Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A spring overnight at Kohler-Andrae State Park

With about 18 hours off of my normal work schedule, I went on a bit of an adventure. 

I took some inspiration from an article I recently read in Outside Magazine about the concept of "Microadventures," studied by Alastair Humphreys. After getting home from a few errands and a stint of rock climbing on Sunday afternoon, I swung by my local REI, packed up the car and headed for a state park just under an hour north. Kohler-Andrae State Park, south of Sheboygan WI is set right alongside Lake Michigan. 

Strands of winding, boardwalk trails takes you through tall pine-tree forests and more importantly- miles of sand dunes along the shores. How'd the dunes form? Ages ago when glaciers carved out this land, silt, mud, and sand remained after they melted away. Sand from the beach to this day continues to be blown on to and around the dunes. Cool stuff. 

Arriving at the state park around 6pm, I set up the tent, collected some firewood and then hiked for a few hours in the dunes. A typical, stunning Wisconsin sunset fell westward, lighting up everything in vibrant colors including a grouping of birch bark trees. At late dusk, I cooked a quick dinner, potato steak stew over my gas stove, got a roaring fire going and then crawled inside my tent to do a bit of writing and crashed. 

I woke super early in the morning to strong wind and rain. Waiting it out, I went back to sleep and got moving around 9:30 am, had a quick breakfast, drove home, and was at work by 1pm. Quick? Yes. Very cheap? Yes. Tons of fun and a nice escape from the daily grind? Absolutely.