In 1861, American author Henry David Thoreau embarked on a "Journey West" to Minnesota. Although he was told to travel to a different climate to improve his health, he treated this trip like a scientific excursion. He took notes on what he saw. On both the way out and the way back to Massachusetts, he and his companion, Horace Mann Jr., passed through the state of Michigan. Here are excerpts from his field notebook, recounting the sights and sites Thoreau saw. They can be used as jumping-off points for local students and teachers to retrace Thoreau's footsteps and to find similar views. This trip was Thoreau's only personal encounter with the Midwest.