Tag Archives: Lake Michigan

the dance.

31 Jul

“Trim.”

The whirl of the winch, the spin of the handle.

“Good.”

The sound of the waves rushing past, rapping the hull like a rhythmic drum verse; a pulse as we ride up the mountainous swell and surf down the other side, deep into its trough.

“Trim.”

Whoosh. Arms and hands a smear of gray as they spin around and around pulling in the ease on the sheet.

“Trim!”

“It’s me! I’m coming down, I’m coming down.”

A flap of the chute, a snap really, as it settles back into position. Full and bright. A parachute tugging its charge down a watery path.

“Trim.”

The early morning sun is starting to wake. She stretches her glittery rays up above her head tickling the high clouds and winking a soulful “good morning!” to the rolling waters of Lake Michigan.

The sailors pause a moment, faces angled to the east, embracing the golden warmth of the rays, drinking in the colors of the birth of a new morning.

A moment later, the chute, indignant that it be ignored in the face of a new day, signals its displeasure with a loud snap as it folds into itself.

Startled, the sailors return their attention to the roiling waters, the wind, the sway of their vessel.

“Trim.”

trim

ebb and flow.

5 Apr

You know what’s interesting?

My thinking spot in Chicago was a spot right on the lake; a little spot as far out on a little point of land as you could go without leaping into the icy depths of Lake Michigan. A spot way away from the noise of the road and hustle and bustle of the city.

Here, in the midst of the beauty and seclusion of our mountainous sentials, I still find myself reflecting on my life in a little spot right on the banks of Lake Dillon. It’s not always the most secluded or the quietest, but I still find myself seeking out the ebb and flow of the water and the wind.

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petrichor.

23 Jun

A soft breeze blows gently.

It caresses my hot skin as though it were silk, whispering through the quaking Aspens that stand sentinel off of my front porch. My skin erupts in a cascade of goose bumps as the cool air rushes to catch up with the heady barbecue smoke drifting from the grill next door.

Rain is coming.

Perhaps it will bring with it booming claps of thunder and bright shards of lightning, baring off of their clouds as though running from the rain itself.

Perhaps it will blow south to Breckenridge, or perhaps north to Steamboat, Lake Dillon and our Rocky Mountains doing their best to redirect the wind, the rain, the lighning, the thunder, and the clouds that are shrouding Red and Buffalo in a fog of a brooding Aegean blue.

I recently learned that the smell of the rain hitting the dry ground has a name, an identity of its own.

Petrichor.

Somehow, the word, Petrichor, takes away from the scent that punctuates so much of the summers of my childhood in the Midwest.

Summer has a mythical quality that, at least in my case, stems from childhood.

The excitement of long days on beach, the sand, dusty and hot, between my toes and the chilling waters of Lake Michigan making my feet, my hands, and my spine ache with cold.

The shrieks and cheers of summer nights spent playing “Kick the Can” with neighborhood kids of all ages, our own little block party situated in the midst of our neighbors’ bushes and trees, all within 50 steps of the can, itself situated in the middle of the street.

The chorus of halyards as the lines sing their song against the mast; the gentle rocking of the waves as the harbor softly recites a lullaby and lulls you off to sleep.

Ice cream, Chocolate Chocolate Chip, dripping down your cone, down your hand and up your arm; a secret salty, sweet smack as you discreetly lick the drip clean from your appendage.

Petrichor.

Though the word is bit scientific for me, the smell, the identity of the rain?

It means everything.

sweetness in my life.

24 Feb

When I lived in Chicago, 5:30am was all at once the bane of my existence and the jolt I needed to kick-start my day.

5:30am would start loud and proud with the shrill jingle of my alarm. I woke bleary eyed and grumbling, annoyed with the prospect of, well, 5:30am.

I’d scramble out of bed, throw on some ratty old running clothes, lace up my shoes, key up my iPod and wander out the front door, working through an encyclopedia of routes in my head before settling on the Lakefront Path heading north.

On my run, which generally lasted about 60 minutes, I’d work through all the world’s problems, settle whatever dispute was bothering me at that moment (usually that dispute concerned the a**hole cabbie that almost ran me over at the intersection of Fullerton and Lake Shore), fought off the stench of the smelly homeless man who lived under the Belmont overpass and watched The Sun rise in all her glory over the grand expanse of Lake Michigan, painting the groggy city in ombre hues of pink and orange.

By the time I got to work at 8:30, I was already three hours into my morning and noshing on a well-deserved donut from the Dunkin Donuts that held court on the second floor of The Mart.

These days, I am at work every morning between 6:45 and 7:00am, so my early morning jogs along the lake have evolved into 4:00pm jaunts along winding mountain paths. I still solve all the most complex problems of the world, relive wrong-doings from the day in an effort to “win” and enjoy cake and ice cream for dessert nearly every evening (no Dunkin nearby 😦 ), but instead of dodging rabid raccoons as they jump out at you from their dark, smelly garbage-can caves, I dodge tourists making unexpected turns with their skis on their shoulders. And instead of watching the sun rise over the greatest city in the world, I breathe in the beauty of the late afternoon sun as She highlights the Rockies in a jewel-toned veneer.

In unrelated news, my favorite guest arrived today for his second stay of the year. I had completely forgotten that he was arriving today and when I walked into the lobby, feeling prickly after an unnecessarily long conference call, I was thrilled to hear his booming voice shout a happy greeting before pulling me into a bear-hug. It’s gonna be a good weekend.

run

Dusk at the Beaver Ponds, Keystone, CO

the katerbergs.

11 Nov

Last weekend, on a quintessential fall day in the Windy City, two of my favorite people in the world got married.

Moody, gray clouds surfing the blustery skies and rolling seas crashing into the rocks that line Lake Michigan’s craggy shores, punctuated the weekend, setting the scene with a sense of drama. And as the doors of Rockefeller Chapel burst open in a joyful introduction of the newlyweds, The Sun peeked through the clouds offering up her blessing, not to mention her approval, of the happy couple’s union.

Love.

That was the theme of the weekend.

Love radiated from table to table, spun around the dance floor and vibrated off of the soaring walls of the chapel. Well-wishes, kissed cheeks and bear hugs were shared among friends, new and old, and squeals of glee vibrated through the weekend from old college roommates and high school friends that were catching up for the first time in years.

And every once in a while, when you glanced at Holly and Tim, you felt as though you were catching a glimpse into a moment in which two people, two of the best people to grace this Earth, two people who love so wholly and live so fully, were coming finally coming together and gracing the rest of the population with a love and a craving for the adventures to come.

Congratulations you guys. It was an honor to share in your special day. All my love, to the moon and back.

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hb1

katerberg 4

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smooch

mom and dad

pa2

college

hb

katerberg 15

friends

best

on the cusp.

15 Aug
The wind blows through my sun-drenched hair, tickling my scalp and sending chills spidering down my spine. 
 
Unlike the hot summer wind, full of water and the chirps of birds, this wind is crisp, cool. Full of the heady scents of grass and dirt and leaves. 
 
I shiver, thankful for the oversized Slapshot sweatshirt and black leggings that have become my after work, before bed, uniform as of late. 
 
The wind blows again, sending the freshly fallen leaves swirling around me as though I was stuck in a snow globe, and I am transported back in time. 
 
Back to high school as I dash down the turf, skirt flying and sticks clashing, at a field hockey game against Lake Forest, our biggest rival.
 
Cool evening walks to The Noodle, under a canopy of leaves tinged with the briefest hint of yellow.
 
Reclined and wrapped up in a blanket watching the city lights twinkle and sway to the motion of the boat as the last fireworks of the season thunder and sparkle off of Navy Pier.
 
Bobbing for apples, carving pumpkins and drinking spiced rum and hot apple cider at “Fall fest” with the people that shaped my adult life.
 
And Saturday morning marathon training runs on the lake with the strongest girl I’ve ever known, the dreamsicle orange sunrise illuminating the skyscrapers so they mimic the yellows and ruby reds of the oak leaves.
  
And for a second I’m there.
 
Home. 
 
Chicago.
 
Fall. 
 
fall

chicago yacht club race to mackinac.

19 Jul

It’s not often that I feel homesick for the Windy City.

I am very lucky to live in an outdoors(wo)man’s paradise; in a little apartment nestled in a lush green valley, that’s cradled by tremendous 12 and 13,000 foot peaks. Heck, my humble abode even boasts a bubbling creek in the backyard and I often eat breakfast on my deck with the hummingbirds, as they zip in for a taste of the sweet nectar in my cheery red hummingbird feeder. On my “weekends”, I hike 14ers, hang out at the lake, and venture through the woods for a glimpse at the wonders of Summit County’s mammoth rock walls and brightly colored wildflowers.

But this particular week always pulls at my heartstrings and makes this homegrown midwesterner second guess her decision to move away from the great city of Chicago. You see, it’s Mac Week. The start of the Chicago Yacht Club’s Race to Mackinac, a 333 mile (289.4 nautical miles) regatta starting at the Chicago Yacht Club and finishing in the confluence of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron off of Mackinac Island, Michigan.

For freshwater sailors, the Mac Race is the pinnacle of their year. Crews spend the majority of the spring and early summer training for this 333 mile dash up through the deep blue waters of Lake Michigan. A dash that can be as quick as 24 hours and take as long as 80.

In our family, the legacy of the Mac Race began with my Dad, well actually with Blair Vedder. An avid sailor, Blair taught my dad to live and breathe the ever-changing winds of Lake Michigan, to be enamored by the cold fronts and summer storms that roll in off of the temperamental lake, and how to read the sails and the rocking and rolling of a hull like the fluidity and rhythm of his own body.

The Mac is a test of patience, a challenge of the wits, and the best adventure a boat lover can experience. The race is highlighted by moments of adrenaline fueled drives to survive; where the excitement that’s pumping through your veins is all that’s keeping you alert and moving lightening quick on a deck that’s pitching and bucking like a bronco stung by a bee. There are other moments (sometimes days) of extreme quiet where you crave a bit of movement in the air. Just enough to see the speedometer reach 0.01 knots and if you hit 1.00 knots, a round of cheers ring through the quiet air from your fellow crew members and the boats drifting around you. The race is punctuated by the scent of pines trees wafting through the air as you make your way down the Straits, the feeling of elation as you cross under the Mac Bridge, breakfast with the sunrise, and dinner with the sunset.

Sailing and boats have been part of my life since I was just a few weeks old. I’ve spent nearly every summer enjoying the cool spray of Lake Michigan on my sun-warmed skin. I’ve fallen asleep to the soothing rocking of Slapshot as she settled comfortably into the deep waters of Lake Michigan with her shrouds singing a calming lullaby as they rang against the mast. And I’ve completed the Mac Race three times. And while I love the cool summer air and scent of the Earth as I hike through Mother Nature’s masterpiece, my summers on Lake Michigan are never far from my heart.

Fair seas and following winds to all the 2014 Mac racers out there. To the crew of Slapshot, I have a brown drink on order for your finish.

Track Slapshot’s progress here! Boat name Slapshot 124

mac 14

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