Indiana Dunes State Park

In the International Summer Institute (ISI) Northwestern University, there is an interesting activity called “learn-by-doing.” Basically, the idea of this activity is to gather students with similar interest and let them learn English by doing activities and projects together. There are several available types of learn-by-doing activities, such as photography, social media, improv, traveling, food and shopping, coffee culture, etc. The ISI staffs assigned me to my first “learn-by-doing” preference, photography.

Learn-by-doing activity is very fluid, the students get to decide in which direction the activities and projects would go. After several meetings in my group, we decided to work on some projects. One of them is providing documentation service for every other learn-by-doing group, so we take pictures of other learn-by-doing groups’ activities.

Last week, one of my friends in photography group asked me to cover him for Traveling group’s activity documentation, as he had something more important came up. I said “yes” almost instantly, because the Travelling group was going to go to Indiana, a state located northeast of Illinois. Specifically, they were going to go to Indiana Sand Dunes for hiking. I was excited because not only I would get to visit another state in the US, but I would also get the chance to do one of my favorite outdoor activities, hiking.

Just a day after I was asked to replace my friend, I travelled to Indiana by car. There were five of us; one of my friends from South Korea drove the car. When we were on the interstate highway, we were fascinated with the fact that motorbikes are allowed on highway in the US!


Twenty seconds after completing the 3 Sand Dune Challenge

When we got to Indiana Sand Dunes, we decided to take route 8 and challenge ourselves by taking the 3 Dune Challenge. Taking this challenge means we had to hike the three tallest dunes at Indiana Dunes State Park. The third sand dune was the most challenging as it was the highest sand dune. Fortunately, there was a stair besides the tallest sand dune, so when I felt tired on my halfway through the top, I went to the stair and walked to the top easily. Only two of us who successfully made it to the top without using the stair, and they were very proud.

At the top of the third sand dune, we were rewarded with the views of Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline. We really wanted to stay for a while longer and enjoy the natural environment, but we really had to rush back to Evanston as we had to attend a dinner party there. We were very tired after hiking the sand dunes, three of us including me slept almost all the way back to Evanston. It was a good thing that our friend who drove the car didn’t fell asleep!