Monday, August 27, 2018

August 26, 2018 A Black & White Sunrise Becomes a Beautiful Morning at Mt. Baldy

It's 6:04am. We are 58 miles from Chicago, we got a car full of dogs, half a dozen doughnuts, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses. Okay, we are not wearing sunglasses and we are driving east into the sunrise on warm and extremely humid morning. So humid that there is a haze blocking the sunrise so even this color photo makes it look like a black & white sunrise.

We drove out to Mount Baldy early this morning because it is going to be in the 90's soon with 90 percent humidity. I love that the National Park Service has so many great events at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore all year long.

Nola took this selfie because she also loves her local National Park...since she has short legs and no thumbs, she used the timer feature on her cell phone.

It must have rained here overnight. There were puddles in the parking lot and the trail through the woods was wet sand. Chrissy & Oslo walking barefoot to the beach.

The only way to climb Mount Baldy is on a ranger led hike...I gotta sign up for one soon.

Nola is so excited to be at the she is waiting for everyone to catch up.

The sun is trying to break through the haze.

The two old timers heading down the dune to the beach. 

The last chance to see the drops of water on the dune grass before the sun breaks through and dries them.

The somewhat muted sunrise over the dunes.

Nola loves Lake Michigan...once again she ran right in to cool off.

These two have to investigate everything on the beach.

Every beach has had so much dune destruction in the past year that I have seen many of these structures or natural art works on all the beaches.

I know your dogs must be leashed on the NPS properties. I only let Oslo off leash if no one else is on the beach. He loves having the freedom to go anywhere and he moves much faster off leash.

I love the difference of light early in the morning. This is looking east and sun isn't high enough to light up the beach...

...but looking west the low angle sun gives everything an orange glow.

A similar shot as above but with more lake in it where the sun hits the water away from the beach.

Another extremely calm morning on Lake Michigan 

As we hiked west toward Central Beach, there were a few obstacles. There were so many trees down on the beach that it started to bother me. 

I come here to get away for a couple of hours but sometimes all the natural destruction of the dunes gets to me. 

I truly love this place but I wonder what it will look like 5, 10 or 20 years from now.

My two hiking buddies...I think we lost Chrissy in the downed trees. 

A beautiful reminder that Mother Nature is a bad your mouth.

Oslo was leading the way and quickly realized he could not climb over or go under any of this... he decided to swim around the trees.

The collapsing dunes completely bare of any vegetation.

We finally found Chrissy.

The old man just kept moving on...

...we stopped him at Wild Women Creek.

I sat on a tree trunk that fell across the creek. The west side of this creek is Central Beach. Over the course of this summer, I have hiked across almost all the beaches from the Indiana Dunes State Park to Michigan City.

Oslo refused to rest out here and didn't want to turn around. So he went into the lake with me and Nola. Here he is shaking himself dry.

The Odd Couple walking down the beach.

I was happy to see new grass growing on the dunes.

Even though these look like rocks, they will crumble. I think this is compressed sand from the bottom of the exposed dunes.

Oslo finally decided to rest...

...and Nola stayed alert for a possible attack...

...while Oslo cleaned himself like a cat.

Another quick dip in the lake and Oslo has his happy face.

A girl and her dog.

Oslo seems to amaze me a lot lately. He charged right up this dune.

It looks like another great day to visit the beaches today.

Until next old friend, Lake Michigan.

Monday, August 20, 2018

August 19, 2018 Easy Like Sunday Morning at Central Beach

Here's a few photos of our Sunday morning hike at Central Beach as we walked east toward Mount Baldy.
Music: Easy by The Commodores.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

August 10, 2018 A Morning Hike from Dunbar Beach to The Indiana Dunes State Park

The summer is flying by, time is slipping away so quickly. I know these two love our hikes on the beach. But I need them more than they do. It seems my only chance to relax is here. We hiked from the Indiana National Lakeshore's Dunbar Beach west into the Indiana Dunes State Park.

It was blue skies over the lake but cloudy inland. The weather forecast has called for rain all week. Some areas of Chicagoland got rain but we didn't get any on the south side. 

Walking west along the south shore of Lake Michigan.

More beach art from another visitor to this wonderland.

Two dogs on the road to nowhere.

I loved the clouds over the dunes.

Oslo after cooling off in the lake.

A rock message on the beach.

The clouds looked like you could reach up and touch them.

The blue sky breaking through the clouds over the dunes.

While I was looking up the whole hike, these two were sniffing their was across the beach.

Such a beautiful calm lake today.

Back where we started. Even though the beach looked empty, I met several interesting people walking along the shore. There was a couple visiting from Croatia. They were taking pictures too. I told them to check out Central Beach and Mt. Baldy because the wanted to see bigger dunes. I also warned them that they were parked illegally on Lake Front Dr. and directed them to the parking lot at Dunbar. I also met a young mom with her son and their 6 month old golden retriever poodle mix. That dog was all legs and as cute as could be. Her husband did want a big dog so they decided on this mixed breed. The problem is that dog is tall and it's gonna be big when it fills out. She said, "It's already too late, we all love this dog and it's ours forever." Then there was a group of young girls playing in the water. The youngest was so polite. She said, "Pardon me mister, your dogs are beautiful. I love dogs." I thanked her and walked away smiling. A short distance away I ran into her grandmother and her friend. She also asked about the dogs. Then said she saw her granddaughter looking at them. I laughed and said she was so cute and very polite. Grandma said the little girl loves dogs but that she has warned her not to run up to strange dogs...which she did not I said she is a good kid because she listened. The grandma made me laugh by saying, "at least the young one listens to me because her older sisters do not. Another fun trip to the beach ends with a smiling fat old man walking his dogs back to the car.