Grand Sable Dunes, here we come…

Today I head north for the Second Annual Sisters’ Hiking Trip. Last year we hiked some of the more rugged trail of the western end of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. This year we’re tackling the eastern end where we will find Grand Sable Dunes and the Au Sable Point Lighthouse. We’re purposely skipping Twelve-Mile Beach, which I hear feels more like twenty miles since the trail is all sand.

Depending on where we decide to park this time around, would could end up doing a fair amount of hiking with packs on, or slack off and set up camp first, then hike around with almost nothing in our packs beyond water bottles and cameras. I guess we shall see how masochistic adventurous we feel when the time comes.

As I packed up the new tent (which my son and I slept in in the back yard Tuesday night) and bought my rations and tested out my new water purifier, I couldn’t help but wonder…

Will we see any early color changes that far north? (My drive to Grand Rapids is already colored by bright orange and red sumac and a few blushing maple trees.)

Will we rise early enough in the morning to catch the sunrise?

Will we be so fortunate as to experience the Northern Lights before they calm down and move north for the next decade? (Apparently there was a huge solar flare Tuesday and the effects could be seen on Friday. Crossing my fingers!)

Will we see more wildlife than squirrels and insects this time around?

Will the promising weather forecast pan out?

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But beyond the questions is the certainty that there will be beauty to behold.

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