Thursday, August 7, 2014

Sleeping Bear Dunes

Sleeping Bear Dunes is another of our favorite places in Michigan – there are so many great activities to choose from! 

We spent Friday afternoon at the pool at the RV Park, and got some laundry done after dinner while we waited for our “camping buddies” to arrive and set up on the site behind us.  These are friends we’ve been camping with for many years – the kids were all in daycare together!

Our weekend agenda included a couple of old favorites, and one new location that we’ll be adding to our list of favorites!

Pyramid Point Hike

Hiking through the birch trees

The kids love this hike!  It’s a short steep climb through the forest to a high dune bluff overlooking Lake Michigan.  They were anxious to get to the top and climb down the steep dune, despite posted warnings,


so they rushed ahead.  By the time Tari and I arrived, they were already on their way down!

The kids got there first and were already heading down!

Getting to the bottom of the dune is pretty easy – as long as you don’t fall – and the kids quickly made it down there and were playing in the water!

There they are - way down by the water!

We'll stay right here, thank you very much!


We’re not crazy enough to go down there – we’d probably fall and kill ourselves on the way down, and even if we didn’t, there was no way we’d make it back up!!








Nicolas is always looking for a challenge, so he waited until everyone else started up, and then he started the climb . . . overtaking everybody except John Henry,

They're on their way back up!

who decided to go back down to take some water to the others!

Back for round 2!











The others kept climbing,

Here come the stragglers!

and they made it to the top!

They made it!











This guy flew past a few times while the kids were climbing up . . . maybe he thought they looked like they needed rescuing!

Watching the Coast Guard fly-by!

Coast Guard Helicopter

Tired kids!


We let the kids rest for awhile and drink some water,

All rested!

and then we headed back down the trail to the cars.  After some lunch at the RVs, we made plans to go to the beach.  Every year we talk about going to Empire Beach for a day, but we still haven’t gotten there . . . and we still haven’t!  Paul & Tari wanted to take their dog with us for the afternoon, and they found a Lake Michigan beach in the national park that allowed dogs.  North Bar Beach was just a short drive north in Empire,

North Bar Lake

and it was a beautiful beach and lake,

North Bar Lake

with a channel that fed into Lake Michigan.

Lake Michigan

Unfortunately, although dogs were allowed on the Lake Michigan beach, they were not allowed on the North Bar Lake beach or the trail that led to the beaches!  So, Tom and I ended up taking all the kids to the beach, while Paul and Tari went to look for a way to get there with the dog.

We enjoyed the beautiful afternoon at the beach --


Braving the cold water!

Nicolas, too










and soaking up some sun --

Bryce, too!


Working on his tan

while Paul and Tari ended up walking along the Lake Michigan shore all the way from downtown Empire!  It turned out that they could have taken the dog to Empire Beach!  Oh well, they made it to the beach, and had some fun playing in the sand and the water!

Sunday’s plan was to drive down to the Platte River to do some tubing – Nicolas and Bryce had been patiently waiting all weekend for this!  We parked one vehicle at the fishing wier, where there’s access to put the tubes in the river,

Ready for some tubing on the Platte River!

and I took the other down to the beach to wait for them.  It was VERY crowded, and I ended up having to park a 1/2 mile from the beach! 

The winter season had been really rough on the beach, and half of it is gone now . . .

The beach is a lot smaller!

but I found a spot to put down my blanket and read while I waited for them to float down to the lake.  Even with all the people on the river, they made pretty good time, with the kids getting to the beach after only about 1-1/2 hours, and the “big kids” about 15 minutes behind them!

Bryce managed to move the car a little closer to the beach, and we enjoyed a picnic lunch as some clouds rolled in – it looked like we got done just in time!  We never did get any rain, though!

It was a great weekend – and we finally got some nice beach weather – this is what we were looking for when we came back to Michigan for the summer!!


  1. Another great day with friends!! Well, it does appear You Can Go Home Again;o))

  2. Sounds like a great week-end. I would think that lake water would be pretty chilly, but it didn't seem to bother anyone.


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