Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Quick Trip to Sleeping Bear Dunes

Between show season madness and editing Holly Wild book two madness and gardening/planting madness, Lori and I managed to find a few days last week to make a quick trip up to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.  Like so many of our trips, this one combined some fun and relaxation with work.

Lori had been Artist-In-Residence at the dunes in 2007 and got to know the park's director fairly well.  When we published book one of the Holly Wild series, Lori contacted her and asked about getting the book into their gift shop. They ordered 18 copies!! So while we were up in the park we stopped by the Visitor's Center in Empire and dropped the books off.

Before heading into Glen Arbor to make a stop at Cottage Books to drop off more copies of Holly Wild, we stopped at the D.H. Day campground to get our site and set up.  There are a handful of sites in this rustic campground that are quite close to--although not right on--the beach, and these are nearly always full.  We found a great site though that is much farther back into the woods than the others and really gives a feeling of seclusion, especially when the park is mostly empty as it was on Wednesday.  That changed by Thursday evening as the holiday weekenders started to arrive, but for about 24 hours it was our little slice of heaven.

After going into Glen Arbor we came back to the campground and walked down to the beach.  The Lake Michigan side of the state is very sandy and covered in places with dunes 400 feet high.  This area, Sleeping Bear Bay, is close to lake level, although one can see large dunes at either end of the bay.

The dogwood along the boardwalk were blooming.  The boardwalk is meant to keep people from trampling the fragile dune habitat but many people ignore the the signs and run willy-nilly across the sand anyway.

It's been very dry in the area so far this year, and already plants were looking a bit yellow and tired out.

We stumbled upon this sweet sentiment someone left on the beach.  We both very nearly stepped on it.

The afternoon was cloudy and the sky a little hazy.  While they really needed rain, we hoped it would wait until we had gone home.

Sleeping Bear Bay, with South Manitou Island on the right.

As soon as we set foot on the beach, we were besiged by swarms of these tiny insects.  We have no idea what they are, and thank goodness they didn't bite, but they made being by the water unpleasant to say the least.  They got into everything, including my hair, clothes, nose, behind my glasses, and inside the hood on my camera lens.  We spent only ten minutes or so by the water before we gave up and went back to camp.


  1. What a cool trip! I love the little message someone left behind on the rocks! (...and the bugs grossed me out!)

    1. The bugs were creepy bit at least they didn't bite!