I’m groggy as I come to. My eyes are filled with “sleepy dirt,” the vestiges of a restless night spent in a tent. My body craves more rest but my will is stronger. I want to see the sunrise.
Emerging from the tent I step out into the balmy air, a happy surprise on Lake Superior in mid-September. The sky has just a faint orange tinge in the east. I turn toward the lake and there it is, Crisp Point Lighthouse. Our host for the week. Standing tall and just starting to catch the soft glow of the rising sun it welcomes me yet again.
This is our second stint as volunteer lighthouse keepers here. In return for our light duties we are privileged to be the sole inhabitants of this unspoiled shoreline for five days. We have a campsite for one, miles of Lake Superior beach and our majestic lighthouse.
The visitor center does not open until 10am, leaving us with precious morning hours to commune with this beauty on our own. And so I waste no time in beginning my solo trek down the beach. Heading east, the gray sky gradually lightens to blue and the sun’s brilliance increases. I’m shielded from a direct view of the sunrise by the tree lined shore, which serves to prolong the magic of the sun’s colorful entrance. The action of the waves on the shore is mesmerizing and I am entranced with the fanciful shapes of enormous tree trunks thrown up onto the sand.
For once there is no hurry in my step. I feel no sense of urgency here, have no destination except forward. Camera in tow, I indulge myself in a few artsy shots. I’m no photographer but it’s a satisfying endeavor.
Yesterday’s visitors reported several moose sightings, including on the beach. I fancy I see a few hoof prints, but my only wildlife encounter is a lone bird.
I care about the time only in order to savor my breakfast on the beach. Sensing a few faint hunger pangs, I make my way back to stoke up the camp stove and prepare my coffee and homemade raisin bread toast. It tastes ever so much better perched on a log, my feet planted in sand below the great beacon. Visitors will begin arriving shortly, but for now the view is still all mine. Good morning, lighthouse!