Early Morning at the Outer Light

Morning at the Outer Light

Our day began before sunrise at the St. Joseph, Michigan lighthouse, where we made our way out on the ice covered pier to the outer lighthouse.  The sun hadn't risen yet, and the blue light of early morning bathed the ice.  We were surprised to find three other people already on the pier.  It was their first time visiting a frozen lighthouse - they were thrilled.  Many new people are making their way out to the lighthouses in winter, in fact, it's getting crowded!

The high waves tossed chunks of ice onto the pier, where they froze into piles several feet tall in places. This made hiking the pier a bit difficult, but the texture created by the chunks actually prevent your feet from slipping too much, so the danger of falling into the lake is lessened somewhat, but extreme care should always be taken.

On this visit, I decided to go up to the catwalk for a different view. Jumping to grab the catwalk bars 8 feet above the deck, I pulled myself up and stood on the catwalk and captured several images from the vantage point of a lighthouse keeper.  Judging by the ice on the catwalk surface, the high walkway did little to protect the keeper from the elements.

From the Lighthouse Keeper's Catwalk

My son Chris took this photo of me on the catwalk

Spending about three hours on the pier, we captured hundreds of images, and as always, every freeze is a unique experience.

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