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Winter in the Dunes

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February 2, 2015

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Last Monday after I posted my blog about the Dogs of the Dunes, I finished some freelance work and headed out with “my” dog of the dunes for an afternoon hike. We decided to go to the Indiana Dunes State Park and hit Trail 2, a shorter trail, and one that I haven’t done in awhile.

IMG_4470Snow had fallen the night before and the trees and path were beautiful. The creek was  frozen and small animal prints were in the snow. My plan was to walk a bit and to try to think of what to write for this week. As I rounded a bend and looked at an open track, it hit me that I should write about how winter in the dunes can be so different than summer in the dunes, but yet just as amazing.

I stopped on the path and stood still. Silence. It’s not often that you hear, well actually, don’t hear — anything. We stood for awhile taking that silence in. Otis’s ears perked and there were the faint sound of birds in the distance, a ruffling of some branches, other than that, there really was nothing.

At that moment I felt like it was just me and Otis. And we had the entire Indiana Dunes State Park to ourselves. How often do you get to think that? Actually, quite often in the winter!

While summer is very beautiful, it is often also bustling with people. Tourists come in, families take vacations, parking lots are filled. Winter is when many people think they should stay indoors. I find that on some of the coldest days I can bundle up, head to the beach and feel extremely invigorated. That crisp, cold air is what makes me feel alive. Add the bright blue cloudless sky and what you have is the perfect beach day.

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One of my goals for Dig the Dunes is to get everyone who lives nearby, down to the beach in the middle of winter. The ice shelf is almost gone now, but the beauty that it brings is something you don’t see very often. Add to that the silence of the lake and it’s almost as if you are on another planet. It’s really something every child and adult should experience in their lifetime. And we who live so close, are lucky to be able to experience it all the time!

As the days are now getting longer, and February has arrived, we all are looking forward to that first spring day. But before it comes, promise me that you will open your arms and mind to the dunes in the winter. Get out and ski, skate, sled, run or just walk. Take a hike to the beach to see if the lake is frozen, take a walk in the woods and admire the fresh fallen snow on the path and trees or just step outside and listen to the peace and pure quiet that winter can sometimes bring.IMG_4140

Now my post wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t give you some places to go and things to do. Do you like sledding? How about Devil’s Slide at the Indiana Dunes State Park? I’ve already posted about Lycokiwe Trail for skiing, but there is also plenty of skiing at the State Park as well as Tolleston Dunes and Love Creek in Berrien Springs is supposed to be one of the best spots around.

If you’d like to see the lake without getting out of your car, a nice drive is down Kemil Road (off of 12) and looping around the Beverly Shores main road. That is where my favorite photo spot is. See if you can find it! There is also close parking at Portage Riverwalk, Porter Beach, Washington Park in Michigan City and New Buffalo Beach.

After a day out in the cold, what’s better than sitting in a cozy cafe and having a hot chocolate or mocha? Two of my top picks for coffee in the area are Lakeshore Coffee in Michigan City and Red Cup in Chesterton.

Thank you all for reading! It’s been so much fun to write. Remember to subscribe to my feed, share and message me with any content you would like me to cover.

Keep on diggin’ those dunes!

~ Eve

The ice can make amazing formations, like these from last year. (2014)

The ice can make amazing formations, like these from last year. (2014)

May the sun bring you new energy by day,
may the moon softly restore you by night,
may the rain wash away your worries,
may the breeze blow new strength into your being.
May you walk gently through the world and know
it’s beauty all the days of your life.

— Apache blessing

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7 Comments
  1. Reply

    will wegiel

    February 2, 2015

    Love your picture and post, here to another great year in the rustbelt.

  2. Reply

    Mom

    February 2, 2015

    Eve, this one makes me want to come back. Beautiful!

  3. Reply

    Ann Wierzbicki

    February 2, 2015

    Excellent!!!! Lovely photos and post. Feel like I’m there walking with you in those areas when I read your blog, keep it up Eve.

  4. Reply

    Terry Ihnat

    February 2, 2015

    having grown up on Wells Street in Miller, I certainly can appreciate the beauty of the dunes in the winter time. As kids we spent a lot of time walking the beach, the dunes and skating sugar bowl swamp which is that wetland just east of County line Road near the beach

  5. Reply

    Jan Huffmaster

    February 2, 2015

    Love your posts and photos very much!

  6. Reply

    Auntie Bruna

    February 6, 2015

    Eve, just went for a walk with you. You really have a talent in photography and writing. Beautiful!

  7. Reply

    Angie Lovejoy

    February 13, 2015

    You bring back so many memories of years ago, when our kids were small and we’d cook breakfast
    at the dunes, also bring our sunfish sailboat, and spend Sunday mornings, then leave when the beach got crowded. But never in winter, hmmm. Lovely pictures, Eve!

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Dig the Dunes uncovers all the secrets of the dunes! From trails and beaches, to people, places, events and even the history and geology. Visit our page frequently for fun facts and new adventures for you to embark upon!

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