Saturday, May 26, 2018

May 26, 2018 An Early Morning Hike at Central Beach

Driving into the sun breaking through as if pouring down from Heaven.

I love my local NPS property.

The wetlands on Central Avenue.

The NPS is replacing the old staircase at the west end of the parking lot, so we walked to the beach on the service road.

Lake Michigan is very calm today with temps rising into the 90's. We had the heat on two weeks ago.

Due to the incredible amount of erosion in the past two years, there is a steep drop off to get down to the beach.

Another beautiful morning on the beach.

The dunes have eroded from 50 to 75 feet above the beach.

I guess this can be considered dune tumbleweed.

It was 65 degrees when we left Lansing at 6:15am. It was 75 degrees here 45 minutes later...

...and climbing.

So we spent a lot of time in the lake.

All that sand collapsing down the dunes has created a huge sand bar that goes far into the lake.

Mother Nature hasn't been kind to the beaches on the south end of Lake Michigan.

It is amazing to walk along and see the destruction of these massive dunes.

The lake is very clear and shallow.

Oslo leading the way toward Mount Baldy.

This is a photographer's wet dream, blue skies and impressive shapes and textures...

...everywhere you look.

Trees littered the beach walking east toward Mount Baldy.

Nola and Oslo checking out some kind of white mossy stuff on the beach.

If this continues, there may not be any beach dunes left in the near future.

Shooting east into the sun.

Shooting west along the shore.

I made this one B& is called "The Tree Graveyard".

Oslo with his big smile.

Taken from about 30 feet into the lake, the water wasn't as cold as I thought it would be.

I wish I had my good camera... was a perfect day and harsh natural beauty for a subject.

Even Oslo was checking out the dunes.

We lost our sand bar, so it was time to turn around. I was alright with the water at my knees, but it was too cold for the guys know what I am talking about.

Nola was having fun in the water...

...and shaking what her momma gave her.

Oslo enjoying a stroll on the beach.

Nola loves checking out the eroded dunes. Tree roots exposed here.

It was getting too hot so we headed back.

My brown eyed girl...

relaxing for a moment on the beach.

Oslo in what I believe is his Own Private Idaho...relaxing on the beach. 

Thursday, May 17, 2018

May 13, 2018 Two Old Guys and a Young Girl Hiking at the Dunes

It's been raining a lot this past week but the forecast says no rain today. So I headed out to the dunes with my dogs. 

The rain has dampened the usually sandy trail through the woods.

Because people fought to protect this area in the past, I can hike here today. That is why I fight for our parks against the misguided politicians who want to hand them over to corporations that want to ruin these areas for their own short term profits. I hope everyone that enjoys this blog will join me in doing the right thing and protect our natural areas across our country... two hiking buddies love places like this and thank you for helping protect them. We hiked out on Trail 9.

Nola looking for the source of all the different bird calls we are hearing. 

Dumb and dumber looking this way while a deer crept toward us from the right. The deer was up on a dune and cautiously headed down toward us as we walked along the trail. Once we passed  far enough along, the deer crossed the trail. 

Heading up the beachhouse blowout dune.

The view from the top.

The clouds were getting darker...

...and Oslo decided to rest up here, so I decided to cut our hike short and head down to the beach and return along trail 7.

Nola posing for pictures.

The view toward Lake Michigan

Nola says it is time to move on.

So we headed to the top of the dune...

...and had to hike single file.

Ready to run down.

Here we go...

...we didn't exactly run at a fast pace...

...we sort of took our time getting to the bottom.

There was another hiker with his dog at the top as we continued down to the beach.

Looking back up the dune.

Nola posing near the dune grass.

Uh-oh, the dark clouds are increasing.

Another blowout near the beach.

The erosion has made this small opening the only way to get onto the beach due to a fifteen foot drop off.

Looking west...

...and looking into the fog east of us.

The dogs ran right into the lake for a drink.

We hiked west along the beach as the fog followed us from the east.

The dune erosion was as high as twenty feet in some areas.

Oslo looking lovingly at the waves rolling in.

I let him off leash since we were the only ones on the beach. He loved it and spent most of the hike in the water.

Nola always wants to investigate the recently uncovered areas of the dunes.

The Old Man and the Inland Sea.

The fog and the slow rolling surf made for a very relaxing hike this morning.

Oslo enjoying his freedom.

When I found the opening for trail 8 in the dunes...

...I sat down so Oslo would rest before climbing up another dune...

...he is definitely my spirit animal. Oslo loves being here as much as I do.

Looking back as we hike up the dune.

Oslo rested a couple times on our way up to the summit of Mt. Holden...

...all 184 feet above sea level.

Heading down to trail 7 was much easier.

We ran into a young man, Jeff and his dog on the way back to the car. He takes his dogs on all his adventures, hiking, cross country skiing, ice and rock climbing too. Over the years I have met so many like minded and very interesting people while hiking. It gives me hope that I am not just a crazy voice in the wilderness with my beliefs about the parks. The reason you don't find these people online as often as those that want plunder every single natural resource in America is because they are outside enjoying the natural areas of our country which is how they support and promote the parks.
I saw this on the car of a lady that came over to see Oslo and Nola in the parking lot at the Nature Center. Apparently we have more than a love of the parks in common.