Great Lakes Provide Peace and Excitement

Photography by Aaron Peterson

No child of Michigan is happier than when on a shore or bobbing in a body of freshwater that seemingly is as big as the entire world.

Michigan BLUE celebrates the beloved season in this Summer issue, perhaps providing a keepsake of the myriad treasures revealed from inland lakes or streams (from which one is never farther than 6 miles), or relishing a fresh catch from deep waters with a side of Michigan blueberries (among so many Michigan-grown culinary delights).

No better peace is found than that of waves gently rolling to shore or lapping against a boat hull, but the Great Lakes also provide excitement and high adventure unlike any ocean, for its unique characteristics known best to world mariners.

I am especially fond this month of the Reflections column written by Jerry Dennis, who recounts sailing a 64-foot sloop from Charlevoix to Toronto. From Lake Michigan, through the Straits, across lakes Huron and Erie and up the Detroit River. It is a column succinctly capturing the wonder and rapid changes of the Great Lakes, and the two peninsulas affording a unique vantage in the world.

Please note, too, the significant milestone now crossed by the Land Conservancy of West Michigan, which incredibly announced in January achieving its goal to protect 10,000 acres of land. The group actually has preserved 10,600 acres, including 16 public nature preserves, 108 conservation easements on private property and 12 government partnerships with municipalities that provide permanent protection for public natural spaces like parks.

Managing Editor Howard Meyerson writes, “The Pere Marquette River is the longest undammed river in the Lower Peninsula. Much of it runs through state and national forest land. To date, the conservancy has secured 3,200 acres, more than 22 miles of river frontage.”

The Pere Marquette is a wonder to wander, afforded by its protections. It is a marvel that one can move about unhampered, unplugged — and unguided, with a sense of complete freedom to explore the richness of its waters and biodiversity.

A season of living outdoors certainly includes dining outdoors. Writer Alexandra Fluegel visits the Southwest Michigan corridor so well-traveled by Chicagoans and reports on unique alfresco venues. The lure is not just unique views of the Big Lake but the plethora of vineyards and hard cider-producing orchards.

There are times when an approaching storm or a cloudless sunset change an entire body of water to floating ribbons of color. These, too, are the rich impressions Michigan BLUE seeks to leave readers this month, which like footprints in the sand, disappear until the next unique reveal.

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