A ranger at the Visitor Center suggested that because it was so hot today, the Bailly/Chellberg Trail would be a good hike for us because it had shade. The path through the woods took us to the Bailly Homestead and an 1820s fur trading post.
Interesting, but not the reason I wanted to go to a national park with "Lakeshore" in it's name. (Hello? Lakeshore? Lake AND shore!)
At the Visitor Center, I had seen a postcard with a picture of a big long set of stairs up and over a sand dune. I asked a volunteer where to find it, and she pointed out West Beach on the map. Since it was after 3 pm (it must surely be cooling down some), I decided we should head west. George pointed out that 98 degrees isn't a whole lot cooler than the earlier 102. I pointed out there was a breeze. With a big sigh (he's really good at big sighs), he led off towards the Dune Succession Trail.
It was a pain walking in the soft sand until we got to the stairs. (Remember: stop and take pictures when you need to take a break. Nobody will notice you're having difficulty breathing.)
And finally the beach...Lake Michigan is really big! It's really difficult for me to look at a body of water when I can't see the horizon and register that it's a lake, not an ocean. I think it's one of those prior history things.
More pictures here: Indiana Dunes Natl Lakeshore