"Tourist Weather Has Arrived"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Friday, June 1, 2012

It’s here — Tourist weather! What is Tourist weather you ask? It is when temperatures are between 40 and 90 degrees and you can eat ice cream. And you can swim, golf, lay on the beach and eat ice cream. You can also sun bath, stroll around in shorts and tank tops and eat ice cream. Oh yeah — you can wear sandals go fishing and of course eat a lot of ice cream.

Before last weekend, you could drive along the lakeshore without passing another car going either way. I guess it didn’t have anything to do with the weather; it just wasn’t quite the right time yet. It had already hit 85 degrees (a couple of times), but did you see anyone cooking hot dogs on an open fire or groups sitting around a bonfire? Of course not — it wasn’t Tourist weather yet.

Tourist weather sneaks up on us here in the Thumb and it just seems to happen overnight. Sure you could find a few locals on the golf courses, maybe a few fishing at their favorite fishing holes. Those anglers were just trying to get the twist out of their lines so they would be ready when Bass season opened — which didn’t happen until tourist season began. If you were to glance out on the lake two weeks ago, you may have spotted a boat or two but that was because it was not Tourist weather. After the season got under way, fishing holes were crammed and boats could be seen everywhere because Tourist weather had arrived.

There is a sure way you can tell when the weather changes. No, it’s not a glance at the outdoor thermometer; it has nothing to do with it. A notable sign is when all the traffic seems to be headed toward Port Austin on Saturday morning. Everyone is seeking home baked goods, home grown veggies, homemade clothing items, fresh flowers and plants, fresh seafood and everything else they desire at what State Tourism folks declare one of the top 10 Farmer’s Markets in Michigan. One of the best things about the Market is the chance to run into old friends.

Yes, Tourist weather brings many old friends to the Thumb to visit family, get their cottages ready for the coming summer season or work on their boats that have been stored.

Many who arrive just like to visit the lakeshore to stroll on one of the docks or breakwalls or drive along with a view of the water.

I visited the waterfront and saw kids of all ages splashing out in the lake and playing on the beach. There were jet ski’s running all over offshore and kayaks pulling up to the public beach to take a break (they are not welcome on private beaches). As I drove around the county, I noted lots of garage sales and whenever I looked out over the water, I saw brilliant shades of blue. I also heard the growl of many motorcycles passing by as they traveled the roads on less gas than the rest of us. That meant they had more dollars to spend when they stopped in at various businesses along their routes.

This year’s tourist weather was variable — you know, typical Michigan weather; very hot, chilly, sunny, cloudy, windy, calm and — rainy! It also was a little stormy for a time which may have sent a few folks home early but it takes all of the above to equal Tourist weather.

It sure was great to see all the tourist that arrived in the Thumb thanks to Tourist weather finally arriving and I started to think of all the ways they enjoyed themselves but had to quit because — I had to go get some ice cream!




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