Great Lakes Road Trip: Glen Lake and Sleeping Bear Dunes

After terrific thunderstorms overnight the morning was heavy with low clouds as we set off for Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, checking at the visitor centre that our annual (America the Beautiful) pass was still valid, which fortunately it was, till the end of the month. We have had such good value out of this, our second, annual national parks pass.

First stage was the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive,

the low clouds took away any chance of catching the reputedly superb views

which was such a disappointment.

Moving just a couple of miles further down the road, the sky’s had cleared, clouds lifted and the sun was more than just warm. Apparently the Dune Climb is one of the things you just have to do!

We like a challenge, and boy, when we saw this we knew it was a challenge!

Such a steep cliff…

such deep sand…… and once you get to the top thinking you’ve made an achievement…

there’s another one, well ok, we’ll get the top then, till you get to the top… and yep! There’s another one! Eventually we had to admit defeat and make the return journey.. downhill.

Now this is where the technique we learned when coming down a volcano in Guatemala worked a treat, straight forward, dig your heels in, certainly not ladylike but you can almost run safely down the steep hill in this way.

Glen Haven Historic Village was our next stop,

a small collection of interesting old buildings.

Further on was the Maritime Museum where we had a detailed explanation of how the coastal safety stations worked and how to carry out a rescue of a ship in distress circa 1800’s.

The lake looks so calm and beautiful today

it’s difficult to imagine storm conditions,

but the number of shipwrecks confirm its dangers.

Popping into the local store we bought a roast chicken and had lunch at the picnic grounds overlooking Glen Lake. Rested and replete we decided that we would go back to the scenic drive and try again with the views now the clouds had lifted.

What a difference,

not only was it substantially more busy,

the views were as good as promised.

My calf muscles now joining my aching thigh muscles (after our bike ride) we decided it was time to call it a day, after stopping for an ice cream among the many others enjoying Memorial Day weekend.

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