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First trip to the dunes of the season!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

I decided to start my vacation off with a trip to one of my favorite places - Indiana Dunes. I slept in until 6 (I'm normally up at 5). Hubby and I went to breakfast at our local diner (Skeeter - it is so cute).

By 7, I had dropped hubby at home (didn't want to go) and was off. I had no particular plan except I wanted to do trail 8 - the only "rugged" trail at the State park. I got there, picked up my season pass (helps fund the dunes and covers parking for the year), and headed for my chosen trail.

After getting up Mt. Jackson, 176 feet, I was starting to debate the intelligence of my choice to do the "rugged" trail first night out. But I met up with two men in their 70's, and they do this trail EVERY Saturday from May to September. Ok, female pride is just as real as male. I started up the next dune, Mt. Holden (184 feet) and then up the final, Mt. Tom at 192 feet. I looped back around to the nature center and felt great. Last year that trail took hubby and I 1.5 hours. I did it in 35 minutes!

I just headed out on trail 7 feeling high as a kite. I didn't realize that most of 7 goes along the beach. It wasn't even 60 with a cold wind right off the lake. I was just in a long sleeve wicking shirt and running pants. That was just too cold for me. At that point my only choice for getting back was going from the beach all the way up the backside of Mt. Holden. I struggled and my legs were on fire but I got back up the 184 ft from the beach to the top of the dune. Back down Mt. Jackson.

I should have headed home but I was right by trail 9. I turned and started walking. Somewhere in there I kind of spaced out. I was just walking in the sand. There were not bugs to speak of and the sun was dappled through the trees. I could hear the beach again, in the distance and I turned.

Remember me saying I had spaced? Well when I turned I was off trail and I didn't notice for a while. When I realized what I had done I was well out of site of any trail and/or the beach. I was looking around trying to figure out how I had gotten up on the ridge I was on when I spotted some large deer tracks. Well, I know how to track and if a deer can do it . . .

I follow those tracks into areas I have never been to before. It was BEAUTIFUL. I just kept the sounds of the beach on my left and followed the deer tracks as best as I can. "We" went along the back side of the "Pinery". I saw two of the most glorious big old trees. I was just in awe of what I was seeing. Sorry, forgot I had a camera.

Finally the deer tracks ended but fortunately I recognized part of where I was. I was at the very end of trail 10. So I took it back to the nature center. I did get some pictures at that point but I can't get my phone to download. It was lovely. Also the whole time on the deer path or on trail 10, my legs, back, and lungs felt glorious. No pain, no burning - I ended up doing 14 miles in sand, 150 "floors" of "stairs" (per my fitbit) and I felt GREAT!!

I called hubby to see how things were at home and let him know I was finally on the way (I had been gone 5 hours). He said he was just getting ready to walk the dogs. Did I want him to wait for me? Sure. Sure?!? Yeah, I said sure.

So I drove home, harnessed up the Tazzy and Gypsy, and headed back out for another 2 miles in 35 minutes! It was nice walking with hubby and girls. I didn't even think about being tired.

I got home and hubby had gotten Mama on DVD. So I got to stretch out (yikes I needed that) and then sit down to an awesome ghost story. This has been a great start to my vacation.
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