Fort Mackinac, Michigan

Day 129

     The first Europeans to reach this area, which sits at the junction of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, were the French in the late 1500’s. They traded goods with the Indians for furs and pelts. In 1715 they built Fort Makinac, not for military purposes, but as a trading post. This drew many French settlers to the great lakes area. As a result of the English winning the French and Indian War, Britain  received all the French possessions around the Great Lakes.

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   It was still used as a trading post for the exchange of furs and goods to be shipped back to England.

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     When the English rebels, in the lower part of the continent, began capturing English forts in the North, the commander of Fort Mackinac decided he would not be able to defend the fort against the rebel gunboats and dismantled the fort moving it across the Straight of Mackinac to Mackinac Island. (Is that a run on sentence?) He then burned the remains of the fort so it would not fall into the hands of the enemy.

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Mackinaw City, Michigan

Day 127

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     On our way here from Traverse City we crossed the 45th parallel. Anyone know the significance?      No it is not 54 40 or fight.

     It is the halfway point between the North Pole and the Equator.

     Mackinaw City is located at the upper part of the State of Michigan where Lake Michigan meets Lake Huron. It wasn’t until 1957 that a bridge was built across this area which links the main part of the State to the upper peninsula, referred to by the locals as UP.

  There have been 78 shipwrecks in the 5 mile Mackinac straight that connects the two lakes. There is a neat shipwreck museum, which we visited of course.

     We also visited the lighthouse which is on lower Michigan.

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                          It gave us a great view of the bridge.

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     Of course, you can’t go to Mackinaw City without visiting Wienerlicious which has the nation’s largest hot dog statue.

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Technical Stuff:

Traverse City, MI  to Mackinaw City, MI: 149.3 miles

3 hours 25 minutes

10.9 MPG

Diesel 2.11

 

 

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park, Michigan

Day 125

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     Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park is located three quarters up The State of Michigan on Lake Michigan.

     The dunes, formed by melting glaciers and wind, are humongous.

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      Climbing up them gives you a magnificent view of Lake Michigan.

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Technical Stuff:

White River, MI to Traverse City, MI 125.5 Miles

2 hours 50 minutes

10.9 MPG

Diesel: $2.00 gallon

 

Michigan Lighthouses

Day 121

We are greeted wherever we go.

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     The lighthouses of Lake Michigan are still functioning, although not needed. With the requirements that larger boats must carry designated navigation equipment, the need for lighthouses has ceased.

    On our circle tour of Lake Michigan we have seen so far 19 lighthouses.

     The first beacon for navigation on the continent was erected in Massachusetts in 1673, with the first lighthouse being erected in Boston Harbor in 1716.

     On the Great Lakes the first lighthouse was located at Buffalo, New York, at the “junction of Buffalo Creek and Lake Erie,” and was erected in 1818. The first lighthouse on Lake Michigan was at St. Joseph Island, built in 1832.

     Back in 1789 all lighthouses were placed under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Lighthouse Services. President Roosevelt consolidated the U.S. Lighthouse Service with the U.S. Coast Guard in 1939 where it remains to this day.

     During the 1960’s most of these lighthouses were decommissioned by the Coast Guard. Although still under their jurisdiction, they are dismantling them or selling them. The ones we are visiting have been taken over by the local historical society or organizations such as The Lighthouse Keepers Association.

 

     We were able to tour the White River Lighthouse.

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the Muskegon lighthouse.

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and the Little Sable Point Lighthouse

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Fresnel Lense 

We next wanted to tour The Mears Light House.

Was this it?

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Nope. That is the Ludington Breakwater Lighthouse.

How about this one? 

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     Yep, that’s it. No more traditional lighthouses. Current lighthouses are unmanned, powered by solar, use LED lights which are controlled by automatic sensors that turn them on in bad weather and darkness.

      I got a fish for dinner, but Barbara would not clean or cook him.

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Man traveling Country in RV looking for cook.

 

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Montague, Michigan

Day 120

   One of the great things about traveling around the Country in an RV is that you stumble upon the unique treasures of America, like the country’s tallest weathervane:

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     At Michigan’s Heritage Park in Whitehall, Barbara decided she likes living in an RV rather than a wigwam:

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She also learned how to make candles,Day 119 White River MI4391_Fotor

and throw the atlatl, 

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     This device is like a sling shot. In her hand is the thrower which has leather straps for her fingers and a hook in which the spear fits. She hurls her arm forward, holding on to the thrower which propels the spear with great force. She did pretty good. 

    During our travels we set up camp and explore up to a 100 miles from our campsite. We like driving through all the small towns. It is a challenge, since most of these towns did not consider a 21 ft. long, 8 ft. wide pickup truck with dual rear wheels when they laid out the roads. Nevertheless, we have not encounter any unsurmountable problems. 

Blue Lake, Michigan

Day 119

Travel:

     We are camping in Blue Lake, Michigan, but we haven’t found the blue lake. What we did find was the White River which empties into White Lake which empties into Lake Michigan. There we found this light house.Day 119 White River MI4402_Fotor

     I would not think it is very effective, being below the tree line.

     We are currently traveling around Lake Michigan on what they call The Lake Circle Tour. It is the only great lake you can circle without a passport. We entered the circle on the east side from Ohio. We will follow the tour around the top of Lake Michigan and down the West side to Wisconsin. At our current pace, we anticipate this to take 3 weeks to a month.

Technical Stuff:

Grand Rapids, MI to Blue Lake, MI 62.4 miles

1 hour 30 minutes

11.5 MPG

 

 

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Day 116

Travel:

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     We joined a club called Harvest Hosts. For a modest yearly fee, they provide you with locations around the Country of farms, wineries, and orchards, where you can park your RV overnight without additional fees.

     Our first use of this program brought us to Robinette’s Apple Haus & Winery.

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Did we choose this one for the apples or wine?

    We are parked in the cherry orchard. Unfortunately, we just missed the cherry picking season (July). They are now doing peaches and apricots. Our only problem were the big bugs.

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     They also have a winery, which Barbara had to test out (as a courtesy for them letting us stay here, of course).Day 116 Grand Rapids 4369_Fotor

See you down the road

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Technical Stuff:

Grand Haven to Grand Rapids 64.4 miles

1 hour 42 minutes

10.6 MPG

Diesel: 2.05