Day 64: Badger Ferry to Ludington MI - Racpat Northern Tier - CycleBlaze

August 3, 2021

Day 64: Badger Ferry to Ludington MI

Marks the beginning of Part 3: Ludington to Buffalo

This morning Cath left us each a plate of a muffin, banana and raspberries. Still with internet access, we spend the morning catching up with the journal and writing feedback reviews of our Warmshowers Hosts. We’ve had extraordinary experiences with WS here in Wisconsin. 

We tidy up the Healing Hermitage, and set off for lunch before boarding the S.S. Badger Ferry, a Legacy on the Lake, for the 4 hour crossing to Ludington. The boat, now designated a National Historic Landmark, only goes about 16mph. The Badger was built in 1952, and is the last coal fired and steam powered passenger ferry. Rachel remembers taking this across on a family vacation, along later with visiting the Holland Village where she very much wanted a pair of wooden shoes with no success.

We watch the unloading of the vehicles the ferry. The drivers parking then running back to drive more cars off....car owners hanging out waiting for their vehicle, until the unloading is complete. Then we watch as two huge trucks back into the ferry, their cargo is coal for the trip across and back. The reverse then happens with the drivers loading the vehicles, and all passengers walk onto the ferry.

The water is calm and the crossing goes surprisingly quickly. Rachel watches the Olympics in a lounge mostly; Patrick periodically walks around the ship.

During the crossing we enter the Eastern Time zone, so it is already seven o’clock when we arrive. The arrival is quite a process with the Badger needing to first turn around in a narrow channel and then back up to the quay. Right next to it lays its sister ship the Sparta, mothballed for now.  We made our way off the boat and started cycling north to the Cartier Campground which is run by the city. Along the way we make a brief stop at a gas station for some cold drinks and potato chips, but we don’t take time for a proper meal. Junk food will have to do today.

The campground as Patrick describes is “European style”, which means people are pretty well stacked together. We have a $25 “rustic site” well away from the road, but next to a large group that is there to celebrate. For the first time this trip, we need ear plugs.

Tomorrow we ride to Muskegon with another warmshowers host stay.

The Badger backing into port
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Arriving in Ludington, Sparta, the sister ship in port
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Arrived in Ludington
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Campground
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