Whoever thinks that the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is a cold area, should be here this week. It’s been hovering around 90-95 degrees since we arrived Tuesday. Hopefully it’ll cool down tomorrow. I’m tired of sitting in front of a fan to feel a miniscule amount of relief from the heat.
It’s been a really disappointing visit. We never know what it’ll be like up here and this year, getting into the water (Lake Michigan) is impossible.
When we bought the place about 16 years ago, we had a wonderful sandy beach with about 200 feet of frontage and maybe 25-30 feet of sugar sand beach. We spent most of our time in the crystal clear water swimming or floating around or walking the beach. But for the past seven or eight years, the whole Great Lake’s area has experienced a drought. All of the Great Lakes have much lower water levels. That means that the area that was once the shallow water close to shore is now dry land. The water is much further out. And because it’s so low, there’s been a lot of vegatation that’s washed up and caused a gunk along the water’s edge. This year it’s the worst.
From where we used to sit at the water’s edge to where the water is now is probably more than 150 feet!!! Most of that is high grass or cat tails. For about the last 50 feet, it’s just muck. There’s no way we can wade through it to get out to the clear water. So we can see the water from our deck, but not enjoy it. Last year we were able to clear about a 15 foot beach. This year, because of the muck, we can’t do anything about it. About the only solution would be a dock out about 75 feet! Of course it would have to be removed at the end of the season because the winter ice would break it up. So construction of such a project isn’t going to happen since we don’t get up here much.
So we’ve been depressed about the water table. Everyone says the Polar Ice Caps are melting and sooner or later the lakes will be rising, but it hasn’t happened yet, and instead because of global warming, we’ve got this drought and subsequent mess with our beaches.
When we bought the property with the trailer, it was really cheap. As the years went by, water front property like ours really went up in value. We were tickled that our property was worth about five times what we paid for it. We thought we really had a treasure. But now I doubt anyone would want it.
John works hard when we’re here. Just opening up the place is always a chore. When we arrived Tuesday, a line from the pump had a hole, so he fixed that. And then later he had a hard time getting the water heater to light. About bed time, he went to plug in our electric coffee maker and it shorted out all the power in the house. Actually that was an easy problem to solve. We just tossed out the coffee maker and used one that works on a burner instead (and the coffee has been GREAT!)
John cleared the driveway in to our place. The grasses and trees have really filled it considerably since last year. He used a chain saw to chop out some of the encroaching trees. If we didn’t come for a year, I doubt that we’d be able to get in. I don’t do well around the cutting of grass and weeds because of allergies, so I am stuck in here when he mows.
We do have a window air conditioner which we could put in our kitchen window and it would cool the place, but if we did, we would end up staying inside all the time with the windows closed. At least the way it is now, we leave the doors and windows open, and when the sun moves around the trailer, we’ll be able to sit on the deck and enjoy the view.
I know my whole blog message has sounded negative. There are some nice features of this place.
The view of Lake Michigan from our deck is fantastic. The sunrise photo at the top of this page is from our deck.
The number of hummingbirds is phenominal. I put out a hummingbird feeder today after I had one of the tiny birds hover about three feet from me and I could tell he was begging for some sugar water. It didn’t take long before he was feeding from our feeder, but I haven’t seen the half dozen or so that we had last year.
It’s really quiet and tranquil. Only the waves and the birds break the silence.
We can tell that this spring we had about eight showy ladies slippers this spring which are wild orchids. We still have a few wild raspberries growing in the woods around our place although it’s past the peak season. There are also other wild flowers and the other vegetation is plentiful. John dug up a pretty white pine to take back to our place in Saginaw.
So although the water table is low and our property on Lake Michigan no longer represents a wonderful swimming get-away to us, it is still lovely from many aspects.
Today is Thursday. Tomorrow night we’ll go out for a good fish dinner and we’ll head home Saturday. We have have only seen two other humans since we pulled into this place Tuesday: our power company meter reader stopped by today and someone walking the beach went past but didn’t see us.
I’d just as soon be back on Lake Cecil in the lower peninsula in Saginaw County where we live, but this visit will make us appreciate what we have at home: air conditioning, comfort, fewer bugs, and no musty smell.