Day is Done in Ludington

The Ludington Lighthouse is giving us an “all green” for this sunset.  Sometimes I can observe a sunset that cuts to the very essence of my heart and this is one of those times.  Just as Ludington High School’s colors are orange and black, here those very same colors permeate the scene with he exception of that lone green light.

It’s almost as if the lighthouse is giving its sanction to this particular sunset.  I can also feel the warmness  of that orange light on the very dark waters of Lake Michigan making them seem somewhat bearable.  I can almost see myself walking that breakwater with dignity this night.  What a joy it would be to bask myself in that bright orange glow.

Even my title for this article is a rhymer and sounds just right for this piece.  Day is done, gone the sun, only to return on the morrow.  All is well!

Very Wavy Lake Michigan

On a very cool July Afternoon, the Marion Y kids were greatly upset that the lake was just to cold for swimming as a brisk chilly wind was blowing. They all slipped out of their footwear and began timing the wave intervals to run in and out of them.  After 30 minutes their feet were freezing cold so I suggested burying their feet in the sand to warm them up. After that we headed t  the Ludington A&W to warm up even more with burgers and fries. Funny thing though, they didn’t object even once about the ice cold root beer?

Ludington Harbor

The Ludington Harbor is rather impressive. Off to the right, and in the distance, is the Ludington Lighthouse on the Breakwater. That’s about 1/2 Mile from shore. And this Harbor doesn’t distinguish between large and small watercraft. The smallest of boats exits into Lake Michigan this way. And the badger ferry boat leaves the Harbor the same way. You’re all seen Darlene’s photographs of high waves hitting the lighthouse. That is why people that use the Breakwater in bad weather are just plain crazy.

The Ludington Pumping Station- Part Two

Windmill energy production is the newest thing and that is not lost on the Ludington Power Station. 

Consumers Energy discussed plans in 2008 to extend the life of the facility and upgrade the pumps to increase efficiency by up to 9%.  Consumers Energy also planned to tap the wind power resources along the eastern Lake Michigan shore with wind farms because wind is an intermittent power source and may inconveniently deliver large amounts of power during periods of low electric demand, pumped storage facilities are desirable to have on the same grid with large-scale wind farms. The available pumped storage capacity, along with the wind characteristics, partly determine the maximum contribution wind power can make to the overall electricity use in a region.

Consumers Energy and Detroit Edison announced an $800 million upgrade on February 7 2011. The six year project would begin in 2013 and extend the plant’s life by at least forty years and upgrade the generating capacity from 1,872 megawatts to 2,172 megawatts.

Comments on this subject are always wecome.


Ludington’s Pumping Station- Part One

On my aerial photograph, at the top of the page is US 31 just south of Ludington and that highway can observe the pumping station only as a large hillside with no view of the water. It would make for an excellent sledding hill. However should that earthen dam ever break, US 31 would be awash in mere seconds. Here is some good information on this location.

The Ludington Pumped Storage Plant is a hydroelectric plant and reservoir in Ludington, Michigan. It was built between 1969 and 1973 at a cost of $315 million and is owned jointly by Consumers Energy and Detroit Edison and operated by Consumers Energy. At the time of its construction, it was the largest pumped storage hydroelectric facility in the world.

It consists of a reservoir 110 ft deep, 2.5 miles long, and one mile wide which holds 27 billion US gallons  of water. The 1.3 mile reservoir is located on the banks of Lake Michigan because impervious bedrock is more than 800 feet below the reservoir, the builders had to line the reservoir with a layer of asphalt and clay to prevent water seeping into the ground.

The power plant consists of six reversible turbines that can each generate 312 megawatts of electricity for a total output of 1872 megawatts. Water is delivered from the upper reservoir to the turbines by six penstocks each 1100 feet long that taper from 28 to 24 feet in diameter.

At night, during low demand for electricity, the turbines run in reverse to pump water 363 feet uphill from Lake Michigan into the reservoir. The plant takes advantage of the natural steep sand dune landform of eastern Lake Michigan. During periods of peak demand water is released to generate power. Electrical generation can begin within 2 minutes with peak electric output of 1872MW achieved in under 30 minutes. Maximum water flow is over 33 million gallons per minute.

This process helps level the load of coal-fired power plants on the grid. It also replaces the need to build natural gas peak power plants used only during high demand.

Part Two tomorrow evening.

Colorful Ludington

my two favorite places to take pictures are the Ludington lighthouse and the Sauble River entrance into Lake Michigan. Just examine the beautiful colors in this photograph with the lighthouse in the background. Still the centerpiece of this, the Photograph takes a backseat to the colors around it. The lighthouse is ever so important to the local population as it is probably the number one scenic location in Ludington.

Winterized Lighthouse

like a lonely Sentinel on duty, no matter what the weather or conditions, he does his duty. He keeps ships safe and out of Harm’s Way. He endures scorching Sun, Sub-Zero temperatures, wind chill advisories, beating rain and high waves all for the sake of protecting Mariners from Harm’s Way. He earns no salary and the only benefits you receive and the only benefits he receives is a every so often paint job. Yet he stands proud on the Breakwater each and every day for the citizens of Ludington.

Ever Stormy Lake Michigan

This would NOT be a good day to take a walk out to the Ludington Lighthouse at Lake Michigan as the waves are pounding the breakwater. It IS a good day to view the full fury of Lake Michigan and this post will attempt to drive home that point to you with a few pictures of this very same area.

Again the waves are literally pounding the breakwater. I have seen large boats washed up on this breakwater at times from those that are ever so foolish to attempt the lake at this time. I like to jog along the shoreline of Lake Michigan at these times but must confess that at times the wind sets the sand to fly and it is biting against the face.

I have even seen fishermen dare fate and walk onto this breakwater in high seas. The only thing they catch is stupidity for so doing.

This storm typifies what I am talking about. Just look at the force of those waves against the lighthouse and how high they are? If you look closely at this wave just to the left of the lighthouse you can almost visualize one eye of a wolf with the rest of his body colored black.

Great storms to watch but only on shore. Thoughts?

Picnic at Lake Michigan

A couple of friends of mine and I were down at Lake Michigan at Ludington a few days ago and the beach was packed with more sun bathers than swimmers. Still this is about the time of year I take my first dip into the cold waters of Lake Michigan. About this time they warm up about as much as they are going to warm up. My friends were there to just sun.

I swam for about an hour and even engaged in a game of tag with a few youngsters and their beach ball. It was great fun as the water really felt refreshing.

Once back with the girls they were already breaking into the picnic lunch of fried chicken, potato salad, and lemonade. After a hearty lunch and some girl talk, I returned to sunning and that warm sun felt really good. It’s so nice to live just a half hour from this beach. In about another week, the swimmers will outnumber the sun bathers.

As for today, the children were largely found in the lake with the parents supervising them from shore. The beach lifeguard also kept a constant vigil on the kids. What a fantastic day for a picnic!

The L-O-N-G Hike Out to the Ludington Breakwater

I’ve provided you with a great many “looks” at the Ludington Breakwater in stormy seas, but this one in particular shows you how wide this breakwater is. You could almost drive a jeep down it. This portion is just after the turn due west. It is quite a hike but not so long in calm waters.

The trick is navigating this piece of cement during choppy seas. I don’t even try it in high waves as some do to their own peril. Water then is splashed across this breakwater with almost every passing wave.

There are large rocks to each side of this breakwater and diving off it is restricted even though some do anyway. In high surf some boats have even found themselves stuck on this breakwater almost as if they were using it as a springboard to get to the other side. There are some pictures of that elsewhere on BBL and Beyond.

I just marvel at the length of this breakwater which takes you to the very end of Ludington Harbor and is the last vantage point to bid farewell to ferry boats leaving the harbor.

Aboard the SS Badger

How about a trip on the SS badger from Ludington Michigan to Wisconsin? I have a video for you today about that. Badger ferry boat. You can even play Bingo aboard the Badger.

If you get tired of Badger bingo take a walk topside or just relax in a lounge chair and enjoy the view. It takes about 2 hours to Cross Lake Michigan.

You never know what kind of weather you’ll be facing aboard the Badger so you might want to take along seasick pills just in case. You can even have your own cabin.

There’s a canteen aboard and an arcade for the children. When in Ludington you might want to consider a trip both ways. Hope you enjoyed your cruise news.

Bad Storm Approaching Ludington

Talk about a low ceiling! This could be a wave producer. I don’t know if I’d want to be out on the Breakwater when this storm hits. This one could be a doozy. If you are on a boat it seems as if you can almost touch the very clouds themselves. And if you’re really in a boat you better get into the Ludington Harbor fast.