A Day in the Sun

I think everyone in the mid-to-northeastern portion of this country was looking forward to the “warm” temperatures expected on Saturday. Tony and I certainly were, so we planned a day of outdoor activities. We started out with a pre-lunch walk around Traverse City, and then headed over to the coast.

Petey was thrilled with that ball of ice

When we first arrived in Empire, a light snow was falling, and the skies were dull. But, it was in the 20’s (I think we got all the way up to 23F!), so I wasn’t complaining. I left Petey with Tony for a bit and struck off to areas best not to take him.

That tiny speck in the left photo is me. The right image features a pretty melt puddle

After about twenty minutes, we regrouped. And then the sun unexpectedly popped out. It was magical. I hopped back to a couple of my favorite views, and remade the images to stitch into panoramas.

Some pancake ice in front of Empire Bluffs
Empire Ice-2

A super cool iceberg, more pancake ice, and the Sleeping Bear Dunes
Empire Ice

The afternoon was wearing on, but the clouds continued to allow interludes of sunshine, so we decided to drive south of Empire for a bluff hike.

Empire Bluffs Trail-2

The trail is a local favorite, so despite having snow up to our hips, the path is well-worn and quite walkable without snowshoes. We passed several folks along the way – all smiling their appreciation for the gift of the moment. I looked up at one point at a couple of young kids trekking in our direction. I considered taking their photo, but didn’t. I immediately regretted the decision, when I heard one of the boys say our names to his friend. Completely by chance, we had run into our good friends out in the middle of nowhere, and their five-year-old recognized us before we did him!

Jim, Lisa, Jess. Little ones not pictured; they had better things to do 😉
chance friend meeting

After catching up for a few moments, Tony, Petey and I continued to the overlook. I have dozens of photos of this view, and I make more images with each visit. It’s a familiar view, yet it’s always surprising in its beauty and always different, if only subtly.

Empire Bluffs Overview

As we rounded the last curve, laughing at the guard fence buried in snow, the clouds again broke. Dramatic rays of sun spilled onto Lake Michigan, and I stood agape.

Eventually, I managed to contain my enthusiasm, and we began the journey back to the car. Like the view at the overlook, though we had just passed through, the woods was different – and so was I. After a confining bout of brutally cold weather, it’s impressive just how rejuvenating a few hours outside in the sun can be.
Empire Bluffs Trail

24 thoughts on “A Day in the Sun

    • It was such a great day – and a fun surprise meeting 🙂
      Thought about going out all day yesterday, it was so pretty. Too bad it was so cold, and that today is even worse! Glad Jax gets to stay in!

    • It is definitely improving! I wasn’t having too much trouble walking, but yes, that trail would’ve hurt – especially covered in snow. I could tell my knee was a bit fatigued by the end of Saturday (we logged a little over 6 miles outside), but it wasn’t twinging in pain.
      So glad to have the chance to get out and shoot on Saturday. Do you know what I did though? I pressed some dumb button and switched the camera to 1.3x crop mode. I was so upset – had to throw out some shots 😦

    • We were amused! It was like the first unapologetically beautiful day of spring: there were scores of people at every location we visited, and everyone seemed so happy just to be outside. We are all really suffering from some cabin fever this year, aren’t we?
      Hope you are warm enough today! Area schools are canceled again today.

  1. Pingback: Afternoon Dose of Vitamin D | Travel. Garden. Eat.

    • That’s two weekends in a row now. Look out – I feel a trend coming on!
      I love those sunrays too. What I don’t love is that I pushed some button on my camera that I didn’t know about (I do now…), and it cropped my photos tighter than I wanted – especially on those sun rays 😦

    • If you thought that ice was cool, wait till you see what I just published! More lake ice. And more days where 20’s feel warm! We are all going to warm up sometime soon. I can feel it 🙂

    • Thank you Lucinda! As much as I’ve been yammering on about the cold, winter really is beautiful here. And normally we get out much more and play in it. Then it doesn’t feel so much like putting up with winter – simply enjoying it and how different it is from the other three seasons 🙂

  2. Hi Ms. Heather, how ya doing? Hopefully it’s a bit warmer down there this weekend. It’s lovely up here, although the wind is blowing some. You know what I like best about your pics? The red coat/blue leash that Petey has. It looks SO gorgeous in white pictures. It makes everything POP!

    • Hello there Kathy! We had a great weekend – probably much like yours. I kept dreaming of a UP trip (still am), since the ice caves are going strong over on Grand Island. But with our house and all, we are trying to stick to a fairly strict budget and schedule.
      I think with Petey being a white dog, it’s imperative that he have a bold red coat to distinguish him. He at least stands out from his camouflaging background this way 😉 (Really, though, we could turn the coat inside-out, and then he’d be boring navy blue. I prefer the high visibility red-orange.)

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