Miles traveled: 170
Campground: Petoskey State Park
We did not take the scenic route from Ludington to Petoskey. It was a dreary ride with a splattering of rain, and road construction in the middle of the bigger towns.
The landscape changed from strip malls to flat farmland in a hurry. As we got closer to Traverse City, it became much hillier
. Once we reached Traverse City we got a good view of Grand Traverse Bay. Our campground is on Little Travers Bay, which is just a little bit of a protected dip in from Lake Michigan.
This campground is very nice. It’s right behind a row of dunes on the beach, with quick access via a wooden walkway. Our campsite is well-wooded (which makes for rather chilly late afternoons), and reasonably separated from the others.
Since it’s all very level around a lake, it makes for easy biking. And there’s a bike trail that leads all the way from Petoskey to Traverse City.
Since we’re right next to the lake, and the section of the lake here is protected, it is an ideal location to go boating, which is what we did. We paddled the Sea Eagle around the shore for about an hour. Then we beached and started looking for Petoskey Stones.
The beach is covered in little rounded rocks, mostly pebbles but some as large as doughnuts. Among these stones one is supposed to find little stones unique to the area with little geometric patterns on them. I found some interesting candidates, but apparently they were just fossils.
Our neighbor, who was sitting in a beach chair, suddenly piped up, “Oh, look, your boat is drifting out to sea.” Sure enough, we hadn’t properly moored the boat and it had set out on its own to Milwaukee.
Fortunately I’m traveling with an able-bodied seawoman. Rebecca waded out in the rather chilly waters of Lake Michigan and retrieved our kayak, which fortunately was not using its paddles to escape.
After our paddle, we biked over to the Petoskey Brewing Company to sample the local brew, where we struck up a conversation with a couple from Kalamazoo.