Taking the back roads

Weather: Sunny 90 degrees.

Location: LAT 43.22419, LONG -86.23580

Today we decided to take a drive south to Muskegon, which is a straight shot south about 40 miles on Rt. 31. However, we decided to take the back roads and avoid the highway all together. And when I say back roads I mean it, just check out the feature image above, dirt roads were a major portion onf this trip.

We passed by some beautiful farmlands. A huge contrast to the sand dunes of Silver Lake. I love taking the  back roads, the view is so much better than when we drive the highways.

Michigan farm

Arrivng in Muskegon, we drove along Lakeshore Drive and checked out a few attractions. We were able to drive onto a pier all the way to the end to check out the view before we were told by the security guard that we weren’t allowed to be there.

I think we went as far as we could go

The elderly gentlemen was the security guard for the S.S. Milwaukee Clipper, and if we wanted to take the tour, we were supposed to park at the beginning of the pier. Oops.

S.S. Milwaukee Clipper

The S.S. Milwaukee Clipper is a retired passenger ship and car ferry that sailed on all of the Great Lakes, except for Lake Ontario. Along with the  S.S Keewatin, The Milwaukee Clipper is one of only two US passenger steamships left on the Great Lakes. The ship is 361 feet (110 m) in length, 45 feet (14 m) in beam, a depth of 22 feet (6.7 m), with a gross tonnage of 4333 tons. She carried 350 passengers in staterooms at 18 knots.

In December 1983, the Milwaukee Clipper was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and in May 1989 the ship was designated a National Historic Landmark.

Tug Boat Candace Elise

Next to the Milwaukee Clipper was the tugboat Candace Elise. Nothing note worthy about her, other than she is a very large tugboat.

Swans at Muskegon Lake
Muskegon Lake

Our last stop before heading north was to check out the LST-393. It’s not an aircraft carrier, but it’s still was too big to get the entire ship in one shot.


The USS LST-393 is an LST-1 class tank landing ship built for the Navy during World War II. She is one of only two LSTs to survive in original configuration out of the 1,051 that were built.

During World War II, the ship was assigned to the European Theater and participated in the following operations: the Sicilian occupation (July 1943); the Salerno landings (September 1943); and the Invasion of Normandy (June 1944). She won three battles stars for those missions.

LST 393 arrived in the Omaha Beach zone on the night of June 6, 1944. After off-loading Sherman tanks as well as other war material, the ship spent two days high and dry, trapped by Normandy’s fickle tides. She made 30 round trips to Omaha Beach, bringing varied equipment and supplies to France and returning with wounded soldiers as well as thousands of German prisoners.

U.S. military records show the ship made 75 voyages to foreign shores and covered some 51,817 nautical miles in her first three years of service; her anchor touched bottom in 38 parts of North Africa, Sicily, Italy, England, Wales, Ireland, France and the Canal Zone. LST 393 is credited with carrying 9,135 soldiers – more than one-half of an Army division – and 3,248 vehicles ranging from howitzers to Jeeps. Records show she also carried 5,373 prisoners of war and 817 casualties.

It was a good day for a ride and we really enjoyed see the landmarks in Muskegon, since our time here is coming to an end soon. Next week is the normal work days from Monday to Friday. Then on Saturday we begin our trek east with our next stop in Coldwater.

Stay tuned, more adventures to come.






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