Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Leelanau Peninsula: Go for a beach walk

Everyone can benefit from some time on their own.  The cottage life can be a noisy life and a 30 minute walk on the beach can reset the calm and energize you for the next bit of fun.

When you are on the shore of Lake Michigan in the Leelanau peninsula, your walk might take you past a few petoskey stones, if you're lucky.  The petoskey stone is a rock composed of fossilized coral and it can only be found in the upper peninsula and certain areas of the northwestern lower peninsula of Michigan.  The stone has tiny circular lines of coral that are most apparent when wet.  There is a even a Petoskey Stone Festival that is now in its eighth year - I bet you could find a lot of jewelry in the artist booths there.

Petoskey stones are beautiful when polished and many local artisans polish and drill them to create jewelry, a bit like a regional flag.  If you recognize this as a petoskey stone (Michigan's State Stone), then you know where I come from.  As a child, we rubbed petoskey stones with Vaseline to make the pattern appear and the sheen would keep the pattern visible for days.

So keep your eyes out on your beach walk.  You never know when you'll find a little piece of Michigan's history.

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