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Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
#46 Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

Park #46: Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

I know that nobody else asked to be part of this odyssey, but my trip to Chicago to visit my son and daughter-in-law provided opportunities to see parks within an hour of their home, and I would not be able to see them otherwise. Scott had been good natured about taking a field trip with me to Fredericksburg and Spottsylvania when he was in DC on business earlier in the year. So while my daughter-in-law was at work, we ventured across the Illinois border to Indiana.

The dunes were different than we imagined. Nine years ago, at Pismo Beach in California, on a 37 degree day that saw us in our winter coats on the beach, we climbed the largely barren sandy dunes. This day, at this park on the shores of Lake Michigan, we began our adventure hiking Cowles Bog (which we learned is a fen and not a bog due to its underground water source). It was the antithesis of anything I’d imagined dunes to be. Lush ferns grew in a canopied forest setting. Sand covered the trail the further we got to the coast, but this was the most wooded dune I’d ever seen.