Farewell, winter. Sayanora, snow. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a good riddance. I may be in a minority here, but I’ve enjoyed the bountiful snow. It’s one of the reasons I moved to Traverse City. If it’s going to be cold, it might as well snow. This winter I’ve cross country skied the VASA trails, snowshoed at Sleeping Bear, and even sledded the Dune Climb. I haven’t enjoyed snow like this since I used to work on the ski slopes in high school. Next year I plan to invest in a snowboard so I can really take advantage of the winters here in Traverse City.

But I’ve even had enough of winter. Mostly, I’m just eager to bust out my rollerblades. It’s the middle of April and we just received about 15 inches of the worst kind of snow last week. It was that wet stuff that would freeze overnight and make the roads super dangerous to drive on. Traverse City folks were united in our eye rolls as we woke up and fell asleep to falling snow for five days straight. Oh yeah, and I got my truck stuck twice. In the same day.

Still, Andrea, Reiko, Bela, and I enjoyed one last adventure in the snow on a sunny “spring” day. Well, it felt like spring, but snowshoes were a must with 18 inches of snow on the ground. The temperature was 33 degrees, but according to Weather Underground it felt like 71 degrees. Andrea and I hiked into one of my favorite spots at Sleeping Bear, Pyramid Point. It’s also one of the most popular trails and in a summer afternoon you can expect a full parking lot at the trailhead. But we were the only ones there and it was so peaceful.

On this adventure I was reminded that bushwhacking never pays. I suggested we take a different route to Pyramid Point. One that seemed so easy. “Let’s just climb over that dune. It’ll be a fun shortcut.” Famous last words. We hiked up a slippery 18 inches of unpacked powder and I had a cliffhanger moment when I slid for ten feet down the dune cradling my camera gear in my arms. Reiko couldn’t understand what was taking us so long.

When we got to Pyramid Point, it got a little windy and so we decided to pack Bela. I barely noticed her as we explored the dunes, but she was very thankful to be snug in my backpack. One of the prettiest things about the untouched dunes in the winter is the patterns that the snow and sand create. I had lots of fun capturing landscapes and making Andrea and the pups look like ants in the vast dune landscape.

I just want to say that I’m so grateful for you Andrea and all the adventure you bring into my life. It’s been a really amazing winter. Still, I think we’re all ready to say adios to my favorite season. And it looks like spring is finally here (nevermind the foot of snow still on the ground).

Josh Hartman – Traverse City Photographer

Follow my adventures at instagram.com/JoshHartmanPhotography

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