Yesterday evening was magical.
The kind of evening I will remember when I am eighty years old.
An evening when we lingered along the rocky beach at the Calumet Waterworks, gathering rocks. After a while I tired of admiring the green and red and black stones and attempted to capture the silvery sheen of waves crashing along the shore. Especially the long silver backs of the waves before they foamed wild against the shore.
It was a warm evening. Maybe 80 degrees. Sue and Katina had so kindly invited me to accompany them on a camping trip to Bete Grise beach (pronounced by good Yoopers as Bay de Gree) near Lac la Belle. Long sandy wilderness stretches of beach meet Lake Superior in one of the most deserted spots in the Keweenaw Peninsula. This beach stretches along the lake about 1 1/2 – 2 hours from our house.
After we gathered and admired the rocks at the Waterworks, we proceeded north to Bete Grise Beach. Surprisingly enough, many folks lingered in the warm surf of the evening.
We started a fire. We poured a celebratory glass of wine and munched on snacks from the Keweenaw Co-op. We saw–are you ready for this?–a black bear tearing through garbage bags near the rest room. In the early dusk we approached for a magnificent photo shoot. Well, not a magnificent photo shoot because it was too close to dark. But we captured several great shots of our bear. (Tomorrow, tomorrow, dear reader! I have 150 photos! Too many to show you in one evening.)
One of the reasons I will forever remember this evening is this: it was the first night in my life that I slept tent-less in a sleeping bag under the stars. We cuddled in our sleeping bags (except for Kitty who slept under a blanket on a tarp) and watched the Perseid meteor showers.
Yes! Yes! There’s one! There’s another! Look! Look at that ! Wow!
We saw at least a dozen shooting stars before we closed our eyes and drifted toward sleep with the crescent moon winking in the background and the planets gleaming bright in the night sky.
Our sleeping bags soon grew damp and sand covered our pillows. The lull of the waves breaking against the shore either A) disturbed us slightly with the constant noise or B) rocked us to sleep. I felt my body sinking into the sand, becoming part of the earth and sky. It felt exquisite.
Even though a black bear had lurked less than a football field away, and even though an occasional vehicle passed by, I felt safer than safe. The night protected us. The sand protected us. The waves rocked us back into our deepest self. It was a gorgeous night.
We awoke to six droplets of rain. That’s all. We careened out of our sleeping bags at 6:15 a.m. and watched the dawn skies.
Later we meandered down to Calumet for breakfast. An elderly lady wearing a cross told us a dirty joke. (Tomorrow or the next day! Hold your horses! How can you fit all of this in ONE single blog?)
A storm brewed from the west. The skies turned dark and ominous before pouring, pouring, pouring rain from the grey clouds. We sipped our coffee and munched our eggs and bought thimbleberry jam.
What an incredible adventure! Thank you, Sue. Thank you, Kitty. I feel so deeply indebted to you for this memory which shall be treasured for many long years to come. Bless you both.