Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Wilbo stops to view the blue waters & blue skies of Middle September.

For five minutes, I parked my Subaru at the spit of Lake Muskegon shoreline called the Grand Trunk Docks. Once, the docks bustled with St. Lawrence Seaway shipping; now, it's a base for the Andries tug boat & barge business. The dockland also gives mooring to a motionless luxury steamer, the Milwaukee Clipper. The steam engines have called for thousands of dollars of repair that might never happen. The hull has called for a survey to examine its seaworthiness. A return to travel at its own steam has been deferred as a project for a future generation.

The steamer's friends have looked for a permanent mooring on Lake Muskegon where the elegant ship can become a floating event center. So far, the owners of different Muskegon docklands have been far too iffy on taking the Milwaukee Clipper to heart. In another story, one summer a Canadian company took the Steamship Keewatin from a Saugatuck dock and brought her home to Port McNicoll, Ontario, on the Georgian Bay of Lake Huron. Milwaukee or her Wisconsin sister cities, Sheboygan maybe, might swipe the Mikwaukee Clipper from Muskegon, where it's been slowly repaired for decades.

I didn't stop to think about the past. I wanted to feel the moment. The dockland has naturalized with wildflower and foliage plantings, colorful blooms like chicory and Quee Anne's Lace. I saw a dragonfly cruising over the flowertops. I noted raptors circling over the marina. I saw a few Robin size birds zip over the grasses, and yet I could not identify them. I admired the swans swimming in the inland, and yet the birds weren't flying and so I looked for more flying fine feathered friends. I didn't look for long as I had promised to arrive at work by noon.

September has been on the wing for more than two weeks; the 15th of September began this week, putting me closer to the doorway into fall.

Will Juntunen

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