Revisiting the Indiana dunes

Okay, we’re back home and I have much catching up to do. To start I thought I’d go back to the wonderful beginning of my circle tour in the Indiana dunes. Makes me smile just to remember how special it was.

The blue dot was my location in Indiana Dunes State Park. Wonderful short walk through restored wetlands to long sandy beach with distant view of Chicago skyscrapers. Really lovely Art Deco structure on the beach. More images to follow.

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Henry Boy was so happy I brought his outdoor rug that he immediately took a snooze.

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Heading north along west coast of Lake Michigan

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Despite this glorious morning and how lovely the Lake Michigan shoreline is here in Indiana Dunes, Henry and I are packing up the RV to head north. Friend Karen suggested I start on I-90, which should get me to my preferred way of taking the Skyway to Chicago then driving north on Lakeshore Drive. I don’t mind paying tolls because this is a much better way to see and move to and through Chicago.

One of my jobs involved going to Chicago once a month for over year. Plus all of my Great Lakes jobs have involved frequent travel to Chicago because the Great Lakes National Program Office of the EPA is located on Jackson Avenue. The people in this office do such a great job of overseeing the complexities of protecting, restoring and conserving these irreplaceable, valuable, magnificent Lakes. Quiet heroes and heroines.

Over the decades I’ve come to know Chicago as one of our nation’s best cities and I get excited just thinking about the Chicago Institute of Arts, the hustle and bustle, the architectural and shoreline boat tours, all the top-notch restaurants, skyscrapers (invented here) and the magnificent lake it sits on.

This will be my first time navigating Chicago with my motorhome so I’ll just take my time and enjoy it as much as possible. Not even sure where we’ll camp tonight, but I’ll fill you in later with activities and photos from yesterday and today.

At the big lake

Lovely lovely day and drive from Onsted, Michigan, to Indiana Dunes State Park in Chesterton, Indiana. I took my time and stopped in several little towns like Jonesville. US 12 starts out as Michigan Avenue then becomes Chicago Road. Unfortunately all family restaurants in small towns along US 12 appear to be closed on Mondays so I wasn’t able to get a nice homemade lunch like I had hoped.

The first part of the drive out of Onsted is through the Irish Hills area of Michigan. The area still has small lakes with small cottages, but the former entertainment-type businesses are all closed down. Things like mystery hill are empty gray tombstones to the past. This has been replaced by the massive Michigan International Speedway. I still love to drive through that area though. The hills are tree-lined dotted with farm fields and very small towns.

When I got to Indiana I was greeted by this!

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I got my first peak of Lake Michigan at New Buffalo, Michigan, near the Indiana border. I was on US 12 the entire way. I was pleasantly surprised by the gorgeousness of Indiana State Dunes State Park. Has a feeling of spaciousness and peacefulness and I have a really nice site.

The first thing I did was hook up Ecovision to electric and start to pull out a few things. But I realized it wasn’t quite level so I moved Ecovision forward, put one yellow block behind each wheel and then backed up and onto the levels. Voila! Level! For those of you who don’t own an RV, the refrigerators in an RV are different than a house refrigerator and require being as close to level as possible to operate properly.

Here’s Ecovision and her campsite.

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All this niceness was marred by Henry getting painful burrs stuck in his paws when we took a walk! Ouch. He stopped and couldn’t walk. But he let me lift each paw in turn to take out burrs. Then I got some in my fingers while taking his out until I figured out I could hide my fingers under my sleeve to get his burrs out.

When we got back to Ecovision I put him on top of the picnic table, got out his grooming equipment and removed all the burrs. In the process I thinned his hair all over and cut the hair around his feet very short. He looks very cute and feels much better.

My good friend Karen, who lives nearby, came over with a bottle of wine (plus homemade banana bread for me to enjoy for breakfast) and we had a wonderful visit. She’s a Great Lakes expert like I am with the same love and devotion to the lakes. We have collaborated on several major projects over the years and hopefully will continue to in the future. She’s taking time off of work tomorrow so we can walk to beach and be near the beloved Lake Michigan. Can hardly wait!