This isn't the first time that I have written about Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. It is just one of those places that draws me back time and time again. The beauty of the spot, the vastness of Lake Michigan, the blending of sky and water...it is simply one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen.
This trip, for the 3rd time, we decided to do The Dune Climb. This climb is over 200 feet high, almost straight up in some places and it is in very soft sand which causes you to sink to your ankles with each step. The first trip we took to Sleeping Bear we did the climb and I truly thought I might die. The second time we climbed was just a few days after my mother died, we took my dad to Michigan to pass the days before her services. I took the climb slowly with him, not because he couldn't do it, but because I was afraid I'd lose him too! This time, I was ready. I've been exercising regularly for months. I had the right shoes, sleeves on my top and no purse to carry, a visor to protect my eyes, my water bottle...I was in the best shape I could possibly be in. This was going to be a piece of cake! I didn't count on it being 88 degrees that day. I also didn't count on the fact that my husband had the camera and caught me melting on the way up!
Okay, so it isn't pretty. A golf visor, socks, shoes and capris...not my best look...but I did it! I am so hot at this point that I just wanted to pour the water on my head. I did have to stop a couple of times, but at least it never felt like my heart was going to explode like my first climb. Was it a piece of cake? No! It is really hard! The sand is so loose and for every 3 steps forward, you slide a step back. As much as I hate having my picture taken, I am showing this one because it truly shows what the climb is like. See how far away that parking lot is? This still doesn't show the incline. Now, some pictures as to what makes it worth the effort.
If you ever get a chance to visit Sleeping Bear Dunes (you don't have to climb like this to still enjoy the beauty of the spot) please, do so. You won't regret it!