The Dunes

Kemil Beach, Indiana Dunes National Park

I love the beach! I am refreshed by the open sea, the sand, and the waves crashing into the shore. I love relaxing family trips to the ocean. Playing in the sand and watching the grandkids bodysurfing the waves is one of my favorite things to do. I never tire of combing the beach, looking for unusual shells and exciting things that have washed ashore.

This year we did not go on the big family beach trip to the ocean. So, when the opportunity presented itself to go to the Indiana Dunes on Lake Michigan, I was excited. Dunes mean sand. Sand means sandcastles and sunbathing.
I did not know how much sand to expect. We did not research the Dunes very much before our trip. We did research enough to know that Indiana Dunes is both a State Park and a National Park.

Our intent was to visit the National Park instead of the State Park because the National Park is free of charge. The State Park, however, cost seven dollars a carload. My thought was, why should we pay seven bucks for something that one can get for free!
So the afternoon of the much-anticipated visit to see some sand, I googled Indiana Dunes, National Park. Google directed us down Highway 12, and in the middle of nowhere, Google announced, “You have arrived at your destination.” “Arrived??? But we are in the middle of nowhere,” I thought. There was no beach, no sand, no waves. Nothing. Nothing but a two-lane road surrounded by trees. We drove a little farther and saw a road sign that said Kemil beach pointing off to a road on the right. We ignored the road sign and continued to travel because the road sign did not say Indiana Dunes, National Park. We drove and drove. Finally, down the road, we ran smack-dab into the entrance of the State Park. We scrambled to find seven dollars in cash, and we dutifully paid our seven-dollar entrance fee to the park. We knew that at the State Park we would find a beach and some sand!

We did find the beach, and we did find sand. Lots of it! Between the edge of the parking lot and the water was about a mile of sand. Actually, it wasn’t quite that much, but it seemed it. Then at the water’s edge was an array of colorful umbrellas, pop-up awnings, blankets, and people everywhere!

Indiana Dunes State Park

Looking at that beach gave new meaning to the now popular term “Super-spreader.” I like to share, but not that much! Feeling disappointed, we decided to backtrack to Kemil Beach.

Kemil Beach was a pleasant surprise. There were some folks there at the beach, but it was not terribly packed. I was not disappointed! I have only visited the great lakes a couple of other times in my life. I did not expect this beach to look like an ocean beach. If I had been teleported to Kemil Beach, I would have believed that I was at the ocean! The waves were enormous (for a lake), and the sand was like ocean sand. The lake was so large that you couldn’t see land anywhere but on the beach (like the ocean). The weather provided us a perfect day to play. It was a pleasant 75 degrees with a lovely lake breeze. We played around in the sand, dipped our feet into the lake, and basically enjoyed our time doing a lot of nothing. Isn’t it wonderful how relaxing “doing nothing” at the beach can be?

Later, when I went back to do some research, I discovered that Kemil Beach is part of the Indiana Dunes National Park. So, we ended up where we wanted to go in the first place!

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