Spring can be a trying time for us here in the Upper Peninsula. It can be 65 degrees and gloriously sunny one day and 35 degrees with a rain/snow mix the next. But we persevere and wait because the rewards are just around the corner and they’re so gratifying when you find them.
I stayed at the Four Seasons Resort in Pembine (just south of the UP) over the weekend, and on Saturday spent about six hours with my companion searching for waterfalls. We managed to find three but were locked out of a fourth because it was closed due to treacherous snow and ice on the access path to it.
Still, we visited three, my favorite being David’s Upper and Lower Falls. Nothing spectacular, no huge fall in elevation, just a wondrous combination of swirling, rushing water at four or five locations, an island basking in the welcome springtime sun, pine trees proudly emerging from the cold of winter, and tiny banks of snow still hiding in the shadows but shrinking in size every hour.
No sounds at all, other than the rushing water. Hardly any visitors, either. Just two who quietly walked by lost in their own little world.
And it struck me there, as I was gazing at this magnificent scene, that probably most people these days, brought up in the cities and suburbs, not only didn’t get the opportunity to see something like this, but more important, if they did see it, they wouldn’t get it.
They wouldn’t understand because they’re so accustomed to shopping malls and highways and pleasant but bland suburban neighborhoods. Their lives are overrun with people and buildings and non-stop action and chatter.
But out at David’s Falls, there was none of that–just a warm springtime sun beaming down upon us as the frigid water from some unseen body of snow to the north surged past us.
A tree-hugger. That’s what I realized I was. Not an environmental activist really, just someone who at that moment in the sun, amidst the pines and the waterfalls, was mesmerized by it all. I embraced nature. I was a tree-hugger.
And even if it snows this weekend and the blustery winds and gloomy skies return, that’s a small price to pay for what we have at David’s Falls or any other patch of paradise that we can find year-round in the UP.