The 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Adventures

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Segment 5, Day 1 Ludington->Manistee 3 + 18 miles = 21 miles total

High of 63 degrees.

I began this segment in Ludington's State Park. I wore my larger pack on for this portion of the trek because I would be camping part of the time.

Since my pack was new, I had to figure out where to store everything in it. I decided to attach my filtering water bottle (which allows me to drink Lake Michigan water) to a strap using a carabiner clip.

Just three miles into this lovely day's hike, I reached back for my water bottle to find that it had detached at some point along the first three miles. I back tracked, hoping to find it nestled among some of the driftwood piles I had climbed over, but had no luck. The waves were reaching up the beach that day, so it was probably swept out into the lake.

I called my brother and he came back to the lake and picked me up. I was hoping to find a replacement bottle in Ludington and resume my day's walk (~17 more miles to Manistee), but we couldn't find one in Ludington. We heard about an outfitter store in Manistee and went there, but they suggested trying Traverse City. By this time, it was getting too late to complete the miles for that day, so we drove to Traverse City, got a new filtering bottle, then Phil dropped me in Manistee where I resumed this segment the following day.

On June 3, I covered the 18 missing miles in this segment.

It made sense to begin in Manistee and hike south to Ludington, but it felt strange to have the lake on my right side the entire way. The day was gorgeous and most of the way I had flat beach to hike on. There were areas where the lake was cutting into the shore and old, wooden seawalls. I had to climb the rolling dunes to get around these obstacles. In a low spot in the dunes, I almost stepped on a sleeping fawn. We scared each other, and it jumped up and ran off.

Below is the lighthouse at Big Sable in Ludington State Park.

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