Jan 3, 2016

Chasing Lighthouses

What better way to start the new year than by going on an adventure. Michigan's coasts are filled with lighthouses. So, a friend and I headed out on Friday afternoon for a mini holiday. January is not the greatest time of year to visit the beach but we didn't care about that. We piled on warm clothes and took a trip into the north country where snow is abundant and the Northerners aren't afraid of the weather. 

The first lighthouse that we visited was the Petite Point au Sable Lighthouse at Silver Lake State Park, near Mears, Michigan.  The blue skies accentuated the beauty of this brick lighthouse. 

Following the loss of the schooner called Pride in 1871, the government approved funding for the lighthouse in 1872 and construction began shortly thereafter. The first keeper of the lighthouse was James Davenport of Mackinac Island who lived in the keepers house built next to the lighthouse from 1873-1879. In 1899, the lighthouse was painted white so that it could be seen easily, but in the 1970's it was restored to its original brick.  Later the house was torn down but the lighthouse remained. 

My friend climbed the dune and was able to get a lovely view of the area.  The dunes were covered with snow and they were slick, so I stayed on the beach. 

When she climbed to the top, my friend discovered that the only way down was on her bum, so she slid gracefully to the bottom. 

We then traveled south to Grand Haven and happened to see a large boat in the harbor.  I tried very hard to catch up with it but was only able to see if from a distance. It still amazes me that something that large can float. The lighthouse was built in 1839. At night, it is lit up with lights marking the entrance of the Grand River. (It was here that I fell more than I walked along the pier the night before)

  As the day progressed, we decided to stay until sunset. 

I had never seen the sun go down near a large body of water and was anxious to witness the event. The wind was blowing at a surmountable speed and the temperature was felt far below what it actually was. Thirty minutes felt like forever in the wind and our lower extremities felt the cold more than our upper parts. 

The photographers lined up to see the show. Even Mickey Mouse wanted to have a look. (We counted 17 photographers) 

Then slowly the sun faded into the horizon, only to repeat again the next day. 

At the end of our adventure, I realized how special it was that two sets of footprints in the sand are much better than one, no matter where you are or what you are doing. "Experience is much better than the material things one can buy on adventures." She told me. Except when one needs hiking boots in order to be able to walk. The experience was priceless.