Independence Day is a big celebration Up North. Not that it isn’t everywhere, but the weekend of July 4th really marks the true beginning of Tourist Season. Thankfully, this worst part of the season lasts just a few days. I nearly put worst in quotation marks above, but then thought more honestly about it.
Warning: I’m going to be all crankipants for a moment, so if you’d like, just skip to the next bit below. Although I am somewhat of a hermit, I genuinely don’t hate tourists. I’ve said this before, but it’s worth mentioning again. I am not sure what happens to people on this weekend each year, but it’s deeply unpleasant. Our sleepy, ultra-rural area turns into something akin to Panama City Beach during spring break. The roads around the south end of Torch Lake are lined in both direction with cars, and throngs of mostly young drunk people roam in the road barefoot carrying coolers. And if they just partied and kept mostly to themselves, I wouldn’t even do much more than roll my eyes (because I just cannot relate). But they don’t. Every year, I pick up piles and piles of garbage…and there are trash cans at every single public access point (where I find the litter). Sadly, it’s not just confined to the Torch River Bridge. You should see the photos of the Traverse City beaches. It looks like a garbage truck spilled over. I will just never, never, ever understand how a person can vacation at a place like this, where it must be the natural beauty that draws one here, only to behave in a way that is detrimental to its continued existence. Sigh. I will be helping with clean-up efforts, and will continue to pick up after folks who lack good sense.
In an effort to avoid The Fourth crowds, we headed farther north on Friday. We hiked a couple miles at the Headlands Dark Sky Park, and were nearly run off by mosquitoes. Well, I guess we were kinda run off. About a mile in, we gave up and headed back for the car (the hike we were on was optional) before rejoining the lake. The beach was open, and the winds kept the bugs at bay, so we stayed for a bit before landing on a nearly empty beach on the outskirts of Mackinaw City.
The scenery was stunning: clear skies, smooth stones, a few boulders, and copious crashing waves. Petey met a few other dogs, and splashed around in the clear water. We didn’t end up having a very close view of fireworks over the Mackinac Bridge, but the serenity and sunset more than made up for any shortcomings – which admittedly would have come from unfounded preconceived notions.
For the record: we left only footprints and took only pictures. (More of which I’ll be adding to my photography site and Facebook over the coming days)
Such beautiful pictures. So sad that in the name of celebrating our freedoms, people infringe on others who end up cleaning up for them. Where did our young people become so entitled? That was my rant.
What is it about certain holidays that seems to give us license to forget common sense and courtesy? Sometimes we humans demonstrate remarkable stupidity. That’s my rant. It looks like you found a nice quiet spot to appreciate the holiday.
I am not sure. I am pleased to report, though, that the social media shaming seems to have done some good. I saw FB photos of the beaches in TC in good shape this morning. However, that could also be the result of volunteers and not other conscientious humans.
Regardless, we had a lovely weekend that allowed us happy hermits to avoid the crowds 🙂
Lovely pics, as always. And since we are also hermit-like, I totally get the rant. I think you showed remarkable restraint! 🙂
Imagine my restraint! I just really don’t get it. I’m not a fan (that’s putting it mildly) of the spring break partying that goes on on Torch this weekend, but at least the whole area doesn’t get trashed (well, except figuratively with alcohol). You should have seen the beaches. So sad.
But, the area by the bridge was fairly pristine, and it sure did make pretty pictures 😀 Thanks!
Love the sunset sunburst and firewook shots! And totally agreed on the rant.
Thankya kindly 😉
I bet you agree with the rant! Did you see much of the mess? Did it at least mostly miss your little slice of beach?
I will say that the folks who operate the midway for the Cherry Festival at least seem to care about leaving the place clean. Kudos to them.
Oh you crankipants! (Sorry for the tiny grin–I have never heard of that term.) But I do so agree with your irritation about litterers. Shame on them. Why in the world would people travel into nature to pollute it? It makes no sense. It’s shameful. It’s awful. I will never understand.
P.S. Nice pictures, as always!
Why thank you, as always!
It’s another one of my infamous made-up words 😉
I at least understand taking rocks or other artifacts – you want to bring a piece of it home with you to cherish. That doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do, but I understand that. But it just counter-intuitive for people to visit a beautiful natural area just to trash it up. That don’t make no sense. 😉
Dear Ms Crankipants,
Y o t ink you v got probems. Th s broa bdand conect on s d ivng me nutsz. 🙂
Some of your best photos. Very nicely done. For the rest, try herbal tea and alcohol. I’m not sure how calming it is, I just can’t remember. 😀 . Have a pleasant week. 😀
Oh Graham! I can relate to broadband issues. We have a decent connection for living out of town as far as we do. However, my email access for work (which accounts for a huge portion of my job) is spotty at best lately. Hence I’m responding the blog comments. I feel a little all over the place, but I’m being a terrifically successful multi-tasker.
I’ll skip the alcohol I think, but I’ll get back to you on the herbal tea. Might need it after this week! Heck – I might even need that alcohol. Not sure it’ll help my productivity though 😉
ow doosh yoosh shpel productivity. 🙂
You can rant all you want on that topic. It is so self-centered to think they can clutter up our planet with their garbage. I keep hoping someone will start a “don’t litter” campaign – that is what I was taught when I was a child.
Beautiful photos – and I love your new header. A new theme, too? Looks great.