Ludington Marina


It won’t be too long before the ghost town mentality of the Ludington Marina, now hauntily empty with ice replacing boats, will be full of activity again. Warm weather is just around the corner and then dock by dock will be occupied with boats.

Be they for fishing or for pleasure trips will again be taken onto Lake Michigan for another summer’s activites. Dodging the ferry boats that also occupy the harbor, those pleasure boats will yield the right of way to their larger cousins enroute to the big lake.

Always take caution, though, and check with the Coast Guard to determine the condtions on Lake Michigan lest your pleasure cruise turn into a nightmare. As for now, get out those icebreakers and start chipping away!

Dangerous Breakwater


Most people don’t know how dangerous Lake Michigan can be in stormy seas. Here is a father and his little son about to get wet. They are nearly a quarter mile out into the lake on this breakwater. In times of high waves this is very dangerous as one can easily be swept over the breakwater with the dangerous waves that crash into it.

This wave is just what I am talking about. Now, I know some kids hate to get baths but this is ridiculous! I can make out the father but where is the sun as that wave crashed upon them? And what kind of father would risk his son’s life in those kinds of waves?

Well, at least dad grabbed the little guy as his light weight might have found him on the other side in Lake Michigan without this intervention. If they’re wearing shoes, they sure are wet ones now. Do you see how dangerous these breakwaters can be when the waves are high?

Here, dad is showing some real paternal love but perhaps on this day he should have stayed on shore and watched these waves from afar? He must be some kind of daredevil or something. Can you even imagine how scared this kid was during all this? Well, those that tempt these breakwaters are definately not wise. But for certain, “otherwise”.

The Ludington Sand Dunes


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Just outside the city of Ludington and before you reach the Hamlin Dam area, there are hundreds of dunes to explore just past a highway that runs alongside Lake Michigan. If you’re a sand dune enthusiast you’ll have miles of dunes to whet your appetite.

If you’re exploring these in the summer I’d suggest some good tennis shoes as the sand in the open sun can be a little hot on your feet. At the Hamlin Dam dunes some of those are in the shade offering your feet a much needed respite. But out here in the open it brings a whole new meaning to the term hot foot.

At any rate if your feet do get a bit scorched just cross that highway and over one dune to get them refreshed in the cold waters of Lake Michigan. Happy exploring!

2012 Prescott National Forest Fire


Gladiator Fire, Crown King, AZ, Prescott National Forest, May, 2012

I got this picture from a friend and it shows what happens to a forest after a fire. It’s absolutely devastating to those that love The Great Outdoors. Since I now live in Arizona forest fires are much more commonplace occurrence then in Michigan. Due to the lack of rain here the areas are very dry and very open to fire. It will be something I will have to get used to. I hope nothing like this happens ever again here. Traveling over this road makes me very sad.

Skunks


one thing both Michigan and Arizona have in common are skunks. In Michigan I was driving my truck down the road and hit a skunk. Even with air conditioning that Aroma permuted the truck causing me to roll my windows down and then it got even worse. Down here in Arizona they are known as polecats but whatever they’re called the aroma is the same. I’ve heard they make good pets once certain glands are removed. I had a glancing thought about not removing the glands and having them repel boarders like Crooks. It was just a glancing thought.

Ludington Public Showers


Ludington just hates to be upstaged by Manistee so when they heard about the Manistee Car and People Washer they just had to go and come up with their own version of a public showers. The people involved seemed to be taking it all in stride. If the waves were any larger they might also get the opportunity to swim in the lake.

In fact, I figure they did so because of their “drench” coats that came with the territory. Again, like Manistee, Ludington does not cover the cost of towels or soap so bring your own.

Perilous Walk


it was a cold and bitter day and I had vowed to walk the break water at least 100 yards out. My friend Daniel and I were cautious and wearing rubber boots to protect our feet. Water was already sloshing around our feet. The lake looked angry as only Lake Michigan can get. We finally made it to the hundred-yard point and headed back
Already the wind had increased its volume and the way his room breaking harder. 100 yards from Shore might not seem like much but when you’re on the Breakwater on this kind of went it sure seems that long. By the time we made it back to shore the waves were breaking over the Breakwater mightily. We had timed our adventure just right. Daniel looked at me and I looked at him and we both knew we would never do this again.

Tree Maintenance


Having worked with the National Forest Service for several years one thing I understand is tree maintenance. Over the years several kinds of hardwoods have come up with diseases and that is why periodic spraying of our national forests is vital to prevent more outbreaks of diseased trees.

The easiest way is to spray by air as it saturates the entire area with chemicals that can reduce tree disease. These are akin to crop dusters that help prevent plant diseases. Since a national forests reputation, as it is, depends on trees, it is vital to have a tree maintenance program for without it, our nations forests would soon disappear or be populated with dead trees.

Already the Manistee National Forest has been thinned somewhat with new homes going in and new businesses that have taken the tree line further from various roads across the area. I am ever so happy much of the acreage is under federal protection. Trees are in a large part my business and I want them preserved so that people can enjoy them for centuries.