Mark Terry

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Sleeping Bear

July 9, 2008
Today was a gorgeous day, but it wasn't going to be quite warm enough to want to sit around lakeside. One of our favorite places on earth is Traverse City and the nearby Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes. So we drove into TC, had lunch at Don's Drive-In, then drove to Empire and climbed around the dunes for a while. If you've never been to Michigan and are someday interested in a little tourism, this is an excellent place to go. The lakes beyond Ian there are Glen Lake and the lake seen in the other picture is Lake Michigan, about a mile across tons of sand dunes.

In a very strange coincidence, we were hanging around the top of one of the dunes when a guy came up... my cousin Bill, who lives in New Jersey. His entire family was there. It wasn't totally weird--his in-laws live nearby and he does visit every summer for a couple weeks, but... small world.

Anyway, after that we drove to another town, Glen Arbor, to visit the Cherry Republic Store and buy cherry-related products (cherry jam for Leanne; sour cherry candies for Sean; dark chocolate covered dried cherries for Ian; and Confiscated Fruit Mix (the confiscated part is dried bananas, because, in the Cherry Republic, you must declare all bananas) for me.

Then we drove back to the condo, grilled some animal parts, spent some time on the beach, then just went and started a fire and made some S'Mores, guaranteeing my blood sugar remains high.

Mark Terry


Blogger spyscribbler said...

I used to love running over sand dunes in my idiotic youth. I'm impressed; how very healthy of you! At least until you got to the S'mores. :-) (I love s'mores!)

7:13 PM  
Blogger Melanie Avila said...

I love the Traverse City area, but I haven't been in several years. It's very beautiful.

Totally random about your family being there!

8:57 PM  
Blogger Aimless Writer said...

That picture makes me want to grab my kayak and go.
Looks like heaven.

5:06 AM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

--hell, we had lunch at Don's Drive-in. Nothing healthy about that--burgers and steak fries and thick chocolate milk shakes.

--it was still the Cherry Festival, so we mostly just drove through TC. Still gorgeous, but traffic sucked.

--It's gorgeous, no doubt about it.

6:23 AM  
OpenID eric-mayer said...

Neat. Never associated Michigan with sand dunes. I've only been to Michigan twice - once to visit friends in Detroit and once for an Orienteering meet. Quite a contrast, although while in Detroit we drove a short way to --- is it Grand Island? -- where there were deer grazing in the fields.

7:25 AM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

Eric, there are dunes pretty much all the way up the Lake Michigan coast. I was just commenting to my wife that we need to take a trip that starts at Ludington (absolutely fantastic beaches, miles and miles of sand and dunes), go up to Frankfort, where we've never been, then up to Empire (Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes National Lakeshore), do the Traverse City thing, then head up to Charlevoix and Petoskey, then up to Mackinac Island.

If you're in the Upper Peninsula, if you go west from St. Ignace, you run across about 40 miles of dunes and beaches--completely unvarnished, no lifeguards, nothing, just park your car on the side of the road and go--along the northern rim of Lake Michigan.

I think it has to do with the prevailing west winds blowing across the lake, but Sleeping Bear is awesome. I've hiked all over them since I was a kid.

I think you're probably thinking Belle Isle, which is an island in the Detroit River off Detroit. I've actually never been there. Unless you're thinking Grosse Isle, which is an island in the Detroit River downriver, and it's really sort of a suburb. That is nice and at one point we considered moving there, but thought it would be too big a hassle for commuting into the city at the time.

7:44 AM  
Blogger Zoe Winters said...

Okay now you're just rubbing it in. :P

1:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, Mark ... what a memory trip. I grew up in Michigan, outside Detroit. Went to MIchigan State. Had family in TC, and my dad currently lives on Pentwater Lake, just south of Ludington. I grew up fishing Lake Michigan and hiking the dunes on the west side of the state. It's a great place, more beautiful in the summer than any place has a right to be (winter is a different story).

I have a question, though. I'm a regular on Erica Orloff's blog and I think I've seen you mention that you write market research reports ...? I'm a full-time writer also and I'm sort of heading down that road and I was hoping for a little insight. Can I e-mail you offline and get the low-down (if, indeed, you do write market research reports)?

Jon VanZile

10:32 AM  
Blogger Melanie Avila said...

*sniff* Now I really miss home. I was born near Detroit but grew up in Grand Haven (Spring Lake). The dunes are the best part!

10:44 AM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

Go ahead and e-mail me. Yes, I do write market research reports. It's lucrative.

10:52 AM  

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