|Who's cooler? Just to give you an idea of how big this cooler is...|
Needless to say, after about a half mile of dragging the big cooler through thick sand while also carrying a 60 lb. backpack (have I mentioned that I love my husband?!), Tom was ready to set up camp. I just had to carry my measly 27 lb. pack and reign in the dog!
We actually found a great site, behind two rows of dunes, just into the woods. There was a good spot for the tent, for the hammock and for a fire. The dune just in front of us was the perfect spot for lying in the sun on the couple warm days we had. I was so grateful to have some sunshine and actually have it be warm enough to take a couple dips into Lake Michigan.
|view from the top of the dune - I love Michigan!|
|Nothing beats a Manistee sunset|
Yes, we did bring electronics on the trip. Actually, Tom bought this really cool solar panel charger for our devices, too. It was neat to watch the sun's energy power our electronics. We had a little bit of music going, we watched Dr. Horrible (which also happens to be the only thing we did with technology on Isle Royale -- now, it's tradition!), and we used our phones to check weather, check messages and find geocaches! Oh, and take pictures. Lots of pictures. We didn't really get reception through most of the dunes, which was fine, because we wanted to be mostly disconnected at any rate. That's part of the beauty of camping.
Our last full day camping turned out to be a beautiful hiking day. Although we had hiked some of the trails in the Wilderness Area, we had not hiked them all. We planned out a route to take us to the parking lot at the far end of the wilderness area and from there to Nordhouse Lake. In between, we decided to stop to do a bit of geocaching. What's geocaching, you ask? You are not alone. I don't think anyone I've talked to about our trip has known. But you should -- it's like treasure hunting (more info here), and is tons of fun!
|Does this pack make my butt look big?|
|I just love forests; the scenery, the smell, the sunlight|
filtering through the leaves...
|No, that's not a pinecone...|
The trails that go past Nordhouse Lake seemed to be less traveled than the paths closer to the dunes. When we found the lake, I was stunned by the beauty. It's not a huge lake, but the scenery is so pretty. There was a sort of peninsula that came out into the lake with gorgeous views and a potential campsite for next trip!
|One view of Nordhouse Lake from the peninsula|
|Also a great spot for a Husband / Puppy portrait!|
|Happy and Tom fording Nordhouse Lake!|
As would be expected (and as we hoped), we found out that Happy LOVES camping. He would've run the entire trail system if we had let him. He enjoys laying in the hammock -- with or without us! And, he has discovered the love of his life: hot dogs. We had Happy hooked up to a tree with his long wire lead most of the time. It gave him a good amount of room to romp around. One night, we were just partway up the dune cooking hot dogs and Happy was just out of reach of us. He was utterly distraught. At first, I thought he just wanted to be by us, as he's usually not himself (Happy) if he cannot be where we are. However, I soon discovered by the look in his eye and the drool in his mouth that the hot dogs were what he was really after. He even resorted to digging frantically at the dune, as if he could, by digging, get the top of the dune (and the beloved hot dogs) to roll his way. Don't worry, we didn't let him suffer long. He enjoyed a couple hot dogs among other delicious treats on our trip. As Tom told him: camping is a time to enjoy junk food!
|I'll just rest up here on this table while you chat...|
|Happy's new favorite thing EVER|
|Cooking fireside chicken|
|Doughboys! We dipped them in jam.|
|We also didn't have plates, so we served these up on the leftover Jiffy Pop pans|
Hi there! My name is Dana and I live in West Michigan with my husband, Tom and our dog Happy Gilmore. I created this space as a place to share the things I learn along this journey I call life. I work in marketing and I'm a sort of Jane of All Trades, interested in all things nature, gardening, cooking, exploring and learning new things. This blog is a conglomeration of my interests, hobbies, life and life lessons. Thanks for stopping by!