Mosquito Beach, MI is a very deceiving name, for the beach itself is anything but deterring. We began the day by hiking through dense woods, past trickling streams, and over rolling sand dunes. We trudged along for what seemed like hours but in reality was only about an hour and half. Finally, it was as if the clouds parted and we were seeing the first rays of sunshine after a storm. The path opened up, and as our eyes adjusted to the brightness, we saw it… Mosquito Beach.
My first thought was that I was looking at an ocean; I’d never seen a Great Lake before! The sparkling water shined like thousands of diamonds reflecting in the sun, the tumbling waves broke into millions of pearls, all of which dissolved back into the crystal clear waters of Lake Michigan. I couldn’t breathe. My family floated past me as I stood at the top of the dune in a trance-like state, for I had never seen anything so beautiful in my entire life.
I put one foot in front of the other, feeling the particles of sand tickling between my toes as I moved toward the mesmerizing view. Bluffs stretched on either side of the inlet, and I leaped from them, plunging into the frigid waves. My friend and I swam out past the drop off and as I looked beneath my treading feet, I saw twenty feet of stone ledges, and small caves, reminding me of Ariel’s hiding place in The Little Mermaid. Petrified by the fear of something beneath me, I swam as fast as I could back to the edge of the drop off. Finally safe again, my curiosity got the best of me, and I paddled out once more. This time, I plunged my head beneath the surface and opened my eyes. Although I was still paralyzed by fear, I felt a sense of calm spread throughout my body. The pressure from the water equalized and I floated weightlessly in space. I could see for about thirty feet in any direction until it morphed into a green wall. I looked down at the bottom of my toes and traced the outline of my body up to the tips of my fingers; I followed the travel of the miniscule bubbles that floated across my skin. In one swipe of my arms, I burst through the surface and inhaled the cool, fresh air of the outdoors.
I know I didn’t travel to Jamaica or Greece, but in my personal experience, the most precious memories are formed and the best vacations are had where you least expect them to (like at a hidden beach in Michigan).
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