Tuesday, October 6, 2020
September 29, 2020 Easily My Favorite Day Since The Virus Disrupted 2020
When Christy said we should take the dogs on an overnight trip, I thought it would be a good idea. After we booked this cottage, I began to have doubts about this idea. We are going to spend three entire days with the dogs. Everywhere we go, Nola & Yeti will be with us. After our first night in the cottage, I feel good about the trip so far. The dogs were well behaved, mostly because they passed out not long after we settled in for the night. I didn't mind walking them around the yard at 4am in the rain either. Today could be a long day, we plan on three hikes and several other places to visit.
I am thrilled to see blue skies this morning. The forecast has been mostly cloudy to three days of rain. So this is a great start to our day.
This drive-in movie theater is 5 minutes from our cottage. I had to stop and take pictures for my parents who took us to the drive-in when we were kids. The first drive-in movie I remember them taking us to was The Exorcist. I was 7 years old that summer. The reason I remember it is because I couldn't sleep at night after seeing that movie. I still love the drive-in movie theater to this day.
After picking up bagels for breakfast and deli sandwiches for lunch at L'Chayim Deli in Beulah, we stopped here to pick up a few items in the Sleeping Bear Dunes bookstore and talk to the Rangers about things to do in the park.
Our next stop was the Empire Bluff Trail in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
This is a 1.5 mile round trip hike to the bluffs over Lake Michigan.
The farming history of this area has left relics along this trail.
Nola & Yeti are so excited to be out hiking again today.
Our first view of Lake Michigan on this trail. I believe the inland lake is South Bar Lake.
It is so relaxing walking through the forest.
This short hike paid off for us today with great views of Lake Michigan and the shoreline.
We hiked along the bluff to enjoy a little solitude from the crowd on the boardwalk.
The depth and the clouds provide different colors on the lake.
Yeti is getting better on hikes. He still barks at other dogs so I had to take him up the dune to avoid people with dogs.
Nola & Christy on our way back to the Empire Bluff trailhead.
Our next stop turned out to be my favorite hike of this trip. Dogs aren't allowed on the most popular trail in the park, the Dune Climb hike. But they are allowed on the Sleeping Bear Point Hiking Trail. This is a 2.8 mile loop hike.
No dogs allowed on the beach here so we headed out on the Dune Loop Trail.
Looking north at Sleeping Bear Point.
On most hiking trails the dogs lead the way because it is obvious where to go. But there are no trails here, just wooden posts. So we had to lead the dogs in the right direction. Sometimes we weren't sure until we saw the next post in the distance.
Christy & Nola next to the first trail post.
I take so many photographs while hiking because my eyes keep seeing something beautiful. Then my brain says this would be a great picture. So I take the picture. This sequence of events happens throughout the hike.
Then I go through the pictures and I'm glad I took the shot because now I have it forever.
This hike was incredible and I knew it right away.
Yeti & me hiking across the dunes. It was a constant battle to keep him from barking at people and their dogs. But he got better as the day went on.
The constantly changing sky added to most of these photos.
With no defined path, these two spread out for most of this hike.
The ghost forest is where the sand buried these trees over the years.
The sun broke through the dark clouds to light up the ghost trees just as we walked by them.
My two girls enjoying a beautiful day for a hike.
We left the bare dunes behind us for more grass-covered dunes.
I loved the sun spotlighting different sections of the dunes through the clouds.
These goofballs were happy to have a defined trail ahead of them. We had to redirect them often on the open dunes.
The last part of this hike was through a section of forest and currently dry wetlands.
I liked the contrasting colors on the ground here.
Nola & Christy leading the way through the forest. I loved this hike. There were some strenuous uphill sections on the loose sand of the dunes but overall it was a pleasant hike with a variety of great scenery. We ate our delicious sandwiches after this hike, then we drove through the Glen Haven Historic Village on our way to Glen Arbor.
While Christy went shopping at Cherry Republic, I walked around taking pictures.
I'm guessing the COVID-19 virus canceled this year's event.
Interesting bike rack.
I left the dogs in the car. Too many people around here for Yeti to bark at.
After shopping for everything cherry, we drove north on the Leelanau Peninsula to Fishtown in Leeland.
So while Christy shopped I took pictures.
We ended up buying dinner here. Smoked lake trout and smoked salmon with beef and turkey jerky. The site wrapped the fish in ice for us so we could eat it back at the cottage.
This is a Historic District so I loved reading about it's past.
Nice place to visit. I wish they wouldn't let cars park on that side of the road. It would make for better photos.
We drove back to Sleeping Bear Dunes Port Oneida area. This area has a bunch of old farms and some are still in use.
We did the 1.4-mile hike to Pyramid Point and back.
Once again we were high above Lake Michigan...
...and had great views in every direction.
I definitely have no plans to run down this dune.
Yeti walking through the birch trees.
It was a nice easy hike back to the car.
The clouds are darkening but the fields along the trail are full of colors.
The dogs ate and drank in the parking lot.
As we drove through the Port Oneida Rural Historic District, Christy spotted a couple of sandhill cranes in a farm field.
They started chirping at us, so I drove away after taking a few photos.
When we drove by the Kelderhouse Cemetary earlier today, Christy knew I would have to stop here. I do love spending time in cemeteries...especially old ones. Christy & the dogs waited in the car as I walked around the graveyard.
There are so many stories in a cemetery...reading the headstones makes me start thinking about Henry Rehner's life in the mid-1800s. What was his life like? He died young, was it a farm accident? Did he fight in the Civil War? These are the thoughts I have when looking at gravesites.
There are a couple of farms in Port Oneida with this surname.
Elizabeth Grandy was 22 years old when she died.
Her husband lived another 35 years after she died.
The Kelderhouse farm is next to this graveyard.
As we drove south toward the cottage, we stopped at Empire Beach to possibly walk the dogs on the beach.
Dogs aren't allowed on this beach...
...but I did find the Robert H. Manning Memorial Lighthouse here.
The wind was blowing hard off the lake and the sky looked ominous.
But it was perfect for some good pictures.
We decided to watch the sunset at Peterson Beach because dogs are allowed to the right (north) of the trail to the beach.
I'm not sure we will see the sunset, but surprisingly there is no wind here. We are about 10 miles south of Empire Beach.
We have the beach to ourselves.
The dogs ran straight into the lake. Christy & I tried to stay onshore the best we could. I took off my hiking boots and rolled up my pants so I could go into the lake with them.
They had a blast in the water.
Yeti kept swimming, Nola was drinking and I was surprised how warm the water still is.
After playing in Lake Michigan, we hiked along the beach.
The cloud cover was heavy but the sun shined through north of us.
Walking alone on a beach to ourselves was the perfect way to end our day. We got lucky with the weather and the dogs seemed to love being outside all day long with us.
Christy memorialized on the beach, the name she came up with to describe our vacations with the dogs this year.
This is what the dogs were doing not long after we got back to the cottage...
...definitely spoiled dogs and definitely a great day of hiking.