Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

 

Sometimes you take a hike and wake up the next morning with the sensation of each mile still lingering in your bones. Your limbs hurts in the best way, and your brain still feels that hiker's high. That's one of my favorite parts of hiking - the Indiana Dunes provided that feeling.

For my first hike of 2018, my friend Diana and I took at day trip to Porter, Indiana to visit Indiana Dunes State Park and the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.

We decided to take on The 3 Dune Challenge:

Challenge yourself, your friends and your family to climb the three tallest sand dunes at Indiana Dunes State Park. The 1.5-mile challenge trail is the toughest in the park, with 552 vertical feet to climb. The reward: breathtaking views and the title of dune conqueror.

With each dune we climbed, our legs and our lungs became our greatest allies. We pushed ourselves to hike through snow and sand, in search of views our eyes would thank us for. It wasn't easy, but we did it.

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We scaled vertical hills. We walked up hundreds of steps. We filled our boots with nature. We hiked 6.3 miles, took 16k+ steps, and climbed 64 flights.

Pretty good for the first hike of 2018.

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While our bodies were tired, the views were completely rewarding. For each aching leg, we saw Lake Michigan covered with glacial-looking ice. For each lung gasping for breath, we stood on top of grandiose sand dunes. For our knees and our feet and our booty's, we laughed and high-fived our achievements and formed memories.

Come summer, the ice will melt, but my love for this place won't. It was a difficult and remarkable first hike of 2018. 

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