We were headed for the Sleeping Bear Dunes this morning. It’s a National Park on the Eastern coast of Lake Michigan and on a sunny morning, it was a lovely drive.
We drove through hopfields, past iris farms and hundreds and hundreds of cherry trees to reach the small town of Empire, from where we followed the trail to the coast.
We’d reached number three on the pathway before realising that there were numbers on the wooden posts.
But from there, we began to read.
We didn’t need to read for long however, for the views were spectacular. The bluff we could see in the distance was the huge sand dune known as the Sleeping Bear and the Little Glen Lake was there to the side.
Looking the other way along the shore of Lake Michigan there was an equally stunning view.
It was a glorious day to be here!
From there, we drove to the National Park entrance, where we stopped to take pictures at the covered bridge.
Here too were spectacular views of both Big and Small Glen Lakes and the narrow strip of land in between them, known as the alligator. See its head and snout ?
Shortly afterwards, we were into the dunes proper.
We had no intention of sliding on the sand and every intention of staying on the trail!
But we soon realised that others were not quite of similar mind.
For here was the huge dune, where people just couldn’t resist slip-sliding down to the bottom, regardless of the notices and warnings.
And it was steep. Very steep. In fact, we thought it looked pretty similar to Coopers Hill in Gloucestershire, where the Cheese Rolling takes place each year.
But these people weren’t racing down. Most were enjoying the slide and the splash when they reached the bottom. Incidentally, the green bluff in the background is where we’d begun our day and from where the first photographs of Sleeping Bear had been taken.
Some folks were making the tough climb back to where they had begun and I zoomed in on the chap in the bright blue shorts, who took a few steps and then stopped to rest.
At 10.35am he still had a long way to go and seemed to be finding it hard going.
We stood on the viewing platform, enjoying both the views and the entertainment.
10.43am and he’s there, third from the bottom, still crawling up on all fours. Rather him than me.
10.48am and the next time I looked, he was doing ok but slowing down. It wasn’t too hot this morning at least, though I imagine he’d built up a bit of a sweat in the last half hour!
By now we were ready to move on, but as we did, I looked out for the bright blue shorts. Sure enough, as we walked along the top of the dune, there he was. !0.51am and he’d made it. The sad thing was, there was no-one to cheer or give him a pat on the back. I was tempted to give him a round of applause but the moment passed and we were moving along.
Past the a beautiful white barn on the DH Day farm
and into Glen Arbor, where a spot of lunch was on the cards.
A pretty little town, not only were there these amazing planters with a fantastic assortment of plants in them;
a matching pair, complete with bright blue flowers to complete the “wow” factor,
there was also the familiar sight of a Cherry Republic sign. Love their sense of humour!
Yes, of course we went in.
Yes, of course we did.
We even saw the real thing up close, having passed by so many as we’ve driven around here in the last few days.
The T shirt on the display seemed a fitting way to end today’s blog. Had it been available in a larger size than a “2 Toddler” I could have been tempted. As it was, it was time to head back to Torch Lake after another extraordinary day in Northern Michigan.
We love it here!