Friday, July 25, 2008

Know your limits

Words to live by, if only I'd listen! So... I went camping with my son - up to the Warren Dunes area of Lake Michigan. We had a lovely little spot in the campground. My son and daughter-in-law in one tent, me and my grandson in the other.

(all photos are clickable for a larger view)

Oh boy, was it ever hot and humid! After setting up camp we drove over to the beach area. Across from the lake (which looks like an ocean by the way) are the dunes. My son thought it a great idea for all of us to hike to the top, I wondered if I could make it. This is where I tried to gauge my limits and decided to forge ahead.

My son and I have hiked and camped since he was little, I have always been in pretty good shape - well until about 8 years ago when I hit a bit of a speed bump in the health department, combine that little speed bump with aging and it can make for some pretty distressing results when attempting a hike such as this one. I don't know which is worse - feeling/knowing how out of shape I am in or seeing that realization in the eyes of my son - probably the latter of the two. It's never fun when your child sees evidence of his parent(s) aging, recognizing weaknesses they hadn't noticed before.

So here is the sandy hill - doesn't look too foreboding from this perspective does it? Okay - maybe it does for the smart ones that DO recognize their limits .

Add high humidity and a temperature in the high 80's to this picture and this is what you get... a hot, red faced grandma that should have recognized her limits from the parking lot. But alas, I pushed on - determined to get to the top and find some shade to take a break before the descent! Yes that speck below is me making my way up the dune. My son was kind enough to capture it on film.

I will say - the views of Lake Michigan from the top were spectacular.

As I made the descent, I turned around to take a couple of photos, I wanted to make sure I remembered where I had been and as a reminder to myself that I actually made it.

I'm glad I went though - I had a wonderful time!


Pursuing Art... said...

Oh...I get it Grace! The heat and humidity and walking in sand...let alone tough! And, I get the age thing's not quite the same as it used to be and I can't seem to take the heat like I used to anymore! It's the pits!!! I'm glad you were okay...I was worried you were going to say you got heatstroke!

What a beautiful's huge and does look like the ocean! And, it looks like you scored a nice campsite!

I'm glad you had a good time and are well! Thanks for sharing pictures too...I enjoy hearing your stories and seeing places I've never seen before!

~Lisa ;-)

P.S. I missed your last post! I received my copy last weekend and have been smiling and dancing all by myself...just waiting and watching to hear *squeals of delight and happiness* from all over the country!!! The photographs are beautiful and the article is so BEAUTIFULLY written!!! Just wait until you see's absolutely AWESOME!!!

Hugs...~Lisa ;-)

Phyl said...

Lord have mercy!You are one touch woman to have put yourself thru this "fun" trip!Next time do vacation in a cool hotel room and VISIT the dunes, girl!!!I know I can't do LOTS of things I used to, and cannot do HEAT any more, either.Your family won't love you any less if you start being easier on yourself.Thanks for sharing the beautiful camping pix!

KV said...

Nope, I don't do dunes anymore either. Love to go to White Sands here but nowadays I take the camera and catch everyone else doing their thing. And I don't feel one bit guilty just watching them climb those 70-80 foot dunes . . .

You were amazing to do all this!

Kathy V in NM

freebird said...

What is it with the heat thing? I have lived here in the desert for eight years but the last two have been murder on me during the summer (my husband doesn't think we should set the air conditioner lower than 86 degrees as that's cool as compared to outside!). I've never been real good in the heat but now it's terrible.

I tried to climb a sand hill(it wasn't a dune but a hill) at a California beach a couple of years ago with my sister - they are REALLY tough.

My son doesn't think age should have anything to do with what one can do - I'm just out of shape (which I am but that's not the point). So he's always disappointed in me as I have never been a physical person. But I can see how your son would be surprised. That's a tough moment when you realize your strong parent is just human after all.

Glad you had fun anyhow. Sometimes it's good to reach our limits. Then we adjust and are happy where we are.

Pat Winter said...

Hey Grace! I passed Warren Dunes while you were there!!!It is just 20 minutes from my home. Did you happen to find any mermaid's tears?
I climbed Mt. Baldy last year and whoa! I can't believe we used to race to the top as teens. Those days are long gone I'm afraid. Glad you had a great time despite the heat.

Hélène H said...

That dune looks frightful to me. The view on Lake Michigan is awesome though !


crooked heart art~tabby said...

hi grace
i am out of shape getting older with health issues too-BUT you did it!!!!
and your reward? time spent with your son and the beauty of mom nature:)
you did good girl!!
thanks for sharing the pic's
the last time i climbed dune's was in cape cod-many many moons ago-when we got to the top we rolled down them like fools and i would do it again (if i could!) in a heartbeat :)
enjoy your day

Anonymous said...

Grace, you're an amazing woman! I have so much admiration for you and all your pursuits. When you've set your mind to doing something (and it's all so worthwhile) you just go ahead and do it!

I'm proud to call you my friend,

GraceBeading said...

Thanks so much for all the encouraging comments. I'm glad I could take all of you along on my journey up the dune, even if just by photos. I really am glad I did it, I'd love to go back and do some more camping there... it was beautiful!

Pat, I'm sending a note to you now... need to know more about 'mermaid tears'.

Leaves of Grass

This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body - Walt Whitman