Monday, May 11, 2009
Segment 4, Day 5 Pentwater->Ludington 10 miles
High of 50.
Milene bought enough goodies at the fantastic Cosmic Candy Company in Pentwater to keep us walking to Ludington! She even bought a bag of Pentwater Gourmet carmel corn that was bigger than my head. Today's weather was much more pleasant and the lake was calm. We walked the beach up to Bass Lake, then jogged over to Lakeshore Drive. This gave us occasional views of the lake and also allowed us to climb the bluff that almost meets the shore on the way to Ludington. Some rain tried to follow us, but mostly stayed to our south.
It was also necessary to go inland because there is a power plant south of Ludington that takes up a chunk of the shoreline (and you can't walk there). We saw our first morel mushrooms along the way.
It was fascinating to walk by the pumped storage hydroelectric plant. There is a reservoir at the highest point on the hill that measures 2.5 miles by 1 mile and over 100 feet deep. This holding area is up the grassy hill in the photo below (left).
Water is pumped from the lake uphill into this holding area using electricity during the time of day when the rates are the lowest, then electricity is generated by allowing the water to flow back downhill during peak usage hours when they can charge more money for the energy.
There were plans to add wind turbines along the lakeshore to use the Lake Michigan wind to generate power. This could be used to assist in the pumping of the water, but we did not see any as we passed the facility.