Claybanks Township To Ludington To Paris, Michigan
Courtyard By Marriott ($120)
Bay City, Michigan
May 26, 2022
I'm exhausted -- mentally, physically and pretty close to emotionally. My travel since HHI has been pretty much nonstop except for my four nights in Charlottesville. I have done more than my guideline of the lesser of four hours of driving/200 miles per day in the hope that I can knock out all the remaining Paris' before going to Pinehurst for Father's Day. What remains are a Parisville and a Paris Township about 90 minutes east of Bay City ("in the thumb"), a trek up to the Upper Pennisula and then down through Wisconsin where there are three Paris' -- each in the bottom part of the state. I have to go to Green Bay of course and find some Point Special beer somewhere in the state. Then I am back to Virginia to visit Pearisburg to Charlottesville and then leave for Pinehurst on June 16. Funny how I got so used to not having a schedule that I can feel a little bit of tension knowing I need to be someplace by a certain date.
I have found evenings to be tough for the past couple of weeks -- particularly post dinner (6 pm) until time to go to sleep. I have not been putting up my tent because of rain so I spend the post dinner time in the truck, watching a movie, YouTube and listening to pocdcasts. I found a new podcast that is good -- it is called American Scandals. Each scandal (such as Watergate, Enron) gets four or five hour long shows. I found the Watergate one the most interesting so far because I know enough to recognize the players but not enough to remember the details.
Anyway, bottom line is too much time in the truck. It feels good to check into a hotel and be able to stretch out and use WIFI. Ah, the little things.
Back to yesterday:
I think I already posted about visiting the Little Sable Lighthouse. Cloudy mind!
The middle of Michigan seems to grow apples, cherries, asparagus, and rhubarb.
New Era is the birthplace of Caldecott Medal-winning children's author Verna Aardema. The village is near the halfway point on the Hart-Montague Trail, and local businesses woo visiting cyclists as they pass by along the trail. New Era is also home to dairy product manufacturer, Country Dairy. YouTube personality Houston Jones of the series Bodybuilder Versus and Bro Labs, resides in New Era.
I like the name -- I feel like it reflects what I am doing. (Plus I thought it might be the home of New Era baseball hats but no.)
Benona Shores Golf Course. A par 60 course that weaves though trees and an apple orchard. I would have played but there appeared to be an outing going on. Bummer. I love the idea of a par 60 course.
My drive yesterday and today reminded me of South Carolina. Lots of trees, some farmland and vast remoteness.
Summertime is coming.
How the heck do you call Lake Michigan a lake?
Along the western coast of Michigan there are several places with lots of sand dunes.
Pentwater is a cute town, reminiscent of New England coast towns.
I thought the sticker said "shagging." But don't be a dick, anyway.
Beer, boats and bait -- and certain times of year bear.
Ludington is a harbor town located on Lake Michigan at the mouth of the Pere Marquette River. Many people come to Ludington year round for recreation, including boating and swimming on Lake Michigan, Hamlin Lake, and other smaller inland lakes, as well as hunting, fishing, and camping. Nearby are Ludington State Park (which includes the Big Sable Point Light), Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness, and Manistee National Forest. Ludington is also the home port of the SS Badger, a vehicle and passenger ferry with daily service in the summer across Lake Michigan to Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Watching the Badger come into port in the evening from the end of the north breakwall by the Ludington lighthouse is a favorite local pastime.
Ludington has multiple golf and disc golf courses. In summer, the city hosts one of the largest Gus Macker basketball tournaments (with 35,500 spectators), the Ludington Area Jaycees Freedom Festival (July 4), the Lakestride Half Marathon in June, and the West Shore Art League's Art Fair. In 2005, as ranked by AAA, Ludington was the fifth-most-popular tourist city in Michigan, behind Mackinaw City, Traverse City, Muskegon, and Sault Ste. Marie.
In 1675, Father Jacques Marquette, French missionary and explorer, died and was laid to rest near the modern site of Ludington. A memorial and 40-foot iron cross were built in 1955 to mark the location.
In 1845, Burr Caswell moved to the area near the mouth of the Pere Marquette River as a location for trapping and fishing. In July 1847, when he brought his family to live there, they became the first permanent residents of European ancestry. Two years later they built a two-story wood-framed house on their farm. After the organization of Mason County in 1855, the first floor of this building was converted into the county's first courthouse. Restored in 1976 by the Mason County Historical Society, the structure stands today as a part of White Pine Village, a museum consisting of several restored and replica Mason County buildings (see external links).
The town was originally named Pere Marquette, then later named after the industrialist James Ludington, whose logging operations the village developed around. Ludington was incorporated as a City in 1873, the same year that the County seat was moved from the Village of Lincoln to the City of Ludington. The area boom in the late 19th century was due to these sawmills and also the discovery of salt deposits.
By 1892, 162 million board feet (382,000 cubic metres or 13,500,000 cubic feet) of lumber and 52 million wood shingles had been produced by the Ludington sawmills. With all of this commerce occurring, Ludington became a major Great Lakes shipping port.
In 1875, the Flint and Pere Marquette Railroad (F&PM) began cross-lake shipping operations with the sidewheel steamer SS John Sherman. It became apparent quite early that the John Sherman was not large enough to handle the volume of freight and the F&PM Railroad contracted with the Goodrich Line of Steamers to handle the break bulk freight out of the Port of Ludington
In 1897, the F&PM railroad constructed the first steel car ferry, the Pere Marquette. This was the beginning of the creation of a fleet of ferries to continue the rail cargo across Lake Michigan to Manitowoc, Wisconsin. The fleet was also expanded to carry cars and passengers across the lake. By the mid-1950s, Ludington had become the largest car ferry port in the world. Unfortunately, due to disuse and declining industry, this fleet eventually dwindled. Currently only one carferry, the SS Badger, makes regular trips across the lake from Ludington, one of only two lake-crossing car ferries on Lake Michigan.
During the late 1910s and early 1920s, Ludington was the home of the Ludington Mariners minor league baseball team. A team of the same name currently plays "old time base ball" in historical reenactments of the original version of the game.
I could tell by the post office building that at one point in time there was some wealth in this city. To a degree, the city appears to have done a good job of maintaining that feel. It ain't Newport but it would be a nice place to spend a few days.
Michigan seems to have this thing about not letting dogs on its beaches.
The discontinuous US 10.
Would have been around $150 for Hi Ho Silver and me to take the ferry across. I'll take my chances with the bridge.
Ludington State Park. I wanted to visit the lighthouse here (Big Sable) but it is a four-mile round trip hike and it was raining, cold and windy. Even the park ranger I talked to said it wouldn't be worth it. Bummer.
I do have this thing about lighthouses.
I arrived in Paris after driving in a driving rain for three hours on narrow two-lane roads. That could explain some of my tiredness today. The middle of Michigan is capital R Rural.