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Indiana Dunes National Park, IN: Canada, Here I Come!

Good morning, sunshine. You are so gentle today with the breeze in the air. It is a perfect day in my book!


It is my last long day of driving before I cross over to Canada. My parking spot for tonight is Cracker Barrel in Port Huron, Michigan, which is only seven miles away from the Blue Water Bridge.


Alice recommended that I stop at Indiana Dunes National Park on my way. I left early enough in the morning to have two to three hours to hike in the park.


I didn't know what to expect from this park, since the first time I heard about it was when Alice suggested I check it out. As I am about to start my hike, I stop to read the sign at the trailhead.

Beautiful chills go through my body as I learn about this trail and "Diana of the Dunes." I am about to follow in the footsteps of my new hero.


From the national park website: "Diana of the Dunes." In 1915, Alice Mabel Gray's extraordinary life took a twist when she shunned the conventional world to live along Indiana's wild shore. As Diana of the Dunes, she spent nearly a decade among the sands in makeshift lakeshore shacks before her untimely death near today's West Beach; she seeked solitude, advocated for dunes conservation and left an eternal imprint in the sands.


"I feel sure, someway, that I shall always be a braver and stronger woman than I was before..."

-Alice


I can absolutely resonate with her quote. What an amazing, inspiring woman!


The first overlook platform gives you an open view of Lake Michigan, with an endless horizon that meets the sky in a straight line. Far in the distance, the skyline of Chicago feels like a floating island.


As I approach the lake's shoreline, the crashing waves make a soothing sound in the fresh air. I find a piece of driftwood to sit on for a break and take a deep breath of appreciation for women like Alice Mabel Gray.


I skip loop two and hike loop three. It's hard to imagine that this is the same park. I feel I am hiking one of my favorite trails back home, as my path is under the canopy of the trees and lined with green brush—the songs of the birds replace the sounds of the waves.


Suddenly, the sharp sound of a whistle cuts through the air. Another happy sound! A passing train is blowing its whistle as it rides its heavy wheels on the track.


It is a good time of year to visit the park as many wildflowers are in bloom. At times the smell is so strong that I feel the sweetness on my tongue.


I wish I had more time to spend in this park, but I have another four hours of driving ahead.

I love it when Google Maps announces my arrival in any new state. "Welcome to Michigan."


Michigan is another state that I would like to take my time exploring in leisure. It is a beautiful state that deserves a slow exploration. 


Something to look forward to...


I get to Cracker Barrel by eight, which gives me an hour to sit down for dinner and use the bathroom to wash for the night.


Good morning, Canada, on this rainy day. I am here to roam your lands and sail your seas.


Since I needed to stock up on food, my first stop is to Walmart. As I parked my car and wanted to text my people that I am now in Canada, I encountered an unexpected problem.


My phone is not working. I have no internet, and I can't text or use Google Maps to find my way.


My body's calmness is a great source of pride for me. I will be the first to admit that I would have freaked out two years ago. My experience from my journeys of the last twenty months has slowly earned me great trust in myself to solve my problems. I also set up a plan B, just in case.


Plan A is to try to get hold of Verizon to figure out why my unlimited plan doesn't support me. Plan B is to do what I did last year: buy a SIM card from a local Canadian phone company.


I found that setting a plan B creates a sense of solution in me, which contributes to my relaxed state. Finally, after getting International customer service on the phone, I was able to solve the problem very quickly as it was simply that my roaming data was turned off.


It's time to change my car's settings from miles to kilometers.


My first adventure in Canada is to Bruce Peninsula National Park. When I started a few months ago to set my route in Canada, I checked to see where the national parks are in the east of Canada.


From my research about the park, I learned that I need a parking reservation to hike the famous Bruce Trail. However, you can also camp at the campsite, and there is no need to reserve a parking slot. Perfect! I booked two nights at the park campground. Since I need to drive five hours north and want to play it safe, not knowing how long it would take me to enter Canada, I made my reservation for the next day.


In the meantime, I will start my drive north...


My drive is on Route 21. Google Maps guides me to a small park, Pioneer Park at Bayfield. I set this location to get a break from my drive. I can see Lake Huron on my dash screen, but until I reach Pioneer Park, the farmlands are my horizon. It feels like life here moves at a slow pace. The only fast movement is the wind turbulence.


Pioneer Park introduced me to Lake Huron and its stunning turquoise color, which takes my breath away. I am in total awe. This stunning color fills me with joy. Its blend with the deeper blue water feels like the perfect love story.


I take the steps down to the shoreline to ravish in my solitude with joy. I take off my sandals to become more intimate with my surroundings.


Nature has captured my heart again!




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