Central Beach from the Delta Technically, this may not be a true delta, but Kintzele Ditch deposits sediments on the shore of Lake Michigan every day, and on this particular day, the running water created fan-like fingers that reached into Lake Michigan. Unusually wide and shallow, the "delta" was an interesting place to investigate - numerous rocks, minerals, tiny fossils, and aquatic life filled the area.


Confluence The sand dunes between Central Beach and Mt. Baldy are divided by a small stream that cuts its way through the shifting sands to Lake Michigan. While this stream often changes course from the dune to the lake, it's not often that it appears to enter Lake Michigan at two points. This confluence provides an interesting place to explore, as well as a great environment for wildlife.

Updated Classic

Impala The Lemont Legends Car Show takes place (weather permitting) every Wednesday evening during the summer. Classic cars of all types line up on Main Street, and several adjacent streets to give people a glimpse into automotive history. From perfectly restored classics, to rat-rods, almost everything is represented. This classic Impala was lovingly restored, and updated just a bit to make it interesting.

Running in the Rays

Running in the Rays Nothing beats cooling off on a hot summer day, and these boys found relief in the cool waters of Lake Michigan. Chasing each other in the water, they hardly noticed the patterns in the clouds that created some interesting rays on the horizon.

From Indian Head

The Mississippi from Indiana Head A panoramic view of the Mississippi River following a climb to the top of Indian Head, a large rock formation at the Mississippi River Palisades State Park. Resembling the head of a Native American, this formation towers over the river below, and seems to peer out from the dense trees of the cliffs. Approaching from the top, the formation is eight or ten feet away from the rest of the cliff - apparently it has pulled away over time - creating a steep, crevasse that must be crossed to reach the top of the "head." Looking around, one can see several bolts drilled into the cliffs, these are anchors for rock climbing. This area seems to be full of great places to climb. As I stood on the top of Indian Head photographing the landscape and searching for bald eagles, I watched several buzzards fly below me. Perhaps a warning of what could happen with one slip of a foot.


Meandering the Shore

The boys walk through Kintzele Ditch, a small stream that flows between two sand dunes, and into Lake Michigan.  The waves and wind constantly change the path the stream takes to the Lake, at times, by hundreds if not thousands of feet. Like us, it meanders along the shoreline. Often, this stream flows directly perpendicular into the lake, but following stormy or windy weather, the sand is piled up by strong waves, so the stream must meander along the shore until it finds a point to enter the lake.


This changing shoreline offers so many new things to explore each time we visit.  Last week, the stream flowed in a different direction, depositing mud onto the beach.  Once the water changed direction, the mud began to dry in the sun, forming familiar cracks in the mud.  However, at only 1/4 inch thick, the mud began to curl as it dried, revealing the sand beneath, creating an unusual pattern on the beach, reminding me of chocolate nonpareils.

All Ashore

All Ashore

Boaters anchored just off shore, wade to the beach for an afternoon of fun on the dunes.  Part of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Central Beach is home to rolling dunes, soft sand, and about 100 parking spaces - a premium in this area, especially in the summer.  These people have the best parking spot available.

A few miles west of this area, at Cowles Bog, the beach is a two mile hike from the nearest parking lot.  The beach there is rarely crowded, however, the shore is often lined with boats - hence the nickname Boater's Beach.  Arriving by boat is the easiest way to enjoy the large expanse of soft sand that particular beach has to offer.

Cruise Night

Buick Eight A summer highlight of numerous towns and villages through out America is the weekly Cruise Night, or Classic Car Night. Classic cars from nearby towns are parked along the main street or in the lot of a local drive-in. Gear heads, and wanna-be hot-rodders alike walk up and down the rows of cars, reminiscing about the times when cars were cars. Each cruise night has it's regular showings- the cars that are on display each and every week. You get to know the cars and the owners after a while. But it's most exciting when a fresh classic comes into town, a car that hasn't been seen for a long time, or when you come across a car you once wanted or rode in as a child. The memories begin to flow.

Soaring Chrome

 No plastic grilles, 5 mph vinyl bumpers or airbags, just pure chrome, horsepower, and memories.

30 Miles Offshore

30 Miles Offshore Technically, over 30 miles from the Chicago shore, but only a few hundred feet from the beach at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. On clear days, the Chicago skyline can be seen from the "dunes" beaches, making the distance across Lake Michigan seem short, but at this point, it's almost 40 miles across. The curvature of the earth prevents the bottom of the buildings from being seen so far away. In fact, an average person standing on the beach can only see about 3 miles - that's where the curvature of the earth begins to slope away from them, and the horizon is perceived. Elevated on a hill or dune, and the distance is increased; add a 110 story building on the horizon, and one can easily see it from 37 miles away.

Kite Surfing Emerald Waters

Kite Surfing
A lone kite surfer tries his luck on a rather calm day on Lake Michigan. The large kite was able to catch enough of the breeze to tow him along, but I'll bet he was a little disappointed in the size of the waves. High winds and large waves give kite surfers a fast and wild ride, which is one reason you'll find these intrepid surfers on Lake Michigan in November. The waters around Silver Lake State Park, near Mears, Michigan, were rather flat, but displayed beautiful bands of emerald and blue - especially when viewed from high up in the dunes, or from the Little Point Sable lighthouse.

Celedon Waves

Celedon Waves Overcast skies and windy conditions create deep green waves reminiscent of the ancient Celedon pottery of Asia's Eastern Han Dynasty. On clear days with high waves, the water is deep blue, and one can often see sand in suspension for quite a distance in the water. The waves pick up the sand and move it out into the lake, making the water near the shore a bit tan in color, with deep blue in the distance. Rarely the same twice, Lake Michigan conditions and colors can change by the minute, and never fail to impress.

Midwestern Sentinel

Big Sable Point Standing guard since 1867, on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, the Big Sable Point Lighthouse dwarfs the surrounding keeper's house and rolling dunes. Located just north of Ludington, Michigan, an old Midwestern logging town, the 112 foot lighthouse marked the middle of the three most prominent points extending into the great lake - Point Betsie to the north, and Little Sable Point to the south. Open for tourists in the warm months of the year, the lighthouse is a 1.8 mile hike from the nearest parking area, but well worth the hike. Consider hiking in on the trail, and hiking back along the beach.

A Walking Stick on the Beach

Hanging at the Beach Hanging around at the beach, this walking stick (or stick insect) was attempting to hide on a large piece of driftwood, washed up during the last storm. Interesting little creatures, walking sticks mimic not only the shape of a stick, but also their movements. They bob up and down, and sway side to side, the same as a stick moving in the breeze. Harmless to humans, they're interesting to encounter, fun to watch, and can make great playmates for kids.

Behind the Dunes

Behind the DunesJust over 100 feet tall, the Little Sable Point lighthouse towers over the sand dunes adjacent to the shore of Lake Michigan.

Open for tours during the warm months of the year (a $3 bargain), the view is worth the climb up. Friendly staff are there to answer questions and guide you through the history of the lighthouse.

Big View From Little Sable

Little Sable, Big View

Climbing up the spiral stairs inside the Little Sable Point lighthouse, we anticipated a great view, but instead, we were presented with an awesome view. The sun, waves and sand created patterns in Lake Michigan that I've never seen before - and weren't seen from the ground.

Along the railing of the deck are tags with distances of popular cities around the area. According to one, it's 60 miles across Lake Michigan. In addition to the tags, it's always fun to read the writing in the sand on the beach below. The usual "Cindy loves Bill", and "Hi mom" were trumped on this day by "Don't Jump!"

Little Sable Point

Built in 1874, the lighthouse stands over 100 feet tall and utilized a third order Fresnel lens.