Warren Dune’s Park, Michigan

As we headed out of Michigan on our trek WEST, we took a brief detour and visited Warren Dune’s State Park on Lake Michigan.  We entered the park at 5 pm, paid our $8 entry fee, and proceeded towards the beach.  Now, the road we were on looked like any ordinary state park road, lined with trees and picnic tables, and what I expected was a beach similar to, say, North Beach on Champlain, or even Lake Ontario’s cool, rocky beaches.  What we saw as we rounded the last corner surprised us all.  A long fine sand beach with crashing waves to our left, and to our right enormous dunes. (I prefer to call them Mountains!)  Way at the top of these mountains were tiny little figures.  Many of them were bolting down.  We parked the NECI camper, and while Marcus prepared dinner, Chase & I eagerly tried to race to the top of the largest dune.  With a little encouragment from each of us, we finally made it to the summit.  This may not have been Mount Everest, but let me say that this made the 206 step Daytona Beach, FL lighthouse which we climbed last November seem like a one story building.  The view from up top made the trek worth it.  Chase hollered out to Marcus “Hi Daaaad” a few times, and I assured him that there was no way he could hear.  But, to our surprise, Marcus came out of the matchbox sized NECI camper and waved! (He said later that he couldn’t see us, but heard Chase yelling.  Some lungs, eh?)

We decided it must be time for dinner, so we flew back down.  The trip up was worth every hot step just for this few second sprint down this very steep sand dune.  Chase lost his shoe, and yelled back to me that he wasn’t stopping to pick it up.  Sand spit off the back of his feet and flew almost as high as his head;  I don’t think he’s ever moved this fast.  (Or me, for that matter.) 

As we sat on our sandy beach patio and ate, we watched many people walk by.  Each and every one of them had a very interesting trait in common.  We just smiled at first, then our couriosity got the better of us.  We decided to go for a walk in the direction these strange people were all coming from.  We hiked up sand dunes, through the woods, and then down onto a river bed.  There were adults, children and teenagers all laughing and enjoying themselves and completely and utterly covered in greenish grey sticky clay!  The three of us stepped into the shallow, luke warm river and slid our feet along the slimey clay covered bottom.  I felt like I was in the Amazon River.  One boy commented on how he felt like an elephant.  We concur!  We even saw one family (with not a speck of skin showing under all that clay) taking turns riding their snowboard down a sand dune and into the clay river.

After playing and decorating ourselves in the clay for a while, we raced (now for a second time) up to the tippy top of the highest peak, hung out and rested and enjoyed the view of Lake Michigan below us for a while, then flew to the bottom, letting gravity do the work. 

This was definitely a fun detour.  Now it’s off to Minnesota…

Published in: on July 30, 2007 at 6:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

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