It's been 8 years since Mrs. Pants and I made our fateful trip to the Sleeping Bear Sand Dune Climb in Empire, Michigan. We were just planning on stopping to see the dunes but it turned into something much deeper.

We set out on the climb with 2 bottled waters not knowing how far it was. About 4 hours later we made it back a much stronger couple because of the bond we formed on our walk.

Back then, Good Morning America just named it America's #1 Summer destination. So, the place was packed. We began our walk with around 50 other people. We were the ONLY people that made it to the lake and back from our group.

It was hot! We saw one lady go down with heat exhaustion and had to be extracted. After we saw her, we began rationing our water. Hill after hill, people kept turning around. We wanted to finish what we started... We are stubborn.

We just kept seeing duness. Lake Michigan looked like it was getting closer but... Just more dunes. We passes this little old man walking by himself. He was walking with a purpose. Like speed walking and he was at least an hour in. Just humming along. I asked him: "Are we almost there?"

"Yes," he said. "It'll be worth it."

We made it to the beach after what seemed like 2 hours. Hoped there was  beverage machine... There wasn't. So we enjoyed the beach, then headed back.

I told Deb Hart when I got back what an amazing experience it was and she and her husband eventually went and did it too.

If you can make it through that... You may be able to make it through anything together.

That is my Michigan HAPPY PLACE. Where is yours?

Click here to see pics of our climb. I just made them public today.