By Adrienne Fawcett
You would be wise to heed the warning of the Lake Bluff Park District and stay clear of the Lake Michigan shoreline for the time being. You can’t even go down to Sunrise Beach in Lake Bluff–the dog beach was under water on Tuesday afternoon. But Lake Forest’s Forest Park beach remained open, so my daughter and I ventured to the lake to see how the East Coast’s hurricane was affecting Lake Michigan in the Midwest. We were not the only visitors–we saw about a half dozen other people down there taking photos and videos.
Still, I will reiterate that you would be wise to stay away from the lake, especially if you like your shoes (more on that in a moment). The waves sounded like real thunder when they crashed against the rocks and shoreline, spraying foam some 20 feet into the air. City crews earlier had pushed Lake Forest’s fine, clean sand into organized berms, hoping to prevent the lake from encroaching too far onto the beach. If you must go to the beach, at least don’t go around the berms to get closer to the shore. Repeat: just don’t!
For while the wet sand looks firmly packed, it’s actually incredibly porous and unexpectedly takes on the quality of quicksand (if such a thing exists outside of fairy tales and scary movies). Cece and I walked around the berm because the waves seemed to be holding back, but once we got close to the water, within seconds a wave came on so fast and strong (and cold) that the water covered our knees. As we sank into the sand, mother nature sucked the shoe off my right foot!
The shoe was quickly and completely buried. But soon my daughter noticed bubbles rising in the wet sand as if a crab had just burrowed in the spot where I had been standing a moment before. She stuck her hand down deep and retrieved a very wet, sand-filled shoe. We were both wet and cold, but we got a good laugh out of it!