social media, graphic design and photography. She’s also the voice of the Pure Michigan Twitter account, and you can see her out and about at many Pure Michigan events. Here’s what she had to say when we asked her what her Pure Michigan resolutions were for 2010:
My personal list includes some of the typical blah resolutions, but when it comes to places I want to visit and things I want to do in Michigan… my aspirations are much more exciting! While growing up, my parents took my brother and I on many camping trips in Michigan and, during high school and college, I’ve enjoyed many other trips around the state with friends and family. I always thought I pretty much knew what Michigan had to offer. Over the past nine months, I’ve come to realize I was wrong. Since part of my job at Travel Michigan is creating and editing content for michigan.org and our social media channels, I’ve learned a lot about some of the destinations I’ve been missing:
- Explore new wilderness in the Upper Peninsula – Last year, I spent my Fourth of July weekend camping at Tahquamenon Falls State Park. This year I’d like to experience one of the U.P. treasures I’ve been wanting to visit ever since I heard about it… Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park in Ontonagon. As Michigan’s largest state park and only state designated wilderness, the “Porkies” has 60,000 acres to explore and contains the largest tract of old-growth forest in the Midwest. The idea of camping, hiking, canoeing, seeing waterfalls, secluded lakes and towering trees, and having the chance to photograph it all is #1 on my list!
- Visit Michigan’s largest spring – Another U.P. treasure… 200 feet across and 40 feet deep, an amazing 10,000 gallons a minute gush from the fissures of Kitch-iti-kipi (also known as “Big Springs”) at Palms Book State Park in Thompson. An observation raft allows you to view the fascinating underwater features of the crystal clear waters below. My mom said we went there during a family camping trip when I was young, but I don’t remember it. The photos I’ve seen have convinced me it’s worth going back.
- Discover Michigan shipwrecks – From what I hear, Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary in Alpena is a great place to do just that. And, since scuba diving is on my list of things to learn this year, I’m hoping to see some wrecks on the bottom of Lake Huron! While in the U.P., I hope to check out the Glass Bottom Shipwreck Tour in Munising for the first time as well.
- Visit Hitsville USA (the original home of Motown Records) –Visiting downtown Detroit is always a treat for me because I enjoy the chance to look at amazing historic buildings. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I have a favorite old building that I always look for when I’m downtown for a Tigers game. Detroit is rich with history and culture… and one of its most popular tourist destinations is the Motown Historical Museum. It’s hard to believe I’ve never been, so hopefully I’ll get a chance to make it there on one of my trips to the D this year.
- Go downhill skiing – I always get slack for this one since I grew up in Michigan, but I have never been skiing… never. In eighth grade, my class was supposed to take a group trip to one of the ski areas and, for some reason that I no longer recall, the trip was cancelled. My skiing opportunities have been downhill (haha) ever since. Things are looking better for 2010 (thanks to a pretty nifty job). Watch out for me on the slopes!
Have you done any of the things on Maria’s list? If so, and you have tips or advice to share with her, leave her a comment and let her know.
We hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know some of our talented team here at Pure Michigan. If you see them out at an event, feel free to stop them and say hello. And remember, we would love to hear your Pure Michigan New Year’s resolutions – you can share them with us on our Facebook Fan Page, Twitter (using the hashtag #MIspy), or by leaving a comment below.