Icy Shoreline Explorations

Friday night dropped a bit of freezing rain on our packed snow roads, meaning that Saturday we were housebound. For most of the day, the roads were so slippery I didn’t even feel safe walking on them, YakTrax or no. We lazed the day pleasantly away with books and video games, but come Sunday – after some much-needed grit had been applied to the roads, plus a fresh coat of grippy snow – we were ready to get out. I wasn’t kidding; that cabin-fever thing happens quickly ’round these parts!

Like good parents, we gathered all our puppy paraphernalia and loaded it along with Petey into the car before taking off. Because it’s been a while since we last visited, we aimed for the tip of the Leelanau Peninsula, specifically to the beach surrounding the Grand Traverse Lighthouse.

Even in the summer it’s not much of a beach. It’s more like a shallow grave for glacier-tumbled granite remains. In the winter…well:


Which is not to say we were disappointed; obviously, the place was ripe with photo opportunities. We just didn’t set any records for Most Distance Walked on a beach outing.

After the camera had had its fill, we skittered back over the ice into the car, and aimed for the open waters at Peterson Park. For a fairly sedate day – low winds, pretty but not amazing sunset – the shoreline was dramatic. Deep pink tinged the sky to the south as the lemony sun sunk behind the clouds. And I never tire of the turquoise waters.
Peterson Park in Winter-3

Ice mountains, volcanoes and caves littered the build-up along the shore. While Tony and Petey chased down smelly things (nothing too smelly – just rocks and hidden treats) closer to the treeline, I ventured out onto the ice, as you knew I would.


Occasionally, an errant wave threatened with overspray. I was lucky, managing to miss any freezing drops.

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The camera was still hungry, but the sun had set and I was still wearing my sunglasses (“I wear my sunglasses at night!”), so before it got too dark we climbed the stairs back to the top. Then we began making our way up the snowy hill where we had left the car.

Sprawling birches and cactus-shaped pines requested I take their photographs. I obliged. While Petey enjoyed a snack, I grabbed the camera for one last snap, because I really liked the texture of the snow and the contrast the car’s headlights provided. Once Petey, the camera, and myself were all sated, we buckled up, and headed back home.

We’re expecting more freezing rain tonight, and then more snow, so I’m not sure what my next adventure will be. How about you?

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30 thoughts on “Icy Shoreline Explorations

  1. OMG!! Since I have long ago run out of adjectives for both your photography skills and surroundings…I’m just going to repeat myself ad nauseum πŸ˜‰ Superb!! Awesome!! Stunning…oh wait…found a new one…Posh! Well, it’s new as far as describing pics go, and no I have no clue what it might mean with regard to a pic, but it sounds just right πŸ™‚

    So good to see Petey πŸ™‚ Was it warm enough for him to be out and about without his coat? Just realised…didn’t you take any of the Lighthouse? There is one right?

    • Posh πŸ™‚ Any adjectives make me happy. Well, any positive ones. I suppose I wouldn’t be so thrilled if someone posted negative comments πŸ˜‰ Thanks!
      As for Petey, he was plenty warm. I know it looks cold – and would feel cold to you (and me on winter’s front-end) – but I didn’t wear gloves at all for our outing! And yes, there is a lighthouse, but it’s perched very far back from the beach, and its view is occluded by trees. So, you can take pictures of the lighthouse, but it looks like it’s watching over dry land 😦 It’s got some lovely lilac bushes nearby, so perhaps I’ll make my way there in May or June for some photos of it watching over the flowering shrubs πŸ™‚

    • Before we moved here from Georgia, I’d occasionally find photos of the ice on Lake Michigan and think it looked like Antarctica, and that I couldn’t wait to see it for myself. I still think it looks like Antarctica, but I would like to see Antarctica for myself πŸ˜‰
      In other news, did you kill the comments on your site entirely? I look for the tab every time you post…

        • I understand – no apology necessary! I do still love the images you share. Maybe one day I’ll make it back there on a roadtrip. If I do, I know who I’ll ask about must-go places in NC!

  2. Thank you for this adventure. I loved it. My furry girls don’t seem to remember we had this wonderful walk, but I keep reminding them about the smelly things.

    Sent from my iPad

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  3. That Petey looks so roguish with his black eye patch. I’m sure he must have been a pirate in a previous life. Dogs like that can be great fun and great photos too. Best Wishes Graham πŸ™‚

  4. You guys have been having some interesting weather up there! My brother works for the Port Huron Times Herald and has taken some amazing frost inspired shots, and ice flows coming down the river in recent days. It all looks amazing!

    • I love seeing the ice come down the rivers. We’re lucky that we don’t really see ice jams in ours though. I bet your brother has to deal with those 😦
      How’s DC faring this winter? I keep feeling like this is going to be a looooooong winter (we did get about half a foot of snow in October, and have been under snow since November), but I was comparing a couple of photos of the same place. This October it was surrounded by loads of yellow and green leaves. Last October it was bare. So maybe things aren’t as bad as they seem. Anyway, hope things are well in your neck of the woods!

    • Thanks Dawn πŸ™‚ And I agree, you do need an adventure. Mostly because I always think I need an adventure, and if I need one, then so does everyone else!
      I don’t mind the stairs in warmer seasons. Now they are not really stairs so much as a place for snow to collect.

    • It’s taking some getting out to appreciate it this year. I think because we’ve had so many days of snow, snow, snow, and cold, cold, cold, I feel like winter’s been a bit monotonous. And you know I’m normally excited about this time of year. Ah well. This too shall pass πŸ™‚

  5. Pingback: On the Ice at the Grand Traverse Lighthouse | Adventures in Michigan's Up North

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