Milepost 9-10-15 Ludington, Michigan
Our long-awaited engagement at the Big Sable Point Lighthouse at Ludington, Michigan is upon us, and there are a couple of notices I need to post for those who might want to visit while we are there.
The first is that this is a remote location that is only accessible via a 1.8-mile trail through the dunes from the visitor center at Ludington State Park. It may be a difficult hike for those who are not used to that much physical exertion (at least it is not hilly). And then there is the lighthouse tower with its 130 steps if you want to climb to the top. Then, of course, the return walk to the car.
The second thing to be noted is the hours of operation. The lighthouse and museum and gift shop are open from 10 am to 5 pm daily. The surrounding grounds – mostly sand dunes and lakeshore – are open all the time.
There is a small fee for entry into the state park unless you have the Michigan Passport license plate. Trailhead parking is immediately inside the park entrance. The cost to climb the tower is $5 for adults and $2 for kids twelve and under. Kids must be 40 inches tall to climb the tower.
Kaye and I will be arriving at the lighthouse for our tour of duty on September 14th after 5 pm, and leaving on the 28th. We will stay in the original keeper’s house which is attached to the lighthouse and be working alongside four other volunteers, taking turns in the gift shop, the museum and the lantern room at the top of the tower.
I plan to post reports and photos of our activities while at the light whenever I have access to wireless services, so stay tuned.
9-16-15 Update. Day 3 of our 2-week engagement:
We arrived on Monday and settled in at our upstairs bedroom in the 150-year-old light keepers’ house along with the other volunteers. The weather has been sunny and very windy every day so far. Kaye and I take turns with the others, running the till in the gift shop, answering questions about the history of the lighthouse in the little museum, and keeping visitors safe on the tower platform 100 feet above the Lake Michigan beach.
We also rotate in the kitchen, preparing the evening meal for the group. Today I baked pizzas from scratch and they were accepted with delight.
Skies have been totally clear the last 3 nights and I have had a chance to attempt night sky photography, something I have been hoping to try for some time but haven’t been in a dark enough location. Though we are 9 miles from the nearest town, this is still not the best scenario, since the light on the ground tends to overpower the Milky Way. Wish I could find how to turn off those amber yard lights next to the building. Here’s a sample of my first attempt.