Saturday, July 24, 2010


I grew up in Two Rivers, WI around a lot of forest, gardening, and the beach. As a child I never truly understood the gem that is located about 4.5 miles away. This state park is named Point Beach.  It's a stretch of forest along Lake Michigan that goes on forever and it's absolutely beautiful. 

I have spent so much time camping there as a child, teenager, and adult....even working in the station at one point of my life. This place has a  timeless quality.  We used to camp there during the summer, have pictures taken in the snow, celebrate Halloween with my nephew and nieces. ...and the list goes on and on about how important this state park is to my family.

Every year that passes, a person dies or is born....a city changes...home ownership changes...what once was is never again....and coming home to that every year has an affect on me.  I feel older and out of place. I actually sometimes feel like a foreigner visiting.  The memories are all still there but not all the people are the same.  Change is slow to my hometown but it happens. People that were children are now parents...etc etc....the natural life cycle.

So many times I find myself drawn to Point Beach because time has stopped here.  I know the woods and the trails and it feels good.  Nothing has changed here...I don't feel old or young....I just feel happy to walk amongst the trees and ferns. It's a safe bubble where I feel protected and happy.  Old memories surface of the snowball fights in October, discovering secret bridges, finding magical ponds, or walking upon a bunch of deer quietly eating in the grassy prairie areas.

Throughout the park, you will find benchmarks of things people did from the past as well as from today. There are names on benches of people who have passed but I remember them clearly as if it were from yesterday. They were important people who made a difference in our park and in our lives here locally.

The old lodge by the beach had an ancient woman who died many years ago educating the public about the wildlife and the beach ecosystem.  Winnie was an old craggy woman with a passion to educate.  I spent a lot of time with her growing up being careful not to get in her way too often.  I had been working at the ranger station later on in life only to discover that she had passed away.  She is still remembered today from a cabin she donated to her second home away from home. No one today comes close to what Winnie did.

There are little things like this all over the park that remember people from the old and new days.  People who left a small footprint behind making a difference for people like us.  As I get older, I discover how sacred this forest is and how each forest has its' own feel and is different from the other.  Camping in different locations has helped me see how unique and special each place is.  I am so fortunate to have grown up in such a  pristine place.  If you ever swing by Two Rivers, make sure you visit Point Beach State Park.  Make sure you have reservations as the park is usually full.  If you are staying in town, it's a great bike ride down Port Sandy Bay Road.  There's a trail that will take you straight into the park and it's a nice workout.  Cheers!

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