Peterson Beach – Empire MI

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Peterson Beach has always been one of my favorites when we go up north. To get to it you have to turn off of M-22 onto this gravel road which is hidden by thick woods on each side of it. That drive down the gravel road takes about five minutes and then opens up to big sand dunes with the view of sleeping bear off to your right. The walk to the beach is a path through dunes. Every summer we have a beach campfire here where we watch the sunset, make food, and stay out late listening to everyone tell their classic campfire-appropriate stories. I always get the best sunset pictures on this beach…maybe because it’s so quiet and there aren’t tons of people running around blocking my photos. This last week we went to many new beaches up north. It’s funny to me that so many people go down to the Caribbean and are awestruck by the color of the water when they don’t even realize those same colors are on beaches up north Michigan (I’ll be posting one of those beaches soon).

This last year I’ve really started this new thing where I stay pale..haha. I cringe at my attitude towards the sun when I was in high school and college…I wanted to be as tan as I could possibly get. I would lay on the beach for hours; frying under the crisp sun until my skin felt rubbery, and if necessary (in my mind) – I’d go to the tanners. Haven’t we all been to the tanners and sat next to a wrinkly tan lady (who clearly is in the tanners every day) and thought to ourselves “is she 40 or 90?” Someday I’ll have wrinkles, and embrace them but until then I will do everything I can to prolong the wrinkles. So now, when I go to the beach I’m hiding from the sun. I’m wearing sunscreen on my body, foundation on my face, and hiding under a hat or an umbrella. I used to read magazines every summer that talked about the risks of skin cancer and I would totally dismiss them, thinking oh well if I have a strange mole on my body I’ll know and get it taken care of right away. I didn’t think anything of it. It’s hard to explain why I’ve taken a 180 on my attitude towards the sun and tanning because for so many years I thought glowy tan was prettier. Even the word “glowy” sounds prettier to say than the word “pale” but for some reason I think pale is prettier now, and hopefully prettier down the road when I’m not covered in wrinkles and dark spots.

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