We’re approaching mid-August and Perseid meteor shower time, potentially one of the best opportunities to see dozens of meteors streak across the night skies. I’m hoping to experience the star show with friends around an Up North campfire, kinda sorta like I did when I was just out of high school and a bunch of us got together before heading off to college. Minus the vodka-infused watermelon.
Actually, not much of the vodka entered the watermelon although, even without the aid of the YouTube videos available today (in .47 seconds Google relayed 255,000 options for vodka infused watermelon), I got the concept and was able to figure out how to plug a bottle of booze into the melon. But after several hours the vodka had refused to infuse. Maybe the watermelon didn’t like cheap vodka.
As I recall, both the melon and the drink were consumed in the traditional ways by the assembled high school reunion gang. (This was back in the day when 18 year-olds could legally enjoy adult beverages, as befits anyone who voluntarily joins the U.S. military—or, as was the case then, was eligible for the draft.)
But I digress.
Today I want to share some opportunities for watching the sky among a community of like-minded folks at parks across Michigan. Park entrance fees apply.
I just may try to make that watermelon treat again. I don’t want a reputation as a quitter. Keep an eye out for vodka infused watermelon YouTube video #255,001.
*The Star Party begins at 7 p.m. at Wolcott Mill Metropark in Ray, near Romeo.
*Several Michigan State Parks, from Fort Wilkins at the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula to Ionia Recreation Area in the Lower Peninsula are hosting “Meteors & S’mores” parties between August 9 and 16 Parks with an asterisk next to the name will offer a free movie before the meteor shower:
Saturday, Aug. 9
- Bald Mountain Recreation Area (Oakland), 9 p.m. (beach parking lot)
- Fort Wilkins Historic State Park (Keweenaw), 10 p.m. (parade grounds) This program features guest speaker Joel Kimball, professor at the South Dakota School of Mining and Technology
Sunday, Aug. 10
- *Ionia Recreation Area (Ionia), 8:30 p.m. Star Wars: A New Hope (beach day-use area)
- Leelanau State Park (Leelanau), 8:30 p.m. (day-use picnic shelter)
- Van Riper State Park (Marquette), 10 p.m. (campground shelter building)
Tuesday, Aug. 12
- Brimley State Park (Chippewa), 7 p.m. (visitor beach playground)
- Muskallonge Lake State Park (Luce), 9 p.m. (community fire pit in the day-use area)
- Silver Lake State Park (Oceana), 9 p.m. (dune pedestrian lot)
- Hoeft State Park (Presque Isle), 9 p.m. (hospitality site)
- Wilderness State Park (Emmet), 9 p.m. (amphitheater)
- Rifle River Recreation Area (Ogemaw), 10 p.m. (ranch ball field)
- Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park (Ontonagon), 9 p.m. (Union Bay campground)
- North Higgins Lake State Park (Crawford), 9 p.m. (park beach pavilion)
Wednesday, Aug. 13
- Young State Park (Charlevoix), 10 p.m. (park baseball field across from loop 4)
Thursday, Aug. 14
- Van Buren State Park (Van Buren), 9 p.m. (southern side of the beach parking lot)
Friday, Aug. 15
- Baraga State Park (Baraga), 10 p.m. (park picnic area)
- *Pontiac Lake Recreation Area (Oakland), 8:30 p.m. Star Trek (2009) (west picnic area)
Saturday, Aug. 16
- Aloha State Park (Cheboygan), 8:30 p.m. (camp host site no. 47)
- Burt Lake State Park (Cheboygan), 9 p.m. (fire pit on the west side of the interpretive building)
- Brighton Recreation Area (Livingston), 9 p.m. (Chilson Pond behind the park headquarters). This program features guest speakers fromUniversity Lowbrow Astronomers.
- Hartwick Pines State Park (Crawford), 8 p.m. (campground amphitheater)
For more information about Meteors & S’mores events at Michigan state parks, check the state park event listings at www.michigan.gov/gogetoutdoors