NWI Parent

The Likes of Which I’ve Never Seen.

April 20th, 2010 - By Jamie Bissot

The beach.  It’s my favorite place in the world to be.  Just the smell of the salty air can bring me back to the appreciation of “now” in a snap.    I love the sounds – sea gulls, waves, crowds (or not).  I love the sights – a seemingly endless stretch of water in front of you, the white of the sand, the lapping of the water as it soaks the boundary between water and land.  I love it all.  I miss it terribly.  I’m used to being pretty close to the ocean.  Close enough to hop in your car and be there in a few hours.

I do, however,  think I’ve found a worthy replacement.  Lake Michigan is grand, commanding and beautiful.  It’s surrounding landscape is breath-taking.  And then there are the dunes.  While dunes are not new to me, dunes the size of Mt. Baldy and the like are quite new.  I’m accustomed to dunes a few feet high.  The Indiana Dunes are indeed a sight to behold.

Last year, when I first made a trip to the beach of Lake Michigan, I was in a state of confusion.  My sparkling emerald water and blinding white sand had been replaced by a bit of sand and rocks – but it was a beach, all the same – the water gracefully lapping at the shore, rather than violently crashing into it.  It was a moving scene, nonetheless.  In fact, I decided on that day that the magic is somewhere hidden in those large bodies of water.

As a newcomer to a Great Lake, it is amazing to see.  And while it wasn’t the beach I was accustomed to, it was a place filled with that same serenity and beauty I’d come to know and love over my life.

I’ve been back numerous times.  The latest was just a few weeks ago.  This time, I hiked to the top of Mt. Baldy (with a baby on my back) and then spent some time at the waters edge.  It was a beautiful day,which had abnormally reached temperatures in the 80s.  I made the absolute best of it and even managed to convince a visitor that she was going to see a part of Indiana she’d never expect.  She fell in love immediately.

The Indiana Dunes are now a part of me, a part of my outdoor routine.  I’m convinced that I see something new and beautiful every time I go.  Whether it be those gorgeous rocks, the beautiful plant life or a new view – there’s always more and I’ll keep going back to see it.

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