Catch a shooting star & remember it until you’re 80 years old.

Magic sheen of waves

Yesterday evening was magical. 

The kind of evening I will remember when I am eighty years old.

Children play in warm Lake Superior waters

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.

Trail of stones

The world of stones

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.

"Our" picnic table...the beach where we slept.

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.)

Sue and Kitty...my beautiful friends!

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. 

Kitty drumming before the fire

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.

Dawn. Before the storm...

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.

About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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29 Responses to Catch a shooting star & remember it until you’re 80 years old.

  1. What a beautiful story!!

    I pray I will do this someday on my journey…Anyone with me?
    I am a city girl, but I have been camping in my early life, tent or pop up!
    What a wonderful thing to share and remember always!

    Kim

  2. “Kitty before the fire” and “Dawn before the storm” are my favorite photographs. But the best — oh the VERY BEST — is the story of your adventure that you shared with us.

    I would love to tell you that I’m not greeeeeen with envy, but I am.

  3. Susan Derozier says:

    Thank you for taking us along. Living in Florida now with all the light pollution, I miss the night skies. It reminded me of two nights I spent at the Cliff House on the North Shore of Lake Superior one October. I spent sleepless nights watching the northern lights dance across the sky and ships like diamond necklaces far out on the lake as they passed by.

    Wonderful pictures and wonderful memories!

  4. Carol says:

    Oh! Sounds like heaven! It’s been so long since I’ve slept under the stars and listened to the waves striking the shore. Much less watching the meteor showers.

  5. kathusitalo says:

    Last night and early this morning as I stepped outside into our suburban Detroit street, squinting in vain to catch sight of a shooting star past the streetlights and other light pollution, I remembered the night I spent sleeping out, just as you did.
    It was the August after high school graduation, a reunion of friends—about 10 male and female platonic friends—-before we headed our separate ways to colleges across the state and beyond.
    We were Up North and the sky was loaded with stars.
    We stayed up most of the night, talking and laughing around the fire, and admiring the show above.
    Eventually we dozed off in our own sleeping bags with our own thoughts.
    You’re right—a night to remember.

  6. A beautiful beach with character, the colours in those stones are wonderful…the bears adventures with the garbage, a night under the stars with friends, a morning storm…you’re sure to be remembering this magical night until after you’re 80!

    Thank you for sharing your adventure, Kathy. I’m looking forward to further photos and installments. 🙂

  7. Dawn says:

    I live too near Detroit as well, though not exactly a suburb. We went out last night at 10:30 and looked at the sky for 20 min and saw nothing but stars, which were pretty, but weren’t SHOOTING! Then we went out again at 1:30 a.m. and saw ONE. It was very cool. But really. One?

    So I too am envious of your wonderful adventure. It’s 10:04 tonight and husband says I can take my sleeping bag out and sleep in the yard under the stars. I say I’d get eaten alive by the mosquito!

  8. Dawn says:

    OK. you (and husband) have convinced me. I put the tent up minus the rain flap thingy so with all the windows unzipped I can “sleep under the stars” wish I had the waves…but you do with what you have…right? LOL!

  9. Jeannie says:

    What a Grande party with the Universe…

  10. Jessica says:

    Sounds like a wonderful excursion. The rocks are one thing I miss about MI. Even the inland rivers down here seem lacking. The stones I have picked up are very small compared to MI stones. We do have shells but since the oil spill happened we haven’t had much time to get to the beach. Some days they are open, other days they are not.

  11. K Odell says:

    I couldn’t see any last night- living in the damn city! 😦

  12. emaclean says:

    oh i wish i were there. hope it’s not too late to catch the showers here in no. california!

  13. pattysue says:

    Mmm, mmm, mmm … I was there with you. I snuggled deep into the sand and was ooohing and ahhhing at all the meteors lighting the sky. Thank you for sharing! Much love to you and yours, pattysue

  14. P.j. grath says:

    “Magic sheen of waves” (loved that!), stones, friends, a bear, and sleeping under the shooting stars. Who could ever forget it? Thanks for sharing, Kathy.

  15. Cindy Lou says:

    I love the Waterworks beach…..the kids and I used to go there a lot when we lived up there – Jen even had a couple of birthday parties there! And rocks, rocks, rocks – ahhhhhh! 🙂 What a wondermous way to spend a summer evening! Indeed, a night to hold close to your heart.

  16. Colleen Lloyd says:

    The stones are beautiful. And the sense of sinking into the sand and sleep…can only imagine how that must have been 🙂 I’ve always been drawn to stones and rock….and in a different way, to sand. There is something so deeply moving and healing about them.
    What a wonderful night. And as always, thank you.

  17. Kathy says:

    You guys are the greatest!!!
    You all, every one of you, seem to understand the precious of this evening…in your very souls.
    Thank you, thank you!
    And I hope you all experience evenings like this–many times–in our one wild & precious life.
    YES!

  18. Sue says:

    Oh Dear Kathy!

    Thank you for coming along on our little journey! It truly was a magical 24 hours…..

    Rocks, sand, fire, & drums;
    A bear, ravens, & seagulls;
    Sunset, stars, meteors, & sunrise;
    Sunshine, clouds, thunder, lightening, & rain;
    Stories, jokes, laughter & silence.

    Best of all?
    The company of a dear friend.

    ~*~ Susie Q

  19. Kathy says:

    Susie Q! Here you are, back home! I love how you described it all…such a beautiful poem which covered our entire time together. Except I would turn it around and say: Best of all? The company of dear friends!

    until next time, dear friend…

  20. Marianne says:

    Ohhh Kathy, I truly understand why you will remember this night when you’re 80. It must have been really really awesome. Magical indeed!

  21. Magical.

    Kathy, I think you would really enjoy using a tripod for your dawn/dusk/night photography, It would open up a whole new world to you and your camera. A small table top model would work fine. Just my opinion. Now, on to the bear post…

  22. bearyweather says:

    Sounds like a heavenly time.
    A bonfire on the beach in the evening is my idea of a perfect evening.

    Unfortunately, we had lots of clouds and rain .. no meteor showers for me this year.

    • Kathy says:

      bearyweather, don’t you feel like having a bonfire right now? wouldn’t that be lovely? I wonder why we don’t pause and light a fire on ordinary evenings at home…

  23. Kathy says:

    Stilling smiling thinking about this magical night–and all your comments/sharing, too! Scott, you are so right. A tripod would be wonderful. Of course, the question is: would I have remembered to throw in a tripod when there was only fifteen minutes to pack?

  24. Wonderful moments spent with friends ! Those are truly unforgettable experiences. Thank you for the beautiful pictures. More gratefulness for such gifts of life. I am happy for you, Kathy.

    • Kathy says:

      Isa, it’s strange how out-of-time this evening feels. It only happened a little over a week ago, but it feels like a magical mystical evening carved out in special beauty.

  25. Pingback: The weekend of the Susies. | Lake Superior Spirit

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