In the four days we've been at Crisp Point Lighthouse so far, this coastline of Lake Superior has served up a varied selection of weather. While tent camping here we are naturally tied to the elements, and all that Mother Nature brings our way. So far, she continues to entertain us with her many moods.
We arrived on a foggy, misty and brooding morning. The wind was howling, blowing off the lake and seemed to strip away every ounce of warmth I could muster. I spent that day shivering, piling on layers of clothes I'd packed for just such circumstances, including my winter jacket. But I did wonder how I'd survive five days huddled in those same layers.
Despite the conditions, the lighthouse grounds fascinated us. The tower stood tall against the elements, claiming its place as safeguard for the coast. Even when the skies cleared, the waves continued to crash furiously against the shore providing an angry display of power, and a constant sound that lulled us to sleep that night.
The wind abated on our second day, and left mosquitoes in swarming its wake. Not everything can be perfect here, and these pests let us know it. I'm usually fairly tolerant, but I've never seen such hungry hoards before. It was enough to drive me to wear a dorky hat smothered in bug spray or seek refuge in the visitors center. At night they swarmed between our inner screen tent and rain fly in noisy frustration at being unable to reach us for their next meal. Only then did we feel we had won the battle, temporarily.
Yesterday afternoon a storm appeared to be brewing. Fortunately, it didn't materialize but it did bring huge gusts of wind that persisted for the remainder of the day. Our tent blew over three times before we finally gave up and collapsed it, anchoring it with rocks. And our screen tent pulled up its stakes and blew right off Rich who was sitting in it at the time. Sleep was hard to come by that night as the tent pulsated in the wind, the sides alternately collapsing in toward us and flapping away. I'm sure it was only our bodies that anchored it to the ground.
Today, in contrast, it's hot and sunny. The light wind is out of the south and the lake calmly laps the beach. We can see out into the water, with it's varying colors. It's a perfect day for walking the beach, which seems to be a bigger attraction to our visitors than the lighthouse today. I'm happy to sit by the water's edge and read in between the slow flow of guests.
My favorite times of the day are morning and evening. We have the place to ourselves then, a powerful feeling of good fortune to be surrounded by this natural beauty. Mornings are magical. Emerging from the tent in time to catch the sunrise leaves hours to enjoy the golden colors of the low sun as the shoreline awakens. It's peaceful, quiet and different every day.
Sunset comes late here. And we've had some beauties. By the time the light fades, I'm already thinking about a campfire – a camping requirement, in my opinion. Once the fire is established and roaring, I love watching the glow of the red-hot coals underneath. To add to the allure, the crackling of the fire is accompanied by the rhythmic flow of the waves on the beach in close proximity. The other night I could see a distinct line of red in the distance marking the sun's departure over the horizon, and the rhythmic repetition of the lighthouse's signal light. A pleasing combination.
Tomorrow is guaranteed to be different from today. I'm looking forward to what Crisp Point will deliver for us.