locks on the shore of lake michigan, south milwaukee

Teenage Love, Death, or Both on Lake Michigan?

This is a divergent post from what I usually write about here on Hamster Patrol (I can only be totally sarcastic and angry 97% of the time), but a friend suggested I put these casual photos out there just for the interest factor alone. I’m the furthest from a real photographer — I just was just capturing the scene with my Galaxy Note 4. The wind was very cold and fierce that day, so I tried to do my best.

On the shores of Grant Park in South Milwaukee, Wisconsin, at the end of a concrete pier jutting out into Lake Michigan, I saw all these padlocks and combination locks snapped onto the rusty guard chains. Some locks had initials drawn or carved into them; some had no markings at all. Hmmm. That’s kind of cool.

locks on the shore of lake michigan, south milwaukee

I did not know this was a thing to do, or even how this ritual is supposed to work. Is this really a “love” thing? Is it like you’re “locked in” with me if we attach our mutual lock we bought at Walmart on this chain? Do people go back months or years later to retrieve their locks when they get engaged or married?

locks on the shore of lake michigan, south milwaukee 2

Perhaps it’s a Romeo and Juliet-style death-suicide pact? I really hope not. I imagine couples would return to this very spot when the world is about to blow up, kind of like how some people stood holding hands at the ocean’s edge to die in Armageddon or Deep Impact. You know, I don’t remember these locks being here last spring when I hiked the shoreline — I would have remembered that. Do they know something we don’t?

locks on the shore of lake michigan, south milwaukee close up 3But if they are truly (as I named them) “lover’s locks,” what if the people break up? Well, I guess it’s better than getting a gaudy portrait tattoo or planning a trip to Disneyland before you discover that deal-breaking flaw or foible. Just go the lake with some bolt cutters or even some rust-busting WD-40 and a key. Some of those Master Locks could actually be worth retrieving.

Overall, it was a really crappy day outside, and contemplating the (probably obvious) mystery of the Grant Park locks was the only thing that made my trip worthwhile. I also lost my energy drink, which probably blew into Lake Michigan, after I set my can down to take these pictures.

Here’s one last shot looking out towards the southern end of Milwaukee County and some smokestack blowing some grey junk in the air.

lake michigan shoreline from grant park

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed!

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