I am currently on a weekend trip with three of my closest friends from high school. We’re staying in a house just across from Grand Traverse Bay, on the northernmost tippy-top of the Leelanau Peninsula in lower Michigan. It’s an amazing spot, and I love these girls, so I’m a happy lady right now.
In honor of our weekend destination, I thought I’d share six memories from the Great Lakes because they are so dear to my heart. Do you remember HOMES, the mnemonic device you learned to remember the names of the lakes? Let’s go in that order!
Lake Huron. This is the hardest one because I have SO MANY memories here. I’m guessing it was my first Great Lake, since there are pictures of me at Oscoda Beach when I was less than two years old. But in terms of a favorite, it has to be a tie between camping multiple times every summer at Lakeport State Park, and visiting my aunt and uncle at their house on the lake, north of Port Huron. For me, Lake Huron is all about the people I’ve shared it with.
Lake Ontario. On the flip side, I’ve only been to Lake Ontario once. For my 13th birthday, some dear family friends/surrogate grandparents took me on a train trip to Toronto to see The Phantom of the Opera, and while we were there, we stopped at a little park so I could get out and see the lake. It was a lovely day trip.
Lake Michigan. I HATE canoeing. It’s not exactly an irrational fear—there WAS a canoe trip on a river that was higher and faster than it had been in twelve years, and we capsized four times and eventually had to abandon our canoe because it was stuck beneath a fallen tree. But I braved my fears a decade later and went on a canoe trip where we paddled our boats right out into Lake Michigan, and that was a pretty neat experience.
Lake Erie. Cedar Point amusement park is on the shores of Lake Erie, and I’ve probably been there more than a dozen times. Those were always incredible days spent with friends and family, and watching the sun shimmer off the lake from the top of a roller coaster is breathtaking…right before the first drop takes your breath away!
Lake Superior. The largest, coldest, and deepest of the Great Lakes is where I chose, at age 15, to be full-immersion baptized while on a youth group trip. Yes, it was freezing!
Lake St. Clair. Shout-out to Lake St. Clair, that little body of water between Huron and Erie, connected by the Detroit and St. Clair Rivers, sometimes called the sixth Great Lake. My favorite memory here was going to the metro park along its shores with my parents and brother. We’d bring a blanket and a picnic dinner and sit along the canal, watching boats go out and come in from the lake. And across the water from where we sat, there was a house with a giant octopus on its roof. Those were good days.
BONUS: As you read this post, I am currently making even more memories on the Great Lakes!
Do you have any cherished Great Lakes memories?