Following our 200 foot climb to the top of the dune, we followed a trail leading into the woods, and off to the ridge of a distant dune. As we arrived, the woods opened up to a grand view of the valley between several dunes and blowouts. What appeared to be a short distance was indeed, much farther than we thought.
The climb down the dune to the valley floor was quite steep - 30 degrees or so is typical of a sand dune; gravity won't generally allow the sand to pile up any steeper. But, the moisture in the sand was still frozen on this shady side, holding the sand together, and not allowing feet to sink into the sand. So, in places, we slid down, almost like skiing.
Once down on the floor of the valley, we came upon some concrete piers that seemed to be the foundation of a tower - perhaps a power line or antennae, After a few more minutes of hiking, we came upon a rusting piece of machinery with pulleys on it. Perhaps this was part of the tower? It seemed possible that if the tower was toppled, this could have landed in this spot. Was it part of a lift, or sky ride? A bit more research should yield the answer.
As we reached the distant dune blowout, again we underestimated the size and height. The climb, however, was well worth the effort, as we were granted a 360 degree view of the surrounding countryside, some 200 feet below. If you look very carefully at the photo above, two people are standing on top of the distant, bald dune, to the left of Lake Michigan. Their size will give you an idea of the distance between me and that dune.
Posted by Tom Gill at Tuesday, February 09, 2016