Driving from Notre Dame to Chicago on Sunday, as we were nearing the border between Indiana and Illinois, we saw an exit for Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and State Park. On the spur of the moment, we took the exit—we had about at least an hour padding in our schedule before we really had to be at Midway/O’Hare airports, anyway. It was about a ten minute drive from the highway exit, and we arrived at Indiana Dunes State Park maybe thirty minutes before dusk, paying the $12 admission, parking, and heading to Lake Michigan’s southernmost shoreline:
The park building there dates to at least the 1930s, but I think probably sometime in the 1920s. There was an historical sign that showed the building in that period when life in this park of the country was better in many respects than it might be presently. The “Devil’s Slide” was a slope that ran from the highest point of the natural dunes down to the lakefront—it was far more difficult to hike up than it looked from the bottom. I was panting by the time I made it to the top. What I filmed below doesn’t convey at all the steepness of this dune ridge; there was real risk that an incautious hiker could seriously injure himself by falling down the backside of this area. It sure was scenic; particularly for this Pennsylvania boy to see the unfolding autumn foliage mixed with sandy terrain and woods, in earnest and all together.
A short hike through the dune ridge’s wooded path led to a climbing-down point on the opposite side of the Devil’s Slide and back to the lakeshore. I tried to keep my hand steady for this filming, but wasn’t successful:
You can see in the last photo how rapidly we were beginning to lose the light, so we took in one more admiring view of this beautiful Midwestern scene before hopping in the car and returning to asphalt modernity.