Sand Dunes, Shopping, and Petoskey Stones

Day three! Vacations sure fly by don’t they? I think our plans for day three were the ones I was most looking forward to, and the day did not disappoint.

We had another nice slow start to the morning. Even though it was Father’s Day, Billy made the whole crew of us pancakes with strawberries from our garden on top, and Chrissy scrambled up fifteen eggs. It was cute to watch them cook at the stove together, with Rosie the dog at their feet.

We started out at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore – the sand dunes and the view are something to behold! We were on Sleeping Bear itself, which has a descent down to Lake Michigan, but you are warned that the climb back up is arduous and to not attempt it if you are not sure you can make it the almost two miles back up. In sand. In fact, there is a huge sign, and a fine for rescue, to the tune of $3000. While we were there we saw a group of college age kids, in peak athletic shape and fitness, coming back up and they were exhausted. I have never attempted it. For me, I would have to plan on camping it or something and taking it a few steps a day. LOL.

I always panic at the top, like people are just going to topple over the edge – mainly my son and my mom. So I guided them as far away as I possibly could get them and then stood in front of my child who wanted to slide down, because, well, he is 7 and it was a lot of sand.

After hanging around the top, and apprehensively watching a family start to head down the dune, with a toddler and I am assuming the toddler’s grandmother in tow, we left the view behind and started in to town.

Before I go further, I want to mention something. Wyatt received a free lifetime membership pass to the National Parks due to having a permanent disability. When we drove up to the gate the nice ranger asked if we had anyone in the car that was 62 or over or had a permanent disability. We had both actually, but my mom declined and so we got Wyatt all set up. He has a nice membership card with his name on it that he can use forever! I definitely recommend looking into it if this is something that will benefit you or anyone that you know.

Our next stop was actually the Visitor’s Center in Empire. Mermaid Girl had become a Jr. Park Ranger last year and was very excited for Wyatt to do it as well. Which he did! He received a certificate, three badges, and a patch! I think I am going to do a whole post on this next week so I will talk more about it then.

And then with our new Jr. Ranger we all piled back in the cars for the super short drive to Glen Arbor for some shopping! We had a few must stops on our list..

Leelanau Coffee for Iced Miel Coffees, and then my very favorite bookstore in the world.

I wish I could just move up there and work here. I love it.

I always try to buy from the local author bookshelves when I see them on vacation and this time I picked a book called Words Like Thunder by Lois Beardslee.

Then we headed over to the Cherry Republic and hung out for a bit, eating french fries and ice cream and shopping.

It was starting to get late but we still had one last stop – Rocky Beach in Glen Haven. Glen Haven is a deserted little town with my family’s favorite beach of all. My stepmom took us there for the first time years and years ago and it is one of her favorite places in the world. Then it became my brother’s, and now you can add us to the list too.

My SIL Chrissy is a huge rockhound. She finds it super relaxing to sift through rocks, looking at them, and on beaches where you are allowed to collect them, she does that too. Rocky Beach is part of the Sleeping Bear so a no collecting beach but they had fun looking. And she got to indulge for as long as she wanted the next day at a different beach, finding several petoskey stones, including a pretty darn big one, the lucky duck!

By the time we left it was getting late and we were all full of sand and sunshine, and ready for dinner. So we made the drive back to our cottage, grilled up some hot dogs and veggie dogs, and that was that. We had a fire on the beach, some adult drinks, and went to bed, after a perfect day.

9 thoughts on “Sand Dunes, Shopping, and Petoskey Stones

    1. There is a climbing dune that is a bit less of a challenge. It is actually called the Climbing Dune, I think, and you start at the bottom and go up, so if you need to turn around you can, instead of starting at the top and getting stranded at the bottom. It is also much less steep and much more manageable. Sleeping Bear takes like 4 hours to climb back up. Yuck.

      Wyatt was pretty happy about his new status. Lol.

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  1. This all looks about as good as it gets! I haven’t been to the dunes in ages (and never down them because I can’t afford the rescue!) That’ such a beautiful area over there… so much to do. The ranger thing is a great idea. When our guys are a little older we’ll have to do that!

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  2. Interesting about the warning on the dune. The only dune I’ve hiked is Cape Kiwanda in Pacific City, OR and it’s quite challenging. How fun for Wyatt to become a Jr. Ranger. I bought a small National Parks spiral bound book which I can place a sticker for each park we visit, along with some personal notes. It’s fun to see where we’ve been and where we want to go. I can see why you love that bookstore. I always try to buy at least one book whenever we visit an independent bookstore. Always good to shop local. I’m glad you had such a wonderful day!

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    1. All that sand is hard to hike in!

      It was such a fun thing to do with Wyatt. πŸ™‚ He has a little Jr. Ranger book for the stamps, and I have a book my dad gave me a few years ago for them as well. We are trying to plan trips out for the next few years!

      I LOVE that bookstore!

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  3. Pingback: My Sunday-Monday Post – Still Life, With Cracker Crumbs..

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