We had some visitors from Germany for a couple weeks and decided to show them some of the great natural features of Michigan. We did a lot of sightseeing and a lot of camping. Naturally, Vander came with and it was a special trip for him because he finally learned that he could swim!
Taking a break from driving to stop and see the Mackinaw Bridge
We had reached our destination, the lower Tahquamenon Falls and Vander was helping the girls get there a little faster!
The lower falls
Kristin, Vander and I decided to take the 4 mile hike to the upper falls. It is a somewhat challenging trail but there were plenty of river banks to stop and let Vander have a drink. Vander was splashing around in the river at one point, when another group of hikers were coming up the trail. They heard the splashing, saw fur and black face and starter quietly saying to each other “It’s a bear!”. Then they turned their heads a little further, saw Kristin and I, realized it could not possibly be a bear, felt a little embarrassed, and then mentioned how jealous they were because they were not splashing in the river as well on this hot day.
Phew! 4 miles and 2.5 hours later, we made it with one tired dog! It was his longest most challenging nature trek yet.
The final walk to the upper falls presented the biggest challenge of the day, no back see-through stairs. A little bit of encouragement and he did just fine.
The very scenic upper falls…
On the way back to the lower peninsula we stop to take a break at the other side of the bridge where Vander takes a moment to reflect on his short but interesting life thus far… 🙂
Our next stop was Sleeping Bear Dunes. Dogs are not allowed on the dune walk, which is where this photo was taken. Might have been for the better because the sand was VERY hot and we would have had to carry a good bit of water for him.
Sleeping Bear does however have a lot of beaches where pets are allowed. On the back of the park guide there is a map, which shows all the beach front where pets are and are not allowed. We of course knew which ones we would be visiting.
Vander was a winter puppy and so we had to wait a while before we could introduce him to water. On this trip we had a goal of getting him to swim, which he did with enough throws of a big stick into the “deep end”.
Vander making a nice bow wave! 🙂
“Hey, why don’t we come here more often?”
Chillin’ out after swimming and watching all the nice ladies walk by and getting all the compliments…