We’ve had many beautiful fall days of late. Last week Wednesday was one one of them and I couldn’t resist the pull for a drive to Empire to visit the beach there.
I felt myself relax as I pulled into a parking spot and watched the calm, beautiful blue waters of Lake Michigan. It was a Not-A-Cloud-In-the-Sky kind of day. Ahhhh…
The beach was quite busy with about a third of the parking spots filled. There were many bicyclists too. I watched a man and his black Lab enjoying the water on a paddle board and tried to imagine Gracie and I doing that. LOL.
At the far end of the parking lot stands a small lighthouse. I’ve always thought it wasn’t a real lighthouse, but just for show. Lots of folks like to get their pictures taken in front of it.
A plaque on the Lighthouse reads “In Memory of Robert H. Manning Dedicated in 1991.” It got me wondering whether there was more to this lighthouse than I previously had thought. When I got home, I pulled up lighthouse information on my computer.
Turns out, the Manning Light is a real lighthouse, the second newest in Michigan. According to Wikipedia, Robert Manning was a longtime resident of Empire who enjoyed fishing offshore, and often returned from these boat trips late at night. He often remarked to people he wished a lighthouse was in the area to aid in that navigation. Manning died in 1989, and friends and relatives raised funds to build the lighthouse as a memorial.
Empire Beach is a great place to spend an afternoon. Always people to watch. Lots of activity to be involved in if you want. Or, in my case, to relax and watch the water. And the bluffs of Sleeping Bear to the north.
And the Manitou Islands. The afternoon was waning and it was time to head back to TC before "rush-hour" traffic began.
As we left the park, I stopped for one last snap of lovely South Bar Lake. What a nice afternoon it had been! A beautiful time at Lake Michigan, plus a new lighthouse for my collection.