It’s our first long holiday of the year here in the U.S. Usually by the end of May, this long weekend, typically called “the Gateway to Summer”, is always such a welcome respite from our usually hectic daily lives.
But, as you know, this year is like no other and the chance to be “toes up” and enjoy a little rest and relaxation does not hold the same allure as in the past. In fact, it falls flat after most of us have been cocooning for over two months.
I saw this Snoopy Toes Up flag while walking through the ‘hood and decided it was perfect for this long holiday post. So what will you do?
I plan to stay close to home and try to get things done around the house, allowing for a long daily walk, weather permitting. Most of the larger shoreline parks that I frequent on weekends are flooded. Every Saturday, from May through the end of September, Hines Park shuts down six miles of roadway to vehicles for “Saturday in the Park” and this venue was on my potential Saturday agenda, but now Hines Drive is flooded. I had also planned to visit the extensive grounds of Henry and Clara Ford’s Estate to see the many lilacs in bloom, but it is closed due to the pandemic. Council Point Park also remains closed. Guess it will be a walk in the ‘hood for me. Hmm.
Here in Michigan, a/k/a the Great Lakes State, there are plenty of activities revolving around water. Last Saturday, I strolled along the boardwalks at Bishop Park and BASF Waterfront Park. I walked six miles that day. Here’s what I saw.
Gone fishin’ (‘cuz the Walleye and Silver Bass are runnin’).
As I pulled into the parking lot at Bishop Park, it was already crowded. A glance toward the Detroit River told me the fishermen and boaters had arrived long before me.
Boats jammed the waterway.
The wooden pier which juts into the Detroit River was filled with fishermen, lined shoulder to shoulder.
The boardwalk was humming as anglers cast out, hoping to reel in that evening’s dinner and maybe some fish to spare.
They brought their night crawlers and tackle boxes …
… and their patience.
As I strolled along the boardwalk, I heard snippets of conversation about who caught what and how many. This time of year, when the Walleye and Silver Bass are running, it gets mighty crowded at all the riverfront parks, as those anglers choose their spots carefully, either fishing from their boats, or along the piers/boardwalks.
Everyone was in a happy-go-lucky mood, glad that the colder temps and rain from a few days before were gone and they could enjoy their favorite pastime again. I stopped to chat with one fisherman after I overheard part of his conversation about the Silver Bass he had snagged. So I wandered over and said “I see the big crowd here because the Walleye and Silver Bass are runnin’ – so, you did okay I hear?” He flashed me a big smile and said “c’mon, I’ll show you” and proceeded to pull a cage up out of the River. He set it on the boardwalk so I could see his fish and take a photo.
I asked “so this is dinner tonight?” and he said “yep, but let me show you this guy’s Walleye because it is even bigger!” We stepped away from his catch of the day and walked over to this guy’s Walleye which was still tethered on a line in the River.
It was getting rather crowded at Bishop Park, so I left to walk through downtown Wyandotte to BASF Waterfront Park, which you may recall I recently discovered on March 7th . It is just 0.8 mile from Bishop Park, so an easy walk. The last time I did this same trek was just before the Coronavirus was gathering steam and created a new normal.
So, here we are, 10 weeks later and it’s Springtime …
First, I must draw your attention to the flags which were at half-staff in this City.
Many cities have been honoring the people who have died from COVID-19 by keeping their flags lowered – Wyandotte was no exception. Sadly, the day after I took this walk, the beloved Mayor of Wyandotte, Joe Peterson, passed away suddenly. He was in public service for the City for 31 years, before becoming mayor in 2009. For sure, the flags will remain at half-staff for a long time.
Next was BASF Waterfront Park.
Thankfully this park was less crowded. I headed right to the River. The boats and fishermen were plentiful here too. Multiple families of geese were out and about and I’ll do a separate, short post about them.
At nearby Wyandotte Shores Golf Course the golfers were happy to be perfecting their swing and didn’t seem to mind they had to carry their own golf bags as carts were not allowed.
There was no human activity at the Wyandotte Boat Club as I strolled the grounds, just the Canada geese that mingled around the barren area, while grazing with their goslings.
The shoreline scene was rather desolate looking. This weekend would have been the annual Rowing Club Regatta, cancelled, just like so many other events due to COVID-19.
Just as I was ready to leave BASF Park, the Algoma Innovator, a 650-foot freighter appeared in the distance near the skyline of Detroit. I’ve included a close-up of this bulk cargo hauler.
It was a beautiful morning for a walk along the Detroit River.
Stay safe this weekend and may your picnic be ant-free.