As promised, here I am back from my first backpacking experience which began Sunday the 12th. Actually, we got to the Dunes on the 12th, walked (hiked) up and around them and then headed to Traverse City, Michigan for the night. There we met up with Len and Marlene for dinner and the following morning we drove to Leland, where we caught the ferry to the North Manitou Island;the wilderness island where one goes to experience nature in all its ruggedness.
Here is Chuck at the Dunes sign. The dunes are actually quite tall; rising in a series of steps. Looking from the bottom you really don't get the full flavor for how high they are. Not nearly as high as the Great Sand Dunes National Monument in Colorado but challenging nevertheless.
I found an isolated place somewhere near the top and got this shot of a dead tree and the lake in the background.
Then it was on to North Lake Manitou
As you can see, there is not much concern for how your backpack is loaded on to the ferry. it will endure much worse treatment before the trip is over.
The first day, after we set up camp, we hiked 7 or so miles to Lake Manitou in the center of the island. This was a gorgeous place that we visited more than once. Clear water, serenity and nature sounds all around made it well worth the trip.
I thought I'd group similar photos. Here are some of the flora of the area...
This puff is huge, probably the size of a hand spread out just mesmerising when you look closely at it.
This mushroom was growing off in the woods a few feet from where we stopped for lunch one day.
I love these red flowers, they grow all over the island and are so pretty
Here is Chuck, Len and Marlene. This particular day we hiked the lake shore for 3 or 4 miles and headed inland to complete our loop. The water is so clean; you just want to jump in and drink it down.
Then it was on to the wildlife
This is a garter snake. The island has very many of them and fortunately, the snake want to get away from you MORE than you want to get away from it
We never did see the coyote that made these tracks
TWO snakes sunning near Lake Manitou....hummnn
The ferry is coming to pick us up. It had 63 passengers on it; they are in for a busy weekend on the island. Our group was only 30, and we rarely saw anyone once we hit the island.
Once we hit shore, we snooped around a quaint village called Fishtown...
Here you see wound fish net waiting for the next trawling trip...
I am sure this is put there just for photo takers; it was perfect.
Then we had lunch
Smoked white fish, french bread and beer, wonderful.