Thanksgiving {Hiking} Traditions

For the second year in a row, in the spirit of starting traditions, Tony and I took Petey for a hike at the Sleeping Bear Dunes as a family Thanksgiving outing.
empty snowy trail

We walked from the parking lot at the entrance to the Scenic Drive, and hiked the snowy road in to a few overlooks.
Empire Bluffs

The Dunes always offer spectacular views and a place to be engulfed by nature. I couldn’t pick a favorite season for a visit, but I love how the park feels absolutely silent in the winter. They close the scenic road to vehicle traffic, and a carpet of snow hushes any wayward echoes. The quietude is splendid.
desolate dunes

As you near the lake, though, the tranquility doesn’t last. In fact, being perched atop 450-foot sand dunes facing incoming gusts, the wind screams in your face, tears at your clothes, and flings sand in your eyes.

We stayed out on the precipice long enough for me to run to the very top of dunes to grab this shot of a lake effect spotlight on the Empire bluffs, and then we jogged back to the relative warmth of the tree cover.
Empire-Bluffs-Spotlight-blog

Lest you think it sounds too cold or inhospitable, I will say that 4+ miles of trekking in the snow keeps you warm. Don’t believe me? Here’s proof:
so cold its hot

We got back to the car shortly before sunset, and decided to hop over to the Glen Haven Cannery (a few miles west). I was going to take a shot of the pilings there, but alas, they are covered by the higher lake levels. I can’t decide if I wish we’d just stayed or skipped the detour altogether, because on our way back home just minutes later, the sky did this.
glowy-sunset

We pulled over at a random spot between Glen Haven and Empire, because we knew the moment would be fleeting, and I am a photo addict. It wasn’t as short-lived as the lake effect spotlight, but gosh that glowy sunset burned out quickly!

To top off an already wonderful day, we arrived home to find that our neighbors had lit their home and fence. Let the twinkly lights photos commence!
lit fence

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6 thoughts on “Thanksgiving {Hiking} Traditions

  1. I love following along on your walks/hikes from the warmth of my home! I see so much beauty I would otherwise miss. And yes, cappuccino it is! Fascinating how the sand and snow swirled together.

  2. I feel like I’ve had a complete day without moving . Although I’ve got to admit I like the evening shots best (night owl – hoot). All it does here is rain. Instead of a white witch we have a grey one. What can you do (replies in a plain sealed envelope please). πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

  3. Loved that first snow in the sand photo..and of the lights on the fence. Glad you have such a great tradition. We’re here at the lake in Alabama. Our tradition is to hike up Smith Mountain. Now the fire tower is open to the public so we’ll climb it as well. You’ll probably see the photos later today. Sharing photos of our adventures (both of us, ey?) is also a family tradition.

  4. Wow – we have never ventured north in winter. My eyes got big when I saw the sand and snow photo. How cool is that! It looks like you had a wonderful holiday – doing exactly what excites you most.

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