We left Bruin Lake, went through Hell and then drove northwest across lower Michigan. Our route took us past Grand Rapids where we'd hoped to stop to see a friend but she was recovering from surgery so we continued along to Silver Lakes State Park in Mears.
Silver Lakes is known for its dunes and there are 3 parts: one area is reserved for commercial dune buggy rides (which we thought we would not do and then decided we would and had a great experience); one area is reserved for non-vehicular (i.e people on foot) traffic and the third is for personal ORV (off road vehicles) which abounded in the campground and gave the morning and late afternoon hours a constant rumble broom-broom-broom quality to them.
We also had neighbors closer than at other parks and were thrilled that on either side they were families with small children. The 3 boys on one side and the 4 girls on the other were completely taken with both Cadbury and Phoenix and for 2 days we had a constant stream of volunteer dog walkers. Cadbury was a little leery of the constant attention but certainly gave no indication he would prefer to be left alone. Phoenix happily padded along with her new friends, with only an occasional backward glance to be sure I was still nearby.
Because she was not yet comfortable being alone in the coach she came with us the second day, the only full day we'd be there, when we drove over to Mac Woods Dune Rides and stayed in the car in the shade under a huge tree while we went for a throughly thrilling ride on the dunes. Acres and acres of them! Our guide was funny and informative and since I was riding shotgun I got to take all sorts of pictures. One of the interesting facts we learned was about fulgurite which is the compound formed when lightning strikes the sand and fuses it, creating hollow tubes.
After the ride we drove over to Little Sable Light and went swimming in Lake Michigan. What a weird feeling it was to look at crystal clear, aqua water-just like the Caribbean at home on St Croix-but enter the water and not taste or feel a lick of salt!!! The day was warm and the water was actually not cold and we swam around for awhile before we went back to the campground to cook dinner and while I prepared it, Don walked down to take pictures of the sunset over the lake. .
The mornings were punctured with the sounds of all the campers with ORV revving their engines and preparing for a day on the dunes, so it was nice when they were all gone and quiet reigned. The girls in the camper next to us are home schooled and presented me with wonderful pictures they had colored the day they left.