Central Ave. Beach
Submitted by: Stephen Lehman
For the busy adventurer
*beach closed at time of writing
What to expect: Lots of sand, Lake Michigan, large dunes with a few makeshift trails
Fall is here and unfortunately almost gone. I knew Central beach would be a beautiful sight during this beautiful season, so I decided that a rainy, Halloween day would be perfect. The rain would soak the ground making all the colors of the earth become vibrant and juicy. The reds, yellows, and oranges were accented by water droplets, there was a little bit of fog and Beverly Shores seemed lonely. The beach road was blocked off so I had to go in the back way. The back way consisted of walking down this long and creepy alley that was blocked off to car traffic, so I ended up on foot.
As I continued down the road, I passed a handful of abandoned homes and when I finally reached the end, I could see the Central Beach littered with rocks and driftwood. There was a beautiful sense of eeriness about the whole place. I was there alone, the fog was over the water making the NIPSCO building faint to the eye.
The beach looked nothing like I remembered it from the summer when it was peaceful and inviting. Now it just seems lonely and distraught. I wandered my way east towards the original entrance to the beach when something caught my eye: a giant dune just to my right. I knew that I had to climb it, after all It’s all about the experience right? So up I went, ascending higher and higher. My adrenaline and excitement to get to the top fueled me. By the time I got to the top I was out of breath, had sand in my shoes, and was pretty darn filthy. I didn’t care. When I turned around, I was met with one of the most magical views I’ve ever seen.
Although the sun was hidden from view, the effects of it were impossible not to see. The lake glowed a magnificent pink making the moment seem like it lasted forever. For a moment, I put my camera down and just soaked up the atmosphere. I breathed a deep breathe of cool fall air and let the rain drip down my face. Thankfully my camera is weather proof, but it was already acting up so I knew my time was limited. I looked to my right to see the NIPSCO building looming in the distance. I didn’t want to leave, but I had a long walk and my feet were already incredibly uncomfortable. I snapped this last photo before I put my camera safely back in my bag.
All in all, the trip was worth it even thought I ended up soaked and I had to put my camera in a bag of rice. My camera works fine now, thankfully. A few days later, I returned in the evening to do some night photography when I stumbled upon the original entrance to the beach. It was nearly all gone. It looked like a cliff that had eroded for centuries. I understand now why it is blocked off. If you decide to go here, make sure you are very careful.
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