Outakes (“The Most Beautiful Place in America”)

Today was a wild and breathless experience. Before I give you the specifics (or the obvious pictures), I want you to start by being there with me. First, the wind. Feel the wind as a constant presence, demanding attention, yet also teasing joyfully in such a way that inspires delight instead of vexation. Next, the sound of grass. It’s long, thin, and makes only the barest of hissssssss as the insistent wind bends it in waves of light and green shadows. Finally, the sand. Squish your bare toes into a sand that is softer than you would have thought possible for such a thing. Now, climb.

My first view of the Dunes

My first view of the Dunes

Today I went to the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lake Shore. On my huge laundry list of things that my coworkers insisted I “must” do before leaving this area, the Dunes were one of the things that everyone emphatically agreed upon as something that must be near the top of the pile. While I am waiting for Handsome’s visit to do a portion of that list, I realized that he is forever going on fabulous adventures initially without me, only to take me at a later date. With a most glorious day at my disposal, I decided to go pre-explore this place. Supposedly, the Dunes had been featured on Good Morning America as one of  “the most beautiful places in America.” Armed with vague directions and excitement, I went to the park. I must say in all seriousness my expectations were completely fulfilled and I only did a small portion of what the park has to offer. I did the Dune Climb.

Looking down during the climb

Looking down during the climb

The highest dune within "easy" walking distance

The highest dune within “easy” walking distance

I don’t know if anyone reading this has ever had the experience of climbing a monstrous dune. You may have done some pretty hefty sand piles at the beach, but this is a climb that is utterly and immediately exhausting. The dunes are around 110 feet high, which doesn’t sound like much, but that assumption is quickly lost as your calves gain a whole slew of burning sensations. I get short of breath on occasion and this was certainly a trial for me, but making it to the various summits had a most rich reward for my difficulties.

I believe this is Glen Lake, a small inland lake created by dammed sediment.

I believe this is Glen Lake, a small inland lake created by dammed sediment.

IMG_0820IMG_0822

This view is actually looking over Lake Michigan I believe

This view is actually looking over Lake Michigan I believe

The only clouds in the sky

The only clouds in the sky

A glimpse of the lake waters

A glimpse of the lake waters

Aside from the views that, quite literally, stole my breath, the final enchantment on this journey was the wildflowers 🙂

A simple shot, but I liked it

A simple shot, but I liked it

I believe these are called Bladder Campion, which I personally think is a terrible name for a flower, but clearly I'm not in charge of such things.

I believe these are called Bladder Campion, which I personally think is a terrible name for a flower, but clearly I’m not in charge of such things.

And for my favorite of the flowers I saw...

And for my favorite of the flowers I saw…

...Beach Peas :)

…Beach Peas 🙂

I cannot wait to go back and explore the other nooks and crannies of this fabulous place. I will be sure to bring back more pictures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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