Hiking Arcadia

Tony and I have always leaned toward the curmudgeonly side, opting for to bushwack our own roads rather than share one with the masses. It’s not that the masses are lesser; it’s that they are masses. Thus, living in Traverse City, we are more aware of the weekend crowds that gather to play in our northern Michigan playground, and we feel pressure to escape. Even popular outdoor destinations like the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park feel too busy on weekends, so yesterday we decided to aim for a sunset hike a bit south of our normal settings.

After an oddly frustrating drive down US-31, we parked at the Old Baldy Trailhead in the Arcadia Dunes Nature Preserve. We’d driven by the area a few times, but never stopped for a hike. We joined one car in the parking area, and other than footprints, saw no other signs of humanity on our outing. Masses averted ;)

The trail was well-marked, dotted with late summer wildflowers, and devoid of bugs – pretty much the best kind of trail. The mixed hardwoods had a lovely open forest floor, deeply darkened by a rich canopy. But we soon climbed a ridge leading over the dunes.

The packed sand gave way to loose sand as we rounded Old Baldy, an open dune perched 356-feet above Lake Michigan.

The sun shone through a hazy sky, painting the sand peach; a gentle breeze took the heat out of the climb; and the vistas made us feel tiny.

Because there wasn’t easy lake access, we decided to stop by the shore in Elberta so that Petey could get a drink and romp in the waves.
After the sunset in Elberta

The scope of the beauty that surrounds our days in northern Michigan sometimes leaves me breathless. Moving here five years ago was a good choice. I love calling this place home – even on “busy” weekends that encourage us to spread our wings a little.

Shipwrecking again

If you’ve been following this blog for a while (thanks to all “old” and “new” followers, by the way!!), then you’ve visited this shipwreck with me a couple of times. If you’re new here, then you’re in for a treat. Well, either way I still think you’re in for a treat; this is one of my favorite hikes in my neighborhood :) Continue reading

Unsafe Structure Exploration in Frankfort

Rolling out of bed at noon is a pretty strong indicator for an unproductive day…which is exactly what happened today. Except for that unproductive part. We had the Cliftons out last night for a slumber party. We are adults and can behave like children if we want, thankyouverymuch :).¬† Last night was our best viewing opportunity for the 2012 Perseids, and we did not intend to squander our chance like we did last year. Continue reading

How to have a good time Up North

Well, for starters, try to have an aunt and uncle who like to take you on adventures and encourage you to do things that might otherwise scare you. And then, do those things with said aunt and uncle. Anyone you love will do, in a pinch ;) Continue reading