All of those times I sang along to Kid Rock’s All Summer Long on the radio, I had no idea that he was writing about the water I’d been paddling on. Torch Lake, Michigan. Or as Kid Rock defines it, “Northern Michigan.”
Now I understand why a summer there would inspire him to write a song about it. While I was kayaking in Bellaire, Michigan, I passed a boat parked at the dock. Her name was All Summer Long. Amy saw me look at it and called over to my boat, “You know that song Kid Rock sings? All Summer Long? It’s about Torch Lake. I think he even has a house here somewhere.”
“Yeah. And he mentions places around here in his songs. Like the sandbar…”
Naturally, the song stuck in my head the entire time we paddled in the clear, turquoise water of Torch Lake, and later sat on a secluded little private beach to drink wine and watch the sunset over the water. It was the perfect night for it. We’d spent a day on the water, paddling around Clam Lake. We stopped long enough to eat a picnic lunch on the beach then dropped our kayaks back into the water and headed into a deeper part of Torch Lake. None of us wanted to stop. But we did want to get some supplies and dry clothes and head to what they all knew, and I soon learned, was the ideal spot for sunset-watching.
It was 1989, my thoughts were short my hair was long
Caught somewhere between a boy and man
She was seventeen and she was far from in-between
It was summertime in Northern Michigan
Splashing through the sand bar
Talking by the campfire
It’s the simple things in life, like when and where
We didn’t have no internet
But man I never will forget
The way the moonlight shined upon her hair
Have you ever found yourself in a place that inspired a song?