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Much About Oval Beach; and My Fun Summer Job

Updated on March 23, 2017
Summer Days at Oval Beach
Summer Days at Oval Beach
One of  my favorite sunset pics standing near the concession area at Oval Beach
One of my favorite sunset pics standing near the concession area at Oval Beach

Summertime, on the eastern shores of Lake Michigan, I have the privilege of working as a "beach patroller" at Oval Beach in Saugatuck, Michigan (USA) between Memorial Day and Labor Day. My colleagues and I get asked many questions from tourists and an important part of our jobs is to satisfy their curiosity. Below, are a few samples of interesting and commonly asked questions:

What exactly do you do here? . . . Why is it called Oval Beach? . . . Why can't we bring our dogs? . . . Is this a nude beach? . . . Are there nature trails? . . . Is this Lake Michigan? . . . Is this a state park? . . . Are there bathrooms? . . . Is it okay to swim? . . . How long has this been here?. . . How do you get to Mount Baldy?

We get some real winners sometimes, but you should also know we receive many nice compliments such as: "This is the most beautiful beach I've ever seen" . . . "Thank you for keeping the beach so clean"!

So, now that I've hopefully sparked your curiosity, I'll do my best to answer these questions in the paragraphs below . . . plus a few more! The photographs really tell the story of Oval Beach. Most were taken by myself, except for the historical ones which came from the archives of the Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society.

A Bit of Oval Beach History

The year 1936, in response to increased automobile traffic and tourism from Chicago, the State of Michigan funded a winding road to make the Saugatuck area beach accessible to the public. They also paved a parking lot in the shape of an oval; and that's simply where the name "Oval Beach" originated. Years later, half of the oval parking lot was washed out by high waters and erosion. The charming oval shape of the former parking facility remains only in the memories of former tourists and local patrons. Paved out in the 1980's, now lie two separate parking areas north of the old oval which facilitate over 400 slots. Decades in the making, a 40 foot sand dune made its presence between the forward parking lot and the overflow parking lot due to the strong and persistent westerly winds continually moving the golden sands.

Going back hundreds of years before Oval Beach was ever a tourist spot, it was home to the Ottawa and Pottawatomie Native Americans living off the land. Today's trails meandering along the peaks and valleys of the bordering dunes were first laid down by them decades before Europeans settled the area. The local Historical Society even has a map showing burial grounds where one of the parking lots now lie.


Old Oval Beach Parking Lot
Old Oval Beach Parking Lot
Old Oval Beach Parking Lot
Old Oval Beach Parking Lot
Old Oval Beach Parking Lot
Old Oval Beach Parking Lot
Bathing Beauties
Bathing Beauties
The beach itself was much different in its earlier years. It was narrower with a steeper bluff. Much of the bushy vegetation is gone leaving mostly the beautiful wind blown beach grasses.
The beach itself was much different in its earlier years. It was narrower with a steeper bluff. Much of the bushy vegetation is gone leaving mostly the beautiful wind blown beach grasses.
Today, standing  on top of  the 40 foot dune built up by westerly winds between the forward parking lot and overflow lot at Oval Beach.
Today, standing on top of the 40 foot dune built up by westerly winds between the forward parking lot and overflow lot at Oval Beach.
Storm watching over the 40 ft dune between the two main parking lots at Oval Beach.
Storm watching over the 40 ft dune between the two main parking lots at Oval Beach.
November, 2012, dune from most northern end of Oval Beach
November, 2012, dune from most northern end of Oval Beach

Dredging a New Rivermouth

In the first decade of the 1900s, the mouth of the Kalamazoo River emptying into Lake Michigan was miraculously rerouted. The motive for such an ambitious undertaking was to set the windy river on a straighter course in order to facilitate a smoother shipping lane. Saugatuck was once a port for transporting peaches, tourism and lumber; which, by the way, helped rebuild Chicago after the great fire of 1871. Today, patrons can venture on foot just short of a mile to the new river mouth channel heading out from Oval Beach. In route there lies The Saugatuck Harbor Natural Area with rolling dunes covered with windswept beach grasses. Several trails lead up to the dunes for a breathtaking view of the lake and acres of precious pristine natural habitat.


Windswept dunes of Saugatuck Harbor Natural Area
Windswept dunes of Saugatuck Harbor Natural Area

After the new river mouth construction was completed, what happened to the natural river mouth and its lighthouse? Well, the river water was first filled in by human intervention and nature has taken its course since then rebuilding a new dune where the rolling river once emptied. The old dock pilings built along the former river mouth still remain and are still visible in the big lake at the border of Oval Beach. The former lighthouse sits behind the newly formed dune and has been renovated by the former light house keeper.

The Former Kalamazoo River Mouth
The Former Kalamazoo River Mouth
Former Kalamazoo River mouth today showing southern portion of abandoned pier pilings - Summer 2011
Former Kalamazoo River mouth today showing southern portion of abandoned pier pilings - Summer 2011
View from Oval Beach showing former Kalamazoo River mouth between the two rows of  abandoned pier pilings. ENLARGE to see new channel in the background with two pier heads. November, 2012 Showing drop in water levels from year before
View from Oval Beach showing former Kalamazoo River mouth between the two rows of abandoned pier pilings. ENLARGE to see new channel in the background with two pier heads. November, 2012 Showing drop in water levels from year before
Remnants of Kalamazoo River mouth -        November 2012 - Shows recent drop in water levels
Remnants of Kalamazoo River mouth - November 2012 - Shows recent drop in water levels
View point from dune formation where the Kalamazoo River mouth was filled in during the early 1900s creating Lake Oxbo seen in the background
View point from dune formation where the Kalamazoo River mouth was filled in during the early 1900s creating Lake Oxbo seen in the background
The newly dredged Kalamazoo River Mouth at the turn of the century
The newly dredged Kalamazoo River Mouth at the turn of the century
Recent view of  manmade Kalamazoo River Mouth structure during a windstorm with 60 mph wind gusts
Recent view of manmade Kalamazoo River Mouth structure during a windstorm with 60 mph wind gusts

Mount Baldy

When you mention Oval Beach, Mount Baldy need not be overlooked. It's part of the largest assemblage of fresh water dunes in the world extending three hundred miles of eastern Lake Michigan coastline, sculpted 12,000 years ago by the receding glacial Ice Age. Since then, prevailing westerly winds and crashing waves have continued to push the sands further inland.

The big dune called Mount Baldy, or Mount Baldhead, overlooks Oval Beach. Its amazing stature almost seems as if its providing protection for all the sun loving patrons. Actually, in lots of ways, it does just that. Sitting at its peak is a decommissioned radar tower left over from WWII. During the cold war era between 1956-68, it was reconstructed onto the big dune to screen planes coming over the lake that could be threatening. Today, Mt. Baldy, with its curious looking metal structure, simply provides an irresistible tourist destination. From the town's side of it, there's a park with 282 stairs beginning at its base. Take the challenge and climb up to the top of the stairs to witness a breathtaking view. You'll see a marina on Lake Kalamazoo which leads your eye out to a panorama of the beach town, Saugatuck, and the encircling countryside. Then, walk through forest trails along the peak originally paved hundreds of years ago by Pottawatomie and Ottawa Native Americans. While trailing through the forested dune peaks, look to the west for the view of golden sandy beaches and beautiful Lake Michigan. Afterwards, dash down Mount Baldy to Oval Beach free of charge.

The big dune wasn't always covered with trees like it is today; hence "Mount Baldhead". The trees were planted on the bare sand hill to help stabilize it. The town's people had learned a hard lesson from it's original settlement of Singapore (1837-1880), an old lumber and ship-building town. Through clear cutting, Singapore suffered the ill fate of wind blown sand completely burying it. Several Singapore buildings and homes were moved downstream to what has grown into the quaint city of Saugatuck.

View of old Saugatuck from Mt. Baldy 1940
View of old Saugatuck from Mt. Baldy 1940
View of old Saugatuck from Mt. Baldy 1969
View of old Saugatuck from Mt. Baldy 1969
People on top of Mt. Baldhead in front of tower construction. Where are the trees?
People on top of Mt. Baldhead in front of tower construction. Where are the trees?
Mount Baldy viewed from Oval Beach
Mount Baldy viewed from Oval Beach
A foggy Mount Baldhead viewed from Oval Beach (2011)
A foggy Mount Baldhead viewed from Oval Beach (2011)
Mt. Baldy View from Kalamazoo Lake
Mt. Baldy View from Kalamazoo Lake | Source

Coastal Dune Ecology

The dune ecology of Oval Beach and surrounding area is presented in an in-depth study by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. I have provided a link for you below if you desire to learn more about it. There's a quantity of good information accompanied by maps and photos. But I will tell you a little bit about the two main grasses which are shown in my photos. They have played an important role in building the sculptural dunes. Actually, they help stabilize the sand underneath them, thus, stabilizing and building up their escalation. The first one is American Beach Grass, often called Marram Grass. The other one is a taller variety called Sand Reed Grass. Read my photo labels to learn the names of a few of my favorite plants that grow on Oval Beach and neighboring environment.

Marram Grass In Spring
Marram Grass In Spring
Marram Grass Grown Out In Fall
Marram Grass Grown Out In Fall
Marram Grass In Fall Colors
Marram Grass In Fall Colors
Sand Reed Grass
Sand Reed Grass | Source
Milkweed In Spring
Milkweed In Spring
Blooming Milkweed In Summer
Blooming Milkweed In Summer
Milkweed Opening In Fall
Milkweed Opening In Fall
Wild Iris
Wild Iris
Sand Cherry Shrub
Sand Cherry Shrub
Hoary Puccoon In Bloom
Hoary Puccoon In Bloom
Hoary Puccoon In Bloom
Hoary Puccoon In Bloom

Land Controversy

Oval Beach is nestled within a two thousand acreage coastal region embodied by towering sand dunes covered with windswept grasses. The back dunes slope into valleys filled with inter-coastal wetlands, and farther beyond, woodland forests create a beautiful backdrop of greenery. At sunset, facing west over the horizon, tourists enjoy a spectacle of glittering ripples off the water and ever changing cloud formations decorated by golden orange hues. All has been preserved for future generations with one exception; the northern 250 acre parcel of the former Denison family property, now owned by oil magnate Aubrey McClendon.

When the pristine, privately owned Denison lake front acreage became available for sale in 2004, philanthropists, various individuals, government bodies and preservation organizations sought and fought to procure it in order to ensure a future continuation of the unbroken natural coastline. McClendon outbid those efforts in 2006. Fortunately, he later offered to sell the southern, 172 acre portion of the McClendon/Densison property . . . as well as some 100 more acres of an adjoining area called Tallmage Woods. The City of Saugatuck has recently come to own it thanks to the hard work and donations of many passionate citizens; many of which are part of well established preservation organizations who've gained valuable experienced fighting against development in the past. The beautiful dune terrain highly visible and accessible for tourists patronizing the beach is now saved from future human destruction. It's a very important landscape for the city to have acquired because it lies due south of the Kalamazoo River channel linking it to city owned Oval Beach. And it's vital to the entire community, not only for its ecology, but for its history, culture and economy.

People truly are drawn to Saugatuck and Oval Beach to get away from big houses and commercialism. The beach is secluded from noisy streets and obscured views from buildings. It's part of the few remaining pristine, undisturbed Lake Michigan dune coastlines which extends approximately twenty miles. That includes a very rare undeveloped river opening. There are only a few exceptions of developments. Yet, the struggle isn't over to preserve the coastline's character. McClendon wants to develop his remaining 250 acres north of the river channel. Much has been written and disputed about this subject in the community at large. Two sides have very opposing visions for its future.

2016 Update Aubrey McClendon past away this year, may he rest in peace. Unsettled court cases kept him from developing his norther river channel coastal dune property and it is now available for sale for some 40 million dollars.

Update The pristine property has been purchased by a Holland, Michigan based developer. More updates to come.

A proud dedication toward community efforts responsible for saving the pristine coastal dune landscape
A proud dedication toward community efforts responsible for saving the pristine coastal dune landscape
Springtime view of Saugatuck Harbor Natural Area viewed from Mount Baldy park area
Springtime view of Saugatuck Harbor Natural Area viewed from Mount Baldy park area
Walk'n the trail in the back dunes of Oval Beach and Saugatuck Harbor Natural Area
Walk'n the trail in the back dunes of Oval Beach and Saugatuck Harbor Natural Area

Oval Beach Today

First, I'll start by telling you that Oval Beach and the bordering shoreline has received many prestigious accolades in recent years. Without a doubt, Oval Beach in Saugatuck is ranked one of Michigan's favorite vacation spots especially great for families with kids!

MTV Top 5 beaches in the country!

Conde Naste's Travel Magazine rated it in the top 25 shorelines worldwide!

National Geographic Traveler Magazine says it's one of two top fresh water beaches worldwide!

Chicago Tribune recommends it as one of the best places for Chicagoans to take a day trip away from the everyday grind!

Smarter Travel, a major national travel publication listed Oval Beach as one othe top ten idyllic end-of-summer beach vacations in the USA.

Pretty impressive! So to cover a few unanswered questions I listed in the intro; for one, Oval Beach is not a nude beach. Although, when the now renowned Saugatuck Harbor Natural Area was owned by the Denison family, a section of the property was indeed reserved for the free-spirited for a number of years; and therein lies the confusion. These days, families can walk from The Oval down to the inlet channel without fear of exposing young eyes.

The next question that comes up a lot addresses the dog issue. I love dogs, but think about it people . . . not everyone is a responsible pet owner! Dog waste left on beaches creates health hazards. People will try to cover it with sand and expect it to disappear, but the sand moves all the time by wind and foot traffic! Then there's the problem of dogs kicking sand at neighbors and barking during a crowded beach day. Everyone's there to relax and take in the joy and serenity the beach provides. After labor day and before memorial day people get away with bringing there dogs to the beach by taking advantage with no one there to enforce the rule.

We actually get ask if there are bathrooms. Yes there are; and with two changing rooms, plus outdoor showers and a concession stand to serve the hungry and thirsty.

The next question is a very important one. When is it safe to swim in Lake Michigan? See answer below.


Know when it's best to stay out of the big lake - Lake Michigan
Know when it's best to stay out of the big lake - Lake Michigan
It may be picturesque, but know when it's best to stay out of the big lake - Lake Michigan
It may be picturesque, but know when it's best to stay out of the big lake - Lake Michigan
High surf on Lake Michigan at Oval Beach
High surf on Lake Michigan at Oval Beach

Is it safe to swim in Lake Michigan? Of course, most of the time, but it's also important to know when to approach the water with much caution. Every year the lake takes a few lives especially during stormy conditions. We've been lucky here at Oval Beach, only a few close calls. People need to educate themselves about the hazards of the lake. The bigger the waves, the more powerful the rip currents. A recent non-profit organization has begun advocating the "Flip, Float and Follow" method,developed by Michigan State University. If swimmers feel themselves being pulled out by a current, they should flip over onto their backs, float instead of fight and follow the current until it weakens enough so the swimmer can escape by swimming perpendicular to the current; in other words, parallel to the shoreline. Fighting a current is like running on a treadmill and will quickly exhaust a swimmer.

Warning to parents: I've observed many parents sitting on the beach watching their kids when there are substantial waves. They may reason that as long as they're watching close, their child is safe. That's simply too risky. Parents need to be in the water with the kids when strong waves come in . . . and they don't have to be huge, a two foot wave can have a strong rip current.

From Sea to Shining Sea; Lake Michigan taken from Oval Beach - a good day for swimming in calm waters
From Sea to Shining Sea; Lake Michigan taken from Oval Beach - a good day for swimming in calm waters
Lot's of this Fun Time Activity Goes On
Lot's of this Fun Time Activity Goes On
View of main beach area from the south end of Oval Beach; there's much more sandy beach area running along  the bottom of this bluff
View of main beach area from the south end of Oval Beach; there's much more sandy beach area running along the bottom of this bluff
Chill'n at The Oval
Chill'n at The Oval
Ever Changing Shoreline at Oval Beach
Ever Changing Shoreline at Oval Beach
Star of Saugatuck Paddle Boat Cruise Passing by Saugatuck Harbor Natural Area and Oval Beach
Star of Saugatuck Paddle Boat Cruise Passing by Saugatuck Harbor Natural Area and Oval Beach
Lake Michigan Storm Watching Approaching from the West at Oval Beach
Lake Michigan Storm Watching Approaching from the West at Oval Beach
Oval Beach Golden Beach Grass of Winter (January 2012)  An Unusually Mild Winter
Oval Beach Golden Beach Grass of Winter (January 2012) An Unusually Mild Winter
Snow Fence Effect (Oval Beach, November 2012)
Snow Fence Effect (Oval Beach, November 2012)
Hidden Behind The Forward Dune Line is the Inter-Dunal Habitat
Hidden Behind The Forward Dune Line is the Inter-Dunal Habitat

Wedding on Oval Beach

My Fun Summer Job at the Oval

So, now that I've kept you on edge what my job is all about . . . just kidding. Here goes; me and my colleague's job title is "beach patroller". As beach patrollers, we walk and talk the beach. We're keeping an eye out for people who may need help of some kind or who simply have questions. We're also there to make sure people are following the safety rules, such as no dogs and alcohol. We have lots of boaters, jet skiers, paddle boaters and kayakers to keep watch from getting in the swim area. We regularly sweep the beach with bucket and picker-upper in hand to keep it clean and beautiful. In the busy parking lots, we help keep traffic flowing and make sure people drive responsibly. We carry radios to communicate with one other and with the front gate. We're trained in CPR and First Aid. We're not life guards. There haven't been any for several years now. We're actually more accessible to patrons than life guards who sit on high stands. We're on the beach at the patron's level. Most of all, we have fun with our visitors and with each other. But truly best of all, we're surrounded by a stunningly beautiful work environment that one could ever ask for. It's usually an easy going, laid back kind of pace. I love my job there and always miss it when fall sneaks around the corner.


Current entrance to Oval Beach during the off season in November
Current entrance to Oval Beach during the off season in November

Fossils Found on Oval Beach

I was snapping a few photos at Oval the last week of November, 2012, and noticed more rocks exposed than usual near the shoreline. It may have to do with the low water levels we've been experiencing due to a long summer dry-spell coupled with strong winds exposing their cover. Nevertheless, I came across some awesome fossils; way more than usual. Being the fossillady and all, I can't resist sharing them with you. Oh yeah, in case you're wondering how these salt water samples ended up in our fresh water lake, you can visit another photo essay I've written on the subject by clicking on the link.

I couldn't believe I spotted this! It's a Halysite extinct tabulate Paleozoic coral . . .  a reef building type  (the chain appearance distinguishes it)
I couldn't believe I spotted this! It's a Halysite extinct tabulate Paleozoic coral . . . a reef building type (the chain appearance distinguishes it)
Another Paleozoic tabulate coral, only it's a type of favosite coral commonly called a Charlevoix Stone. You can tell by the columns and by the honeycomb pattern in photo below.
Another Paleozoic tabulate coral, only it's a type of favosite coral commonly called a Charlevoix Stone. You can tell by the columns and by the honeycomb pattern in photo below.
Top view of favosite coral
Top view of favosite coral
 It's rare that you find a chunk of prehistoric sea bottom with this much detail. Usually they're washed smooth. Look at the pieces of crinoids. It looks to me as if they broke up and settled on some coral.
It's rare that you find a chunk of prehistoric sea bottom with this much detail. Usually they're washed smooth. Look at the pieces of crinoids. It looks to me as if they broke up and settled on some coral.
This is a more common find.  It' smoothed out by the beach action. I believe the worm looking thing is a crionoid stem where two branches are connected at the bottom.
This is a more common find. It' smoothed out by the beach action. I believe the worm looking thing is a crionoid stem where two branches are connected at the bottom.
This is a piece of coral of some kind, but what makes it so special is there are crystals in side where the white surface looks to have a dark spot.
This is a piece of coral of some kind, but what makes it so special is there are crystals in side where the white surface looks to have a dark spot.
I can only guess this may be a stromatolite, some were formed millions of years before the Paleozoic. If someone knows better, please feel free to clear it up for us.
I can only guess this may be a stromatolite, some were formed millions of years before the Paleozoic. If someone knows better, please feel free to clear it up for us.
This is just a cool looking piece of coral, not sure what kind yet.
This is just a cool looking piece of coral, not sure what kind yet.
A great example of Petosky stone, a type of hexagonal fossil coral.
A great example of Petosky stone, a type of hexagonal fossil coral.
This sample shows how the Petosky was attached to the see floor by a stem. You hardly ever see that.
This sample shows how the Petosky was attached to the see floor by a stem. You hardly ever see that.
I have no idea what this is . . .  feel free to tell us if you know. I just think it's pretty cool looking.
I have no idea what this is . . . feel free to tell us if you know. I just think it's pretty cool looking.
Have no idea what this is either. It wraps around both sides of the sedimentary stone. Let us know if you have an idea what it could be.
Have no idea what this is either. It wraps around both sides of the sedimentary stone. Let us know if you have an idea what it could be.

Kids Picking Up at Oval Beach

I leave you with several beautiful sunsets . . .

Lake Michigan Sunset at Oval Beach
Lake Michigan Sunset at Oval Beach
Sailing Into the Setting Sun at Oval Beach, Lake Michigan
Sailing Into the Setting Sun at Oval Beach, Lake Michigan
Forever Young at Oval Beach Lake Michigan
Forever Young at Oval Beach Lake Michigan
Lake Michigan Sunset at Oval Beach
Lake Michigan Sunset at Oval Beach

© 2012 Kathi

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    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Oh Fossi, I am thrilled to see you. I have missed you. What a great job you have, it seems more like having fun than working. I enjoyed your info. about Oval Beach and the pictures are fabulous. Somehow i knew you would have pictures of fossils. Ha. I hope you are back writing often again. When i want to laugh i go to your hub about Woodstock, we did have a ball! Creers my friend.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I love the photos, Fossillady, especially the ones that you took yourself - they are so sharp and attractive. Your hub is a very interesting exploration of Oval Beach!

    • Fossillady profile image
      Author

      Kathi 4 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

      Hey Ruby, So good to see you, girl! Thanks for the nice compliments. I was revisiting the old Woodstock hub just the other day and am still giggling. We sure had fun. Well, I've been unemployed and so have some time on my hands. Of course, I had to come back to the hub and see you and Epi and all the other great connections one meets here. Tomorrow, I'll come over and see what you've been up to lately! XXOO

      Hi Alicia, So nice of you to stop by and leave a nice comment. Hope all is well with you and will come by for a visit!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      Hi Kathi, welcome back! I missed the fossils! lol! what a great job you have, I am so jealous! great hub, brilliant photos and you back for a chat, can't get better than that!

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 4 years ago

      Hello my dear beloved Kathi - a heartfelt welcome back from Colin aka the epi-man - I missed you so much and I am very glad to enjoy a brand new world class hub presentation from you once again.

      I have always been a big big fan of your photography and this is an epic project by you and also I feel, a labor of love, as well. I really enjoyed going down memory lane here too with the different generations of people but I imagine the beach itself has stayed much the same.

      I have a beautiful beach right now here where I live and due to the gifts of Mother Nature it is roughly 2 footbal fields long and just as wide - of course one major storm in this area and all of that could change.

      I am just about to have lunch now so I will bid you farewell and send you warm wishes and good energy and so nice to see you again.

      lake erie time 12:50pm definitely winter temperatures here now but no snow yet and mostly rain I will post your great work madly and gladly to the Hubpages FB group with a link, post and a share

    • Fossillady profile image
      Author

      Kathi 4 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

      Hi Nell, so good to see you, thanks for the welcome back! It means a lot to me! Kathi :O)

      Hey Epi, Our weather is often close to the same as yours. No, snow, but cold and some rain. Anyway, I'm so happy that you came to visit today! Thank you for the nice compliments! You're always so encouraging! It's no wonder you're so popular! I was noticing how many followers you have now! Most impressive and you deserve everyone of them! . . . hope your lunch was yummy, lol! Cheers, Kathi

    • A.A. Zavala profile image

      Augustine A Zavala 4 years ago from Texas

      Awesome hub about an awesome beach! I especially like the fossils you found. I'm sorry about your employment issue. I thought you were on an archeological dig. Thank you for sharing.

    • Fossillady profile image
      Author

      Kathi 4 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

      You make me laugh! Good to see you Augustine! Thanks for stopping by! :O)

    • ahorseback profile image

      ahorseback 4 years ago

      Fossillady......WOW ! Awesome and amazing and adorable and everything lol....your photography is as amazing as the discription ! Wecome back and thank you !...Ed

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 4 years ago

      A very warm Welcome back dear Lady and Hub Friend. Kathi, Judging from all the Comments, Everyone in "Hub Land" is so Happy that you are back!

      Wonderful Hub. Such a Fun Educational read, and of course your "Trade Mark" pictures make it complete. "Oval Beach" has such rich and rewarding History and you've made it all so Enjoyable to read and look at. Thanks for sharing.

    • Fossillady profile image
      Author

      Kathi 4 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

      Hey Ed, Thanks for your warm welcome back, my friend, and for such nice compliments! Will see you again soon cause I plan on hang'n around for awhile! :O)

      Hi B., Well take it from me, judging by your informative hubs, you should know about quality. And you have 185 of them, that's amazing! Thank you for the warm welcome back! Blessings

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 4 years ago

      Hi Kathi - at lake erie time 4:04pm - yes it's the same over here - it's been a sleep day for me on and off - and very heavy clouds with strains of sun trying to cut through - I have an hour left of daylight and you know what happens at 5pm making it a very short day in that respect so I am off for my walk around the bay of the lake now - but it was supposed to be a mix of rain and snow today but it's quite mild for December - we had high winds this morning and a wild looking lake but it's calm now - the early projection for Christmas is much like this - I am off for one more night and then back into on Monday - please have a happy safe and warm sunday evening and I will keep in touch - you do the same - hugs from the kids - Tiffy and Gabriel

    • Fossillady profile image
      Author

      Kathi 4 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

      Good ole Tiff and Gariel, I hope you enjoyed you lazy day Sunday, it was a good one for that! Don't work to hard tomorrow!

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 4 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Hi, Kathi. How are you? I hope you always fine and healthy...amen. Thank you very much for writing and introduce this beach with us. I had never heard about it before reading this hub. I also enjoy all pictures. Voted up! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,

      Prasetio

    • Fossillady profile image
      Author

      Kathi 4 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

      Hi Pras, it's so good to see you here. Will come by your hub for a visit soon. I hope your holidays are filled with love and joy! Kathi :O)

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 4 years ago

      Good afternoon my dear Kathi from lake erie time ontario canada 1:02pm on this Tuesday afternoon. Are you having a January thaw too over on your side? I woke up a hour ago from my night shift sleep to glorious sunshine and to more of a day we would find in late March.

      Even the beach is fairly clear of snow and ice - and I don't often remember many Januarys in the past where I could walk on the beach and its sand and watch the whitecaps out on the water.

      Even both cats had their 'out' time on the deck for about 20 minutes - my mum's old cat Little Miss Tiffy is like the fountain of youth at 18 and she was outside for a bit taking in the fresh air.

      Referring to wind chimes - what a beautiful story about your beloved husband , Kathi , and one to cherish of course. Personally I love wind chimes but as a writer and the 'conceit' of the story I wanted to show how far gone this bodybuilder on sterioid rage actually was - that she was being driven crazy by the loud volume of wind chimes - lol lol - an oxymoron to be sure - wind chimes are so soft and delicate and she was hearing in her mind -loud church bells - lol -

      I sincerely hope all is well with you and your family dear Kathi and I am sending you big hugs from your 3 Canadians at 1:08pm

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 4 years ago

      Good afternoon Kathi - just dropping you a line here to say hello from this side of lake erie and it feels like late March or even early April rather than early January - and it will be even milder they say on the weekend - rain for tomorrow not snow - is your weather much the same? Even the beach which is normally all snow and ice is sand all the way down - amazing - sending big hugs and warm greetings at 1:03pm from Colin and Tiffy and Gabriel to you and yours

    • Fossillady profile image
      Author

      Kathi 4 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

      Hey Colin, are we ever having the same weather even though I'm probably a little north from where you are. Which side of Lake Erie do you live? I hope the warm weather doesn't trick the fruit trees again this year. Michigan lost 100% of the apple crop last year cause of the February thaw. Well, I'm glad to be back home after house sitting for my brother's dog and cats for a couple weeks. Trying to get into a routine. Will start subbing next week to earn some money, sure would help to make a some online doing what I truly enjoy, if you know what I mean. Big hugs right back attcha from Kathi, Khaki and Patchy :O)

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Kathi-what a fabulous hub! Filled with amazing photos, all of them...and interesting information! Where did you get access to those old photos of the beach? I love your fossils-holy cow! What a find. I loved this hub and am going to recommend it for a HOTD award. I rated it UP/and across. Stunning!

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      Author

      Kathi 4 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

      Wow Denise, Thank you so much for the kind words and support! I got the old photos from the archives of the town's historical society. The great thing is that they make them available online. Well, your positive comments made my day!!! Hope all is well with you and that 2013 brings you joy and much promise! :O)

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      The beach is a place that always always has my heart. There is just something that is spellbinding to me about the whole experience.

      You have presented a lovely hub on a topic that is one of great interest to me.

      I enjoyed every minute of this read..and the pictures were like icing on the cake. Congrats on HOTD. too. Sending Angels your way :) ps

    • John Sarkis profile image

      John Sarkis 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Congrats on winning HOTH! The article is brilliant and the photos are out of this world!...

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      Kristin Trapp 4 years ago from Illinois

      What beautiful photos and the fossils are so interesting. I really want to go here. I am not too far from the Michigan Dunes and now I think I'll go there sometime this coming summer. Congrats on Hub of the Day.

    • Fossillady profile image
      Author

      Kathi 4 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

      pstraubie, John S., Kinsingh and ktrsapp ; Wow, I am extremely appreciative today for all your wonderful comments and support. Thanks also for letting me know my hub got HOTD. I guess I have some catching up to do! I can't wait to come by and learn some things about all you on your hubs! Kathi :O)

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Congratulations on your HOTD award, Kathi. Well deserved!

    • brimancandy profile image

      Brian 4 years ago from Northern Michigan

      I think is probably best hub I have ever seen on hubpages. It also covers a subject I know very well. I am a regular visitor to the Saugatuck/Douglas area, and I have many friends that live there. You really captured what Oval Beach is all about. Your photos, and the historic perspective of Oval beach was very cool and interesting.

      When I was just a boy, (1970's) my family would travel to Saugatuck, and we would ride the ferry across the channel, or rent paddle boats and go out on the bay. My dad also loved taking us on the dunes rides, and he was a former navy man, so a visit couldn't be complete without a tour of the SS Kewatin. (Sadly no longer there) But, our main reason for going was for the various arts shows, and festivals, with a few hours swimming at the beach.

      We stopped going when I was in my teens. I guess dad lost interest in going down there, and since he was the only one in the family who could drive, we pretty much just stayed home. But, as soon as I learned how to drive, I started going back to Saugatuck, and I really love it there! I always tell myself, when I retire, that's where I want to be.

      Every night sitting on the beach watching a beautiful lake Michigan sunset at Oval beach. I aslo have a hub about Oval beach, and my many walking adventures there. I love the new stairs at Mount Baldhead, it makes going up so much easier. But, it is still quite a climb. It needs an inclined railcar!!

      Great Hub! Thanks!

    • Monis Mas profile image

      Aga 4 years ago

      Very interesting read, and I love, LOVE the photos! Congratulation on the Hub of The Day!

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

      What a perfect Hub of the Day for our rainy second week of January--congrats! Thanks for an interesting read about this beautiful place. Enjoyed seeing all the pics, both historical and current, but am laughing at a curious feeling that swept me as I looked at the 1945 photo of people lined up for refreshments. What is that third man from the end looking at, an iPhone??? All of the others are typical waiters for their times, but what device is he using? :)

    • Fossillady profile image
      Author

      Kathi 4 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

      Hello Denise, you deserve a great deal of credit for recommending me! It was a great surprise! Much appreciated. Kathi :O)

      Hi Bimancandy, Thank you for the wonderful comments. Sounds like you love the area as much as I do and have many childhood memories. We were all very happy when it became official for the city to finally own the adjacent property now call Saugatuck Harbor Natural Area as it was in jeopardy of being developed! Now Oval Beach will always sustain the pristine character. Will stop by soon. Kathi :O)

      Hi Monis Mas, very kind of you to stop by, thank you for your kind words! Kathi :O)

      Hi RTalloni, It is so nice of you to say such wonderful things about my hubpage! About the third man from the end, I had noticed that too and wondered the same thing. Who knows what he is looking at, really. . . definitely not an iPhone! Lol, Take care, Kathi :O)

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Oval Beach sounds absolutely picturesque and beautiful! Thanks for documenting the changes that the beach has gone through. Glad to see that it retains its beauty still. Thanks for sharing!!

    • Fossillady profile image
      Author

      Kathi 4 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

      Thanks for stopping by midget38 . . . good to see you here today! The local organizations, government and citizens are determined to keep it that way having to fight billionaires looking to profit! Kathi ::O)

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Kathi, welcome back!

      Fascinating history and information and your photos as always are amazing!

      Thank you for sharing, voting up and awesome.

      Best wishes Lesley

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      Author

      Kathi 4 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

      Hi Leslie, so very nice of you to stop by and leave a lovely comment! Hope you'r keeping warm there in the UK. Here in the states were having frigid temps . . . brrr! Take Care, Kathi :O)

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi again Kathi, just to say congratulations on hub of the day!

    • Fossillady profile image
      Author

      Kathi 4 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

      Aah, that is sweet of you, thank you Lesley! :O)

    • trusouldj profile image

      trusouldj 4 years ago from Indiana

      Wow that first one really made me feel good on this cold, Wintery day.

    • Fossillady profile image
      Author

      Kathi 4 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

      Hello Gardenideas, I thank you for your fun stamp of approval "holy cow" hee!

      Hi trusouldj... I know what you mean. . . .spring please hurry up! lol

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      Up, Useful, Interesting, and shared with followers and on social networking sites.

      Maybe my wife and I will get to Oval Beach and Saugatuck at least once this summer.

      You sure take beautiful photos.

    • Fossillady profile image
      Author

      Kathi 4 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

      Thanks Brian, if you happen to take a trip there I would hope to be working and meet you. That would be fun! Take Care, Kathi

    • csgibson profile image

      Craig Gibson 4 years ago from Traverse City Michigan

      I am from Traverse City, Michigan so I really enjoyed your article. I have spent many memorable moments on the shores of Lake Michigan.

    • Fossillady profile image
      Author

      Kathi 4 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

      Hello CS . . . thanks for stopping by. Traverse City is a great little town, it's been years since I've been there, but have special memories of it. Living along Lake Michigan shores does have its advantages, indeed!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I have never been to that part of Michigan. I love the photos. Thank you for a wonderful tour.

    • Fossillady profile image
      Author

      Kathi 4 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

      You're welcome, Billy, the west side of Michigan has the sandy beaches and dunes. . . very touristy especially more as the industries have declined! Hope you have a wonderful week ahead! Kathi

    • xstatic profile image

      Jim Higgins 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      I can see why this was Hub of the Day! It is fascinating and beautfully illustrated with all the great photos. I was in Kalamazoo once or twice, but it was November and we did not make it down to Lake Michigan.

    • Fossillady profile image
      Author

      Kathi 4 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

      Thank you for the wonderful compliment! I you ever make it back to Kalamazoo, Oval Beach is about a 40 minute drive due west. Well worth the trip, even in November!

    • Karen Hellier profile image

      Karen Hellier 3 years ago from Georgia

      You have some amazingly beautiful pictures on this hub. I am most impressed with the way you have added pictures from all different seasons. Voted up.

    • Fossillady profile image
      Author

      Kathi 3 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

      Thank you Karen for the lovely comment, much appreciated! Hope all is well with you, Kathi

    • ocfireflies profile image

      ocfireflies 3 years ago from North Carolina

      Hey Kathi,

      I can totally see why this hub would win HOTD! Your work is just stunning. Your beach and photos of it are gorgeous. You are so talented! You truly have a special gift as a storyteller and photographer. Finally, I am so jealous. I would love to have such a cool summer job. I love my mountains, but I would love to enjoy the beach world as well.

      Best Always,

      Kim

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