Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Camping during a pandemic


I’m just home from a short 3 day camping trip in the tip of Michigan’s thumb. It was my first camping trip outside my backyard of the season and I went to spend some time at a dark sky park that’s tucked into the dune grass along Saginaw Bay a few miles up the road from the state park campground.

A pretty minimal site, but I wasn’t there for the camping.

It was a last minute decision when our local weather person predicted clear skies and good views of a meteor shower.

I wandered on the drive up to my campsite on Tuesday afternoon through miles and miles of flat farmland which was filled with….you guessed it….barns!

You can’t beat red barns and puffy clouds!

So, while you might think this post would be filled with dark skies and bright stars you’d be wrong. At least for now.

The wheat is already harvested, mostly it’s soy beans and corn waiting to ripen now.

I knew you’d want to see the barns, it’s been way too long since I did a post about barns, and they are one of my favorite things to hunt down.

This was my favorite barn of the trip up, but notice the sky is filling with clouds.

And once I arrived at my campsite I had to go check out the dark sky park, to make strategic plans about where I might want to set up for prime star gazing.

Lots of low dunes and a few trees might make the perfect place for star gazing.

It’s a pretty little park with a huge parking lot and a viewing platform. But I found the low dunes and grasses more interesting.

I didn’t notice this dragonfly when I took the shot. But I like that he photo-bombed my image.

I also noticed all the clouds accumulating and wondered whether I’d have clear skies that night. But the weather guy said I would, so I tried not to worry.

If I weren’t there for stars I’d have been thrilled with the beautiful clouds.

That evening the sun went down amid the clouds in a pretty little show.

Waiting on the sun to sink.

I sat on a platform overlooking the Bay. Last year in June Katie and I visited this park, sat right here to watch the sun set. I was missing my girl, but it was much too hot for her to go camping with me. She was home enjoying air conditioning with her dad.

A nice place to watch the sky turn colors.

I went down to the beach to explore a little as I waited. High water in the Great Lakes have turned the beach into such a narrow strip of sand you could hardly call it a beach at all.

This split rail fence used to mark the beginning of the beach. Now it’s part of the bay.

The sky was pretty, but I was impatient for the show to be over so that I could scoot up to the dark sky park and see what I was there to see.

Just a bit north of the actual sun the clouds were turning pink.

Finally the sun gave up it’s grip on the day and settled with a sigh into the water.

The end of a pretty day.

The clouds seemed to be dispersing, so I was hopeful as I headed up the the night sky park. There were perhaps a dozen cars filled with other people hoping to see some meteor action.

I was hoping for stars.

And as the sky got dark an immediate problem became evident. The half moon was high in the sky and shining brightly. I checked my phone and learned that the moon would set at 1:30. I figured I could wait it out. But the longer we all sat there the more clouds moved in until even the bright moon was obscured. By midnight I gave up and headed back to camp for some sleep, not having taken a single shot.

I had one more night there, and I just knew the sky would be clear! The weather guy said so!

Stay tuned.

At least the barns were pretty.

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

32 thoughts on “Camping during a pandemic

  1. From a friend: Dawn – I am so envious that you have almost endless spots to hunker down, take photos, enjoy Mother Nature, and most important, get away from
    It all! Keep these posts coming so we can enjoy too, and thanks for them.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “Waiting for the sun to sink” is my favorite photo here. I am so glad you were able to visit up in the Thumb. My brother has a cottage up in Caseville. We drive past windmill after windmill and barn after barn to get there.


  3. Love the photos of the dragonfly (what a happy shot!) and of the barn with the harvested wheat (and those wind-thingies!). Now I, too, am eager to see the stars and such through your lens. I know it was the right decision to leave the Princess home with her dad, but gee, I also know how much you missed her company!


  4. I’m sorry you didn’t see what you went for but, Dawn, the skies were wonderful! The water–you caught that wave so beautifully. It’s as if you said, ‘Hold it. Let me get my picture. Ok. Got it.’


  5. Maybe no stars, but so much other beauty to see. Great photos of all of it too.


  6. I will certainly stay tuned with great anticipation for Part II. And I must say, what a beautiful place. Makes me want to visit Michigan more than ever. Maybe some day, especially if we ever get an electric car.


  7. The camping trip sounds wonderful!


  8. Beautiful photos. I especially liked the clouds over the water.


  9. I love your adventures! Missed the barn pics, glad you went hunting!


  10. It looks really beautiful, especially the grassy dunes path and the beach scenes.


  11. Hi, Dawn – I love your photography, and your perseverance. They make a wonderful combination!


  12. Can’t wait to see if you were able to catch the meteor shower! And in the meantime what a wonderful adventure and LOVE all your barn photos! And the sunset photos! Thanks so much for sharing!! ❤️


  13. I’m glad you’ve gotten out for a camping trip and that you did it safely. No intrusions. Although all of your photos are technically strong, two of your photos really caught me. One was the photo of the dragonfly. In my novel The Stone Dragon, there is a section about the protagonist who interacts with a dragonfly, so the photo reminded me of the time I wrote that. The second photo is the first photo of the ocean waves breaking, the evening photo. The light and color are quite nice.

    I may have asked you before, but what camera do you shoot with, and do you use different lenses?


    • Hi Tom, glad you enjoyed the images! I never saw the dragonfly until I was processing. So many times there are things that get included that make the image better that I never see until I get them on a bigger screen.

      Anyway…I have a Nikon Z6. And yes I have a couple lenses, but on this trip I never once got out my long lens. The dragon fly is just a cropped part of a wider image.

      I just now posted Day 2….where I talk a little bit about the campsite.

      And that isn’t an ocean I was near, that’s Saginaw Bay, part of the Great Lakes system, the bay between the thumb and the rest of the state of Michigan. Looks like an ocean though!


  14. Lovely series of images, Dawn. I love that a dragonfly photobombed one of your pics. 🙂 It looks like a beautiful place to camp. Looking forward to seeing your night skies.


  15. It’s great that you have the opportunity for such a camping trip. Incredibly beautiful photos. Communication with nature is the best medicine for me, but so far I do not have such an opportunity …


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.