Monday, October 20, 2014

At Home In Indiana Dunes

Sunrise From Our Cottage Deck - Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
First Morning - September 25, 2014

It had been almost one year since I had been able to enjoy a solo road trip.  Long time readers know how much I love traveling to new places, visiting friends and creating new adventures.  I’ve always been that way and am so grateful to have a spouse who travels with me when he can and encourages me to go on when he can’t.   After all, he is still working by choice so no whining is allowed when I choose to go without him!!  LOL!   But I obviously haven’t been able to travel solo or otherwise for the past year while he has been ill.

I can’t remember who had the idea first, but Pam (Nomadic Newfies) and I had discussed some future hiking trips when she was last here in April.  Her work schedule has stabilized with the hiring of someone new and the upcoming months will allow her more blocks of time for travel!  She mentioned some dates for a mid-way between us meet up that I couldn’t do, but we quickly found an alternate that would allow us four full days if I could agree to travel a bit further so she could drive to our destination after working that day.  Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore was three hours from her home in Wisconsin and eight from mine in Tennessee.  No problem, I said and we quickly moved forward.

With an adventure scheduled, we went into research mode for things we could do and between the two of us, we found a cottage on the shore of Lake Michigan that looked great.  I couldn’t make a decision as to whether I wanted to make the eight hour trip in one day or break it up with a visit to some quaint little Indiana community.   Bill finally made it for me by saying he’d rather I split it up than do it all in one day.   Yes, I know eight hours doesn’t seem all that daunting, but remember you are looking at the queen of the backroads.  I don’t do interstates (BOORRING……) unless absolutely necessary so an eight hour trip for me can easily become ten or eleven hours.  I’ll write about my discoveries getting to and from Indiana Dunes in separate posts, but for the remainder of this one, enjoy my ramblings about our days there.  It was fabulous!

Pam has written several posts detailing many of the things we did and I will link to those.  She writes in a fun way and is a far better photographer than I.  You’ll enjoy reading about our exploits!

We were very compatible and found a wide variety of things to do.  We also did some things separately.  That meant a great deal to me that our friendship had passed the test where it was ok to say, “no I don’t want to do that – you go ahead.” And that was perfectly acceptable. 

 View from our dining room table!

We were there to see Indiana Dunes and the surrounding area, to hike and to get to know each other better.  I think we accomplished all three goals!

There are no words..........LOL!

Our cottage, which we rented through was excellent, but not perfect.  Its location, directly on the shore of Lake Michigan, more than made up for any shortfall.  Indiana Dunes' unique location on the southern tip of Lake Michigan provided us the amazing opportunity of seeing both the sunrise and the sunset plus a view of the Chicago skyline off in the distance to the west. 

 Our house was just to the left.  This was our beach access stairway!

What was my favorite part of the trip?  Hard to say, but I think it would be the wide variety of things we found to do.  We hiked (of course!), visited some cool little villages, walked on the beach, enjoyed some local community parks and gardens, took in some museums, indulged my fascination with trains and train stations, walked the dunes, learned a lot of local history and along the way, became really good friends!  And yes, there were some cupcakes consumed!

 We made new friends! Chesterton's most famous son.
(Orville Redenbacher in case you don't recognize him)

Here is the link to Pam's first post.  If interested, just keep reading her subsequent posts and you'll have a really good snapshot of what our trip was like.  She captured it beautifully!  If you don't read her blog regularly, I highly recommend it.  She takes beautiful pictures and has a great love for the outdoors!

It was a wonderful trip.   Planning for the next one is well underway!

 Sunset at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
September, 2014

Next Up: The Journey is Half the Fun!
(Hopefully on Thursday)


  1. It's beautiful there! Sounds like a wonderful trip and I can "hear' the excitement in your writing!

  2. I love Lake Michigan any time of the year. Can't wait to see where you hiked!

  3. I am so glad you had a nice trip and even more glad for what it represents regarding Bill's health. You had a hard year and deserve some 'me' time now.

  4. Sounds like a wonderful time! The picture of your beach stairway is like a post card.

  5. I had fun reading about your adventures. Good to see you two got together once again.

  6. I am envious. I'm glad you had a good trip with your friend. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Having read Pam's accounts, I've been waiting for yours. It does not disappoint. I just laugh out loud at you two "well behaved women". It is for sure a GREAT friendship when you can be totally honest even about not wanting to do something and the other person can be totally honest about going to do it anyway. David and I do that all the time but then we didn't just meet. Hats off to you both. That cottage location is absolutely divine. What views and skies! Love, love, love your pictures.

  8. I grew up in Northwest Indiana about 20 minutes drive from the Dunes. It's beautiful there. Lake Michigan is the one thing I really miss about living up there. I don't miss the winters though.

    I'm so glad you enjoyed yourself.