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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Daytrip to the Dunes

After spotting the Dune Thistle up in Door County I thought I'd try Kohler-Andrae State Park in Sheboygan to try to catch it in bloom.  I left work by 1:00 on a Thursday a few weeks ago, breezed through Milwaukee and was in Sheboygan before 4:00.

Hopping down the bunny trail?

I didn't see a single Dune Thistle plant, much less one in bloom, but I enjoyed trekking back and forth across the dunes anyway.  They have a great cordwalk that stretches for just under 2 miles.  I figure I walked at least 5 miles that evening between the dunes and the beach.

A sign at the trailhead says stay off the dunes and on the cordwalk, but not only were people all over the dunes, they had their dogs with them too.  No wonder there's no Dune Thistle left, the habitat is getting trampled and perhaps well-meaning people are pulling them thinking they are weeds.  Wouldn't that be awful?  Though I noticed the dunes are becoming less sandy than they've been in years past so perhaps the habitat is just not "dune-y" enough anymore.  Wisconsin's dunes are fast becoming a thing of the past.

Walking on the beach is allowed, and I went from end to end, in some areas jumping from spot to spot trying not to get wet.  Don't worry, if you want to go to hang on a beach, there actually is plenty of beach further south from the spot I photographed.

I'm happy I did because I got this nice angle of some Beach Pea.  It was going strong all over the dunes, along with Wormwood and other plants.

Once my search was over I bunked down at nearby Harrington Beach State Park because Kohler-Andrae was full, even on a Thursday night.  There were plenty of open sites for that night at Harrington, but only one left for the weekend.  I contemplated staying longer but eventually decided one night was enough to recharge my batteries after the trauma of having to go back to work upon our return from Door County.

Sites at Harrington Beach State Park are well away from the beach itself and the park actually has a shuttle that goes to the beach on the weekends.  I had my section of the park all to myself and slept soundly.  When I got up in the morning I took a drive down to Lake Michigan but it was all socked in with fog so I packed up and headed home.  Of course I stopped at Trader Joe's in Milwaukee which made the trip even more worthwhile!

Busy day today, I have a doctor's appointment this morning and then I'm heading out to finally meet Kim. I have a lot of questions for her about Kentucky since they have a lake home there.  We've been trying to do this for so long and we're finally making it happen.  I'm also meeting another blogger next Tuesday, but I'll keep their identity secret a little longer.


  1. Very cool that you are meeting up with Kim. She's one blogger I've followed for a long time that I'd love to meet. Have fun!

  2. I think the travel bug has bitten you completely. You sure do get around!

  3. OK so how did I miss this when it first came out??? Dunes!! I love dunes! You are amazing to just hop in your car to go find a plant. Love your pictures and that first one especially. Looks like a sweet camping spot. It is distressing to see that parks make rules and then don't enforce them. Why tell people to stay off the dunes if there isn't going to be a cop out there to make them do it at least for a while so they get the message. I never understand people who come out to beautiful natural places and proceed to hasten their destruction. I'd love to see the sign say $1000 fine for walking off the boardwalk onto the dunes. Bet that would keep them off. Sorry for the rant. :-(

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