Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS

Chicago & MichiganItaly ParisSpainKey West CubaAmerican West



Hemingway perfected his fishing technique in these rivers. Palin, on the other hand, says: "You can almost hear the steelhead trout sighing with relief as my canoe comes toward them."


Horton's Bay

"Horton's Bay, the town, was only five houses on the main road between Boyne City and Charlevoix," wrote Hemingway, recalling it from a cold and draughty apartment in Paris, in 1922.

Seventy-six years on it pretty much matches his description. The two-lane blacktop from Charlevoix bridges Horton Creek and curves right, past the "general store and post office with a high false front" and the 117-year-old Red Fox Inn, close by a grove of basswood and maple trees, old enough for Ernest to have walked beneath them.

Before going back to our hotel I take a walk up to the corner of State and Woodland to look at the rooming house where Hemingway stayed in the winter of 1919 and from there I retrace his steps down to the same public library on Mitchell Street where he went most days to read the newspapers. The moon is full and the air is cold, and I feel myself in danger of entering a young Hemingway time warp. Turn in to the Park Garden Café for a night-cap and a dose of present-day reality. Order a beer and settle myself down at the bar. The barman nods approvingly. "Second seat from the end. That was Hemingway's favorite."



Palin visits a gun shop in rural Michigan and tries to summon up his killer instinct.




Palin takes in the view from the front porch of Hemingway's birthplace, currently undergoing renovation.


Follow Palin into 399 Oak Park Avenue to see the house where Hemingway was born. It is now the home of the Ernest Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park, Illinois.


Get the free RealPlayer

to view clip or read the transcript.


Photo credits: ©Basil Pao, 1999. Text excerpt: "Michael Palin's Hemingway Adventure" by Michael Palin © Michael Palin, 1999. Used with permission of Cassell & Company. Buy the book in the Palin Store.

HEMINGWAY ADVENTURE | BEHIND THE SCENES | RESOURCES | CLASSROOM | PALIN SHOP