after our day in cleveland, we drove along the michigan/indiana border to indiana dunes national park, which is scattered along the southeast “corner” of lake michigan. it’s a relatively new national park, and i’m not sure i feel like it qualifies, but no one has asked me, so we just went along with things and checked the box on another national park visit. also, it’s still better than congaree.
it’s also a strange park, because it’s sort of wrapped in and around a long stretch of the lake shore. we dropped our rv off in the campground and made our way to the visitor center to get our bearings, pick up junior ranger books and and get tips and recommendations from the rangers. since it was a weekend, and later in the day at this point, they suggested we hit up a lesser populated area and pointed us to the historic chellburg farm.
it involved a bit of hiking, which involved a bit of whining, which involved a bit of frustration. the first stop on the trail was this house. i don’t remember anything about it anymore. but we learned something at the time.
we strolled along through along the path, which was mostly grass and trees and sort of boring, then we detoured to go to an old cemetary, much to everyone (but ruby’s) dismay. since it was enclosed, we let her off her leash a bit and she made short work of frolicking in the grass. the kiddos worked on their ranger books a bit. and then we got back on the trail towards the chellburg farm. i remember taking a lot of photos, but i’m not entirely sure where they are now, so all i have is one of the farm house, which is probably all anyone cares about.
after our little hiking excursion, we went back to camp and settled in a bit, before heading back out for an evening at the beach and a majestic lake michigan sunset. we found a spot pretty close to our campground and set up. the kids got to work digging in the soft sand.
just behind where we set up, there was a broken fence at the top of the dune, leaving a long dangling chain to be used by beach goers to help rappel themselves up the dune. the lidkids repeatedly climbed and then ran, slid, and rolled down the hill with reckless abandon. this activity occupied them for quite some time.
as the sun began to set, all parties resumed digging.
and then the sun set. and we watched. and that was it.
our first day in a weird new national parks was in the books. and we were ready for more fun adventures.