Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Sleeping Bear

The conclusion to a weekend in Traverse City was spent visiting The Sleeping Bear Dunes.
 Jason and Isaiah Krohn were able to join us for the trip. 
The dunes are part of The National Lakeshore, which means they are owned and operated by the government. In 2011, it was named the most beautiful place in America-by the ABC's network morning show "Good Morning America."

On the way to the dunes is a little town called Glen Haven. We spotted this Herbie car in the parking lot. What else can you do if you have a white VW bug, but paint it like Herbie?

Skipping rocks and looking for Petoskey stones.
We found a few.
This is what a Petoskey stone looks like. We didn't find any this big.

The water was freezing. Lake Michigan doesn't warm up too much this far north.

I love Elliot's face here as it perfectly captures the shock of the cold.
 The kids were offered .25c if they went completely under, all three took up the challenge. 

This man was doing some blacksmithing. He explained some techniques and tidbits about life in the village  from when it was thriving.

A boat museum is housed in what used to be a cannery.  

The Sleeping Bear is a Chippewa Indian legend.
Long ago, along the Wisconsin shoreline, a mother bear and her two cubs were driven into Lake Michigan by a raging forest fire. The bears swam for many hours, but eventually the cubs tired and lagged behind. Mother bear reached the shore and climbed to the top of a high bluff to watch and wait for her cubs. Too tired to continue, the cubs drowned within sight of the shore. The Great Spirit Manitou created two islands to mark the spot where the cubs disappeared and then created a solitary dune to represent the faithful mother bear.

A test of strength and stamina is to climb back up.  Signs are posted warning that if rescuers are needed to assist you back up the dune, a fee will be charged. We would consider doing the fun run down and the arduous climb up, when the kids are older.
Hopefully by then we won't be too old to do it ourselves.
A scenic drive allows easy access to this viewing point from the dune.
Elliot and Isaiah trying to find some good jumping points. 

At the top of the dune.  
The view is marvelous and a reminder of just how beautiful the Great Lake State can be. 

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