I wanted so badly for Muskegon to exceed the extraordinarily low expectectations of my fellow cruisers.  Even the Port Captain of the Great Lakes Cruisers Club  for Muskegon (on his boat in Ludington) seemed to wince when I mentioned our plans.

But Muskegon was the right distance, I had a great brochure on all the cool new stuff downtown, we were going to stay at the municipal marina right in town  and cruisers should help cities that have had a tough time.  Visions of bakeries, exotic cuisine and fresh farmers market provisions danced in our heads.

Then we arrived at the half-deserted marina surrounded by chain link and barbed wire.  A deserted factory looms over it.  The really nice dock people explained that lockdown is at 8 pm — nobody in, nobody out without a key.  Downtown was deserted on a Sunday, and I couldn’t even see any closed cool new places.  The farmers were masquerading as heavily armed police.  We rode our bikes for miles to find a diner.

The saving grace for me is that downtown is also the home of the LST 393 Musuem — a real, restored World War II Landing Ship Tank.  Good old 393 made 30 trips to Omaha beach on D-Day and fought in 75 actions delivering 75,000 men and 3,000 vehicles to war.

I spent a lot of time in the engine room with the two V-12 Detroit diesels — 6.5 inch bore, 18-inch stroke.  All the parts were the same as Memsahib’s little tractor diesel.  I thought “There are the injectors, there’s the fuel pump, there’s the starting compressor” — I was an ignition key away from arriving  at Key West in an LST!!

Anyway — Muskegon has a lot going for it — a new bike trail, a new downtown park right on the water, a great location.  Just not ready for Looper prime time yet.

View from Marina, Muskegon

Landiing Ship Tank 393

Door for the tanks

As promised