The Labor Day weekend promised to be the finest weather of the summer here in Michigan. I was not going to miss the opportunity to ride through that. I set off on The Hunq to the Indiana Dunes again. I've been through the area and stayed there, but never took the time to explore the trails and sites along the Dunes Lakeshore. In previous visits I was pressed for time and last year it was just oppressively hot. Well I took advantage of the great temps and headed down the road. The first day was an easy 50+ miles through familiar back roads
until I found the campground in Berrien Springs full. It was only Thursday, it wasn't supposed to fill up until Friday! Oh well, I grabbed some groceries at the local store and headed out of town on a road I had never explored. After a few rolling miles of lightly traveled roads through private forest land, I found a small old church and went behind the little cemetery to camp for the night. Not the company I prefer, but I didn't bother them, they didn't bother me.
There is a nice frontage road leading along the dunes
with many points of access to the beaches.
There is a network of trails to be found in the area. I looked at a couple and the elevation and sand were discouraging enough. This would be Pugsley country, but the park service also had signs posted to discourage any traffic and help the natural dune vegetation recover. The rest of Saturday was lazy. A late lunch at Barclay's where the food never fails and neither do the cocktails. Around the campsites I spent some time with people curious about the bike travel and the Park rangers recognized me and spent a little time chatting. It was holiday weekend and by evening I shut out the noise of the abundant rugrats with some old jazz and a few beers.Miles Davis keeps good tempo with the sun on the leaves.
Saturday and Sunday provided more perfect riding weather. This trip has become a manifestation of the ride being the reason. Yeah, I had a destination but chose no path. It reminds me of the good ole days when we would look at a map, find a secondary road running parallel to a major highway and take our chances. Today, Google Maps or a similar digital service will provide a route. That's too structured. The little GPS marker from the phone will tell you where you are in relationship to your destination, The Hunq is built for touring any road anywhere. So why bother?I needed to go northeast to get home. That's where I rode.
Picking and choosing roads at a glance I meandered my way back home not in any danger of being bored by riding the same route back. I was not out here to hurry or log any record on Strava. Just enjoying the trip and finding new ways was the order of the day. Saturday I headed for a State Forest near Dowagiac where I could camp. My nose, and the little blue marker on my phone, led me through the grid of back roads in the farm country. It was exhilarating in it's own way to not know what lay ahead, and that I could handle whatever it is.
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