Thursday, September 30, 2021

The Newest Bark Ranger of Indiana Dunes National Park: Day 1

While Matt and I were exploring, we learned that not only are most of the beaches at Indiana Dunes National Park dog-friendly, but that they also participate in the Bark Ranger program!

And that's how one week after we returned home from our trip, I was pulling out my credit card to book an AirBnB for Will, Luna, and I to come back later this summer and have our own fabulous adventure. Because as much as my kid enjoyed 60 hours of screen-time without adult interference, she's also my best travel buddy, and Luna is hers. 

I packed only the essentials, as you can see.

We stopped at the visitor center so Will could see the museum, watch the informational film (I fell asleep during my own viewing of that film, so Will is now more knowledgeable about Indiana Dunes than I am!), and collect both Junior Ranger and Bark Ranger books:

And then it was off to Luna's first real beach!

Luna doesn't really know how to play, so once upon a time when Will and I took her to our local dam's spillway, we were absolutely delighted to see how absolutely delighted Luna was by the rushing water and the waves. She ran at them, leaped at them, snapped at them, barked at them--we had NEVER seen her act like that before, and would never have believed that it was part of her character if we hadn't seen it with our own eyes.

Will and I started dreaming, then, of taking Luna to a whole entire beach full of waves, but I'm pretty sure that when she snaps at the water she's actually swallowing it, and I worry about salt poisoning from seawater. But Lake Michigan is salt-free, and when Luna saw it--or rather, when she saw its waves--she lost her ever-loving mind:

With Will in tow, she ran up the beach and down the beach and up the beach and down the beach, barking hysterically most of that time:

Meanwhile, I hung out in a supervisory role:

When Luna had worn herself out so much that I was pretty sure she'd try to lie down halfway through the long walk back to the car (spoiler alert: she did!), we made the long walk back to the car, then hit up the grocery store, then found our AirBnb. This was my very first AirBnb ever, and it was thrilling. So much space! So many amenities! SO MANY TV CHANNELS!!! 

I mean, I know we came here to go to the beaches, but this Airbnb had Netflix AND Disney+! 

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