Jack Pine, Lighthouse, and Nordhouse

Saturday, November 7th 2020, 9:16:15 pm

You are more than a student, or employee,
you are more than what you have, and even more than your dreams.
But oh my gosh, it is so easy to forget how special we all are,
fall to daily routines, and carrots and sticks and stones.
Two weeks of vacation for a little adventure is not enough
to push stress back and remember how beautiful we all are.
We have to try very hard not to lose ourselves in work,
in stress, in deceptions, in toxic situations.
Listen, just because you CAN - if you go all out to get that promotion,
or GPA, or diploma, it does not mean you should.
Because, you MUST make room for Sunshine, and Starry Nights,
for little adventures allover the place, and then some.
Your well being is not to be sacrificed for any reason,
no matter who is telling you that you must, must, must!
No, just say no,
and go.
Go, on the worlds most perfect adventure,
one that lasts a long time, and starts with a tiny shopping expedition,
But also carries on for days, maybe weeks,
a visit to every antique store along the way to buy the cheapest but cutest thing.
So cute, that NOBODY will question you needing it,
but so CHEAP, that everyone will say "Oh wow, it is already old!"
And then make expeditions to get ice cream,
and sausages, and why not buy a White Chocolate Cookies And Creme candy bar, why not in deed.
And continue on, mounting expeditions for fossils, and minerals,
a lighthouse, a beach far and yonder, chipmunk photos, and firewood.
All the while, remembering, and sometimes discovering,
who you are, where you are headed in life, and what it will be like when you arrive.
I... like driving at night,
because it seems safer.
I pack my gear in the afternoon,
I make sure to have water and some canned goods.
I wait until early Monday morning,
2AM or so, connect my GPS and go.
It takes about 3.5 hours to get there,
I always listen to the The Four Horsemen Discussion couple of times.
I discovered the Ludington State Park,
by just following highways and big roads.
It is really easy to get there,
take I-275 North, and follow I-96 West they kind of connect with an arc.
Then after hours and hours,
then take exit 1B to merge onto US-31 North, that takes you to the city limits.
Then when you run out of road,
take a left on US-10 that will take you in to Ludington.
Please drive carefully,
try to bring many friends along.
I always arrive early,
so I take a small nap in the Meijer parking lot.
Upon my awakening I go get some Ice Cream,
and shop around for Fanny Packs.
And, I always make sure to have mosquito sticks,
the thick ones that you light on fire, watch for that ash if you try to move one.
You drive west through Ludington,
there is a huge parking lot and a beach like no other.
Please ignore the signs that say "DO NOT FEED SEAGULLS",
they are starving and need all your breadcrumbs.
I always watch sunsets, but when I parked at that beach, got ready, and put my sunglasses on,
some cute couple started making fun of me for how seriously I take the whole ordeal.
Perhaps it is just better to keep slowly driving north,
towards the State Park.
I always do, my office is there, for one,
right on that little parking lot when the dunes start, it is, a good view.
I remember one time I caught a nap there too,
waking up to an endless horizon was quite an awakening, that for sure.
Well you know how it is, State Parks are not free,
and it is best to book a Jack Pine Hike-in Site ahead of time.
As you keep going north, you can pay on the left where the campers go,
or you can just keep going and pay by the gate.
Park, disembark, and get ready to haul everything to your hike-in site,
watch out for owls.
Once you are there, set up camp, get some squeaky water out of the pump,
and get all the firewood you can find.
I always bring a hand saw with me,
I don't mess around when it comes to firewood.
And then hop over the dune,
there is a paradise out there, and you have to build something out of the drift wood.
The little lighthouse in the distance,
that's the Big Sable Point Lighthouse.
They sometimes hire people to work in their gift-shop,
and apparently give them a little apartment up there; sounds lonely to me.
Every time you come back from a little adventure,
and see that "JACK PINE CAMPGROUND HIKE-IN SITES" sign, it will feel like coming back home.
Jack Pine is a wonderful place,
aim to stay there a month if you can.
Move from site to site,
stay a day at the State Park, shower and come back to Jack Pine until you had enough.
Finally, when it is time to leave Jack Pine,
grab a pine cone to remember it by, and head to Nordhouse, just for a day or two.
They have a metal box you slip a few dollars into to get a parking permit,
and you'll have to hike a bit to get to the Wideness area, but it will be worth it.
It is so beautiful, that you may wish to stay longer than a couple of days,
you can walk the woods via Arrowhead Trail, or take the beach.
Watch for breaks in the grass,
that usually means there is a neat campsite out there.
Jack Pine will always feel very welcoming,
Nordhouse is a bit wilder.
You will have sand in your gear, and car for months,
hopefully to last you a whole winter so that you may get a refill come spring.
I say the Nordhouse sand brings good luck, and good memories,
when you are stressed out in a hurry, and notice there is still some sand left...
It will put things in perspective,
take you back to your latest camping adventure for a moment, help you slow down.
And above all, remind you to tidy up your gear,
give that old tent a sniff and see if you need to order a new one.
Before you know it,
it will be ample time to head on out there again.
One of the healthiest things we can do,
is sync up with the sun... go to sleep at sundown and get up at sunrise.
Another is to always make sure,
we have plenty of room in our life to read or listen to books.
And most importantly, Nature,
the bird song,
the chipmunk squeaks,
the crisp air,
the rich woodland fragrance of moss, fern and bear,
the building of a fire,
swimming in the lake,
exploring ancient dunes,
aimlessly collecting fossils and cute pebbles by the beach,
watching a beautiful storm in the distance,
searching for arrowheads...
...suddenly popping into the nearby gas-station to get more ice cream and sausage,
and then getting back to the camp, for another long and starry evening,
and slowly falling asleep, just to wake up to a another healing day.
Never forget your dreams,
never forget who you are.
Never, overwork yourself,
just because you can it does not mean you should.
We are far too beautiful to treat ourselves cogs in a machine,
we are meant to grow, and bloom, and inspire, and move entire generations.
We are so good at learning, and understanding, and mastering knowledge,
that past a few books, the undiscovered country beacons.
We are a young civilization,
do not let that push you around.
You are to discover your path to becoming a Great Being,
and help the world grow in Wisdom and in Peace.

#252: Jack Pine, Lighthouse, and Nordhouse

Saturday, November 7th 2020, 9:16:15 pm