(The 13th Edition)


Victor Edward Swanson,



    The reports and stories contained on this Web page have been put together with information taken from "The Victor Swanson Fabulous Files of Places to See in Michigan and Wisconsin" and with information obtained from operators and staffers of tourist attractions and from press releases, Web sites, and other sources.  The reports and stories are provided as a public service by Victor Swanson and The Hologlobe Press.  Almost all persons and entities, such as staffers of radio stations, may freely use the materials; neither AAA Michigan nor any employee of AAA Michigan may use, distribute, download, transmit, copy, or duplicate any of the material presented on this page in any way or through any means.

- - - Travel Thoughts for Everyone - - -

    After I published the previous edition of Michigan Travel Tips, I got a question from someone about something mentioned in the edition.  This edition will answer the question, and to answer the question, you and I are going to take a trip--an imaginary trip, of course.  We will go tomorrow morning.  Be dressed in slacks or pants and a sweat shirt, and bring a jacket, and if you wish, you can wear a scarf.  Meet me on the east-side parking lot of the Mardigian Library of the University of Michigan, Dearborn, at eight o'clock.  It is along Evergreen Road, by the way.  And take this brown packet of stuff.

    It is Saturday morning.
    "I see you made it a little early.  I am glad.  If you had been late, our trip would have to be rushed.  As you can see, I roped off a section of the parking lot.  I did it last night after the parking lot was nearly empty.  What you are looking at are two one-man helicopters that I put together last summer.  I saw some designs.  Then, I made some design changes, and I had pieces fabricated with, you know, "state-of-the-art" materials--stuff that wasn't available thirty years ago.  That one is for you.  And this one is for me.  I hope you like the color of the frame.  Yes, it does look like it's a flying plastic bubble.  Everything's clear plastic so you can look all around.  Because of the stronger and lighter-weight materials that are available today, I was able to cut down the weight by fifty pounds over what the weight might have been thirty years ago, and I was able to increase the amount of fuel it could carry, so we'll be able to get all the way to our destination without having to fill up anywhere.  No!  You'll have no trouble flying this thing.  It's easy.  You'll see the materials and documents in the packet that I gave you really covered everything.  Get yourself situated and strapped in.  Put on the headphones.  You'll see the headset has a microphone.  After that, I'll give you an oral run down."
    Last night, the satellite weather maps indicated that the skies above Michigan would be mostly clear today and the flying weather would be good.  Right now, the sky is sunny here in Dearborn.  The wind is calm near the ground, but the wind will probably be a little stronger higher up--above the buildings and trees.
    "Yeah, you're coming in clear on the radio, too.  Let me run through it.  The right pedal is the right rudder control.  Press it and you go right.  I mean you make the helicopter turn or spin to the right. When you press the left rudder pedal, you go left.  At your left side is the control stick that changes the pitch of the rotor blades or main blades.  Remember: The main blades slice through the air as they spin, and while you bring the handle up, you, basically, make the blades less parallel to the ground, and they are able to lift the craft better.  In addition, the handle is the throttle.  Ah, you remembered.  Yes, the stick is called the collective control stick.  Now, the other stick in front of you is the cyclic control stick.  Right!  Push it forward, and you go forward.  Pull it back, and you go backward.  Et cetera!  That covers that.  So, up I go.  I don't have to do anything with the rudders, since I don't want to spin.  I'm increasing the throttle and increasing the speed of the engine, and I'm increasing the pitch of the main blades.  Sounds fine.  Looks good.  Now you!  Watch the gauges.  You should be used to them because of that flight simulator you played with last night.  Remember to increase the power steadily.  You don't want to punch it.  You're looking good.  Patience.  Wow, I'm getting a good view.  Now, this is no good, as you can tell.  We're facing Michigan Avenue and the train tracks.  Right, that's south.  Push the right rudder pedal.  We're going to spin right about one-hundred-ten degrees.  We're aiming for Plymouth and beyond, such as Brighton.  Good!  That's enough. Forward we go.  Yup!  Good!  You're doing fine.  This baby can get up to about one-hundred miles an hour.  Follow me.  For now, we'll do about thirty.  Remember: Regularly take a look at those gauges."
    Plymouth, Michigan, is about eleven miles from Dearborn--on a straight line.  Plymouth is one place in Michigan that holds an ice-carving festival each year--in January.  In Plymouth is a museum called the Plymouth Historical Museum.
    "As you know, we don't have time to stop.  Yes, indeed, that is the Plymouth Historical Museum down there.  I hear it has a collection of Daisy air rifles. Daisy air rifles used to be made in Plymouth.  Also, the place has a car called the "Alter."  Alters were built in Plymouth in the late teens, around 1916.  The museum is also the site for an amateur radio station, KC8SWR.  Okay, let's get these things really going."
    If a person leaves Dearborn and heads out on a heading to about two-hundred-ninety degrees, the person sort of follows the I-96 freeway, which is the main freeway that connects the Detroit area to the Lansing area, where the capital of the state of Michigan is located (actually, the capitol is in Lansing).  Along the way is Brighton, which is the location of a popular recreation area, the Brighton Recreation Area, and, for instance, it is a place for camping and fishing.  And in the Lansing area, a person can find the Carl G. Fenner Nature Center, which has, for example, hiking trails.
    "What's the gauge say?  Okay.  Relax.  Lower the pitch of the main blades a bit.  That should reduce the manifold pressure.  How's it now?  What?  See.  Since we're at Lansing, we can make a turn.  Push on that right rudder.  We're heading north for Clare.  We'll follow US-127.  Up until a few years ago, it was called US-27.  That's what I called it for about three decades while doing traffic reports on radio stations.  I'm still in the habit of calling it US-27.  There it is, off to the left.  Bunch of people on the move already.  Hum, well, you can surely tell it's spring in Michigan.  Look at the trees."
    Some of the towns or cities along US-127 between the Lansing area and the Clare area are St. Johns, Alma, and Mount Pleasant.  At St. Johns is the Paine Gilliam-Scott House Museum.  At Alma is Alma College.  The Museum of Cultural and Natural History is at Mount Pleasant.
    "Here's Clare.  Give it some left rudder.  Get the heading at about three-hundred-ten.  No, we cannot stop at that the yard sale.  Yes, you can tell it's spring in Michigan when people start setting up the yard sales and garage sales on weekends.  That reminds me.  Yoder's Amish Farm, which is at Clare, is scheduled to have the "2005 Amish Crafts and Quilt Auction and Flea Market in May.  The dates are May 20 and May 21.  And then again in September, there will be another weekend for the event.  Those dates are September 2 and 3."
    When motorists head out on a northwest direction from the Clare area, they usually use M-115.  M-115 gets used a lot between the Clare area and the next main-city area, the Cadillac area, throughout the year.  Northwestern Lower Michigan is a popular tourist region of the state; for instance, in winter, people in the southeastern region of the Lower Peninsula head to the northwestern region to go skiing or snowmobiling.
    "No, we're going to be too far north to pass over Chippewa Lake.  The ice should be long gone.  I found out the Michigan Ice Racing Association was able to hold six days of ice racing this year.  Some of the high-point getters were Steve Couture, Roger Freas, Stacey DeSpelder, Craig Weidner, and Mike Johnson.  Now, this is the general Cadillac area.  We're sort of in morel mushroom territory--roughly.  I think some people prefer the Mesick area, which we're now coming upon, over the Cadillac area to hunt for morel mushrooms in the spring.  Here we go again.  Right rudder!  Let's head north.  I've been debating in my head what route to take to our destination.  We have to cross Lake Michigan.  I've been wondering if we should shoot over South Fox Island or the nearby North Fox Island or go farther north so that we can go over the Beaver Island area.  Beaver Island has an airport and is one of the popular vacation islands of Michigan.  You know you can take a ferry from Charlevoix to get to Beaver Island.  It's run by the Beaver Island Boat Company.  If I do say so myself, these little machines are cozy.  You've got it--I build nothing but the best.  Okay, let's see.  And  now I can say, 'Welcome to Leelanau County!'  It's one of the winery areas of the state.  Oh, how's your fuel doing?  You should have about a third left.  Good!  Out that way to your right is Grand Traverse Bay, and at the southern end is a West Arm and an East Arm.  Look ahead!  That's Lake Michigan.  Here we go!  Put it all out!"
    Now, the destination is about seventy-five miles away.  South Fox Island and North Fox Island are about twenty-fives miles away.  And the destination, which is in the Upper Peninsula, is about another fifty miles away.
    "If you get bored, we could have a singalong.  We could start with the "Witch Doctor" song.  What?  You know that "Ooh-ee-ooh-ah-ah" song.  It was put together by Ross Bagdasarian and released in 1958.  He was instrumental in putting together The Alvin Show, a cartoon television series that showed up on CBS-TV in 1962.  There was Alvin and Simon and Theodore.  Their manager was David Seville.  What?  What do you mean I'm 'drifting'?  I'm on course.  The gauges show everything is fine.  Oh, my mind is 'drifting.'  Yes, it's a topic better left for T.H.A.T.  The inventor?  The inventor guy was Clyde Crashcup.  Don't say it!  Don't say it!  I'm not related."
    Moving at about one-hundred miles an hour, a helicopter can travel from the Leelanau Peninsula of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in about forty-five minutes, and, all the way, there's not much for a person who is flying a helicopter to see below.  From time to time, it might be possible to see yachts or other watercraft below.  When a pilot looks up, it might be possible to see high-flying airplanes or jets, such as those that leave white exhaust trails from horizon to horizon.
    "Land!  Land ho!  Can you guess the place?  No, it's not the Escanaba area.  That's farther west.  This place is a place I've talked about recently.  Not Marquette.  No.  Not Munising.  Those places are farther north.  Right.  You got it!  Manistique!  We're going to follow the river in.  Look for the water tower I told you about recently.  We don't want to shake up anybody, so slow down.  That's the good.  A little more.  To the left, that's the wastewater treatment plant.  Over there, that's the water tower.  See it doesn't look like a ball on a thin stand or pedestal or whatever.  It is the restored water tower, though.  Here comes a bridge.  By the way, the road is M-94 or Old US-2.  Yes, I did sort of mention the bridge to you recently.  It is the famous "Siphon Bridge."  Someone wanted to know why it is famous."  For one, it's a bridge that is partially supported by water.  People have been coming to see it for years.  Now, people can come to see it in it's fully restored form.  It was originally built in 1919.  By the way, nice job coming to a hovering position.  The bridge is about two-hundred-ninety-six feet long.  The water channel--called a 'flume'--is about three-thousand feet long.  You can see the water is higher than the bridge is.  There's no official Michigan historical marker, here, but, over there, that sign tells how the water is sort of sucked under the bridge.  That's all I'll say so that I don't really give away something you can have fun learning for yourself.  Hum.  Looks like they did a good job putting it back together.  Well, well, have you noticed, we're already drawing a crowd.  A couple boys are over there.  Too bad we're not wearing space suits that make us look like aliens.  If it were dark out, they might think we were UFOs.  That'd keep them up all night.  So.  So, do we hover here till we run out of fuel and fall in to the Manistique River or do we head off for fuel?  Yes, indeed, I'll go with the latter, too.  Make your heading ninety degrees.  And get ready to see Schoolcraft County Airport."

    And that's your imaginary trip from the Mardigian Library in Dearborn to the Siphon Bridge at Manistique, and although the story is fictitious, all the places mentioned really do exist in Michigan, and they are things you can see.

    And now I report that the city of Detroit closed the doors to the Belle Isle Aquarium (Belle Isle of Detroit) on Sunday, April 3, 2005, and if it should be opened again, I shall report the information in a future edition of Michigan Travel Tips.

    Your travel tips are:

    Alma College, Alma, Gratiot County, the Lower Peninsula.

    Brighton Recreation Area, Brighton, Livingston County, the Lower Peninsula.

    Carl G. Fenner Nature Center, Lansing, Ingham County, the Lower Peninsula.

    The Mardigian Library, the University of Michigan (Dearborn campus), Dearborn, Wayne County, the Lower Peninsula.

    The Museum of Cultural and Natural History, Mount Pleasant, Isabella County, the Lower Peninsula.

    The Paine Gilliam-Scott House Museum, St. Johns, Clinton County, the Lower Peninsula.

    The Plymouth Historical Museum, Plymouth, Wayne County, the Lower Peninsula.

    The Siphon Bridge, Manistique, Schoolcraft County, the Upper Peninsula.

    Your travel-tip event is:

    "The 2005 Amish Crafts, Quilt Auction, and Flea Market," Yoder's Amish Farm (along Leaton Road), Clare, Clare County, the Lower Peninsula.

    Your special news reports cover:

    The Belle Isle Aquarium, Belle Isle, Detroit, Wayne County, the Lower Peninsula.

    The Michigan Ice Racing Association, the Lower Peninsula

- - - Public Service Copy for Broadcasters (four pieces) - - -

Number One:

    When you travel the roads of Michigan, you are very likely to

see Lincolns and Plymouths on the roads.  Of course, you should

know Lincolns are from Ford Motor Co. and Plymouths are from

Chrysler.  Abraham Lincoln was not from Plymouth, but materials

related to Abraham Lincoln can be found in Plymouth--particularly

the Plymouth Historical Museum.  The materials are contained in

a collection called "Images of Lincoln."  For example, the museum

has a life mask of Abraham Lincoln and a cast of his hands.

Abraham Lincoln was killed in 1865, and a lock of his hair--

obtained on the night he was shot, is at the museum.  Also, the

museum has life-size wax figures of Abraham Lincoln and his wife,

Mary, which are dressed in the clothing worn by the Lincolns for

the Second Inaugural Ball.  So when you drive through Plymouth

next time, think of the Lincolns and the Plymouth Historical

Museum, and enjoy your safe traveling.


Number Two:

    The Hologlobe Press has a free Web site that talks about places

to see in Michigan.  This month, the feature story is an imaginary

trip by helicopter from Dearborn to a place in the Upper Peninsula.

What can be bad for a person who flies in a helicopter over Michigan

is the person doesn't get to see things up close.  If you were to fly

over Clare on May 20 and 21, you couldn't get low enough to see

all the things at the "2005 Amish Crafts, Quilt Auction, and Flea

Market," which will be held at Yoder's Amish Farm.  It's no good

to be above the Gateway Farmers Market.  From the air, you could

only see the outside of the building for the Clare County Historical

Museum, which looks like a two-story building at Dover Road and

Eberhart Road, and you'd not see inside the Historic Dover School.

The buildings will be open again on May 1.  Remember: This year,

The Hologlobe Press recommends you drive to and not fly over



Number Three:

    Some people who drive in the state of Michigan keep binoculars

with them.  The binoculars are not kept close to see birds and

waterfalls and such; the binoculars are kept close to see the

addresses of places.  If a person were looking through binoculars

for 334 North State Street at St. Ignace, the person would

eventually see the Fort De Baude Museum.  That's in the Upper

Peninsula, by the way.  If the address being hunted for were 60

West Wattles Road at Troy, it would be easy to find with

binoculars.  At the address, a person would see the Troy Museum

and Historic Village.  And if a person were at Midland and were

using binoculars to find 6500 Jefferson Avenue, the person would

eventually find the Midland Soccer Center, which has more than a

dozen soccer fields.  Of course, while you drive, you should not be

looking through binoculars.  Be alert for other motorists in Michigan,

and enjoy your safe traveling.


Number Four:

    Many more people vacation in Michigan on the warm days of the

year than on the cold days, and when more people are traveling, you

are more likely to come across counterfeit money.  While you

vacation, you should try to relax, but you should not become lax

about watching for counterfeit bills.  Fortunately for you, newer

bills do have a lot of security features.  Each of the newer fives,

tens, twenties, fifties, and hundreds have a security thread, which

can be seen by holding the bill up to the light, and what a thread

might  say is "USA Twenty" or "USA Ten," and each bill has a

watermark of a U.S. President on the right side when the bill is

viewed from the front, and the watermark can be seen by holding

the bill up to the light.  Also, newer fives, tens, twenties, fifties,

and hundreds have some parts printed in color-shifting ink.  No

matter what place that you go to see in Michigan, watch for

counterfeit bills.  And enjoy your safe traveling!


- - - Contact Information - - -

The Hologlobe Press
Postal Box 5455
Dearborn, Michigan  48128-0455
The United States of America

copyright c. 2005
File date: 10 April 2005
Date posted: 13 April 2005

To see the next edition of Michigan Travel Tips,
    click on: Travel #14
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    click on: Travel #12
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    click on: Travel
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    click on: www.hologlobepress.com