August 21, 2014 – Sleeping Bear National Lakeside (Sand Dunes)

Although we’ve seen so much in and around Traverse City, the Sleeping Bear Dunes, on the northwestern shore of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula were the main reason for coming to the area.

Lake Michigan Overlook (e), Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore,Glen Arbor, MI - 2104-08-21
The National Lakeshore, encompasses 64 miles of Lake Michigan shore line, includes two off-shore islands, with lakes and more than 71,000 acres of land. However, like most visitors, we gravitated to those locations with great views and soaring sand dunes.

Our first stop was at the Visitor’s Center in Empire where a short video provided both an excellent introduction to the park, covering both the geologic history and Native American legend relating to its creation … and including some absolutely spectacular photography.

After entering the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore we detoured along the 7.5 mile Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive. This drive runs through an incredible diverse landscape and embraces dense birch and maple forests, rugged, glacially and wind formed bluffs (some towering more than 450 above the shore), pristine sandy beaches and amazing views of nearby lakes and farms.

Join us for a trip through this amazing landscape …

Seven Mile Road (c), Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore,Glen Arbor, MI - 2104-08-21 Covered Bridge, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore,Glen Arbor, MI - 2104-08-21

Little Glen Lake (just 12’ Deep)

Little Glen Lake (just 12’ Deep)

Great for Jet Skiers

Great for Jet Skiers

Seven Mile Road (b), Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore,Glen Arbor, MI - 2104-08-21

 Basswood tree whose roots have been undermined by the action of wind


Basswood tree whose roots have been undermined by the action of wind

Lake Michigan Overlook (g), Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore,Glen Arbor, MI - 2104-08-21

Basswood tree whose roots have been undermined by the action of wind

Basswood tree whose roots have been undermined by the action of wind

 

 Despite warnings

Despite warnings

eople can and do run, walk or even roll down some 450’ to the Lake

People can and do run, walk or even roll down some 450’ to the Lake

and walk along the beach

and walk along the beach

 Before climbing back to the top … mostly it seems on all fours – there was a rumor one father and son made it to the bottom and back up in just 19 minutes … which seems to be stretching the truth


Before climbing back to the top … mostly it seems on all fours – there was a rumor one father and son made it to the bottom and back up in just 19 minutes … which seems to be stretching the truth

We took a short hike back into the dunes.

Lake Michigan Overlook (f), Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore,Glen Arbor, MI - 2104-08-21 Seven Mile Road (e), Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore,Glen Arbor, MI - 2104-08-21 Seven Mile Road (d), Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore,Glen Arbor, MI - 2104-08-21

 North Bar Lake … once a bay off Lake Michigan, its name describes how it is slowly closing itself off as the sand bar along its west side continues to build up


North Bar Lake … once a bay off Lake Michigan, its name describes how it is slowly closing itself off as the sand bar along its west side continues to build up

Red Pine forest

Red Pine forest

Our next stop, perhaps the most popular in the Park, was the “Dune Climb”, somewhat smaller in height but with far softer and less compact sand that what we experienced last year in Colorado’s Mosca Great Sand Dunes.

Before heading up the 150’ climb

Before heading up the 150’ climb

2014-08-21 - Debbie Climbing Dunes at Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore, Glen Arbor, MI 2014-08-21 - Debbie and Dickat the first level area while Climbing the Dunes at Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore, Glen Arbor, MI

View from reaching the summit of a second dune

View from reaching the summit of a second dune

Another ½ mile and 200’ further beyond

Another ½ mile and 200’ further beyond

Before heading back down, we saw a group of late teen/early twenty boys demonstrating some athleticism we could only dream of.

Dune Flip a Dune Flip b Dune Flip c Dune Flip d Dune Flip e Dune Flip fLeaving the sand behind … other than what we later discovered remained between our toes … we traveled to Glen Haven, a former logging and later canning center of the area. Today, it is a tourist stop with several old buildings

General Store (where we were able to peruse through some old ledgers dating back to 1859)

General Store (where we were able to peruse through some old ledgers dating back to 1859)

General Store (Inerior), Glen Haven, MI -2014-08-21

Old Cameras

Old Cameras

Unique old receipt filing system

Unique old receipt filing system

Sleeping Bear Inn

Sleeping Bear Inn

Glen Haven Canning Company – which now houses an old boat museum

Glen Haven Canning Company – which now houses an old boat museum

Native American Dugout Canoe

Native American Dugout Canoe

Sloop “Nautilus” – 26’ converted surf boat

Sloop “Nautilus” – 26’ converted surf boat

Fishing Tug “Aloha” (Unusual as its crew worked in the ships enclosed fore cabin)

Fishing Tug “Aloha” (Unusual as its crew worked in the ships enclosed fore cabin)

Open lifeboat

Open lifeboat

U.S. Coast Guard Lighthouse Utility Boat

U.S. Coast Guard Lighthouse Utility Boat

Unsinkable 36’ Motor Lifeboat (Bow)

Unsinkable 36’ Motor Lifeboat (Bow)

Unsinkable Lifeboat (a), Glen Haven Boat Museum, Glen Haven, MI - 2014-08-21

Capable of capsizing and righting itself

Capable of capsizing and righting itself

Light from North Manitou Lighthouse (as with all lighthouses, this beacon was identifiable by its color and rotation pattern)

Light from North Manitou Lighthouse (as with all lighthouses, this beacon was identifiable by its color and rotation pattern)

Bronze navigation bell buoy which rang as it rocked back-and-forth by the waves. When fog set in, sometimes limiting visibility to 10’ to 15’, its sounds can be a sailors only means to navigate treacherous waters.

Bronze navigation bell buoy which rang as it rocked back-and-forth by the waves. When fog set in, sometimes limiting visibility to 10’ to 15’, its sounds can be a sailors only means to navigate treacherous waters.

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