Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Well, our trip to Ludington was a smashing success. We got there in time to set up camp in the walk-in campsite and hike out to the lighthouse at sunset...
I was so weirded out by the fact that that thing that looks like a sea is actually a giant lake. It's mind-blowing that the other side is Wisconsin and not Japan or Cuba. It's just like any other lake we walked past on the PCT, just a whole lot bigger.

Chris had the opposite reaction to the Pacific when we went to Mexico two years ago. He jumped in and immediately went, "Ack! My lips are salty!"

 I like making Chris model.

We did a lot of this.

We finally made it to the lighthouse... after about a mile of messing around.
On the way back we saw a porcupine in this tree! You can see it - it looks kind of like a bird's nest, which is what we thought it was at first until it picked up its head.
We only found one of these, so we let it be.

Then we ate dinner, drank whisky and hot chocolate and had a very cold night of sleep. The next morning, we hiked around the various trails (I think probably about 7 miles in all). The first half mile or mile was in sand, which is really my favorite kind of hiking. Anyway, here's a mix of pictures from the rest of the day:

There were a lot of shelters on the trail made from huge, roundish rocks, which meant they had lots of weird nooks and crannies.

 My favorite "don't feed the animals" sign ever.
On the ridge trail.
 Ludington has a huge variety in such a small area. There are a beach, mixed deciduous and coniferous forest, lakes, a river, and plenty of wetlands.
 I heart wetlands.
Pretty maple seeds.

Anyway, it was fun and it felt really good to finally carry my pack around again (it's been since December!). I'm super jealous that most of our thru-hiker friends are heading down to kick-off this week. We'll have to make do with the Manistee River Loop in May. Maybe next year.

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