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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Shoreline; Michigan

In a contest sponsored by Good Morning America, this national park was voted the "Most Beautiful Place in America"...I guess that marketing strategy worked.  Over a million visitors a year find their way here.  Lake Michigan is a glacial lake, thus, the large dunes which everyone wants to see.  The park has a 7 mile drive with overlooks.

The winding road going through the birches and the maples.

Nice large dunes are the main features of Sleeping Bear National Shoreline. Sleeping Bear is a Native American Legend. It is too sad for me to repeat.

An observation deck about 3/4ths up the dune. The dune used to be twice as high but the strong winter waves erode at the bottom and undermine the slope.

One of the many interior lakes in and near the park.

Looking north toward one of the islands.

Click to enlarge and see some of the hundreds of fools who ignored the signs and the danger and erosion caused by going down the slope.

A sign was posted at the top of this area asking people to stay off the dunes due to erosion; you can see some people in this day and age either can't read or have no regard for nature.

There was an area in the park that allowed dune climbing.  Click to enlarge.
This is what they looked like close up.  We have climbed dunes before on the pacific coast, and, based off that experience, we opted out of this activity. 

Another interior lake separated from Lake Michigan only by a dune. Trees grow on many of these dunes.

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