Category: Outdoor Escapades

Outdoor Bucket List

To help remind me that a world exists outside of the lab (don’t tell my advisor!), I look forward to visiting some outdoor points of interest, both within Michiana and outside of the Michiana area. Unfortunately, SBN is not a large airport so to go to most places in the US, I’d have to take flights with lengthy layovers. Plus, a grad student can only afford to spend so much time, money, and advisor patience. I of course know better than to plan trips during crunch times (conference deadline, sponsor meetings, etc).

Yet to Visit:

  1. Torch Lake, Michigan – A lake with almost unnaturally clear water for a freshwater body (you won’t find that in New York!) It’s a 4+ hour drive from South Bend, but I’m sure I’ll find a weekend where I can visit. There is something gorgeous about swimming/boating in clear water. Maybe it’s the Carribean vibes, without the Carribean costs.
  2. Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness Area, Michigan – I originally found this place while scanning the eastern shoreline of Lake Michigan. The amount of trails is quite expansive, and the underdeveloped nature of the area just adds to the appeal. It’s a bit more accessible than Torch Lake (3+ hours) but still will need some planning. Nothing a motivated grad student can’t do!
  3. Van Buren State Park, Michigan – One of the possible destinations of a July 4th trip, but was cancelled due to concerns about COVID as it likely attracted many people due to the holiday. Hopefully I can make a trip there, particularly during the fall where it should be a lot less crowded, and I can just enjoy walking on the lakeshore. I wonder if the landscape transforms into a surreal winterscape, like when I visited Warren Dunes in February.
  4. Duck Lake State Park, Michigan – A small park on the Michigan shoreline where Duck Lake is connected to Lake Michigan. Apparently, there’s hiking trails there. I saw on Google maps a road called “N Scenic Drive” pass through…must quite scenic indeed!
  5. Gull LakeMichigan – I saw this on a list of lakes to visit. Judging from a YT video, the lake water is pretty clear. (I’m sure you can see a pattern here). It’s nearly a 2-hour drive, but it can be part of a Kalamazoo, MI trip.

Already Visited (but want to visit again!):

  1. Yosemite National Park, California – Words don’t adequately describe the beauty and tranquility of this park. I visited this place with my good friend Andrew in the summer of 2019. We talked about visiting Yosemite in a phone call, but I decided there’s no reason to pull the trigger and turn talk into a tangible experience. I’ll save Yosemite for another post…I could go on and on…..
  2. Silver Lake State Park, Michigan – Finally got a chance to visit in September 2020. I also visited in October later, when it was a sunny day.