"Welcome Summer Guests"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Friday, July 1, 2016

It’s July, 4 2016! Let the best of summer in the Thumb get underway. “Welcome Back” is what all the business owners are saying with happy smiles on their faces.

It’s vacation time: Kids are out of school, parents have time off work longed for, and it’s time to head north. Many go to their cottages, some have second homes in the area, others arrive in RV’s and some just pitch a tent. All sigh and gulp in the fresh, clean air blowing in off Lake Huron.

As the water warms, fish are welcoming those willing to head out for a day’s fishing. Some anglers line the piers and breakwalls hoping to haul in a walleye. Ambitious ones don waders and walk offshore to cast for the bass in their hiding spots. Some charter captains are booking trips daily to seek big lake trout or perhaps a salmon or two. Our 93 miles of shoreline in Huron County provides wonderful fishing opportunities and anglers are always welcome.

Cyclists will be looking for trails to travel, and golfers will seek out a choice from courses offered, both looking forward to enjoying their favorite activities. Golfers in training will hit the miniature courses to practice their putting, hoping it improved over last year. Most visitors will also travel to the harbors to stroll the docks and admire the boats as they line the piers. However, perhaps the most enjoyable activity everyone looks forward to is just sunbathing on the many beaches lining the shores.

As people enjoy beach activates, many find it interesting to gaze offshore at the lively, shimmering kayaks dotting the waters. Paddle boards, from sit to stand to tower, offer paddlers a chance to test one’s balance, as they weave among the kayaks close to shore. All of the paddlers enjoy cruising along, admiring lakefront homes or nature’s caves, cliffs and rock formations fashioned by years of waves rolling on shore.

As I see it, paddlers out for a day of fun on the water should stay on the water. They should respect the beaches where homes, many historic, others costly to build, are located. Those homeowners pay princely sums to enjoy their beaches and views, they like seeing you paddle by but certainly don’t want to clean up trash you may deposit if you come ashore. If you see fellow paddlers leaving a mess, suggest they clean it up so you don’t become labeled as a group.

Fireworks is a reward to all the visitors and summer dwellers who arrive in the Thumb by July 4. It’s great that the towns spread them out so it’s possible to see more than one display. Youngsters need close supervision at these events, as just one careless action can be a life-changing injury. Be cautious driving in areas where the events take place. Kids often run out into traffic and since it is after dark, they can be hard to see.

Let’s all remember July 4 is Independence Day, a day 240 years ago that announced to the world the birth of our nation, the United States of America. Sometimes, we forget how brave our forefathers were to break away from the past and forge a new beginning. We often take our freedom for granted and do not appreciate how difficult it was to gain and protect.

Let’s all enjoy the holiday and share it with others.

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