Thursday, April 19, 2018
April 19, 2018 A Beautiful January Day...In The Middle of April
It snowed again last night. That is the 8th time we've had snow this month. The sun melted most of it by 7am. But it was only 37 degrees when we got to the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore early this morning. I decided to hike the Calumet Dune Trail because it's been years since I've hiked this short trail at the old visitor's center.
The NPS is promoting hiking in the park for better health with this Park Prescriptions Program. I find hiking great for my mental health and of course, any physical activity is good for physical health.
I have two dogs wagging their tails as we set out on the trail.
Oslo giving me that sideways look..."hurry up and pick that shit up, I've got more for you but I'm saving it for further down the trail."
Nola is just happy to be outside hiking in the woods.
It is a beautiful sunny morning and I decided to relax on a bench with the sunshine pouring down on me...soaking in that warm sunshine that means our 6 months of winter must be coming to an end. That didn't last long because I kept getting this "come on let's go" look.
So down the trail and through the forest we went...
...and across the boardwalk over the wetlands. There were birds chirping and singing throughout our hike. Then we heard the frogs in the wetland areas. It feels so good hiking out here even though you also hear the steel trucks on Rt 12 and the nearby freight and commuter trains.
Since I am growing tired of bare trees and brown leaves on every hike, I search for interesting things to photograph. This tree trunk was the best I could do.
The old visitor center has been re-purposed.
I decided to do two short hikes instead of one long hike. So our next stop was about a mile down Kemil/East Park Boundary Road. We parked at the Kemil Beach lot and hiked the Dune Ridge Trail.
Just over that far dune is Lake Michigan...
But we are heading south toward the wetlands. But first we had to climb up the dunes...
...then down to the wetlands...
...where these two decided to have a cold drink.
Then we climbed up a series of dunes...
...until we were about 75' above the wetlands.
There were birds singing all along this trail too. Spring must be coming very soon. I saw several colorful red headed woodpeckers on this hike.
Nola had to check out all these hollowed out logs. Luckily nothing was in any of them.
I gave the dogs water when we got back to the car and Oslo seemed to be doing pretty good even though the Dune Ridge trail had several good dunes to climb. So I decided to walk the short distance from the parking lot to the beach even though I had to put my coat on because the hike to the beach was straight into a strong cold wind blowing off the lake. Why? Because from a quarter mile away, I could hear the waves crashing on the beach.
Oslo and Nola walked right into the lake and got a drink. I was standing in the water when a unseen wave from the side soaked me from my shins down.
Oslo decided to rest right on the water line. So I sat down with him...both of us with wet feet. I love this dog because he is just like me. Let's play in the waves and relax on the shore and enjoy the view and the sounds of the surf.
This dog also likes the water. But has no idea how to relax.
My hiking and beach buddies.
The waves were crashing right on the shoreline.
Nola finally sat down but kept her guard up by watching behind me for some sort of imagined danger. Oslo just ignores her and like Otis Redding, he is "wasting time...watching the tide roll away."
All of us had to jump up when a really big wave charged up the beach at us. I was on my knees when the water rushed past us. It was now time to go.
When we got home, there was still snow on my work van windshield because it faces north. So I made Oslo two snowballs...
...and told him these better be the last two snowballs you get until next winter. He didn't even look at me...but he ate both of them in one bite.