Monday, June 13, 2016

Sleeping Bear Dunes (and a bit of sand)

I am not a big fan of sand. But I do enjoy the outdoors, especially when I have an opportunity to see something rare, endangered, noble. So off we went to see a sand pile, otherwise known as Sleeping Bear Dunes.

Now don't get me wrong, 15 years ago my boys would have easily convinced me to follow them up and down these dunes. But I'm smarter and those boys are older. They have normal jobs. They have children to feed and clothe. They have wives with sense. They are back in Louisiana.

Know what I did? I joined the company of those standing aside, watching to see which of the climbers would not make it back. I gave up on one lady. Not my finest moment. Had I been the lady, I would have paid for the rescue and smiled as they winched my tired self up the hill. But that's me. 

This chick. No way. She did it on her own steam, slowly, agonizing step after agonizing step. Occasionally she slide back down, forcing the bets against her. Meanwhile younger people raced downhill and lapped her on the way up. Not one of the barbarians thought to bring her a bottle of water. 

Sleeping Bear Dunes has interesting Native American creation lore surrounding it. According to legend a mother bear and her two cubs, escaping a forest fire in Wisconsin, swam across Lake Michigan. The cubs drown just before reaching land. The mother was so grief-stricken that the Great Spirit created Manitou Islands from the cubs and the mother became Sleeping Bear Dunes. 

These sand dunes are some of the largest in the world and are protected because of their fragile ecosystems. I am especially happy that we came for their spring (our second spring this year) because the wild flowers are beautiful. At first the dunes look like sand overgrown with weeds, but a walk along the trails slowly reveals the beauty of the landscape. Tiny flowers of every color, trees forced into gnarled shapes by the constant wind, sand that is colorful and course underfoot but fine enough to be invisible as it works its way into every crevice and corner. 

Now I'm off to wash hair and clothing. Perhaps the sand will help in the cleaning.  For someone who doesn't care much for sand, I certainly had a wonderful day. 

What about your day? Was there a little sand involved?

1 comment:

Karen S said...

Another lovely location. The sea colours are stunning. Great park to see.