Mike Thvedt: freelancer, vagabond.

Indiana Dunes

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I’m in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, waiting for the Frankenstorm to arrive. Let me tell you about where I was about a week ago. There were no storms in sight, Franken or otherwise.

State parks are set out to preserve the wonders of nature. One often finds unusual and varied wildlife, plant life, terrain, geology. The Indiana Dunes offer some less natural foliage.

The Indiana Dunes are forested sand dunes. Such areas are rare and fragile. In many places, they have been destroyed by human activity. In Indiana, they have been preserved–partially. When legislators struck a deal with Indiana industry to preserve the dunes in a state park, they allocated an enormous industrial area right in the middle of it; the port of Indiana and surrounding factories. In some spots they are more visible than others, but where I was wandering, they made their presence known anyway.

After an exhausting hike over the dunes, you find yourself at the Lake Michigan shore. Some shores are sparsely visited, even on a beautiful Sunday afternoon–not many are willing to trek miles through the bogs and the forests and the sand.