Andrea and I just returned from a trip to northern Michigan. We drove up to Mackinaw City and took the ferry St. Ignace to Mackinaw Island. The Mackinaw Bridge never ceases to amaze me. It was a normal trip: the weather was cold, windy and rainy, we went to the island and ate some fudge and we explored the upper part of the lower peninsula.
We spent a couple of hours at Michigan’s Headlands Dark Sky Park which lies five minutes west of Mackinaw City. The park is on the shore of Lake Michigan and is a great place to hike during the day. But, at night it becomes a star gazers paradise. You can see stars like you have never seen them before. And, when I say stars, I mean billions of stars. I counted just over two billion of them myself.
Even if you don’t consider yourself a star gazer, this park is worth the trip. Not only is it a beautiful piece of earth, you will come away with a new understanding of just how small we humans are in the grand scheme of things.
If you are old enough to remember Carl Sagan, or if you have been part of an unfortunate audience when I decided to share all of my universal knowledge, you may remember him saying some fascinating things about stars. Stars are suns (like our own sun) that are so far away they look like little pin dots in the night sky. Sagan said that there are more stars in the universe than there are grains of sand on Earth. Think about that. The next time you are on a beach, pick up a handful of sand and try to count the grains. Impossible.
The space for this article is too short to tell the whole story. So plan a short getaway and see for yourself just how amazingly beautiful the night sky really is.