To Alex -

To Alex...who is far away in person, but never far from my heart. I miss you. Enjoy these snippets of everyday family life here in the states.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Ludington State Park

Well, the places you find when you join with a group of fellow hikers. I've been to Ludington, several times, in fact, but I've never been to the state park and I've never hiked the trails. Until today, that is. Our trek began on the beach, I was walking in the water, and we walked a couple miles North to the lighthouse. The water felt delicious on my legs and by the end of the hike I was wishing I were back in the water. Whew, it got warm out there, plus, half the trails we hiked today were loose sand. Tough going, but nice trails and very well marked.
I really like how bright, and colorful, and festive this guy looks. Sometimes the beaches are full of kites. Today I only saw two.
Big Sable Point Lighthouse. Normally I would have climbed to the top, but I knew we were going to be covering some serious miles today and I wanted to save my energy for the hike. Guess I'll have to go back and hike the beach again so I can climb the lighthouse. Darn!
We turned inland and followed the Lighthouse Trail through the dunes for a couple more miles before picking up the logging trail. This wasn't too bad though because the trail was a bit more hard packed, mostly. We stopped for a brief lunch, I love the food part of hiking, then followed a quick spur to pick up the Ridge Trail. Now this trail was quite difficult actually. It climbed steadily, which wouldn't have been a problem, but was once again loose, sandy soil. You know, two steps up, one step slide back. Yowza! Still, there were some pretty views from on high, especially the section where you could see Lake Michigan to the West and Hamlin Lake to the East. I was so grateful when we finally began our descent and ended up on the Island Trail.
We spied these deer towards the end of our trek along the Island Trail.
I dunno, I saw this lying in the grass next to the boardwalk and thought he looked 'lost'.
To be honest, I liked these trails, but I'm sort of into photography, and as much as I like hiking with the group, I think 11 miles in the dunes and sandy hills is a bit far if I really want to spend time taking pictures. Shoot, going that far doesn't really give you much opportunity to enjoy the views along the trail either. I felt like I had to push myself on this hike and I ended up putting the camera away because it's just too cumbersome when I'm hiking hard and I'm tired. I could go back and hike some of the easier trails again, but I probably won't. Now that I've hiked here I would prefer to find new trails that I haven't been on, explore new areas. I just don't think this was spectacular enough to warrant a 2 hour drive to hike over again. Still, it got me out of the house and into the woods so that made it a wonderful day!

But then, we stopped at House of Flavors on the way home and I treated myself to a waffle cone with Raspberry Rendezvous ice cream. Oh my goodness!

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