Posts Tagged ‘Ludington’

Ludington morning

Sunday, 9th August 2009; 8:50 am - Location:

I slept OK last night. The hard ground just doesn’t offer a chronic toss-and-turner like me too many comfortable options. It rained, but sporadically and not hard. It was very windy though, rustling the trees loudly. Fortunately I was protected from that by the dunes; the air was still down at ground level.

Today’s supposed to be hot with heat indexes close to 100F. And scattered showers. But it’s nice so far, not too hot, breezy, and partly cloudy.

I rode south back into the city along the shore before turning around to go around the inland lake and continue northward.

GR to Ludington

Sunday, 9th August 2009; 7:39 am - Location: , , ,

OK, so the WordPress app for the IPhone can lose posts if it has a flaky Internet connection, and I lost the original version of this. Here’s what I remember from before.

I waited for the rain to die down before leaving home, around 12:30. (For the record, the odometer was at 1907 miles.) It was still raining lightly, but hard enough that without my Frogg Toggs I would’ve been pretty wet pretty quickly. I headed mostly due west from home, then followed the north side of the Grand River until I started getting close to Ferrysburg. To save time, instead of following the lakeshore I turned north at Nunica, then turned west when I got even with Muskegon.

From there I followed a few roads that shadow US-31, taking me to Whitehall/Montague. Along this way I saw my first distinct shadow, as it had not only stopped raining the clouds were breaking up. I also happened to pass Michigan’s Adventure amusement park (which has grown up quite a bit since it was Deer Park Funland), so I now know a non-highway way of getting there.

Add another item to the Things I Have Nearly Hit On My Scooter list: a turkey. OK, she was moving predictably enough, and I saw her from far enough away that I was in no real danger of hitting her. But I could have.

When I stopped for gas just south of Whitehall, a guy struck up a conversation with me. It started about my rain gear, but he was curious about my travel plans, etc. He didn’t notice at first that my “motorcycle” was a scooter, so I had to correct him about travel times. He thought it was great that I was taking the Badger across the lake, and warned me that the on ship bar operates on Eastern time not Central, so they stop serving at 1am Central. By the way, my gas mileage at that fill-up was 88mpg: not bad but nothing to get excited about.

I was making up for lost time, so I didn’t stop for anything else, except to take off my rain gear at a McDonald’s near Whitehall. I got to the city of Ludington around 4:30. I grabbed a Subway meal and headed to the state park. Even though I was late arriving (technically 26 hours, since I’d reserved the night before as well) they didn’t give me any hassles. The park is actually close to full, despite the weather.

There’s an art fair or something going on in the city, but I didn’t feel like heading back into town, so I went for a hike on Ludington’s fairly extensive trails. My hike took me out to the Lake, past the day-use beach, and along an inland lake. On the latter stretch I startled a big blue heron, and also saw a few deer, including a speckled fawn. But it was dark and the autofocus on my camera is horrible at locking onto objects when there are stray twigs in the frame so I didn’t get good shots of them.

Although the afternoon was pleasantly cool and sunny the evening has become humid and cloudy, with the rumble of thunder and flashes of lightning. So although I am back at the campsite, I’m not out of the woods yet.

Gear choices

Saturday, 8th August 2009; 6:30 pm - Location:

For what it’s worth, I chose to take the hard foam sleeping pad, mostly because I know how it’ll behave and hold up. I’m a little leery of the unknown… when venturing into the unknown.

I made a last minute substitution to wear my hiking boots and bring my sneakers as spares/alternates, rather than wearing the sneakers and an old set of slip on shoes for in camp. This was prompted by the weather: the boots are somewhat waterproof. Hiking now in the mud at Ludington State Park, I’m glad I chose them.

Reservations, with reservations

Tuesday, 7th April 2009; 5:57 pm - Location: , ,

I’ve made my first concrete commitment to making this trip: I made some campsite reservations. I only made a couple, since I want to keep my options open as much as I can for a while, but circumstances forced my hand on a couple.

Ludington State Park is already nearly full for the weekend I’m going. In fact, the only spots left in the road-accessible campsites are “auxilliary” sites that aren’t on the park map, and don’t have electrical service. Which is fine with me, because I won’t have any use for the electricity. What’s annoying is that the state park (like most of the popular ones in the state) doesn’t allow reservations for only Saturday night, so I had to reserve – and pay for – the Friday night before as well. My donation to the state government’s solvency, I guess. I don’t plan to use it, but if I decide to ride up after work on Friday, I have that option.

I considered the other location option, which is Ludington’s “hike-in” campsite. It’s an appealing alternative to the the big “parking lot” site, just off the beach, but it’s a couple miles from the road. The hike wouldn’t be a problem if I had a backpack, but it’d be a definite hassle since my “pack” will be a 200-pound motorbike. Instead I’d have to leave the scoot alone at the road overnight (which would make me a little nervous), and carry all my gear to the site somehow. I have to keep in mind that this isn’t a wilderness trip; its a road trip… so better to stick to the road.

I’ve also made a reservation at Leelanau State Park the following night. Leelanau is less than half full at this point, but it’s a small park at the very tip of the peninsula, so that doesn’t leave a lot to choose from. And there was one site that caught my eye as I was reading the descriptions and looking the park map. It doesn’t have another site immediately adjacent to it, which I always appreciate. In fact it’s the only site actually on the lakeshore, and it’s next to the foundation of the original lighthouse. That sounds cool, so I reserved it.

I’m holding off on reservations for later in the trip, mostly because I can. There are still plenty of open sites at the other parks (getting progressively farther from the big cities), so I have time. I’ll keep an eye on them and maybe I’ll be able to get away without making reservations at some of them altogether, which would save me $8 at each one. Either way, at $12-26 per night (plus reservation fees at each) it adds up, and cash’ll be a little tight after buying a new scooter, so I’ll put that off until I have a few more paychecks in the credit union.