Day 18 – Benona, MI to Ludington, MI

Our wonderful hosts invited us to eat breakfast with them – an incredibly tasty oatmeal with apples, yogurt, maple syrup, and watermelon. We really enjoyed talking with them and their adorable 2 year old daughter, Emily. (She even sang me happy birthday last night – my favorite version ever!) Their 7-week-old son was also ridiculously cute, and one of the chillest babies I’ve ever met, happily going along to the beach and the parade today. Thank you for inviting us to your house! And thank you for your awesome taste in music – they put the Beatles White Album on, and I was just delighted. Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da is one of my all time favorites, and is the reason we went to see Paul McCartney when I was 12!  

We biked north along the coast of Lake Michigan in the direction of Ludington, where we’ll take a ferry from tomorrow morning. 

It was so enjoyable riding along the lake today! 

Aidan was more excited than ever when the second of two motorcycles that passed us in a town was none other than… His dream motorcycle… I forget the name. I think it starts with a T though. It was red. Anyway, he pedaled furiously for a few minutes, hoping to catch up with the motorcycle, and was actually right behind the guy until they got out of the town. About half an hour later, the same two motorcycles passed us going up a hill! They must have stopped for gas or something! 

We passed some (unfortunately) expensive rental dune buggys, but we couldn’t pass up the opportunity for a photo! 

One of the most fascinating parts of the ride today was about ten miles south of Ludington, when we came across a number of huge electrical towers with lines extending between them and across the road. There was a hill which our hosts had explained this morning was a dam built to harness energy from the water. The water is apparently pumped up into the hill at night, then at the peak of electricity use the next day, is released through giant pipes that run under the road we biked. 

It’s difficult to see just how amazing the snack pockets of our panniers are from this photo, but you can see a cliff bar or two poking out!

We got into Ludington just in time to see some of the Fourth of July parade pass by, after which we found our camping place for the night – the nice little backyard of someone we’d contacted through the Warm Showers website. He had warned us that as they are away, the shower aspect was actually unavailable, but it’s wonderful to have a place to set up in Ludington! We are now all organized, and our bikes are cleaned up (some sand had gotten stuck in our chains last night). 

We bought a giant container of “mango juice” at the store, and are still quite upset after discovering that mango is not the first, not the second, but the third ingredient! There’s more grape juice in there than mango. Such a disappointment. 

 The neighbors have been setting off mini (yet loud) fireworks or firecrackers or something ever since we arrived. They don’t mess around with their Independence Day festivities here! 

Just before the firework show by the water started, we pulled out our own fireworks! We’d gotten them right at the beginning of our time in Michigan, from a repurposed shipping container which had been painted bright yellow with the word “FIREWORKS.” They were pretty impressive for their size! And well worth the extra space and weight for the last few days. We then brought our sleeping bags down to the waterfront, where we watched some of the town fireworks, then navigated through a maze of people back to camp. Happy Fourth of July! 

6 thoughts on “Day 18 – Benona, MI to Ludington, MI

  1. Desmond Jones July 5, 2016 / 12:10 pm

    Glad you dig the song. We’re getting old, but Molly and me are still grooving in the marketplace.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Meg Berlin July 5, 2016 / 1:37 pm

    Clara, Your biking stories are THE BEST thing I read every day! I now look forward to “watching” you guys on your every leg, looking the points up on a map to chart your course. I would love to hear more about the terrain and landscape for some perspective. I know I can’t actually request this but I’m just curious. Open fields? Densely wooded? Flat or hilly? Go on, then, Off you go!! ; )


  3. PSonn July 5, 2016 / 3:35 pm

    Hey Clara and Aidan! What an awesome trip! I had never heard of the Ludington Pumped Storage Power Plant before… so I looked it up. It is the largest pumped storage hydroelectric facility in the world! I’m going to see if I can incorporate that into Hydrology next year… Keep those observations coming!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ian Govett July 5, 2016 / 5:29 pm



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