Day Four: Abandoned At The Dunes10:30 AM
Apparently, if you life in Michigan, visiting the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes is some sort of right-of-passage for the youth. Most people visit the dunes as a kid, or at least at some point in high school, but for me? Not so much. I was really excited to be camping in Traverse City, because of its close proximity to the dunes-yay sand! Everyone else....was less enthused. They had seen the dunes, somewhere around a trillion times or something, and put on a brave face as we drove out to take a look.
Shortly upon arriving, Kyle and I hauled ass up the first, very large sand dune, somehow managing not to fall in the process, while everyone else waited at the bottom.
The Sleeping Bear Dunes is basically a giant, hilly sandbox, with lots of smaller, hilly sandbox trails surrounding it. As a person who is not overly fond of the beach, I was a little hesitant to tread further than the first dune, but after seeing the view, decided to check out some of the trails. The only downside? There is no way to prepare your feet for the amount of pain they will withstand climbing in giant sand hills. Most people opt to go barefoot, but the sand is HOT. There were dozens of children informing their parents of this by wailing. You could try to wear hiking boots or shoes, but your feet will get swallowed by the sand (which is why most people just go barefoot). Me? I thought that I had a brilliant idea by wearing flip-flops. They would protect my feet, but the sand would not bother my feet too much. I was wrong. Blisters happened.
The main trail is about three miles, Kyle and I made it about two before our friends started calling us to hurry up because they were bored. I really loved the dunes and would like to come back sometime to climb the whole thing, it was a lot of fun. On the way back to Traverse City, the weather changed from sunny and hot as balls to cold and dumping buckets of rain on us. So we decided to take refuge in a few bars, restaurants, shops, and coffee houses. It went well.