Tuesday’s Gone – A Midweek Dune Climb

It was tough to tell on Tuesday who was more restless: me or Petey. For some reason he was a friskopotamus, and I was having trouble sitting still because it was warm (slightly above freezing) and dazzlingly sunny. Eventually we decided it would be best for all of us if we took a hike. Half an hour later, we were on our way to a trail in the Sleeping Bear Dunes that we hadn’t hiked before, though we had hiked near it to a shipwreck. Of course, half an hour later, unpredicted clouds had also besmirched my bluebird skies. You win some, you lose some.

Again, as on previous winter hikes, we parked on a road and then trudged through snow to get to the trailhead. There had been enough snowshoers ahead of us, though, that the walk in wasn’t too bad – especially considering the half a foot of snow we had just gotten. I can’t say that I prefer the clouds, but at least they were the kind that brings interest instead of flat, featureless grey (that’s what we had yesterday, so I can say this with certainty).

See? Look at that drama

We crested a dune – which are far easier to scale when frozen than when the sands are sliding beneath your toes – and were astonished at sweeping view. I took pictures, but didn’t keep any of them, because every stitch of water in the vista was frozen and capped with snow – a good reason to go back 🙂 Still, Tony and I happily took in the view while Petey happily ignored it any the wildlife cavorting in the distance. He was taken by the grasses poking up directly beside the trail.

We followed the snowshoe path down through a valley to the shore…where the view wasn’t much different than from above. We climbed out a short distance onto the ice, but the earlier sun had melted some of the fresh snow, and it had puddled.

Above and inside an ice cave

The upshot is that the view of the shore was pretty cool, and one we don’t often get a chance to see.

Deciding that we didn’t want to wander on the ice – a combination of possible hidden puddles and other potential dangers hidden under the snow – we began the ascent back up the dune.

Though the hike was enjoyable, it felt a bit stunted. After we emerged from the snow-pack, we walked along the road simply enjoying the ease of movement on the cleared pavement before we began our drive back home.

Since it’s on the way, we stopped in Empire for a glimpse at the sunset. Tony and Petey stayed in the car, while I traipsed about with the camera. Cautious because of the sun and heat, I stayed on ice over water I knew wasn’t deep. I was exceedingly glad I did. After I finished taking the last photo in the gallery below, I set my sites on the beach, and began making my way there. As I climbed over a small ice mound, I slipped, and my foot punched through the snow into one of those cold puddles I feared. I pulled it out, re-situated myself, and promptly repeated the fun with my other foot. Though my heart was racing and my feet were soaked and freezing I wasn’t panicking. But I was exceptionally glad that I was only over water that would be up to my knees even in the summer. Phew. Hope you have a warm, dry week 🙂


15 thoughts on “Tuesday’s Gone – A Midweek Dune Climb

  1. You scared me there at the last! Even if you weren’t panicking…I sure was! Please stay safe! In a way though, this must mean Spring is definitely on her way? I hope it is…those grass pics made my heart yearn for a bit of colour…I’m sure you know what I mean.

    Although your Winter has been an education in the myriad tones of white and blue and a revelation in terms of how magnifique Mother Nature really is…the heart craves what I know are going to be equally stunning images of Spring blooms 🙂

    Ane yet…that first picture…I want to walk down that path and into one of your stunning winter sunsets 🙂

    • Well, my heart rate certainly took a jump, but I knew even if I ended up in the lake below the ice it wasn’t deep. Still, it drove home a lesson about how quickly those things can happen, and underscored the need to check the ice frequently.
      We are very excited for spring, but it could be a while yet. This week we have temperatures in the single digits (F) again, which is markedly below normal for this time of year (when we normally hover right around the freezing mark for highs). I yearn to go for a walk without putting on a base layer and windproofing, and scarves, and hats, and gloves…

    • Thanks for joining along 🙂
      We are weary of winter, but it’s really a lot of fun up here. If you can catch a chance when the lake effect isn’t pouring in, I highly recommend the journey. The coast is a different animal in winter 🙂

  2. I wondered all winter how people KNEW there wasn’t thin ice or open water when they were traipsing all over the ice mountains. I remember asking Gerry that question last winter when she and the Cowboy and Sadie were out exploring, they were off leash, and she said she opted for adventure. I think I have decided which photograph I want to buy from your site…still making up my final FINAL mind…almost there.

    • Well, a lot of people use augers to test the thickness. And I generally wait until snow mobiles are driving across the lakes to journey out. My general rule of thumb is to stay on waters that I know are shallow.
      And can I tell you how excited I am that you’re purchasing a print? So. Excited! Thanks!!

  3. Nicely done and quite right. Never stick our feet were your heart is loath to go.

    From the look on Petey’s face, he didn’t like being referred to as a horse of diminutive France. But, you do have the kudos of entering a new word on the internet. Oh yes, I am watching. So naughty 🙂 🙂 from ear to ear.

    • I think you’re confusing his “Don’t make me stop eating the grass” look for “Don’t call me made-up words” look 😉 Do you think it’s really a new word? I can’t imagine adding anything new to the online world 😉

      • Oh yes. If you Google “friskopotamus” (with a K), there are only two entries. Both from your post. 🙂 So the definition is yours. yay 🙂

        If I may, I’ll add a derivation “friskybotamus”.

        Excuse the whimsy. My doze ish leaking and I’m daking de cure. 🙂 ‘ave a dice day

          • Neither really. Comments content don’t get Google listed the way post content does. Otherwise, as the originator it’s your decision. 🙂

            You’re as daft as I am. Have you got a cold too or just taking the cure. 🙂

  4. immagini spettacolari e favolose, in particolare quelle delle grotte del ghiaccio, sono molto ammirata del blog
    grazie per la condivisione
    un saluto dall’Italia
    spectacular images and fabulous, especially those of the ice caves, are much admired the blogs
    Thanks for sharing
    Greetings from Italy

    • Grazie per la visita! Sono felice di condividere 🙂 Le grotte di ghiaccio sono particolarmente raffreddare quest’anno! Ci dispiace per il mio povero italiano!
      Thank you for visiting! I’m happy to share 🙂 The ice caves are especially cool this year!

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