Experiencing summer bliss in Marquette

Having been given the opportunity to live in other areas of the U.S., I am all the more grateful for the fact that Marquette experiences all four seasons. After about six months of snow, the warm weather and fun beach days are a relief. Summer is by far my favorite season: school’s out, I can ride my bike and, best of all, I get to spend so much more time outside! The Upper Peninsula is such a beautiful place to go exploring, cliff jump into the lake and relax under the stars. To really elaborate on all the wonderful things a summer in Marquette has to offer, I’ll go into more detail on some of my favorite memories of summer.

Two years ago, I jumped off Black Rocks cliff for the very first time. It was thrilling! Peering over the edge, down into the sparkling waters, my heart began to beat faster and faster. “Just breathe,” I whispered to myself. Then, before I had the chance to think things through, I threw myself off the cliff! The seconds separating me from the water disappeared and with a great splash, the first thing I noticed was how freezing the water was. Jumping off of Black Rocks is just one of the adventures you can experience in Marquette during the summer.

Earlier this month, my family and I went on a hike on the Noquemanon trails. It was such a breathtaking experience. Trudging through the woods, we were all surrounded by so many different trees. There were trees with leaves as big as a giant’s hand, and trees with tiny little needles. Wildflowers bloomed in bunches here and there, smiling up from the ground. Through breaks in the tree-filled sky, I caught glimpses of a brilliant blue. The beauty surrounding me filled my heart with a renewed love for my little town.

The last memory I’d like to share is going to watch the sunset at Sunset Point. It was nearing the end of last summer, and my dad and I wanted to fit in one last sunset before school started. We drove out to Presque Isle together. The sky was already turning pink. When we made it to Sunset Point, we settled down on the grass. By the time we got there, the sun was just brushing the horizon. Slowly, it dipped lower, disappearing bit by bit. The whole lake was the color of fire. I think nothing could be truer than the words of Nathan Phillips, “If you are in a beautiful place where you can enjoy sunrise and sunset, then you are living like a lord.”

All of these wonderful memories have helped to teach me how much excitement and wonder summers in the U.P. can bring. I hope that others and myself will be able to continue finding beauty in the little things Marquette has to offer. So many summers are spent nowadays on your phone. What I ask is that each of you spend more time outdoors this summer. Get to know our beautiful town! Don’t just read about these experiences, go out and live them!

EDITOR’S NOTE: Anna Rayhorn, 12, is a seventh-grade student at Bothwell Middle School. She is an avid reader.