SS Badger Lake Michigan

SS Badger & Lake Michigan

How to cross Lake Michigan and avoid Interstate 80? You could fly, which would be fast. Or you could take a ferry, which would be slow and – maybe, just maybe – a whole lot more fun. So that is what we did last summer: we took the SS Badger across Lake Michigan on a spectacularly beautiful day. The Badger was built in 1953 to transport railroad cars across the lake. It has, accordingly, a huge hold which swallowed up our Chevy Volt, semi-trailer trucks, horse trailers, and a bunch of other vehicles. Here it is being loaded in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, for our trip east to Ludington, Michigan.

Boarding the SS Badger:

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SS Badger loading cars and trucks in Manitowoc, Wisconsin.
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Ship loading supervisors.
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Gwen and Alicia plan the day.

Manitowoc has several things to do prior to boarding the Badger. Once a major Great Lakes shipbuilding town, twenty-eight submarines and other naval vessels were built there during WWII. The Wisconsin Maritime Museum is located there, with the USS Cobia berthed in the harbor.

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USS Cobia (SS/AGSS-245) viewed from her starboard side, Manitowoc, WI.
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USS Cobia (SS/AGSS-245) viewed from the stern. Manitowoc, WI

Once underway, Gwen and Alicia got out their knitting to pass the time.

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Aboard the SS Badger in mid-lake.
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Early afternoon on Lake Michigan.

The lake was beautiful and we arrived in Ludington in what seemed a short time. It was SO MUCH nicer than being on the Interstate!

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Ludington, Michigan, lighthouse.

The harbor was beautiful at twilight.

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Ludington, Michigan, harbor in the twilight.
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Ludington, Michigan, harbor.

The next day we walked the causeway to the lighthouse and later went to Ludington State Park, where Big Sable Point Lighthouse is located.

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Ludington Light
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Catch of the day.
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Big Sable Point Lighthouse.
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Big Sable Point Lighthouse and keeper’s house.
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Gwen and Alicia atop Big Sable Point Lighthouse.

Panorama of the view from the lighthouse:

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Lake Michigan from Big Sable Point Lighthouse.

Back in Ludington later that evening there was an incredible show in the western sky.

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SS Badger leaves Ludington for an evening cruise.
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Sun beginning to set, Lake Michigan.
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Sunset, Lake Michigan.
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The sun goes down behind the lighthouse causeway.
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S S Badger

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