Monday, September 01, 2008

Manistee National Forest on Lake Michigan

We woke up to a beautiful clear day. After some breakfast we packed up camp, got our packs on and hiked out to the beach. There was hardly anyone here even though it was Labor Day.

Our camp site near Lake Michigan, the white bag in the tree is our garbage from last night's dinner, we hung it in the tree so the animals couln't get at it during the night

Down the dunes - up the dunes, to the beach we go

Pretty flowers growing in the sand

Hiking along the lake shore

It was getting warm already, the temp was supposed to get in to the 80’s today. We found spot on the beach and laid out our tent’s rain fly like a blanket to sit on. It was very relaxing to sit on this empty beach. Mike went for dip in the lake, and we had some lunch, then it was time to head back to the car.

Relaxing on the empty beach

Now in the middle of the day, with the sun pounding down on us, the hiking in the sand with a pack wasn’t as easy as it was yesterday. Up the dunes, down the dunes, through the forest in the sand we went. The plan was the drop off our packs at the car and then hike another trail, but by the time we got back to the parking lot we were pooped and I was getting sore all over. This was definitely a work out. We hiked 2.5 miles yesterday, and 2.5 miles today. So that's 5 miles total of hiking in sand for our very first backpacking trip, that's pretty good. Mountains here we come!

This was a great experience, great exercise and Nordhouse Dunes was a very special place. Too bad I didn’t now about it earlier.

Mike and I getting ready to hike out of the wilderness

Leaving the beach and heading in to the forest

Hiking in sand with a pack is a very good workout

Is this the world's smallest pine cone?

We hit the road by 2PM, stopped for an early dinner. Traffic was getting heavier and heavier the closer we got to the Illinois border. The last two hours of the drive was in stop and go traffic. We made it home just before 9PM.

The trail head for Nordhouse Dunes is located at the end of Nurnberg Road

Sitting in stop and go traffic on I-94 heading back home

The red square shows the location of Nordhouse Dunes

The red square is the end of Nurnberg Road, the parking lot and the trail head for Nordhouse Dunes is located here


Anonymous said...

Stumbled on your blog by accident. Excellent blog, great pictures! Mike is a lucky, lucky man..why can't I find a beautiful Euro blonde girl with such a serious sense of adventure like you? got any sisters?? Best wishes, ride safe!

Kurt Klimisch said...

Love your blog been reading it for a while. I grew up in Michigan, moved to Seattle 17 years ago. Welcome to the west. You will like the mountains but you will miss the lake! Love the shots of Lake Michigan - nothing like that out in the west. Anyway, I am trying to decide whether to jump in and buy a bike. Your blog is making me favor the purchase, while my family are all against it!

Anna said...

Thanks for checking out the blog. Nope, no sisters :)


Anna said...


Thanks for reading! Michigan is beautiful, especially the UP. I’ve always favored mountains over big bodies of water.

Maybe I just got burned out on it. When I was in High School we used to live in Chicago across from Ardmore Beach and Lake Michigan. I used to go to the beach a lot back then, but once I moved out to the burbs and away from the lake I never went to the beach again.

After living in flat Illinois for 25 years, the mountains are a nice change of scenery. And the air, it just smells so fresh in the mountains.

As for motorcycles, they are a lot of fun, but they are dangerous. If you are serious about riding take the Motorcycle Safety Foundation Course first, many states offer it for free and if you pass you receive a motorcycle endorsement.

The class is great, not only does it teach you how to ride a motorcycle, but it teaches you road strategies, things you can do to stay alive out there. Every time I get chased by a dog while I’m on my bike I remember that I learned how to get away from dogs in the Motorcycle Safety Foundation Course.

Good luck!