Ludington State Park
|The kids and Troutstream|
The difficulty in meeting someone for the first time is that you don’t always know what to expect. Sometimes it takes a while to get a feel for a person. With Dan from the blog Mali Mish, I felt like I knew him before I met him. From his blog, I already knew we had a few things in common. We both have a love for Airstreams, travel and our families. Also, we both have the audacity to post family photos under the auspices of an Airstream blog. Our blogs are the modern day equivalent of that odd neighbor pulling out the slide projector every time you visit. The only difference is that in cyberspace, you can simply click away instead of enduring the pain. All kidding aside, with those few interests in common and our mutual willingness to share our passion in a blog, our love of aluminum has brought together two families from opposite ends of the country. I felt comfortable with Dan as soon as we met in person at Ludington State Park this weekend. He is an adventurous, intelligent and charming guy. Also, he talks as much as I do. Upon meeting the rest of his family, I knew this would be a great weekend. Their two adorable daughters made easy friends with my little Lucy. Marlene was friendly and soft spoken. She and baby Luka were practically inseparable. It was truly a pleasure to spend time with our kindred spirits from the west coast.
My original plan for this weekend was to camp and fish with our good friends Phil and Kim and their two daughters. We had planned this trip over six months ago. They live down the street from us and love the outdoors. They accompany us on a couple of tent camping trips a year in Michigan. I knew that Phil and Dan would hit it off. Between the three of us guys, our wives were lucky to get in a word edgewise. Luckily, I was able to spend the weekend with new friends and old friends and we all got along famously. Phil and Kim set up their tent next to my Airstream while the crew at Mali Mish snagged a nearby spot. My only complaint about the weekend was the weather. It was rainy and cold the first day.
We arrived at Ludington State Park before our campsite was ready. That is usually a problem but at Ludington you can just park your Airstream along the coast next to the dunes on Lake Michigan and just wait it out. Unfortunately, it was a bit cold and windy when we arrived. The view from our Airstream was great. Ethan was not content just sitting in the Airstream so I had to take him down to the Big Sauble River for some salmon fishing. The salmon come into the Big Sauble River to spawn when the water temperature is just right which is usually the first week of October. The fish weren't biting and we only lasted about twenty minutes in the wind.
|Bedroom Window View|
|The boys braving the cold|
|Ethan is enthusiastic about fishing|
|The salmon successfully evaded us|
|Who's the dork without waders?|
|Poker with the kids. Lucy has a bad habit of calling out my cards.|
|Ethan with Emma and Lauren|
We eventually made it to our campsite after learning the Dan and Marlene had already arrived. After backing in the Airstream, I went over to meet Dan. We hung out for a few minutes and planned to get together once I finished setting up. The whole Mali Mish crew came over to meet us and we all hiked around Lost Lake together. Later that afternoon, Phil and Kim arrived and set up camp. We have continued our streak of good campsite choices with the Nassmacher family. The nice thing about camping with another couple is that you are guaranteed to like at least one of your neighbors. It was a bit chilly so we had to get a fire going quickly. We all hung out by the fire and the kids made S'mores while some of the adults had a few drinks. One of the adults had a little too much wine. I won't say who it was but he was not Asian.
|Our campsite on Lost Lake|
|My boys set up their tent and braved the cold with the Nassmachers|
|Lucy hiking around Lost Lake|
|Ava, Mila and Lucy giggling at their reflections|
After scrapping plans to explore the park, we headed into the town of Ludington to explore. The town is full of old fashioned restaurants and antique shops. The restaurants were like a throwback to the 1950's. We finally settled on a more contemporary brewpub for dinner. After dinner, we headed out to the Ludington Lighthouse to check out the S.S. Badger ferry returning to Ludington from Wisconsin. It is the last coal fired ship on the Great Lakes and is in danger of being decommissioned by the state if they do not retrofit it with a diesel engine. It creates more pollution than all the big ships in the Great Lakes combined but it is a symbol of Ludington and an impressive looking vessel. We enjoyed the passing of the S.S. Badger along with a nice sunset over the water despite the wind and cold.
|The now deserted beach house from atop a dune|
|Here comes the Badger|
|Ava and Lucy|
|Photo Credit to Dan. He knows how to bring out my hidden beauty. Thanks Dan.|
|Ethan dancing by the lighthouse|
|My little climbers|
|Phil, Doug and Dan|
|Sitting in Dan's Office|
|These two were all about spawning and not about eating|
|We shall return...|