After the race I gathered up some new people to ride in my car, since we weren’t going the same way back as everybody else. I wanted to drive over to Sleeping Bear Dunes and go for a hike, and see Glen Arbor, my favorite town in Michigan, also voted the most beautiful town in the USA by Good Morning America. We drove M22, a scenic highway, west toward the other side of the lake. It took us about 45 minutes with the weather/roads. We arrived to our first stop at Pyramid Point. Pyramid point is the tallest dune in Michigan, a towering 430 feet. Normally you can park at a parking lot in the woods at the base, but we had to park at the beginning of the approach road because they don’t plow the road that leads to the parking lot. It was about a mile hike to the top, but a beautiful one. We hiked through a birch tree forest covered in snow, with big fresh flakes falling down. There was minimal wind on the back side of the dune where we were. As we got to the top of the back of the dune, you could hear the roar of Lake Michigan and the crashing of ice and waves in the distance. It was pretty crazy.
As we peaked the dune, the wind picked up immensely since it just funnels up the face of the dune. My line of sight came up over the last big of sand, and there it was; Lake Michigan from 430 feet up. It was an incredible sight. It blows me away (almost literally this time) every time I am there. I had never been there in the winter before. Most of the face of the dune was covered in light snow, with some patches of sand. The shore of the lake at the bottom was frozen and water crashed against the cliffs of ice. If I didn’t know any better, I could have thought I was on top of Everest. It was that beautiful. The two Manitou Islands were almost hidden in a fog on the edge of the horizon- basically dark blobs on the edge of our vision. Normally they can be seen clearly, but the snow and fog were preventing it.
We took pictures for quite a while and soaked in the moment.
Our decent was just as fun, being able to walk through the woods again. My hiking poles I had kept me from sliding quite a bit- I was glad I brought them.
We went back to Glen Arbor and loaded up on coffee. After that, we trekked out to the beach just across the street to get a level view of the lake. It was neat to see the ice cliffs that had formed, but I have seen cooler beaches on Lake Michgian before during winter. Apparently, there were thousands of large ice balls in the water the day before, but they had all clumped together into the ice cliffs. That would have been neat to see.
We left town at 3 and took M22 south to 31 south to make it home at 6:30. The total trip cost me $10. We split gas, and food was provided. It was a solid weekend, and I look forward to doing it all again soon.
See you on the trails!