On the Road West – Monday, 9/7 – Labor Day 2015
A good time to reflect on the labors of others that allowed us to travel these roads today. We drove almost the whole way across Michigan from east to west, on Interstate highways and U.S. Routes and Michigan State roads. All of this built by union labor. We saw places where new Interstates are being created, with beautiful smooth concrete just waiting for cars. And we saw places where the infrastructure was so eroded that travel appeared to be nearly impossible.
We reminisced about the nature of work – what our work lives had been like. What our retired lives are like now. We looked around the public campsite where we awakened crowded around by generators and giant RV’s and wondered what their lives were like and why they came to camp in such tight, intimate surroundings. Why did they come out to the “wild” and live even more closely crammed than they likely did in their homes in other places?
Michigan is FLAT, so the roads stretch on and away without many turns or curves. You can see great distances. The predominant trees on the eastern part of the trip were oaks, not the maples our eyes are used to. As we made our way west, the vegetation and the architectural styles of the houses changed enough so that, while we might not have guessed where we were if plunked down here unknowing, we would know that we were no longer in the Northeast U.S., but some other different, newer place.
As we arrived at the shores of Lake Michigan this afternoon, we found ourselves surrounded by great dunes. An exceptional and unusual landscape. Holly was exhausted, having driven 11 hours yesterday and nearly 6 today. We picked out a campsite at Ludington – night and day to yesterday’s camp. Ludington is BEAUTIFUL, with much more spacious campsites than Metamora/Hadley. And the thoughtful registration staff tried to place us in an area that was more tents than RVs. There are not 1,000 screaming children running about, and people are quiet, thoughtful in their tent sites.
I was restless and sore from sitting for two days, and decided on a short hike to a famous lighthouse. Interesting walk through the dunes, about 3 miles total. I sat on the shore of Lake Michigan at the foot of the steel lighthouse and watched a thunderstorm dancing east across the lake. I looked at the dark intense sky and decided to hightail it back to camp. Raindrops caught me as I got back to the campsite. Holly was drowsing in her tent when I went for ice. Wondering what to do with the rain and absence of cell service, when the drops pretty much stopped ad sky blued up. So I can at least write, even if I can’t send it anywhere.
Here are pictures of the lighthouse hike: