A Day Without Sunshine - Except for One Time...

Trip Start Sep 29, 2007
Trip End Oct 14, 2007

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Flag of United States  , Michigan
Wednesday, October 3, 2007

I got myself out quite early this morning. In fact - so early that nothing was open in town. And I mean - NOTHING - not even the coffee shop! So I went without my usual morning fix, and headed out towards the Dunes.

My first roadside stop was at the D.H. Day Farm. The sun was struggling to cut through the thick fog and morning haze, and it wasn't quite able to do it. I'll go back and photograph this beautiful barn at a better time.

The entrance to the Pierce Stocking Drive wide open, and no one manning the toll booth. Since I have a park pass for the two weeks, I figured I'd just keep driving and answer any questions later. Someone had left the gates open anyway... The Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive is 7.4 mile self-guided auto tour and contains some great overlooks of the Glen Lakes, the Sleeping Bear Dunes and Lake Michigan.

I realized quickly the overcast conditions were deteriorating rapidly. However, another Zen-like moment happened. When I approached the first lookout area called the Glen Lake Lookout, the sun starting peeking through a patch of thick fog. I can't even quite describe how cool it all looked as the fog acted as some sort of "filter" and cast a orange-pink color into the sky and Little Glen Lake below it. This lasted for only about 2 minutes, enough for me to take five or six photos, and then it was gone. And gone for the rest of the day.

So both yesterday and today - I saw the only few brief moments of sunshine - and they both happened right when I was approaching an amazing scenic view. It didn't happen when I was at a parking lot of the grocery store, or while driving. It's as if God was smiling down on me at that very moment and saying..."Here you go! Quick - take a shot!".

The rest of the drive didn't hold much for me to see. The fog rolled in so thick I could only see a limited distance. I did, however, see my first porcupine in the wild! And no, I couldn't get a photo of him. It was too dark and he was waddling away. They don't move very fast - but then again - I guess they don't have to. I've always wanted to see one, and now I have. I hope the next time I see one, I can photograph it.

When I came down from the Drive, I then found a 1.5 mile hiking trail called the Windy Moraine Trail. Since I continue to have a cold, I'm finding hiking a bit difficult. However, I figured this one would be short enough for me to handle. Wow - it was still hard! I was huffing and panting halfway through it. I found a great spot for a rest, though. This is one of the largest maple trees I've ever seen! The trail continued from this point through beech forests, pine forests and an overlook of Glen Lake.

At this point, it was still only 10 am. The sun was NOT going to come out anytime soon. I went back to the apartment, had a snack, a shower, and a 3 hour nap! When I woke up, the sun was still not out. I got a cup of coffee, roamed around town a bit, and strolled the beach a little looking for an elusive Petoskey stone. I hope I find one while I'm up here.

I thought about driving someplace, but realized it was going to be too dark for any photography today. So I called it quits, and have been relaxing here tonight. The kayak trip has been postponed, because I honestly don't think it's a good idea with my coughing and my current lack of stamina. The weather is supposed to improve, so I'm going to head east tomorrow morning towards Leland and Northport.
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