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article imageOp-Ed: My spring break trip to Michigan's Ludington State Park Special

By Matt Harding     Apr 24, 2011 in Travel
I set off last Sunday with seven friends of mine to Michigan's Ludington State Park to go camping for our senior year spring break. Despite some poor weather, the trip was a phenomenal success.
Day 1: (4/17)
We left the Metro Detroit area at around 2 p.m. with heavy wind gusts and overcast skies. We took two separate vehicles driven by my friends Travis and Grace. I was in Grace's car, which was well ahead of Travis's. So, we decided to stop and spend some time in towns and rest stops along the way. When we hit Muskegon, Michigan, which is about 60 miles from the park, the overcast skies faded and the wind gusts slowed down. I had bought a tripod for my camera the previous day and was anxious to use it! These photos are from the stop in Muskegon and a nearby rest stop:
Muskegon  Michigan
Muskegon, Michigan
A pier in Muskegon  Michigan
A pier in Muskegon, Michigan
At a rest stop on the way to Ludington
At a rest stop on the way to Ludington
At a rest stop on the way to Ludington
At a rest stop on the way to Ludington
About an hour and a half later (including a few stops along the way) we finally made it to Ludington. We pulled up to gorgeous Lake Michigan to take in the incredible views and also to wait for Travis, Andrea, and Big C.
Grace on a Ludington beach
Grace on a Ludington beach
Myself  Grace  and A.J. on a Ludington beach
Myself, Grace, and A.J. on a Ludington beach
A Ludington beach
A Ludington beach
A Ludington beach
A Ludington beach
A Ludington beach
A Ludington beach
Spring Break 2011!
Spring Break 2011!
Soon after, Travis's vehicle arrived and we made the five mile drive to our campsite in Ludington State Park. The park, by the way, is not actually located in the city of Ludington but just north of it. And, after we set up tents and unpacked, we took the first full group photo of the trip.
The whole group (from left to right). Top row: Travis  Matt (me)  A.J.  and Big C (real name Michael...
The whole group (from left to right). Top row: Travis, Matt (me), A.J., and Big C (real name Michael). Bottom row: Grace, Andrea, Ashley, and Natalie.
Day 2: (4/18)
The first full day of the trip started out with chilly, but terrific weather. The group went for a lengthy hike in the sand dunes and around Hamlin Lake, the inland lake in Ludington State Park. Natalie and I split off from the rest of the group to hike to Lake Michigan, which was quite far away, as it turned out. Still, the blisters and sore bodies were well worth the breathtaking views.
The group on Day 2
The group on Day 2
Sitting on a dock at Lost Lake
Sitting on a dock at Lost Lake
Ludington State Park
Ludington State Park
An aerial of Hamlin Lake from a sand dune
An aerial of Hamlin Lake from a sand dune
The hike to Lake Michigan
The hike to Lake Michigan
Big C holds two other friends in his hand!
Big C holds two other friends in his hand!
Sand dunes in Ludington State Park
Sand dunes in Ludington State Park
A tree in sand dunes; Ludington State Park  Michigan
A tree in sand dunes; Ludington State Park, Michigan
Lake Michigan near Ludington State Park
Lake Michigan near Ludington State Park
Lake Michigan near Ludington State Park
Lake Michigan near Ludington State Park
Ludington State Park
Ludington State Park
Michigan s state bird  the robin
Michigan's state bird, the robin
A chipmunk in Ludington State Park
A chipmunk in Ludington State Park
A woodpecker in Ludington State Park
A woodpecker in Ludington State Park
A deer in Ludington State Park
A deer in Ludington State Park
A deer in Ludington State Park
A deer in Ludington State Park
A woodpecker in Ludington State Park
A woodpecker in Ludington State Park
The sun setting on Lake Michigan
The sun setting on Lake Michigan
Lake Michigan near Ludington State Park
Lake Michigan near Ludington State Park
Lake Michigan near Ludington State Park
Lake Michigan near Ludington State Park
Lake Michigan near Ludington State Park
Lake Michigan near Ludington State Park
Day 3:
I awoke this Tuesday morning ready for virtually anything the day would throw at us. And, when I started to see the snow fall, I was still optimistic. I boasted to my friends, "It probably won't last long. I'm sure it'll clear up." Yet, the snow kept coming, and sadly, sticking. I stayed optimistic, as always. After all, with the snow falling, I was sure to get a variety of photos during my trip. To say the least, I believe I did.
Snow falls on Lake Michigan in Ludington State Park
Snow falls on Lake Michigan in Ludington State Park
Snow falls on Lake Michigan in Ludington State Park
Snow falls on Lake Michigan in Ludington State Park
Snow falls on Lake Michigan in Ludington State Park
Snow falls on Lake Michigan in Ludington State Park
Deer in Ludington State Park
Deer in Ludington State Park
Deer in Ludington State Park
Deer in Ludington State Park
The snow put somewhat of a damper on the day, but not enough to keep us all from having a good time. After going back to the campsite after spending most of the day in town, we realized the amount of snow (and bitter cold) would be too much for us to have to deal with. (Note to readers: If it were up to me, we would have stayed) Instead, we stayed at a quaint little motel in Ludington, no more than two blocks from Lake Michigan.
Ludington  Michigan
Ludington, Michigan
A lighthouse on Lake Michigan
A lighthouse on Lake Michigan
Day 4:
Wednesday was a mostly overcast day, featuring splatters of rain here and there. We went fishing to start the day and while the others went into town, I took a hike with Natalie and A.J. to the Big Sable Point Lighthouse – cameraless. Of course, I had to hike to Lake Michigan with A.J. to take some photos after the rain subsided.
A squirrel in Ludington State Park
A squirrel in Ludington State Park
I knew my new tripod would come in handy!
I knew my new tripod would come in handy!
A river in Ludington State Park
A river in Ludington State Park
Andrea caught the only fish of the entire trip
Andrea caught the only fish of the entire trip
Deer in Ludington State Park
Deer in Ludington State Park
A cardinal in Ludington State Park
A cardinal in Ludington State Park
Deer in Ludington State Park
Deer in Ludington State Park
A deer climbing a Lake Michigan sand dune
A deer climbing a Lake Michigan sand dune
Day 5:
During the final full day of my trip, we took the entire group to the Big Sable Point Lighthouse. It was quite the taxing hike the first time around for myself, Natalie, and A.J. But, the second trip was exhausting. Not to mention I hiked it with all of my camera equipment.
On the way to the lighthouse
On the way to the lighthouse
Grace was happy!
Grace was happy!
Still with miles to go
Still with miles to go
Beautiful tree in Ludington State Park
Beautiful tree in Ludington State Park
Staying behind to watch the others hike
Staying behind to watch the others hike
Big Sable Point Lighthouse
Big Sable Point Lighthouse
Big Sable Point Lighthouse
Big Sable Point Lighthouse
Big Sable Point Lighthouse
Big Sable Point Lighthouse
Even though the lighthouse isn't supposed to open until May, there were some people there, maintenance mostly, who let us in and gave us a tour all the way to the top. It made for breathtaking views and a frightening walk back down.
Big Sable Point Lighthouse
Big Sable Point Lighthouse
Big Sable Point Lighthouse
Big Sable Point Lighthouse
Big Sable Point Lighthouse
Big Sable Point Lighthouse
Big Sable Point Lighthouse
Big Sable Point Lighthouse
Big Sable Point Lighthouse
Big Sable Point Lighthouse
Big Sable Point Lighthouse
Big Sable Point Lighthouse
Big Sable Point Lighthouse
Big Sable Point Lighthouse
Big Sable Point Lighthouse
Big Sable Point Lighthouse
Big Sable Point Lighthouse
Big Sable Point Lighthouse
Big Sable Point Lighthouse
Big Sable Point Lighthouse
Big Sable Point Lighthouse
Big Sable Point Lighthouse
Big Sable Point Lighthouse
Big Sable Point Lighthouse
This sums up the whole trip
This sums up the whole trip
The trek back seemed to take forever. The entire trip seemed to last a minute. But, nothing beats the memories that will last a lifetime.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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