Life in Holland Michigan, Strawberry Loves The Great Outdoors

What a Difference A Week Can Make

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A Tale of Two Sundays

Last Sunday, I had a great hike at Saugatuck Dunes State Park, hiking the outer loop of South Trail, which gets close to the southernmost part of the park.  About three feet of snow remained, but the trails were nicely packed – thanks cross country skiers! When I got to the lake, however, the snow was crunchy and punchy, which meant about a mile of ankle-twisting along the beach.

It was beautiful, though, and the stillest I’ve ever seen along the shore of Lake Michigan. Not even a breath of wind on this day, and the water was motionless; even the dune grass was still.

Saugatuck State Park Saugatuck State Park

Crunchy Layer Cake

Crunchy Layer Cake

Saugatuck State Park Saugatuck State Park

Those are not my footprints

Those are not my footprints

Saugatuck State Park

Seating for one: immediate availability

Seating for one: immediate availability

And then today…

On another beautiful Sunday morning, I headed back to SSP and to South Trail. This time, however, I took the main inner loop, which takes you through an area where the DNR and Park are removing pines that were planted many years ago. It’s been a fascinating transformation over the last few years as they restore the foredunes to their original state. Well, at least as close as possible, since they’re perpetually moving.

Today was the inverse of last week, ankle-twisting wise. The trail was crusty and I was punching through with regularity, occasionally up to my knee. That’s hard work, but it was so nice out, I didn’t care. At one point, I heard some wild turkeys in trees calling to each other, and then I realized why, as a hawk chased two turkeys through the air across an opening (the turkeys escaped).

What are the chances that this sign will survive the fire if it reaches this point? Or that a hiker would be standing in the fire reading it?

What are the chances that this sign will survive the fire if it reaches this point? Or that a hiker would be standing in the fire reading it?

This area is the most recent  burn area

This area is the most recent burn area

This area was cleared out a few years back

This area was cleared out a few years back

Saugatuck State Park

The beach, however, was back to sand, so it made for nice easy walking this time. As I summited (lol!) the last dune before reaching the beach, I saw this family of six returning from a trip to the beach:

Saugatuck State Park

What? You can’t see them? Sorry, that’s because I only had a wide angle (16-35 f4L) with my today. Let me crop that for you. A lot.

Saugatuck State Park

The walk along the beach was great, and I had the place almost entirely to myself.

Fancy a swim? The water is crisp!

Fancy a swim? The water is crisp!

Saugatuck State Park Saugatuck State Park Saugatuck State Park

 

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