"Warm Weather And A Road Trip"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Thursday, July 23, 2015

It’s late, but summer finally found its way to the Thumb. We were just about left out of any warmth when spring rolled around. We received plenty of showers, in fact, an overdose.

With all the rain and cool weather prior to July, the sun had few chances to peek through the clouds.

Too much rain, not enough sun and very cool temperatures caused the crops and plants to get a slow start.

Flowers didn’t know whether to bloom or shed. Trees that usually take a week to bud followed by white fuzz all over for another week — that causes those allergic to hide inside — also were confused. Their whole process only took a few days and soon they were loaded with leaves.

Once the weather gods received word, which has been well reported, we thankfully got some summer heat just in time for the 4th of July. It was put to use immediately as sun seekers lined the beaches, filled area parks, paddled offshore on kayaks and fired up the jet skis. Anglers gratefully found waters warming and had successful ventures for fresh-caught dinners.

I had an opportunity for a couple days right after the 4th to make a road trip. I traveled to marinas as far south as Lexington, west to Bay City and cruised the shoreline along Lake Huron north to Harrisville. As I visited marinas and gazed offshore there were boats of all types taking advantage of the good weather. The return to normal water levels seems to have encouraged boating families to get back to their favorite pastime. All the marinas I visited were very busy and most had their docks full.

My visits to Huron County marinas provided some interesting data. Harbor Beach still has seasonal docks available but has been very busy with transits and fishing boats. Grindstone Harbor has re-opened and the charter boats have returned. The restaurant also is open and the whole area is very busy, but you can catch the boats when they return to port around noon.

Port Austin’s new harbor was visited by the 82-foot-long Pride of Michigan, a former U.S. Navy training ship. The 85-foot tall Appledore schooner also pulled into the port during the holiday weekend. The harbor master told me all 74 slips were occupied for the 4th of July and no seasonal slips are available.

Caseville Municipal Harbor has been very busy and they still have a few seasonal slips for large vessels. The entire harbor area was very active with boats coming and going in all directions. When I pulled into the launch area at Bay Port, it too was backed up with lots of small fishing boats. Bayshore Marina had many of their slips filled but said they could still accommodate more boats.

My trip took me mid-state to Houghton Lake where vacationers were enjoying that resort area. Perhaps hard to believe but I did not encounter any traffic backups caused by accidents on the roads. I sure hate to see them because it often means the end to their summer fun. As I traveled inland observing the farmland with fields of corn I once again wondered, “Whose knee should the corn be up to by the 4th of July?” It makes a difference when you think about it.

As I drove along the shorelines, it was clear what drew the visitors, an opportunity to go offshore whether on an inland lake or one of Michigan’s Great Lakes. Large yachts, sailboats, pontoons, kayaks and canoes were all to be seen enjoying the chance to get on the water.

As I see it, the nice warm days, along with pleasantly cool evenings, have turned our area into the best vacationland in the country. It is well known as advertised by “Pure Michigan,” our whole state is a great place to spend a vacation. All of us in the Thumb sure appreciate just how wonderful it is.


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