This winter has been particularly brutal, even by Michigan standards, well maybe not by Upper Michigan standards, but for us trolls, or Michiganders who live under the bridge, it has been long, snowy winter with many bitterly cold days and nights. So with the temperatures warming up to a balmy temperature of around freezing, we decided to to get out of the Buttercup house and head to the Lake Michigan Shoreline. I’m ashamed to say after living so close to Lake Michigan for the past year and a half, this was my first venture over there. We had heard that the Lake was frozen almost completely across to Chicago, and after some research I learned the ice cover on the Great Lakes is at about 90%, which hasn’t happened since the winter of 1979, and is by far the greatest amount of ice cover in many years. We also wanted to see some of the lighthouses standing among the snow and ice. As we drove toward Lake, the grey skies dissipated and the color blue opened up before us with the warm sun shining down. It felt wonderful!
We drove to South Haven, since it is home to the closest lighthouse and beach to us. The beach and the frozen lake were filled with families, climbing the frozen waves and water dunes, and scrambling up the snow wall to the lighthouse.
We enjoyed the natural playground God provided for us this winter, and after a bit of climbing the frozen terrain and enjoying the sunshine, we packed it up and headed up the coast to visit the “Big Red” Lighthouse in Holland. It was later in the afternoon and the sun was beginning its descent in the western sky, and the wind was picking up, so the 15 minute hike from the car to the Lakeshore and Lighthouse was cold and uncomfortable. The bright red barn-like lighthouse was visually striking surrounded by the white snow and blue skies.
My plan sometime in the near future is to pull out my oil paints and try painting a few of the images I took of Big Red. I think these could be interesting depending on painting techniques used.
Of course, an outing wouldn’t be complete for Gregg and myself without stopping into a microbrew pub, so we ended our day at New Holland Brew Pub for dinner and a craft beer. I tried their home style chicken pot pie, and frankly was a little disappointed, but Gregg’s Pastrami on Rye was delicious and Donovan’s Pizza was excellent too. The beer was very tasty as well. I tried the Hopivore, a wet-hopped Harvest Ale and Gregg had their Dragon’s Milk Stout and both were delicious. We ended our frozen, winter adventure with a Dragon’s Milk Brownie Dessert. Yum:) This was a good winter day.