Washington Park in Michigan City, IN is not only my home base, it is one of the most perfect beaches I have been to. The sand is so soft, smooth and sings as it hugs the soles of your feet with every step. That is why it is known as “singing sands”. The park is also considered a major contributor to the historic value of this community. During the depression, the stonework found around the park and zoo was completed as a stimulus community service for food and assisting Americans back to work by promoting community growth.
The park district and visitors do a great job of keeping it as close to undisturbed natural beauty as I have seen. With plenty of parking space provided within the 3 parking lots, one finds the walk to the lakefront full of satisfied anticipation. upon entering, a challenge is presented. Do you go to the right and visit a park filled with picnic tables, jungle gym, swings, and children’s laughter coming from the splash park, or left to join in the BBQ’s at the pavilions, venture a little walk around the gazebo and admire the stone art.The summer’ beckons sand volleyball players from everywhere to fill up to 24 courts on the main beach and up to 10 courts “over the hill” on the other side of the sand dune that separates the 2 beaches almost every weekend supplying the spectators with an exciting level of athleticism. The players range from Jr’s to PRO’s levels engaging in fierce competition with a fun appreciation of the game. One can find their favorite players and follow the tournament progression online as the scores are posted with a live feed, so the crowd can participate in the intensity of close games. The sound system pumps the music and adds to the ambiance of the summer sport and the positive energy of the sun.
The Hill (sand dune) challenges the heart of our youth to run to the top, while the dune grass tickles your legs and your spirit and adds to the warrior cry of accomplishment.
The boardwalk encourages adventure to visit the lighthouse: Lined with historic replicas of gas-styled street lamps indicates the romance of the landscape. The concrete platform lined with picnic tables offer the perfect barrier from the main parking lot beach and for those who prefer not to indulge in the luscious sand. The only key it is first come, first serve, unless proper reservations or permits are obtained from parks and rec before congregating with friends and family.
The pier delivers a dreamy serenity of walking thru parted waters: To the left, the channel is busy with the traffic of sailboats, charters, speedboats, yachts and many kinds of personal watercraft, the right side displays massive boulders that shatter the waves of the open lake into a mist that kisses the soul. Reaching the lighthouse increases the blood flow and a feeling of open clarity.
There is a sense of earthly unity as you stand on the edge of a cement cliff; facing out to the north side of the lighthouse and overlook the vast blue waters that blend the horizon into sunset. Breathe in deeply, close your eyes…..now that is tranquility.