Point Betsie was a pivotal location in my recently published novel, Return to Sleeping Bear.
I don’t know why I formed this special attachment to the Point Betsie Lighthouse, but I have been there numerous times and never get tired of walking along its’ beaches.
According to one website, there are around 124 lighthouses in Michigan. (Not everyone agrees on the number). They all have their own charm, yet Betsie always calls me back. It inspired the beginning of the creation of my novel.
The last couple of years, I traveled to the U.P. of Michigan with my friend Debi for vacation. Coming back home this last year, we were ahead of schedule by one day. Deb had read my rough draft of my novel and heard of Point Betsie from me. She hesitantly asked me, “Would you care if we went home down Lake Michigan so I can see Point Betsie?”
Geesh! I was so excited. I wanted to see it again too and it made me feel good that she wanted to see the place where my story started. So, we traveled that way. We went through Traverse City and down through the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park. We also went through the Pierce-Stocking Scenic Drive. Finally, we got to Point Betsie. As always, it was beautiful. The whole trip had amazing scenic views.
Point Betsie. May 2018. Just north of Frankfort, Michigan.
You can walk a ways south of the lighthouse.
I’ve been here before when the waves were smacking those breakers and spraying up in the air. It’s a different experience every time you come.
Looks calm, doesn’t it? Don’t let it deceive you. I’ve been here when people were swimming in the water, but…
One year when my kids were around four and six years old, we took them here. As we were leaving the hotel room, the housekeeper heard us saying that we were going out there. “Don’t go in the water,” she warned. “There are strong under-tow warnings out.” We thanked her for the advice and headed out.
When we got there, I explained to my sons that they had to stay away from the water. I wanted to test it, but they had to stay back. I walked in the water where it was clear and it was washing up onto the sand. It changed color drastically right after that point. Where it started to look dark, I dipped my foot in. I could feel the pull of the water. I quickly walked up onto the dry sand. It was such an eerie feeling. What if that lady hadn’t told us and we had let the kids swim? I don’t know who that lady was, but if I did – I would thank her for the warning! It’s crazy how conditions can make a safe place dangerous. I’ve never seen warning signs there about undertows, but be careful!
Fifteen shades of blue. Hey, could that be the title of a new book?