A couple of weeks ago, I got to escape the grind of the same old, same old, to go on vacation with Chef, his parents and niece, and some friends. The Indiana Dunes were calling, and we answered!
We camped at the Indiana Dunes State Park Campground from Tuesday night through Friday afternoon. It’s a really nice campground, especially if you’re going with a large group. When it’s just Chef and me, I like the campsites to be more secluded, but since we had three sites, it was nice that it was easy to get from one to the other, and it felt like a nice little camping community. A water spigot was right next to us, and the trash facility and the bathrooms & showers were a very short walk away.
The beach, of course, was our main attraction. Normally it’s an easy walk, according to friends who have camped there regularly over the years, but the beach trail was under construction so we had to go around… and going around was long and arduous.
Okay, maybe not arduous, but it was sandy and hot and hilly — and have you ever tried to climb up hills on hot sand? It’s not very easy. So usually, since we had lots of people going with all their stuff (towels, beach bags, chairs, umbrellas, etc) we drove.
The sun was shining, the weather warm, and the water perfect.
We all took turns preparing meals, and this was a brilliant idea. The adults were assigned two meals each, and it was so wonderful to know that we were responsible for these specific meals and no others. It made it a more relaxing time for everyone, I think.
The one problem we had was lack of appropriate signage. It was hard to know how to get to the beach, and once you were there (especially if you had walked the long and arduous, hot and hilly trail) how to get back to the campground. Once when we went to the beach, we found that we were in a no-swimming zone, but we didn’t know that because there were no signs. (“If we put signs way out here,” one staff member told us, “they’ll just get stolen.” That seemed like a stupid excuse to me.) We also learned that swimming is permitted only in chest-deep water or less (one friend was swimming out to a buoy and got sent back), but I don’t recall seeing any signs to that effect, either. It’s very easy to get around if you already know where you are going, but if you’re not familiar with the park, it’s not terribly evident.
Still, it was a really good camping experience. The sharing of meal responsibilities, the fun games, the beach, and the showers which were really nice for camp showers all made it a very fun time from which I was not quite ready to return.
I’d definitely recommend it.