The Growing Ice on Lake Michigan

Winter View of Lake Michigan 
A sunny morning for a long hike up the dunes to see the progress of the ice forming on Lake Michigan. From this point, you can see miles into the lake - well, actually in every direction because it's the highest point in the area. The view from the beach is often obstructed in winter, by the piles of shelf ice, so a gain in elevation is necessary to see the lake. 

The hike is half the fun, but watching the lake slowly reveal itself as you get higher and closer to the ridge of the dune is stunning. And this sunny morning was no exception. Bitter cold temperature and a stiff wind certainly wakes you up, but moments later when you head down the dune, the wind is blocked and you actually warm up quickly. I almost always need to open my coat or remove an outer coat on my return hike.
  From the Wooded Dune 
 Winter is a great time to see how the dunes were built, there are no leaves on the trees, and the snow highlights the topography, so the dunes can be seen clearly. 

It still amazes me that there were houses and a beach access with a road and parking are just to the left of the photo above. I remember a few of the homes, and walked the roads several times. Now, the roads are covered by sand and weeds. I hope the park service begins the process of marking these trails soon, they're asphalt, so nobody is going to hurt anything by walking on them.
  Ice on the Horizon 
From the highest point, there are terraces made out of old pipes, steel sheets, and cinder blocks, most likely someone's attempt to make the climb a bit easier when there were homes in this area. This would be a fantastic area for a trail up - even if the park service had to build a deck and stairway up to prevent people from walking all over the plant life. If constructed correctly, it wouldn't detract from the natural surroundings, and without a parking lot right at the foot of the area, people would need to walk quite a distance just to find the area. It's a win - win in my opinion.

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