Following several days of dreary drizzle, this morning dawned bright and cheerful. Clear skies overnight made for a thick frost on the grass, resembling snow in my predawn fogged eyes. After putzing around the house, enjoying some fireside time with the bad-old-cats (battle cats?), we dressed for our planned hike with the Cliftons.
We met up at main entrance to the Sleeping Bear Dunes – the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive – which happens to be closed to vehicular traffic at this time of year. Jackson was recovering from some afternoon sleepiness, which was aided by vanquishing
some foes me repeatedly. (Don’t worry; I recover quickly, and stick-swords and plentiful in the forest.)
Soon everyone was happy, chattering as friends do about things important and unimportant, and generally enjoying the time outside.
The air was chilly but invigorating, and the golden light warmed us from inside. Though we had meandered at Jackson’s pace, we arrived shortly at the North Bar Lake overlook. Many of the trees have shed their fall adornments, but this place is lovely dressed in any attire.
Feeling pretty certain the next big overlook was within reach (keeping in mind that the sun would leave us at 5:30), we ventured onward.
A few brief paces delivered us to the sandy bluffs perched above Lake Michigan, shimmering and blue below.
We traipsed up and down the empty dunes, luxuriating in the vast, deserted landscape that is normally teeming with visitors, but today just held us.
We poked around the observation areas, and lingered at the trail’s edge, taking in details that might be overlooked while trying to avoid blocking a fellow visitor.
Eventually noting the time, we sequestered Jackson – who was mastering the art of rolling down the sand – and began the trek back.
Once more at our cars, we parted ways, though I’m pretty sure we converged again for one last shot of the day’s beauty before nightfall. Darkness arrived early, but it was a day filled with plenty, and in November that’s all one can rightly ask for.