Monday, July 18, 2011

Trip to the Dunes

Empire Bluff scenic overlook
We are heading to Sleeping Bear Dunes in a few days, and I can't wait!! Ever since I was little, my family has considered the Dunes and Leelanau County to be a definite vacation destination and one of our favorite spot for relaxation. I've probably been there about 18-20 times, and a summer just seems less complete if we don't make it up there. We always laugh because since I'm from Ohio, my family would always call our trip, "Going to Michigan", as if the entire state was Glen Arbor, city of 4,000. Now that I live in Michigan, I know that there a few other places to live and to visit besides the north-western edge of the lower peninsula, but I still find myself referring to our trip this year as, "the michigan trip".

My goofy dad leaping down the Dunes Climb while my aunts flee 
This will be our first year going by ourselves as a couple, minus my parents, my brother, and lots of aunts, uncles, cousins, and family friends over the years. It's a fun tradition we have- we camp at the same campground every time- I don't even want to mention it here because then you will go there and it'll be more busy! But since most of you are nice, nature-respecting people who would treat it with the same appreciation, love and affection that I would :), I'll reveal- its DH Day campground. It's state-run as far as I can tell, and they don't take reservations. It's right on Lake Michigan, it's clean and well-kept, and it's a 2 minute walk to the beach! Great semi-rustic sites, no showers, pit toilets- it'll be several days of nature and I'm so anxious to get there!

It's so beautiful!
Since DH Day doesn't allow us to book ahead of time, we always leave at midnight the night before our trip is to start, and drive up overnight, hopped up on caffine. We get to the campground, and we get in the already-forming line of cars as dawn begins, just to assure we'll get a spot! It's worth it. Mike usually sleeps in the car while we wait for the ranger station to open and buy our pass for the weekend. I can't fully relax and sleep after our midnight drive yet! While he snoozes, I walk the path past the sleeping campers in their sites to the beach. Looking out at the lake is my first official vacation action; I run down the boardwalk, take my shoes off, and dig my toes in to the cool sand, maybe walk out to the water. I need to reassure myself that I'm really there before I sleep.

Looking forward to a few slow, relaxing days; biking, playing on the beach, cooking over the campfire. Maybe some kayaking if we get ambitious. I'd really like to go to some of the local farmers' markets (surprise!), tour a winery, and pick some sweet cherries. Traverse City is supposed to be a great "foodie" place to eat, and the region produces a lot of great wine!

1 comment:

  1. have fun! i love sleeping bear dunes. i love michigan. :)

    there's a place in downtown TC that has a local pizza, so they just throw on it whatever is in season - except when we went, they were all out. crap. i can't even remember the name of the place. oh well. :) the TART trail is great too :) yay!