We have been wandering around Michigan for the last few weeks. This is a state suspended between four of the Great Lakes. It doesn’t take long to get to one of them from any part of the state.
Right before we took a crazy drive through Detroit (who knew they could stuff so many freeways into one small city?), we passed by over the Cuyahoga River. It’s much cleaner than it was in 1969, the year I graduated high school, when the river caught fire due to the sewage and industrial chemicals which had been dumped there. (We sure do abuse Mother Nature!) The Cuyahoga River feeds into Lake Erie, so you can imagine what that was like!
We then drove to Port Huron, where we met my sister and her husband who had driven from Canada to meet us. A tour of the coast of Lake Huron gave my sister (who is part fish) a chance to swim in the opposite side of the lake from her home.
I graduated from the University of Michigan with a master’s degree in theater, so I wanted to see how it had changed in the last fifty years. For me, it was barely recognizable! A friend introduced me to https://www.zingermansbakehouse.com/ while I was there. If you are ever in Ann Arbor, it’s worth a stop.
Next, we headed north toward Traverse City and went to Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes National Lakeshore (https://www.nps.gov/slbe/index.htm). What an amazing and beautiful place! The Great Lakes were created by glaciers. Once they retreated, sand dunes of enormous proportions covered over the moraines left behind.
As you read this, we’ll be headed to the shores of Gichigami (Lake Superior). I can never think of that lake without having the melody of “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” playing through my memory. (https://genius.com/Gordon-lightfoot-the-wreck-of-the-edmund-fitzgerald-lyrics)
Standing on the shores of any of the Great Lakes is like being on the shores of the ocean. They are immense. If you have a chance to see any one of them, preferably away from the craziness of waterside theme parks like Cedar Point, take the time. Find a comfortable spot and ponder your relationship to something so vast and old.
(Photos are mine. All rights reserved.)