Posts Tagged ‘South Haven’

Saugatuck and South Haven

Sunday, 19th July 2015; 3:51 pm - Location: ,

The trip got off to a shaky start. I was just about ready to leave, doing some last minute configuring of my phone for the ride, when I accidentally tripped the security lock out, wiping the contents of it. It was fully backed up, of course, but that took over half an hour for it all to reload. 

I stopped at a gas station that I knew had a free air pump, because u wanted to check the tire pressure, but the pump didn’t have a gauge. 

And overconfident that I knew where I was going (since I was close to home and have ridden this way before) I missed a turn that took me about a mile out of my way. 

But I quickly made it to Saugatuck, where I stretched my legs a bit walking around downtown. The weather’s nice enough, but a bit breezy which can be annoying on a small scooter. kinda cloudy, which can also make it cool with the wind.

I took the Blue Star Highway from there, pulling over into South Haven for a quick snack at a sub shop.

VanBuren morning

Tuesday, 12th June 2012; 6:27 am - Location:

After supper I went to the beach and watched the sun set. Not spectacular, but pretty. Then to bed.

One of the objectives of this trip was to determine how well I can handle sleeping on the ground following last year’s spine surgery. Last year’s ride tested that too, but since it was cut short, it didn’t tell me as much as I hoped.

The answer is that I can do it… but. There are fewer positions I can sleep in than there were before. If I lie like this or like that, the nerves in my neck get irritated and I get tingly fingers. Options which would have worked on a soft mattress… don’t. Being confined to a sleeping bag in a small tent narrows things further. Of course flat on my back is always a safe option, but on hard ground it’s a bit rough on the base of the back. So I think I’m going to explore the possibility of getting a softer pad to sleep on. The one I have is geared more for insulation than softness. And let’s just admit that I’m 10 years older than I was when I bought it.

All of which is a roundabout way of saying that I slept OK last night, but not great. No rain, just the wind in the trees above me, and pleasantly cool. Be nice weather for the ride home today.

The new tent is just a little bit taller than the old one, making it easier to get dressed in it. It’s still rather awkward, but not as much as the old one.


VanBuren supper

Monday, 11th June 2012; 8:13 pm - Location:

This campsite is a little nicer than last night’s: instead of having an access road behind it, it has a sand dune. I climbed it a ways, but to be honest I’m a bit tired for any serious hiking, especially if it involves piles of sand.

I did go to the beach to explore a little. Not that Lake Michigan beaches have a lot to surprise me with any more. 🙂 This one, on the other hand, has a nuclear power plant just down the shoreline from it. I remember going on a tour of it as a kid, back when we still talked about nuclear power.

I again opted to set up camp before going out for supper. The nearest option that sounded good was the Curve Inn, a few miles north on Blue Star Highway. Another bar with a grill and deep fryer; I’m having a chipotle cheeseburger and fries. Hey, I’m on vacation. 🙂 It’s a lot quieter than last night’s eatery. Faster service too.


VanBuren arrival

Monday, 11th June 2012; 6:19 pm - Location:

I arrived at VanBuren State Park around 5:30. Considering I started around 7:30 this morning, that’s a long day of riding. But I took it pretty easy, so I’m not exhausted. I stuck to county roads most of the last leg, including the spot where I hit 25K miles.

Last year when I reached Saranac, I had the feeling that I was all-but-home, since I’d been there on several day trips. This isn’t quite that familiar, but I have reached the point now where I don’t need a map anymore; I know my way from here. And it’ll be a short ride, especially if I don’t stop.

This campground isn’t any more full than Pokagon, which means I kind of wasted my $8 reservation fee. Oh well. I paid the $5 fee for my “Michigan Passport” which will also get me into the other state parks I’ll be visiting next month.

Indiana wants me

Sunday, 14th June 2009; 1:49 pm - Location: , , ,

dune-overlookThe night was rainless but dewy, so everything outside was damp. I woke this morning around 6:00 to the sound of birds -lots of them – chirping. I took my time breaking camp… because I could. I went for a short hike which started with a climb up one of the big dunes, right by the campground. I did it barefoot, figuring I’d be coming right back down. The slope was at least a 30degree incline, and I admit I had to stop a few times to catch my breath. The view from the top immediately took it away again. I could see forever to both east (behind me as I climbed) and west (over the Lake). But I couldn’t work up the nerve to go back down the way I’d come. I can handle heights when I don’t have to look at them, so the climb up with my face in the sand was OK. But the climb down… no go. As I stepped closer to the slope, and still couldn’t see the path down (making it look like a sheer drop), my acrophobia kicked in. Rather than stress myself out, I turned around went down the other (much gentler) side.

buckAfter retrieving my shoes I kept walking, and had a pleasant surprise. I stopped briefly on a bridge through some wetland, turned my head, and there was a buck staring at me, motionless. He couldn’t have been much more than 20 meters away. He was so still that at first I wasn’t 100% sure he was real, then he moved an ear. He stood perfectly still long enough for me to get out my camera, fight with the autofocus (which kept locking onto plants in front of him) and take a couple decent shots before he abruptly leaped out of view.

Around 9:00 am I pushed the loaded scooter from the campsite to the ranger office rather than upsetting the quiet of the morning for my fellow campers. Two-stroke engines are annoyingly noisy. After leaving the state park I continued south, just past the Indiana border… so I’ll be able to say later that I’ve covered the whole way from Indiana to Wisconsin. On the return trip I went some distance on a local access road which runs along the Red Arrow Highway, which has itself been superceded for most travel by I-94. Two degrees of separation from the expressway, but still going my way: perfect.

I’ve stopped in South Haven again, this time for lunch, at Subs ‘n’ More on Phoenix Street, the “main street” that runs directly from the interstate to the harbor, and loaded mostly with tourist-focused shops for the last few blocks to the waterfront. It’s sunny today which means watching out for sun when I stop. My protective riding gear does a good job the rest of the time.

South Haven

Saturday, 13th June 2009; 3:46 pm - Location: ,

I stopped in South Haven for a riding break. A little over two hours in the saddle starts to get a little cramped in the lower back these days.

It’s a nice little town (as Uncle Jack and Aunt Marge know well). It sits at the mouth of the Black River, which makes a good harbor. Downtown’s all marina and tourist shops which makes for a pleasant stop.

The weather’s cooperating: still mostly cloudy but no further rain. The weather radar also looks good.