Just in time for Memorial Day weekend, Port Huron area beaches opened for the season in spite of COVID-19. Beaches run by, the city of Port Huron, St. Clair County and the state of Michigan were available to the public in modified forms for the unofficial start of summer, but everything wasn’t back to normal. When this crisis started, I was worried that we would lose the beach season this year to government closures. So, I will take these dysfunctional, ass-backwards government precautions, to get my beach time this summer.
On this sweltering, Memorial Day, I headed to Port Huron to get some sun, and go swimming to kick off summer 2020. Before I left, I checked the city of Port Huron website to confirm that the beaches would be open. The website said that the bathrooms would be closed with port-a-potties provided, and limited parking, so I was cautiously optimistic. Once in Port Huron, the first beach I checked out was Lighthouse Park, near the Blue Water Bridge. When I drove by, I noticed that the city actually had the guard shack in the parking lot manned. I have gone there many times and there has never been anyone in the guard shack. I guess you have to pay to enter the park (sarcasm). In the parking lot I saw large cement barrier blocking half the parking lot, so as a result almost the same number of cars that would have been in the blocked off parking lot parked on the street in front of the park. So, the city will not be collecting money from the people who parked on the street (government ass-backwards example #1). I was never impressed with this park’s bathroom’s cleanliness, condition and it closing at 4:00 PM for some reason. In the parking lot I also noticed a police cruiser, I have never seen police at this park before. For more information about Lighthouse Park, check out my article, but downgrade the bathroom to one star;
I continued driving north along Lake Huron passing Lighthouse Park, as I planned on going to Lakeside Beach anyway. Lakeside Beach had more of the same just like Lighthouse Park, just with a bigger crowd. Lakeside Beach has newer, nice bathrooms that were closed and replaced with port-a-potties. Because port-a-potties are cleaner than regular bathrooms? (I think not) (government ass-backwards example #2). Again, I saw cement barriers blocking half the parking lot, someone REALLY doesn’t want anyone parking in half the parking lot (government ass-backwards example #3). I also saw a police cruiser in the parking lot. Seeing the crowd, I continued driving to Fort Gratiot County Park. When I arrived at Fort Gratiot County Park, I was happy to find an unblocked parking lot, a smaller crowd and no police. So, I decided to stay. At the beach I found a typical crowd you would find on a typical Memorial Day. The one drawback was that the bathrooms were closed, and one port-a-potty was provided for 100-200 people. I am no expert, but that seems like a health code violation to me (government ass-backwards example #4). So as a result, when I had to go, I took a leak in the woods. You got to do what you got to do.
Now back to the beach. The day had plenty of heat and humidity, it started off hazy clearing up later in the afternoon. The water was a bit chilly, as expected early in the season (56 degrees according to NOAA), so I would spend about a minute or two in the water and about 30 minutes back on the beach warming up again. If you are wondering, I did not see anyone wearing a mask at the beach. Probably because, 1, we were outside and 2, people normally keep their distance from one another anyway at the beach. For more information about Fort Gratiot County Park, check out my article, and the bathroom only gets one star for 2020;
After spending a few hours at Fort Gratiot, I drove by Lakeport State Park, five minutes away. When I drove by, the parking lot on the eastside of M-25 was full and I saw people on the pedestrian bridge over the road going to the westside parking lot. I saw that the large cement balcony on the small bluff overlooking the beach was closed off with caution-tape for some reason. I assume that the bathrooms here were also closed. For more information about Lakeport State Park, check out my article, again, lower the bathroom rating to 1 star.
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