Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Beach Bum

Above, view of the beach from Little Presque Isle in Marquette. Below,
one of the quieter beaches in Marquette. You would've ditched class, too!

Summertime in Northern Michigan revolves around the Great Lakes. For me, turning 16 meant that I could drive myself through the winding country roads that would lead me to Sturgeon Bay.

Between my two summer jobs, I lived at the beach. I usually arrived to the golden dunes around ten in the morning. My goal was to be there first. Many times, a few bird-watchers would beat me. But for the most part, it was just me.

By around noon, a few friends would arrive, and a few hours later, I was packing up my gear to get ready for work. On my days off, I spent about eight hours languishing in the sand, gobbling up books and listening to the waves.

In college, at Northern Michigan University, I was surrounded by beaches along Lake Superior's coastline. I was lucky enough to live only a few blocks from a local hot spot. Many nights, after waiting tables, I would walk a few blocks with Rob as we watched the lights from freighters. It was a perfect place to relax. I even ditched a couple of classes every fall to soak up a few more UV rays before the dreaded winters covered the dunes.

The Great Lakes feel like home to me. Being so far from them has been the hardest adjustment for me in my new home in metro Detroit (and of course, the traffic).

But this weekend, I will be able to give back to the Lakes that have given me so much. A co-worker told me she heard something on the radio about beach clean-up efforts. I looked up the Alliance for the Great Lakes, and sure enough, all along beaches this Saturday, volunteers will make efforts to clean the shoreline.

I will be helping out at Metro Beach in Mount Clemens with my friend and the husband (he doesn't know yet). The beach is on Lake St. Clair, which flows into Huron.

If you love and appreciate all of the beautiful lakes Michigan has to offer, check out the list of events by visiting

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