Mt. Baldy

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Two hundred and eighty two steps to the top.  A landing to stop every twelve steps to take a break.  The most amazing and beautiful view awaiting you at the top.  SUCCESS!

Mt. Baldhead (commonly known as Mt. Baldy to regulars) is every fitness buffs dream workout spot with the best reward after all that work.  Built during WWII as a lookout tower, Mt. Baldy sits atop the highest dune for miles around.  Although the tower has been closed off to visitors, the stairs that lead to the top of the dune are open and often used by many who know and visit Saugatuck. Although it is closed during the winter (who really would want to shovel all of those stairs) Mt. Baldy offers hard to find views for miles and miles.

For whatever reason as kids, Gregory, Emmy, and I (and other childhood friends) always thought climbing Mt. Baldy was the best idea ever.  At least once every time we came up, we would make our way over and pull ourselves to the top (stopping A LOT on the way up).  Grandma Betty never made it up with us, but she would walk to the bottom of the steps with us and wait until we made our way down.  Usually it took about a half an hour or so because we would goof off at the top and run around (we didn’t really care about the view at that age). 

One time, which I will never forget, thanks to some hikers who had found another way down from the dune, Grandma Betty almost skinned us alive. 

We had decided to follow the lead of some hikers who said that there was a path down the side of the dune that you could run down instead of having to go back down the stairs. “Run down” we thought, “that has to be much faster and sounds a lot more fun.”  But man were we WRONG.

To get to the spot that you could run down, you had to hike way out of the way… and it took a long time.  Almost an hour after we had gone up, we finally made it to the bottom of the dune about 30 feet from the bottom of the stairs.  As soon as Grandma Betty spotted us, all hell broke loose.  I have never been as scared for my life as I was that moment with her. 

Months later, when we were finally allowed back, we found another route down the dune… one that lead straight to Lake Michigan. 

Lucky for us, we had enough sense at that point to go down back the stairs and tell Grandma Betty about the discovery.  We were “old enough” the next time to try it out.  Grandma Betty drove us to Mt. Baldy and dropped us off at the base.  While we were climbing, and running down the HUGE sand hill that lead to the beach, she drove her car to meet us on the other side.  And what a blast it was.  Getting hot and sweaty on the way up and the run down, made it even better to get into the cool water of the lake.

Thank goodness Grandma Betty gave us that second chance. 

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7 thoughts on “Mt. Baldy

  1. What a view!!!
    Each time I read another slice, I’m struck by all the things Grandma Betty did for you guys. Driving you here to climb Mt. Baldy is another one. She really loved you guys, Mallory. 🙂

  2. Grandma Betty sure loved you guys. As adults you can understand her feelings when it took you all so long to get back down. Your visits with Grandma Betty sound wonderful. (When I first glanced at your title I thought it said Mr. Baldy instead of Mt. Baldy….and was prepared for a story about a bald man.) Again…your Betty stories are great. Jackie http://familytrove.blogspot.com/

  3. Love the way you lead into this piece…really all your pieces! I know of Saugatuck, but as I read your slices, I’m falling in love with Grandma Betty and Saugatuck. Our next visit to Michigan will be here 🙂

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