Past Meetup

Singing Sands hike and swim, plus dinner at El Salto

This Meetup is past

11 people went

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore ranger station

1100 N. Mineral Springs Road · Porter, IN

How to find us

look for a crowd in the parking lot, or call me at 773-415-0428

Location image of event venue

Details

Saturday 8 AM--some rain may be in the forecast today, but people are still signed up, and a couple not on the list are coming for dinner, so the show will go on--just dress appropriately

i don't normally like to announce an event on only 5 days notice, but i'll run it up the flagpole and see how many salute

length of hike about 6.5 miles,

with options to shorten to as little as 5 miles

hilly terrain with 2-3 steep climbs

surface mostly sand, some dirt, some pavement

sun exposure, moderate in woods, high on beach

dear hiking friends--

we will hike the interesting trails of Cowles Bog, birthplace of the science of ecology, have lunch and swim at Bailly Beach, then walk 2 miles along the lake, and back to our cars thru Dune Acres, for a total of about 6.5 miles. This will be a dog-friendly hike, but make sure your dog is well-behaved, and bring along what you need to clean up dog poo.

be sure to check the weather just before the hike so you can be prepared with whatever gear is necessary http://www.weather.co... (http://www.weather.com/outlook/health/allergies/tenday/USIN0233?from=weekend_topnav_allergies) . i plan to hike in swimming trunks and hiking sandals, and plan to go in the water. we will have our lunch stop on the beach with full sun exposure, so even if you don't swim, you might want to be prepared at least to wade to keep cool.

Be sure to bring something to eat along, plus enough water (one quart minimum, two is better). Also bring sunscreen and a hat with a brim. there have been few mosquitoes in this dry year, but recent rain may change that.

because of the excellent beach conditions, at the first trail junction you will have a choice to take a shorter route to the lakeshore if you want more beach time, or a longer route thru the woods and over 2 high dunes. those going to the beach will stop, hang out, swim, etc, and those going thru the woods will hit the beach farther west and meet up with us for our lunch stop. the longer trail is easy to follow, and i will provide a map (since i'll be leading the beach route).

Bailly Beach is one of only 43 beaches in the world with singing sands http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singing_sand . we may even be absolutely alone in paradise, while we see the shining towers of the city gleaming across the lake--in our own perfect solitude in the midst of[masked] people!

For those who wish to join us, we will have a pleasant Mexican dinner afterwards at El Salto http://www.elsaltorestaurant.com/ in Chesterton.

please let me know if you expect to come to this event, and if you can give someone a ride, or need a ride (and what area you live in).

a few suggestions to make things run more smoothly

1) print out the announcement, or at least the directions ahead of time and bring it with you in your car if you are driving or navigating--I have frequently been delayed from arriving on time myself because I'm giving directions over the phone

2) bring enough cash to cover your meal if you come to dinner: restaurants usually don't like splitting up credit card charges, and it just delays and complicates the process of paying the bill

3) if you are going to be late, be sure to call. If you will be a little late, we will usually wait for you. If you're going to be more than about 15-20 minutes late, I will tell you how to meet us farther down the trail so everyone else doesn't have to wait.

On the morning of the hike, if we're expecting you and you aren't coming, call me on my cell phone so we don't wait for you. If you get lost or are running late; call me on my cell phone [masked]), even if you're totally late, don't despair, call me on my cell phone and I should be able to tell you how to join us somewhere farther down the trail.

hope to see you there,

Rick

directions:

by car via Dan Ryan: follow I-90 (Kennedy-Dan Ryan) East; at exit 59A, be sure to follow signs to "Chicago Skyway/Indiana Toll road" (the Skyway will turn into the Indiana Toll rd at the state line): (tolls $3.00, $0.50, & $0.30--cash or i-pass); get off I-90 at exit 17, and exit at US 12 east (Dunes hwy); continue on US 12 about 10 miles to Mineral Springs rd, turn right here; less than a mile on the right is the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore headquarters & ranger station, pull into the parking lot closest to the road and wait there; there is a water fountain inside and a modern washroom, feel free to use these, but don't wait inside because the station is small and not intended for major public use; if you want to pick up maps, the national lakeshore and Cowles Bog maps would be most useful; try to arrive by 11:00; we will wait till 11:30, then depart to the nearby trailhead by car.

by car via Lake Shore dr/Stony Island ave: (driving time from downtown is about 1 hour 15 minutes) follow Lake Shore dr south to 57 st; exit at 57 st, and get into the left lane--the road will curve to the left and become Cornell dr as it passes the Museum of Science and Industry, then will turn into Stony Island ave; continue south in the middle lanes, and get on the Chicago Skyway (around 79 st); the Skyway will turn into the Indiana Toll rd at the state line (tolls $3.00, $0.50, & $0.30--cash or i-pass); get off I-90 at exit 17, and exit at US 12 east (Dunes hwy); continue on US 12 about 10 miles to Mineral Springs rd, turn right here; less than a mile on the right is the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore headquarters & ranger station, pull into the parking lot closest to the road and wait there; there is a water fountain inside and a modern washroom, feel free to use these, but don't wait inside because the station is small and not intended for major public use; if you want to pick up maps, the national lakeshore and Cowles Bog maps would be most useful; try to arrive by 11:00; we will wait till 11:30, then depart to the nearby trailhead by car.

from Northwest, West, or South suburbs: follow the Tri-State tollway (I-294) east until it merges with I-94 east; exit I-94 at exit 19 marked IN 249; turn left (north), and continue to US 12; turn right on US 12, and continue on US 12 about 8 miles to Mineral Springs rd, turn right here; less than a mile on the right is the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore headquarters & ranger station, pull into the parking lot closest to the road and wait there; there is a water fountain inside and a modern washroom, feel free to use these, but don't wait inside because the station is small and not intended for major public use; if you want to pick up maps, the national lakeshore and Cowles Bog maps would be most useful; try to arrive by 11:00; we will wait till 11:30, then depart to the nearby trailhead by car.

directions from trailhead to El Salto:

turn left from the parking lot and take Mineral Springs rd to US 12; turn left onto 12, and continue to IN 49 south; continue on IN 49 a couploe miles to Indian Boundary rd, turn left; continue to the first left, turn left into a parking lot, then right--El Salto will be ahead on the left.

directions from El Salto back to I-94:

leave the parking lot and turn right on Indian Boundary rd, turn right on IN 49, continue about a mile to I-94

If you said you were coming but need to cancel, call me on my cell phone so we don't

wait for you. If you get lost or are running late; call me on my cell phone

[masked]), even if you're totally late, don't despair, call me on my cell phone and I

should be able to tell you how to join us somewhere farther down the trail.

There is no South Shore station near the beginning of this hike, but if you want to come on the train, you could come to Dune Park and i could pick you up. Contact me beforehand if you'd like to do this.

The Dunes are to the Midwest what the Grand Canyon

is to Arizona and the Yosemite is to California.

They constitute a signature of time and eternity.

--Carl Sandburg