Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Indiana Dunes - Trail #8

Welcome to Jurassic... um, I mean Indiana Dunes State Park.

Welcome to Jurassic... um, I mean Indiana Dunes State Park.

Hiking is so much funnier with family...

It all started pretty typically, me saying I'd be there at 11am., showing up at 11:15. Forcibly waking my cousin Elana and dragging her outta bed, plans were made, I didn't just show up and sentence her to a day of hiking for no reason LoL. After all that fun I began packing up the dog treats, water, some snacks for us - you know the drill. After the dogs get loaded up and we head out a request for some fast food is made 'n we hit up Mickey Dee's on the way. The Dunes aren't very far from us, maybe 30 or 45 minutes with decent traffic flowing.

On our way into the park.

We eat most of our daily recommended caloric intake on the 30 something minute drive there. Talked about the trails we may be using today and how often we've all hiked, and which trails we'd like to do in the future. I talked about my desire to hike the 105 mile long Shenandoah Valley, 101 miles of of which are part of the Appalachian Trail, my cousin Lorraine told me is scheduled to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro in January. FYI Kilimanjaro is 19,340 feet tall 
As we arrive at The Dunes we're greeted by an abundance of colors as we drive through the access roads to the parking for trails 7 thru 10. It seems as if we are at that PERFECT time of year when the chances of seeing every color in existence in one hiking trip is very high.
We parked and started getting ready to head out onto the trail. I put the pack on Rella and connected her and Matzah's collars with one of those double dog walking things from PetSmart. My cousins  got their sweaters on as I got my camelbak on and double checked that we had snacks, ID's water etc. After we double checked everything, we're ready to hit it.

You can see Lake Michigan in the background.

I decided on Trail 8 for no particular reason other than the fact that I haven't gone on it yet. It started with a few steep inclines, some of which felt like walking up a wall. The dogs had NO problem getting up, must be nice having 4 legs, the rest of us two legged folk were having a helluva time. The first peak was "Mount" Jackson, and it was probably the tougher of the climbs. For every three steps forward we'd slide at least one step back - damn sand... that's all I gotta say. Eventually we did make it, and I gotta say the view from the top was well worth the effort. Looking to the North we could see Lake Michigan, to the South was the rest of the park with its trees and prairies going on for miles.

176 feet up on "Mount" Jackson looking South

Rest over with, we kept on moving along the trail. "Well it can't get much higher than this, it's probably all downhill from here" boy was I mistaken... We walked down a nice gentle slope, looking at the changing colors of the trees, snapping pictures of everything. And just  when we thought it was all good and that it'll be easy going Mount Holden (The second tallest sand dune in the State) beckoned us... rising up past some trees and brush. A hem, "Bartender, can we get another round of Deep Breaths, Sighs and Groans please?" Up we went...
Once we reached the 184 foot peak we were beat, we sat and watched the waves of Lake Michigan crashing on the beach below. Somehow the dogs were still rearing to go, I don't know how... perhaps it's because dogs have a vast and untapped energy reserve big enough to rival the nearby Nuclear Power Plant. At this point, I do not, neither did my other two legged companions. After our brief rest we decided to go down to the beach, It seemed close enough... of course, I was mistaken.

As we begin walking (Sliding) down  the dune ONE of us - not saying who... decides to blow chunks all over the sand. It made quite the nice little river of spew... There IS  a video though and it is hilarious! mid stream LoL! After this mornings chewed up McDonald's was left on the dune we did make it to the beach.

Looking West we see Chicago in the distance, it seemed so small.
Hard to imagine that just about 100 years ago you wouldn't have seen anything but water

We walked the beach for a while, talking and just relaxing and taking it all in as the dogs were playing in the waves. After a stroll down the beach we did end up going back, obligations called all of us. Back up Mt. Holden, down, then back up Mt. Jackson and finally back down the trail to the car. Off came the shoes, out came a pound of sand, and back home we went. I hope we can all get together again soon, aside from the puke it was a great day. Hell I think that made our day!

 Links to my reviews of this trail:
All Trails

Feel free to leave your comments or suggestions below and, don't forget to share.


  1. Good to meet you guys. Can't wait to learn more about your adventures on the east end of the country. Now we are gonna go and read your past posts to get to know you better.

    Safe Hiking

    1. Bert-
      Thank you for checking out my blog too :)
      Unfortunately I JUST started blogging so, there's only one previous post. I started hiking in late August and go almost every weekend, so umm... stay tuned.

      Keep Trailblazing,
      Chris and Rella(the pup)


Thank you for your comments :)