Twenty seconds of Lake Michigan.
The one time I stood by Lake Michigan, I got tripped out because of the waves. And then I asked my dad whether the tide was coming in or going out. Except it’s a lake, so…
I should go back and see it again. Maybe this time I won’t be confused by the freakishly large lake’s weather patterns.
Which is funny because I spent so long in California, especially down by Half Moon Bay where there are HUGE waves most of the year. These are by far the biggest waves I’ve ever seen on the lake, except during huge windstorms, and I was like “Aww, look at them, they’re trying so hard!”
I don’t even know if lakes have tides. I should think at least one as big as Michigan does, but it never occurred to me to inquire.
That’s a lake?
Yep – this was taken from the southern tip of the lake, so actually kind of a narrow part. You can’t see it from the video, sadly, but I could see in person – out over the lake, on the right-hand side before I move the camera to the right, is the skyline of Chicago.
If you look at Lake Michigan on googlemaps, I caught the train along the lakeshore from Chicago southeast, and this was shot in Indiana, between Gary and Michigan City, about ninety minutes outside Chicago.
Lake Michigan is staggeringly massive. I never think about it, because I lived on the Pacific coast so I’m used to water you can’t see the opposite shore of, but for people who have a more well-defined mental image of “lake” it can be quite shocking.
Lake Michigan can be a very dangerous body of water because people think “it’s JUST a lake”. It’s more an inland sea. Rip currents can be really bad.
There are plenty of shipwrecks. The annual race to Mackinaw Island from Chicago is a test. There’s also still a Navy base - Great Lakes - that provides training. http://ift.tt/2pt2ppl http://ift.tt/2qhdqgm
I actually had a really interesting moment when I was down on the dunes – I know I’ve been rather cavalier about the camping portion of the trip (with, I think, a bit of justification – the entire campsite is maybe two blocks’ worth of trails, it’s a very tame site) but I am never, ever casual about the water.
I got down to the dunes but the beach at that point is quite narrow, there’s not much clearance between the steps down and the water line. I didn’t stay down there very long, just to take a few photos and the video, and as I turned to go up the steps back to the street I heard my gran in my head on the beach at Half Moon Bay telling me Never turn your back on the water.
Which really she meant for a kid who was standing IN the water, but as soon as I thought it, I turned to the side so I still had the waves in my eyesight as I shuffled up to the stairs. If you’re less than ten feet from the water, you never turn your back to it, because you just don’t know. It was really interesting that the training I had twenty, thirty years ago stuck with me.
Having spent my early childhood and most summers growing up on Lake Michigan is probably why I always had trouble with the differences between oceans, lakes, and ponds.
Since this is taken at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, I’ll add. The sand dunes around where this was taken are an entity unto themselves. So, the biggest dune in the Lakeshore, Mount Baldy, was closed a couple of years ago because it has literally been swallowing people alive. Scientists only have vague ideas about why this could be, so the park where Mount Baldy is located is closed until further notice.
AHAHAH yes and have you seen the text the National Parks put up about it:
The Mount Baldy area is closed due to hazardous conditions until further notice. Please visit the rest of the 99% of the national lakeshore that is open.
They sound THE MOST fed up about people complaining that Mount Baldy is closed, it cracks me up.
IT’S CLOSED BECAUSE IT EATS PEOPLE. PLEASE JUST WANDER FECKLESSLY AROUND THE OTHER NINETY NINE PERCENT OF OUR PARK THAT DOESN’T EAT PEOPLE.
Midwestern Gothic is never realer than at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore you guys.