Ford Museum, Dearborn, Michigan

Day 102

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     It took us all day to view the Ford Museum, 10 AM to 5 PM. One of us reads every word, on every placard, at every exhibit, so when the guide says “Oh, you can see the Museum in 3 hours”, not us.

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     Now, that is what I call a snow plow.

     The museum was divided into different areas. This one was on trains.  Barbara was reading that this engine was used in the Canadian Rockies to clear the tracks of snow drifts. Actually, I jumped to the trains you can sit in:Day 102 Ford 3715_Fotor

     There were many things to see, Day 102 Ford 3747_Fotor     like one of the original RV’s:

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And do:Day 102 Ford 3731_Fotor


 Come on, crank it up to 3 lights. 

     They did have some very interesting items. For example, the chair from Ford’s theater where Lincoln was sitting when he was shot,

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 Do you think that is his pee?

And the bus in which Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat. 

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Lake Tipsico, Michigan

Day 101

     It appears that no matter what campground we stay, there is either an airport (jet planes), a highway, or railroad tracks. Therefore we hear those noises all night. Now that we are staying on a farm, I expected peace and quite, except for the sounds of nature. Not so, this is what we woke up to at 6:30 AM:Day 100 jet 3662_Fotor

     They were replacing the driveway and parking lot at the school, which now abuts up to the “farm”.

      The cousin of our friend, on whose property we are currently camped, has a home on Lake Tipsico. Day 100 jet 3689_Fotor

     We were able to go out on his speedboat Day 100= 464_1024_Fotor

     and then his jet ski.Day 100 jet 3676_Fotor Day 100 jet 3692_Fotor

Frankenmuth, Michigan

Day 100

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     In 1845 a group of 15 German Lutheran missionaries left the Kingdom of Bavaria to bring the word of god to the Chippewa Indians. There settlement here became Frankenmuth. Day 100 430_1024_Fotor

     The whole town emulates Bavarian culture. However, the most unique character of the town is that every street, every building, every house, every business, and every public square are covered in flowers. 

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    As you enter Frankenmuth you smell the flowers before you see them.

     The amazing thing is that there is not one dead leaf or flower in the whole town.Day 100 450_1024_Fotor

Dearborn, Michigan

Day 99

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    No visit to the Detroit area of Michigan would be complete without visiting The Henry Ford Complex. The factory, where Ford F-150’s are made, is a jaw-dropping experience. The assembly line, consisting of just over a 1000 workers and automated machines, produce a completed truck in 72 minutes. We watched as these trucks were assembled.

     Another part of the Complex is Greenfield Village.

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     This area, 80 acres, was developed by Henry Ford in the 1920’s. There are 83 historic structures, including the lab where Thomas Edison worked, the workshop where the Wright Brothers had their bicycle shop and developed the concept of manned flight, Harry Firestone’s farm (I didn’t know Firestone had a first name), Abraham Lincoln’s office where he practiced law, and H.J. Heinz’s home. Ford went around the Country looking for these items to preserve them for history. The towns where these structures stood did not want them, or the expense of their upkeep. They were disassembled by Ford and transported here. 

     It is interesting to note that only 65 years after the Wright Brothers first flight, Neil Armstrong was walking on the moon.

     H.J. Heinz started his business in the basement of his home. His first product, when he had only 1 variety, was horseradish. He advertised that his product was fresher than any other that could be bought at the time. To emphasize this he packaged it in clear glass bottles so you could clearly see his horseradish. 

     An interesting thing we saw, at Edison’s workshop, is a demonstration of the only working tin foil voice system. Day 99 3656_Fotor

     This was the predecessor of the vinyl dictaphone.      

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     Barbara tries on a bonnet at the millinery shop. 

     As usual, we clearly did not allow enough time to see everything, and were kicked out at closing. We will be going back another day to see the Henry Ford Museum, which we will allow a whole day.Day 99 3652_Fotor


Chore Day

Day 98

     Every once in a while we must take time off our busy schedule to tend to those everyday tasks that allow us to travel independently around the country: hair cuts, nail and beauty stuff, shopping for supplies and household goods, etc. Today’s that day. Barbara’s glasses broke so we went to Costco for repairs. 

     It also gives us an opportunity to inspect everything for routine maintenance. The truck has a tire monitoring system, which I check periodically with a tire gauge. I still have not figured out how to check the inner tire of my dual rear wheels. I cannot access the tire stem. The Sphinx’s tires do not have a monitoring system and must be checked manually. Those tires are nitrogen filled. Nitrogen is an inert gas (I am not sure what that actually means, but it sounds cool) that has larger molecules than oxygen and therefore is less prone to leakage. It also does not heat up during travel, which stabilizes the tires.

     My normal tire pressure on the Sphinx is 110 psi. I am 7 pounds low on each of the 4 tires. The question is: do I fill with regular compressed air, or find a place that has a nitrogen pump? I have an air pump that is capable of easily pumping that high air pressure. I use it to pump air into my air ride hitch which requires 100-110 psi. That is basically an air bag system that absorbs the rode bumps and takes pressure off the rear springs of the truck as we zoom down the road.




Farmington, Michigan

Day 97

     The last time I visited Farmington, Michigan, 42 years ago, I stayed with my friend and her family who lived on a 40 acre working farm. My sister and I came up to visit and ski. I called my friend from Sandusky to let her know we were in the area, and could we stay a few days on her farm. My thought was we would set up on a secluded area of the farm to be out of the way. 

     When I arrived today, I was shocked to see that over the last 42 years the farm had been sold off in parcels, so that now it was just over 2 acres, and no longer used as a farm.

     Nevertheless, we were able to set up in back of the old farmhouse. It gave us a chance, for the first time, to live off using the batteries only. Our electrical system is divided. All lights, water and heater pump, jacks and leveling system, slide outs, and refrigerator run off the batteries, which are 4 six volts wired in series and parallel. The refrigerator actually runs on 110 volt power, but we have a 1000 watt inverter that converts 12 volt battery power to 110 volts. All electric outlets, air conditioner and heating fans, television and microwave, run on 110 volts, like your home. 

     Obviously, when we are on battery power only we cannot use the above. We therefore have a 5.5 kilowatt generator to run those items. That generator runs off our two 30 pound propane tanks. The generator will also recharge the batteries. Right now I am not using the generator as it is quit noisy, and I don’t want to disturb the neighbors. I will run it during the day when the noise will be masked by everyday sounds and traffic.   It appears that the batteries will last a day or two before having to be recharged.

    Based on past performance, I should be able to be self-sufficient for about a week (provided Barbara doesn’t poop too much).