MI LSP Lost Lake-Island Trail Flower Tree_6031a By now the interested blog viewer will have gotten the idea that I’m rather fond of wildlife. You might think by the sheer number of bird photos that winged creatures top my list, but in fact I’m a mammal kind of girl. My all-time favorite animals are American black bears. All right, I admit, it’s the cute factor, but if I were twenty-five years younger I’d be in school right now, studying to be a wildlife biologist and hoping to work with black bears.

Frustratingly, I’ve never seen one. When I was 16, one strolled through my unit at summer camp, and I slept right through it. The Philadelphia Zoo has Asiatic black bears, but not American, and when we visited the Cape May Zoo, their bears were inside while the enclosure was being cleaned. I even have bad luck at zoos.

MI Mitchell SP Sign_7536aThe closest I’ve gotten is this sign, near Mitchell State Park. Not your average “Deer Crossing” sign is it?

It’s becoming my new excursion mantra – “Great trip! But NO bears…”

Here are a few Michigan images that didn’t make it into previous posts, but I like too much to leave out.

MI LSP Lost Lake-Island Trail Flower Tree_6183aLost Lake, Ludington State Park

Sign CollageMichigan Highway 116 runs past endless beaches and right into Ludington State Park, and M-22 is the route through Sleeping Bear Dunes. The locations they provide access to are so popular there’s a whole cottage industry of M-22 and M-116 trinkets. Also common are Michigan T-shirts: “Lake Michigan – Unsalted and Shark Free”.

MI Mitchell SP Flower_7240aMI Mitchell SP Flower_7383aOn the trail at Mitchell State Park

Ludington CollageSome things you might see around Ludington, including art at the Waterfront Park, and the House of Flavors. Fantastic ice cream with really creative flavor names. “NSA Feature Flavor”?

MI White Pine - 19 Windmill_5471aAs the sun sets on another wonderful sojourn to Michigan, good memories flood back:

  •  MI Tricycle Kim_7701 acsTelling time by the toot of the Badger’s horn
  • Getting Jersey-sized waves on the first day
  • Dirt roads and red barns
  • Kayaking
  • Betsey’s delight with the scallops at Steamer’s
  • Meeting Doug and Suzanne – YAY! – and Terry and the Obrechts
  • The Club Mich sign
  • Getting lost
  • Barefoot Brownie ice cream, aka Bear Claw
  • Michigan cherries
  • Sherry’s battle with the ants
  • Going from way too hot to almost cold, and getting to wear an International House sweatshirt when it was too cold
  • Sherry whistling the blues to the accompaniment of Doug’s guitar
  • That darn tricycle
  • Forgetting to sign the garage before I left

Most of all, long conversations with wonderful people. I’m especially grateful to Betsey and Sherry – thanks guys for inviting me into your wonderful home this summer.

On the way out of town, let’s take advantage of one more opportunity to have the “Ludington Experience”, shall we?Stearns Park Collage

The REAL Ludington ExperienceMI Sunset_5732a

Coming up: Summer’s Fleeting Beauty