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One Of The Coolest Places We've Visited!

October 20, 2019

 

In my last blog post, I mentioned our visit to giant dunes of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore..

 

While those mammoth dunes were indeed impressive (450' high), they weren't conducive to walking, as you can see in the photo below:

 

 

But the gently rolling, sandy hills of Silver Lake State Park were a whole different story.

 

 

These dunes, nestled between Silver Lake and Lake Michigan look more like the Middle East than the state of Michigan.

 

They were formed during the Ice Age when glaciers carved out Lake Michigan and deposited the grounded quartz along Michigan's shore line. Then the easterly winds took over and pushed the quartz into mounds.

 

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Interesting factoid: Michigan is home to the largest dune system in the world associated with a freshwater lake!

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As it turns out, ground quartz is comparatively soft and does not absorb much heat, making it relatively cool and comfortable to walk on.

 

 

I found something awe-inspiring about these dunes. I don't know if it was their size, or the cool, sugary texture of the sand, or perhaps the stark contrast between these hills and the flat sandy beaches of Delaware, but they were a sight to behold.

 

 

 

Lorraine and I enjoyed walking up and down these sandy hills. When Kayla (our daughter) and her husband, Nick, came to visit us in Holland, Michigan (future blog post), we drove an hour and a half back to this location so they could experience its uniqueness as well!

 

 

 

You can also rent jeeps to traverse these sandy slopes.

 

 

Or take a guided tour, which we did on the Mac Woods Dune Rides:

 

 

 

But BEWARE, these seemingly innocent piles of pristine silica conceal a hidden DANGER. Something so menacing, so insidious, so insatiable that people tremble at the mere thought of it...

 

 

These massive piles of sand are spreading! They are moving out in all directions at a rate of about 7 inches a year!

 

 

Just like the Blob from the 1950's Steve McQueen movie, these monsters are devouring everything in their paths!

 

Vast forests of red pines stand helpless before its onslaught:

 

 

 

Beautiful summertime cottages that have stood for over a hundred years are also slowly being swallowed up.

 

 

Home owners struggle futilely to hold back the sandy tsunami, but it's only a matter of time before they become the fodder of archeologists hundreds of years from now. 

 

 

 

Here's a short video from a local news station about the dunes:

 

 

In conclusion, what's not to love about this area? Playful mountains of sand, crystal clear aqua blue waterways, man's fruitless struggle against the destructive forces of nature; it has something for everyone! No wonder Silver Lake Sand Dunes are consistently rated among the top vacation spots in the U.S.

 

It earned our vote as well!

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