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.
It gave us a great view of the bridge.
Of course, you can’t go to Mackinaw City without visiting Wienerlicious which has the nation’s largest hot dog statue.
Traverse City, MI to Mackinaw City, MI: 149.3 miles
3 hours 25 minutes
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.
Climbing up them gives you a magnificent view of Lake Michigan.
White River, MI to Traverse City, MI 125.5 Miles
2 hours 50 minutes
Diesel: $2.00 gallon
We are greeted wherever we go.
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.
the Muskegon lighthouse.
and the Little Sable Point Lighthouse
We next wanted to tour The Mears Light House.
Was this it?
Nope. That is the Ludington Breakwater Lighthouse.
How about this one?
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.
Man traveling Country in RV looking for cook.
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:
At Michigan’s Heritage Park in Whitehall, Barbara decided she likes living in an RV rather than a wigwam:
She also learned how to make candles,
and throw the atlatl,
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.
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.
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.
Grand Rapids, MI to Blue Lake, MI 62.4 miles
1 hour 30 minutes
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.
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.
They also have a winery, which Barbara had to test out (as a courtesy for them letting us stay here, of course).
See you down the road
Grand Haven to Grand Rapids 64.4 miles
1 hour 42 minutes
Grand Haven is the headquarters of the U.S. Coast Guard on Lake Michigan. Every August the town of Grand Haven honors the Coast Guard with a festival. We were able to tour 6 ships, 5 of the Coast Guard, all ice breakers, and a Canadian patrol and rescue boat. (I can never remember, are they “ships” or “boats”?)
We walked to the end of the pier to view the lighthouse.
There are 95 operating lighthouses on Lake Michigan.
Barbara insisted on checking the nautical charts. . .
and then insisted on moving the boat to port (or was that rye?)
For those that cannot read naval flags
It says “Welcome Steven and Barbara, RV’ers”.
Barbara and those guys in uniform.
That evening, there was a water fountain show.
Holland, Michigan wants to be Holland, Netherlands. From wooden shoes
A dance was performed for us, wearing those wooden shoes.
Our guide was born and raised in the Netherlands.
Although we are traveling, Barbara still keeps my nose to the grindstone.
Finally, in addition to beautiful grounds and flowers, they had a player organ.
We ate lunch here, but they used a microwave rather than a Dutch Oven.
Kalamazoo is not only familiar by the Glen Miller song, I’ve Got a Gal In Kalamazoo, but also because it is the birthplace of William Upjohn, the founder of the Upjohn Company, who make a majority of our medicines. Originally called The Upjohn Pill and Granule Company. Medicine in this time (1884) were in powder form. Dr. Upjohn developed the friable pill, in which he compressed the powdered medicine to create a stable pill that could and was easily dissolvable in the stomach.
In walking through the city, we stopped at a park and saw about 50 – 60 people, of all ages, in which EVERYONE was on their smart phone. It was weird. We soon realized they were
playing the pokeman-go game. We stopped a woman to ask her about it, and she said she does it because not only was the game fun, but it kept tract of how far she walked. She tries to do 10,000 steps. At this point she had done 8,000. Since we walk an average of 2-5 miles a day, we saw no need to play the game.
On our way to Battle Creek, Michigan, we stopped in Marshall, Michigan to visit the American Museum of Magic. A great disappointment. However, Barbara did try to learn “hide the ball”.
The Battle of Battle Creek took place on March 14, 1825 and was initially called “the battle at the creek.” It took place about 8 miles from the present day city when two land surveyors working along a stream were approached by two Potawatomi Indians looking for food. An altercation arose and ended when the surveyors produced a rifle and settled the argument by mortally wounding one of the Indians.
John Preston Kellogg, who made his fortune running a broom factory in Battle Creek, was a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. He helped establish the 7th day adventist hospital and promoted holistic healthy living – healthy food, sunshine, exercise, refrain from smoking and drinking. He encouraged his son to go to medical school. When his son, Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, returned, he agreed to be director of the hospital. The son carried on his father’s work and ideas of modern medicine, among which was a vegetarian diet. However, because of bad teeth, patrons could not eat the hard grains. He and his brother, Will Keith Kellogg, developed corn flakes which were easier to eat and digest. Will Kellogg commercialized those flakes into Kellogg’s Corn Flakes that we know and love today. The tours of the factory are no longer offered because Kellogg’s competitor, Post, were stealing their secrets.
It appears my last post was not worded correctly. The post should read: “Barbara had a drink called sex with the Captain.” The author regrets the error. (DUH! No I don’t.)
Saugatuck was originally a lumber town. It is now an art colony. The Johnson River flows through Saugatuck to Lake Michigan. We were here, like those over the last 100 years, to watch the boats and have a picnic.
We were fortunate to catch their annual boat show and fireworks. We sat in the bandshell, where Barbara talked the ear off the guy next to her.
Next to us was a chain ferry.
A paddle boat took tourists down the river.
This year’s theme was Vikings. The boats dressed up in their best viking gear and lights and paraded down the river.
We then watched the fireworks
South Haven is a quaint seaside town located on the Black River, which feeds into Lake Michigan.
The dark water is the Black River and the blue Lake Michigan.
We strolled down to the docks where numerous yachts were moored. Barbara had sex with the Captain.
Made arrangements with COSCO to get there early in the morning where they topped off my 4 Sphinx tires with nitrogen.
Farmington, MI to South Haven, MI: 192.1 miles
4 hours 6 minutes
Diesel: $2.00 gallon
William H.L. McCourtie made his fortune in the cement business. He had an estate of 42 acres in the Township of Somerset, Hillside, Michigan on which he had sculptured 17 bridges which crossed a meandering stream on his property.
Each of the bridges, as well as other structures, such as benches and trees, were made of sculpted concrete to look like logs, planks and ropes.
He ultimately gave the land, now called McCourtie Park, to the Township. Even the chimney on the garages was made of concrete to look like a tree stump.
Healthcare on the Road.
Before we left for our grand adventure we tried to minimize potential problems. We got our yearly physicals. Transferred all our vitamins and prescriptions to Walgreen’s Pharmacy, because they have the most pharmacys throughout the United States. Got our dental checkup and cleaning. And updated our health insurance and prescription cards.
Nevertheless, problems do arise. For instance, my tooth is beginning to bother me. I now need to locate a dentist on the road. Or, I can continue to treat it myself with chocolate.
Our hosts, Sharon Woodard and Mack Madrey, on whose property we have been staying for the last week and a half, graciously took us to their house on Lake LeAnn, in which we stayed for three days.
Each day we went out on their boat.
The lake is fed by springs, and you can see those springs bubbling up the water.
Barbara couldn’t resist dipping her to toes into the bubbles.
She also took time swimming with her noodle.
There were all kinds of watercraft enjoying the gorgeous day.
Mom, he followed me home, can I keep him?
The Cranbrook Science Center host a vast array of items.
Alas, poor Yorick, I knew him well
Their Observatory was open to the public.
Let’s take the Way-Back-Machine to an era less complex.
Marvin had an attraction of oddities and mechanical machines.
Put a coin in the machine, and it performed.