Today was our last day in Muskegon State Park. We woke around nine to a sunny morning, with the silhouettes of a few caterpillars shining through the tent roof. We got ready at the campground. Then, we packed up our tent and gear and headed for the campground that my boyfriend’s family were staying at.
When we arrived, his family had already kindly cooked a breakfast of sausage, pancakes with homegrown blueberries, and eggs from their chickens. We sat in camping chairs around the fire pit, talking and laughing. It was a pleasant time.
In the early afternoon, we said our goodbyes. My boyfriend’s aunt gave us eggs, fresh from her chickens and ducks. His uncle gave us honey, fresh from his honeybee farm.
Now, I’m back to the office until the next adventure.
Today, my boyfriend and I continued our time in Muskegon. We awoke around 8:30 AM to a sprinkling rain. It was pleasant to wake up to the smell of rain and the sight of the dewy trees. However, it was less pleasant to realize that it was a bad idea to leave both sides of the rain fly pulled back. The edges of everything inside the tent were damp.
We got ready in the campground bathroom, a bathroom that I would describe as “doable with sandals”. Then, we met up with my boyfriend’s family and went to the farmer’s market. My boyfriend carried his baby niece strapped to his front side, and she promptly nodded off, which I was highly amused by. I bought a carton of cherries and ate so many of them that my teeth and fingers were stained purple.
After that, we went to the Muskegon beach. The beach was not crowded at all due to the weather.
The water was too chilly for me to swim, but I at least put my feet in the waves while I watched the others splash around and freeze their butts off.
It was chilly and cloudy at first at the beach, and I was cozy in sweatpants and a sweater. In the early afternoon, the clouds broke for clear skies and sunshine.
It warmed up quickly. I laid out in the sun and darkened my shorts, tee, and watch tan.
While some of us relaxed, others did not. They buried one cousin in the sand and threw chips around him, to see how close they could get a seagull to come to him. They even tried the trick of covering his arms with a towel and throwing chips on it to catch the seagull with the towel, but to no avail. (Adult cousins.)
Later in the afternoon, we headed to the campground that my boyfriend’s family was staying at, to set up their camp. When we arrived, we found out that the person across the road was stuck on her campsite that she was supposed to check out of, because her camper van had broken down. My boyfriend’s family towed her van to her family’s neighboring campsite.
Once we finished setting up camp, we went out to dinner. We sat outside, ten of us together at a long table. We had a happy time, talking and laughing. After dinner, we went back to the campsite for a campfire.
After a long day, my boyfriend and I went back to our campsite and turned in for the night. With clear skies forecast, we snuggled into our little tent with the rain fly open to the fresh air and a view of the night sky.
Today was a good day. For the first half of the day, I worked from home. Then, my boyfriend and I packed up the camping gear and headed for Muskegon, MI. We arrived at the campsite in the early afternoon, a KOA because the state campground books up fast. We set up our little tent in a patch of dirt that’s nicely boxed in by woods and our car, so we have privacy and shade. I’m quite satisfied with our setup. A couple years ago, we spent our first night in this tent with just a couple blankets and a pillow, with the hard ground and cold air keeping us up all night. Now, we come equipped with two sleeping pads, a sleeping bag, a blanket, and a pillow. With the breeze coming in, we’ll sleep like babies.
Then, we met up with my boyfriend’s family at the beach along Lake Michigan. Two of his cousins were there with their ambulance-turned-camper, which they’d been traveling in for a month. I was impressed by the renovation. It’s functional and stylish, even equipped with a sink, refrigerator, and full bed.
After spending some time at the beach, we went out to dinner at a local restaurant. Then, we came back to the beach to play frisbee and watch the sunset. It was a muted sunset, veiled by the clouds on the horizon. At dusk, we headed back to the campsite. We spent a little time chatting around the campfire, and then turned in for the night.
Alaska is home to some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, including eight national parks. One day, I hope to make the journey to the awe-inspiring state. However, you won’t catch me trekking into the backcountry. I’ll stick to the main roads and hard-sided shelters.
A few years ago, a relative from California visited us in Michigan during the summertime. She had never been to Michigan before, and she remarked that it is “tropical.” At the time, I didn’t understand. Being at the northern border of the United States, we have relatively harsh winters. The cold kills the vegetation and saps the moisture from the air.
Then, I visited California for the first time. On the flight home, I understood. Passing over Michigan’s forests, I realized how green they were. They were a solid blanket of leaves.
After a particularly snowy winter, Michigan is thawing. Temperatures are climbing. Finally, instead of snow and freezing rain, spring rain is falling. The trees are budding. Soon, we’ll have leaves and flowers.
Insight into what you need to bring on the Half Dome hike
You were awarded a permit to hike the cables on Half Dome, and now you’re wondering: What supplies do I need to bring along to the Half Dome hike? To that question, I can provide some insight. I embarked on the Half Dome hike in August of 2021. I hiked from Curry Village, to the top of Half Dome, and back down to Curry Village in a day, and didn’t camp halfway up. Here are the items that helped me make it through the arduous hike.
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. When you click a link, you support me, your author. Learn more.
I brought a printed copy of my permit to hike the cables on Half Dome.
What footwear should you wear on the Half Dome hike?
I wore Merrell’s Moab 2 Mid hiking boots to hike Half Dome. Whatever footwear you choose, ankle support and traction are a necessity, since much of the trail goes over uneven, rocky terrain. I wore high-rise socks, since they work better with those boots and protect the skin on my ankles.
How much water do you need on the Half Dome hike?
The National Park Service recommends that you need at least a gallon of water if you are hiking to the top of Half Dome. I debated getting a water filter so that I could drink from the streams along the way. However, I ended up just carrying the water I needed. I filled the reservoir in my backpack, but this reservoir isn’t quite a gallon, so I also brought several plastic bottles of water.
What sun protection do you need on the Half Dome hike?
During the hike, I used sunscreen on my body, face, and lips. My favorites are Hawaiian Tropic SPF 30, La Roche-Posay SPF 60, and Carmex, respectively. I advise against bringing a stick of lip balm, because it will likely melt. I opted for a squeeze tube instead. For extra protection I wore a visor. A baseball cap or bucket hat will work better to protect your scalp and ears if you have thin hair.
What food do you need on the half dome hike?
I won’t specify all the food I brought, but my biggest tip is to keep it simple and bring enough calories. For one of my meals, I ate a can of soup. Some would advise against this, since cans of soup are heavy, but it worked well for me. I also brought lots of snacks that I could eat while walking. Keep in mind that the large quantities of water you’ll drink will deplete your electrolytes.
What clothing should you wear on the Half Dome hike?
I hiked Half Dome in the roasting sun of August, so I didn’t wear a lot of clothes. I wore shorts and a tee shirt made of thin, athletic material. If you hike in a cooler time of year, I recommend wearing layers.
What other supplies do you need on the Half Dome hike?
When climbing the cables at Half Dome, I wore a pair of leather Ridgecut gloves with Velcro wrists, which I can’t find online now. I recommend a pair of leather gloves so that you’re hands are protected and you have a better grip on the cables. I recommend gloves with a Velcro wrist so that they won’t slip off while you’re gripping the cables.
At dawn and dusk on the trail to Half Dome, I used a headlamp. Even if you plan to be back before dark, I recommend bringing one, since you might return later than you expected.
Last but not least, I brought a camera on the Half Dome hike to capture the memories. I brought a neck strap too so that I could let go of the camera and use my hands. When deciding what camera to bring, keep in mind that you will sweat, you may bump into rocks, and you will need your hands.