Day Two Hundred Twenty-nine

Exhausting But Exhilarating

What a great hike we had today around Cowles Bog, at the Indiana Dunes’ National Lakeshore. The area is named for Henry Cowles, a University of Chicago ecologist who visited here frequently in the early Twentieth Century. The four-mile loop goes through woods, near a fen, over dunes, and along the Lake Michigan beach.

Cowle's Bog 2We saw such interesting flora and fauna. I can understand why Mr. Cowles found this spot so interesting!

Cowle's Bog Flora and FaunaWith no nearby parking facilities, the only folks at this beach either hiked or boated here. It’s a wonderful spot to rest before tackling the dunes and heading back.

Cowle's BogGood day, good walk!

Day Two Hundred Eight

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore-West Beach Loop

I’ve been wanting to do a dunes walk for awhile.  With today’s really cool weather and my nineteen-year old wanting to join us–today was the day!

We drove to the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and visited West Beach.  We walked the West Beach Trail Loop and the Dune Succession Trail Loop.
Indiana Dunes West Beach

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The West Beach loop is away from Lake Michigan and is unnaturally low after years of sand removal to other areas around Chicagoland.  We saw some interesting wildflowers and prickly pear cacti.  It was a nice walk.

The National Park Service map describes the Dune IMG_0781Succession Trail as “scenic but strenuous,” an apt description as the views were breathtaking and climbing the dunes and stairs, exhilarating but exhausting.  Despite some clouds, we could see views of downtown Chicago and the entire South Shore.  I even found the views of Gary, Indiana, interesting!

Good day, good walk!

Day One Hundred Ninety-five

Beach Day!

I had every intent to go for a walk along the beach today.

I spent the day in Michigan visiting family on the shores of Lake Michigan.  I enjoy walking on the beach and really thought I would be able to squeeze a short walk in, but between catching up with family and chatting with neighbors, I never made it.

By the end of the day though, my legs and feet sure feel like I have actually been walking quite a bit.  I guess walking to and from the beach a couple of times and walking on the soft, sandy bottom of the lake in the sun is more strenuous than this shoe-wearing flatland-prairie girl is used to, because I’m exhausted.

Good day, good beaching!