Session 46-One-day stops Leland, Big Bear Dunes and Luddington, MI

Once Mother N. decided to calm down a bit, we were able to take off and start making ground, errr water again. As September comes to a close and October starts to creep in (see what I did there?), ideal cruising days can come fewer and further between. We have to go when the goin is good. This also means we may not spend more than one night in any location.

Last sunset in Traverse City

We received a message from a couple from New Jersey who we first met in Cape May. Kenton and Kathy started in Florida and have not yet traveled through the lovely river system from Chicago.  They were planning to be in Leland the same day as us.

Tom and I actually visited Leland briefly a few days prior by car and were familiar with the layout. That day we pulled into the famous Big Bear Sand Dunes. Tom stayed in the car while I dared to hike up then run down–without falling!

Walking into the small village of Leland from the dock brings you right into what looks like a movie set. It is a working fishing village that looks unchanged from the 1800s. We were impressed with its rustic charm.

Kenton, Kathy, Tom and I had dinner then drinks back on Therapy. They brought some wine from their very own winery. I can’t remember if they are the second couple we’ve met who owned a winery or the third, but YAY for us!

Therapy and Nice Goin (Kenton and Kathy’s sweet ride) headed out the next day towards Luddington, MI and ran into a bit of fog. Somehow, we never lost much visibility and were able to navigate just fine.  

The harbor where we docked is home to Badger, a ferry that cruises back and forth from Luddington to Wisconsin with people and vehicles each day. It is the only coal-powered ferry in the US, and people come out just to watch it dock each night. This is sort of a spectacle as it throws the bow anchor and sort of slides the stern around 180 degrees. Kenton and Kathy suggested we order pizza and watch it happen. So we did.

The next morning we took off on a sunny, crisp, calm morning towards Grand Haven taking in the lovely dunes all along the way.

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  1. Absolutely beautiful! I live your blog and amazing adventures ❤️


  2. Cool! The western coast of MI is beautiful. My fondest memory of Grand Haven is when my father entered my 3 sisters and I in an all-girls fishing tournament one summer in my teens! We had no interest lol. Any plan to stop in Sugatuck? A cute area with a walkable town from the docks. Safe travels…


    • Hey Stephanie! We loved every ounce of Michigan and are missing it right now! We did not make it to Sugatuck but intend to return to vacation very soon and will put it on the list of places to go. Hope you are well!


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