Our Last 20 Lake Michigan Sunrises

On September 15, 2014 (one year ago today), Chad and I were loading our lives into a U-Haul to move across the country. Although we were definitely looking forward to our new chapter in Raleigh, North Carolina, it was so hard to leave so many friends, clients and memories behind in southeastern Wisconsin. Plus, putting that Lake Michigan lakefront in our rearview (especially as a nature-lover and photographer) was one of the hardest things I've ever done. 

The lakefront in Kenosha, WI was within blocks (usually feet) of us during our entire eleven years of living and working there. Even Carthage College (where we met our freshman year) was located on the shore of Lake Michigan in Kenosha. Later, we sat out at the lake to study & watch lunar eclipses (and giggle together as we grew our early relationship), I learned how to use my first camera at the Kenosha harbor, we were engaged to be married there, and we ended up living in a small apartment a half-mile up the shore from Carthage. When we realized we'd be moving away from this beautiful & meaningful lakefront, I made it my goal to capture the last sunrises we'd see there. (Anyone who knew me prior to living in NC knows I made hundreds—probably thousands—of images of Lake Michigan from WI, IL and MI during all seasons and times of day or night.)

Below are the last 20 sunrise scenes Chad and I witnessed from our Kenosha apartment, leading up to September 15, 2014. (A couple of them have two images for some additional context.) It sure was sweet of the Lord to paint the best one for last! That was surely a scene I'll NEVER forget. Getting up around six in the morning to walk outside to photograph these was never something I complained about, no matter the temperature or the day's agenda—I really did soak each one in. Whether clear, foggy, turbulent, serene, vibrant or muted in color, each one was absolutely beautiful and breathtaking.

...And as you view these, imagine that sensation of the rising little hairs on the back of your neck in the crisp, early autumn temperatures, smell the freshwater air, hear the birds squawking as they skim the water's surface, feel the rushing power of the bigger waves or observe the gentle trickle of the small ripples. Mmmmmm....