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“Linda, this is toothpaste!” - Elvis Gratton

Impressions of the Indiana Dunes



We have had a very enjoyable stopover at Indiana Dunes State Park, which is actually a state park within a much larger federal park called the Indiana Dunes National Park. It's as if Quebec had a park, say Parc national du Bic, within a larger federal park that would encompass part of the Bas-St-Laurent or some other region. Boy, what a federal-provincial conflict that would be, and there'd be a lot of pulling of the covers over the fact that Quebec wouldn't accept "federal interference". After all, that's what happened here in Indiana. Indiana State Dunes Park was created in 1925, then the federal government stepped in to create a larger area with significant investments in 2019, showing off the magic of the federal spending power. Far be it from me to say that the American example is idyllic, but simply that this collaboration between the federal government and the state of Indiana offers the public a place that is simply extraordinary.



But anyway, despite my penchant for federal-provincial relations this is not the point of this blog. So I'll come back to the title and simply tell you that we needed a lot of sunscreen over the past couple days which reminded us of the iconic scene from the classic Quebecois movie called Elvis Gratton. You may have to see that "Pasta Dental" sequence and gotten a good laugh when the wife mistakenly slathers her husband’s back with toothpaste.


We have a superb couple of days in Indiana on the dunes and beaches of Lake Michigan. We think we know our great lakes, but we are not as familiar with Lake Michigan which is the only one that doesn't sit on Canadian land. I didn't know much about it, but after wandering all over the bike paths, trails, beaches and doing the Three Dunes Challenge, I can tell you that it was well worth the detour for our family.


I can write many words, but the photos speak for themselves:




The Three Dunes Challenge: we climbed Mount Tom (192 ft.), Mount Holden (184 ft.) and Mount Jackson (176 ft.).


It may sound easy, but it's no small feat to climb those slopes in the sand!


It was a total vertical rise of 571 feet spread over a little more than two kilometers that we covered in 40 minutes without hurrying but still being impressed with ourselves!

And here's a scoop for our regular readers: Francis and Christophe were sworn in as "Junior Rangers" by a real National Park "Ranger".To achieve this, they had to present their completed junior ranger work booklets, interview the "Ranger" and discuss their observations. They did all this quite nicely.But do you know what? None of this would be possible if they weren't perfectly fluent in English. I remember when I was a kid and we went to Old Orchard as a family: I didn't know what to say to the English-speaking kids other than "James is old and can eat a table anytime"! I got a lot of funny looks!



Tomorrow, we leave this beautiful place for new challenges, namely that of settling the Xantrex situation. To do this, we will retrace our steps towards Warsaw, Indiana for our 1:00 p.m. appointment. Once again, we cross our fingers that the repairs will go smoothly. To give ourselves a break from camping and potentially dodgy toilets, we will spend the night at the hotel! We've got a lot of driving ahead of us in the next few days, so we are taking a short break before heading for Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota and South Dakota.


Live long and prosper!




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