MICHIGAN TRAVEL TIPS
THE HOLOGLOBE PRESS
(The 15th Edition)
Victor Edward Swanson,
RULES OF USE
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 - - -
In the past, I have heard stories from police officers and staffers at big bridges in the state, like the Mackinac Bridge, about people who have gone long distances in Michigan--in the wrong directions or on the wrong roads. For example, a person might want to head to Ohio (a state that is south of Michigan) by using I-75 in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, but the person gets on I-75 and heads north and ends up at the Mackinac Bridge, which is some 300 miles north of Ohio, and then the person has to go all the way south through the Lower Peninsula to get to Ohio. Of course, it is not often that people drive hundreds of miles down a road till they discover that they have been going in the wrong direction or drive hundreds of miles down a road that they do not want to be on, but it really does happen. This edition of Michigan Travel Tips is designed to show you the difference between "Route 66" and "M-66" so that you get on the road you really want to be on.
Let me start with some basic information. M-66 is considered a "state route" in the state of Michigan, and M-66 officially exists in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, and it is a route that runs between Charlevoix (a town in the northwestern quarter of the Lower Peninsula) and the border of Michigan and Indiana (a state that is south of Michigan). Look at your right palm. Charlevoix would be at about the tip of the finger next to the baby finger. Generally speaking, M-66 runs from the tip of that finger next to the baby finger down to your wrist, which would be where Indiana could be found if you wish to pretend the left side of your wrist is a part of Indiana. You should understand M-66 runs parallel with the left side of your palm. "Route 66" does not exist anywhere in Michigan, since "Route 66" is a somewhat main road that runs between Chicago (Illinois), which is at the southern end of Lake Michigan, which would be off to the left of your right palm if you wish to pretend that the space to the left of your right palm is Lake Michigan, and Los Angeles (California), which is next to the Pacific Ocean, which exists along the western edge of the United States of America (the contiguous states). (Remember: Hawaii is farther west.)
Notice the distances involved with M-66 and "Route 66." M-66 is about 269-miles long. "Route 66" is about 2,448-miles long.
How can you tell you are on "Route 66" and not on "M-66"? Route 66 exists between Chicago (Illinois) and Los Angeles (California), as I have already reported to you, and some of the main cities along the route are Chicago (Illinois), St. Louis (Missouri), Tulsa (Oklahoma), Amarillo (Texas), Flagstaff (Arizona), and Los Angeles (California). A few of the places to see at Chicago are the Chicago Children's Museum, the Lederman Science Center, and the Swedish American Museum Center. St. Louis has, for instance, the City Museum and The Museum of Transportation, the latter of which has airplanes, trains, cars, et cetera. At Tulsa, a person will find the Tulsa Zoo & Living Museum. One of the places to visit at Amarillo is The American Quarter Horse Heritage Center. Flagstaff is where the Arizona Historical Society Pioneer Museum and the Lowell Observatory are located. And only one of the places to see at Los Angeles is the Travel Town Museum, which has, for instance, steam locomotives, cars, and trolleys.
Springfield, Missouri, which should not be confused with Springfield, Illinois, is another city that exists along US-66 or "Route 66." Springfield, Missouri, is considered the birthplace for Route 66 (once thought of as the Chicago-to-Los Angeles highway), and it was on April 30, 1926, that US-66 was named. It will be from September 9, 2005, to September 11, 2005, that Springfield, Missouri, will be the main location for the "16th Annual Motor Tour Festival 66'" of the Route 66 Association of Missouri. If you go to Springfield, Missouri, maybe while traveling as much of Route 66 in the country as you can, you will find it is the location of the Air and Military Museum, the History Museum for Springfield-Green County, and the Springfield National Cemetery.
M-66, along which is only what can be called one main city, has distinct features that a person can use to identify it, as I now tell you about through the next eleven paragraphs, by going from one end of the route to the other.
One end of M-66, which is a north-south route, is at the border for the state of Indiana and the state of Michigan. A few miles north of the border is Sturgis, which is a part of St. Joseph County. The people of Sturgis think of their place as "The Gateway to Michigan." You could begin a trip north on M-66 early in the morning, after waking up at a motel or campground near Sturgis and after having breakfast.
By the way, not all the things that you might see while taking a trip on M-66 are right along M-66. For instance, also in St. Joseph County is a place called Colon, which is a little east of M-66 along M-86 (or about four miles east of M-66). Colon was once home to the well-known magician named Harry Blackstone Sr., who lived from 1885 to 1965, and, today, the people of Colon call Colon the "Magic Capital of the World," and at Colon is Abbott's Magic Company, which, for one, is a magic store. From August 3, 2005, to August 6, 2005, Colon will be the site for the "68th Magic Get-Together," an annual magic festival that will feature, for instance, magic shows, stage shows, and fireworks (the fireworks are scheduled for the evening of Friday, August 5).
In parts of the state, M-66 has double-name designations. For example, in much of St. Joseph County, M-66 is only called "M-66." In the northeast corner of the county, a small portion of M-66 is really "M-66/M-60," and in the northwestern corner of Branch County, which is east of St. Joseph County, M-66/M-60 also exists. Remember: I will talk about M-66 in the remainder of this edition of Michigan Travel Tips, but a few parts do have a double-name designation.
North of Branch County is Calhoun County, and that is where you will find the biggest city along M-66, Battle Creek. The people of Battle Creek call their place the "Cereal Capital of the World," since it is where a famous cereal company, The Kellogg Company, has been based for decades. Today, one of the attractions of Battle Creek is "Kellogg's Cereal City USA," which is a place where you can learn about the Kellogg Company. When I was growing up in the late 1950s and early 1960s, I was able to go to Battle Creek with my family and tour the cereal factory at Battle Creek several times, and what was great about each tour was everyone got free little boxes of cereal when the tour was finished. Today, a person who goes to Kellogg's Cereal City USA gets to see a simulated "Cereal Production Line" and can get a cereal box with the person's photograph on it. Also at Battle Creek is the Kingman Museum, which has a planetarium and many exhibits, one of which is the skeleton of a sabre-toothed tiger.
To see the places already listed along M-66 so far in this edition of Michigan Travel Tips, you will easily use up a day, so you will have to stay somewhere in the general Battle Creek area, or you might want to stay at some place that is not too far north of Battle Creek, especially if you wish to see Historic Charlton Park Village and Museum on day number two. To see Historic Charlton Park Village and Museum, which is at Hastings, you first go to Nashville, which is along M-66, north of Battle Creek, and in Barry County, and you then head west on M-79 to get to Hastings. Officially, Historic Charlton Park Village and Museum is called Historic Charlton Park Village, Museum, and Recreation Area. When you want to continue seeing M-66, after seeing Historic Charlton Park Village and Museum, you head back to Nashville, using eastbound M-79.
Once you are at Nashville and if you continue to use M-66, you will be heading north, and the next main city right on M-66 is Ionia, which is about 30 miles north of Nashville. In the Ionia area is the Ionia State Recreation Area, a place operated by the state of Michigan. The Ionia State Recreation Area is a place where you can fish, mountain bike, hike, swim, picnic, et cetera, as you might expect for an outdoor-type recreation area, which has a lake, Sessions Lake, and rivers. The Ionia State Recreation Area even has bridle trails. The Ionia State Recreation Area is open all year, and to get in to the recreation area, you pay an inexpensive admission. Also in the Ionia area is Bertha Brock Park, which has about two-dozen rustic campsites, about four miles of hiking trails, and picnic areas. Incidentally, the annual "Ionia Free Fair" of Ionia County for 2005 takes place from July 21 through July 30, and the main site for the event is Ionia.
The next three counties that M-66 goes through if you continue to head north are Montcalm County, Mecosta County, and Osceola County. There are only small towns along M-66 between the southern end of Montcalm County and the northern end of Osceola County, and some of the places are Stanton, Remus, Barryton, and Marion. In those counties, there are a number places to stay, such as campgrounds.
Lake City is the main city along M-66 in the county that is north of Osceola County, and if you get to Lake City, you will be in Missaukee County. A short distance from Lake City--to the southwest--is Cadillac, a much bigger city, and you could take a side trip to Cadillac. You might think about staying at a bed-and-breakfast place in the Lake City area, and one that you might do research about before making a reservation is called Bed & Breakfast in the Pines, which is located at Lake City.
Kalkaska County is north of Missaukee County, and the main city in Kalkaska County is Kalkaska. In June, July, and August, the Kalkaska County Historical Museum is open to visitors, and the hours are from one to four in the afternoon on the weekdays and Saturdays, and one item at that museum is an 1898 Elmer (an automobile), and out in front of the museum, which is an old railroad depot, is a big statue of a trout (a type of fish). The Pickerel Lake State Forest Campground and the Guernsey Lake State Forest Campground are located in the Kalkaska area, and there is no fee to enter either campground, but there is a camping fee if you wish to camp at either of the two places. By the way, Log Lake County Park, which is near Kalkaska, is the site for the "Bluegrass Festival at Log Lake" this year, and the date for that festival is August 20.
The county that is north of Kalkaska County is Antrim County, and between Kalkaska and Mancelona, which is in Antrim County, M-66 is really "US-131/M-66." I recently learned that, little north of Kalkaska along US-131 (or really US-131/M-66) is the "shoe tree." It has shoes, like tennis shoes, hanging from it. Watch for it.
The county that is north of Antrim County is Charlevoix County, and Charlevoix County is the last county in which M-66 exists. East Jordan is in Charlevoix County and along M-66, and the Raven Hill Discovery Center is at East Jordan, and, for instance, the Raven Hill Discovery Center has a nature preserve and a museum, and the Jordan River Arts Council is based at East Jordan (at 301 Main Street), and you might think about stopping at the home of the Jordan River Arts Council to see what is on display. In essence, M-66 ends at Charlevoix, which is in Charlevoix County, and two things that you might think about seeing at Charlevoix are the Harsha House Museum and the Charlevoix Depot Museum, and some of the events--of many events--scheduled for this summer are the "75th Annual Venetian Festival" (scheduled for Sunday, July 17, 2005, through Saturday, July 23, 2005) and the "47th Annual Waterfront Art Fair" (scheduled for Saturday, August 13, 2005). And if you go to see the lighthouse at the south pier of Charlevoix, you have truly reached the end of M-66.
The heyday for "Route 66" (or US-66) and the heyday M-66 are in the past. The heyday for US-66 was from the late 1920s to the late 1960s, when the country was well into construction of the interstate freeway system (the basic structure for which was started by the Interstate Highway Act of 1956). In Michigan, motorists are more likely to use US-127 and US-131 than use M-66 to drive up and down through the heart of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, since, for example, much of US-131 is freeway.
I must add this information. M-66 is easily found on maps, even maps of the state of Michigan that are given away for free at Welcome Centers. US-66 or Route 66 is not easily found on maps today, since it has a lower stature than other main routes that map makers must show on maps have, so you will have to do research to find maps that have enough detail to show everything that Route 66 is and where it is.
When you hear the song that has the words "...Get your kicks on Route 66...," you should understand the song focuses on the road that exists between Los Angeles and Chicago (of the United States of America) and not "M-66," which is a north-south road in the state of Michigan.
For more information about "Route 66," which is really a bunch of fun stuff, see T.H.A.T #15, and to see T.H.A.T. #15 now, click on: THAT. #15. (T.H.A.T. #15 is one of the Web pages associated with the Web site of The Hologlobe Press.)
Your travel tips in Michigan are:
Abbott's Magic Company, Colon, St. Joseph County, the Lower Peninsula.
Bed and Breakfast in the Pines, Lake City, Missaukee County, the Lower Peninsula.
Bertha Brock Park, Ionia, Ionia County, the Lower Peninsula.
Charlevoix Depot Museum, Charlevoix, Charlevoix County, the Lower Peninsula.
Guernsey Lake State Forest Campground, the Kalkaska area, Kalkaska County, the Lower Peninsula.
Harsha House Museum, Charlevoix, Charlevoix County, the Lower Peninsula.
Historic Charlton Park Village, Museum, and Recreation Area, Hastings, Barry County, the Lower Peninsula.
The Ionia State Recreation Area, Ionia, Ionia County, the Lower Peninsula.
Jordan River Arts Council, East Jordan, Charlevoix County, the Lower Peninsula.
The Kalkaska County Historical Museum, Kalkaska, Kalkaska County, the Lower Peninsula.
Kellogg's Cereal City USA, Battle Creek, Calhoun County, the Lower Peninsula.
The Kingman Museum, Battle Creek, Calhoun County, the Lower Peninsula.
Pickerel Lake State Forest Campground, the Kalkaska area, Kalkaska County, the Lower Peninsula.
Raven Hill Discovery Center, East Jordan, Charlevoix County, the Lower Peninsula.
Your special news announcements are:
The "Bluegrass Festival at Log Lake" (August 20, 2005), Log Lake County Park, Kalkaska County, the Lower Peninsula.
The "Ionia Free Fair" (July 21-30, 2005), Ionia, Ionia County, the Lower Peninsula.
The "68th Magic Get-Together" (August 3-6, 2005), Colon, St. Joseph County, the Lower Peninsula.
The "75th Annual Venetian Festival" (July 17-23, 2005), Charlevoix, Charlevoix County, the Lower Peninsula.
The "47th Annual Waterfront Art Fair" (August 13, 2005), Charlevoix, Charlevoix County, the Lower Peninsula.
- - - Public Service Copy for Broadcasters (four pieces) - - -
The next time you're at a restaurant with a friend or someone and
the conversation stalls, bring up the subject of the Kalkaska area.
You know it's open this time of year. That's a piece of humor.
Actually, mention that everything is open again. Only in June, July,
and August is the Kalkaska County Historical Museum open for
regular visits. Tell your friend or the someone that the museum has
an Elmer car, which was made in 1898, and, maybe, mention that you
have no idea what it's like. Tell the friend or the someone that right
out front--in front of the museum--is a big statue of a trout.
Mention that a trout is not a pickerel, which is another type of fish.
You can say that in the Kalkaska area is the Pickerel Lake State
Forest Campground. It's a rustic campground that has sites for about
a dozen tents. It's a first-come-first-serve campground. At that
point, the conversation should no longer be stalled. And thank The
The Department of Natural Resources for the state of Michigan
notes that, in the state of Michigan, "there are over 1,300 public
boating access sites and over 80 harbors and marinas" that are
overseen by government entities. It is surely the boating season,
and the DNR has a reminder for boaters. Boat ramps around the
state have been or are being damaged by boaters who drive their
boats--under boat power--on to trailers. Each time a boat is
powered on to a trailer at a launching site, the propeller can swirl
water around at the end of the ramp and make more of a hole
underwater at the end of the ramp. Remember: "Power loading" is
not allowed in Michigan. Winch that boat up! And for information
about launch sites in Michigan, see the Web site for the DNR of
Michigan. This boating reminder has been brought to you as a public
service of The Hologlobe Press and this station. Enjoy your safe
boating in Michigan!
One of the most famous roads of the United States is "Route 66,"
which is also known as "US-66" and which is a route that runs
between the Chicago area of Illinois and the Los Angeles area of
California. No part of that route, which has many things to see, exists
in Michigan. Michigan does have what is called "M-66," and it exists
between the Charlevoix area and the Sturgis area, which is the
"Gateway to Michigan." If you were to drive the entire length of
M-66, you could stop in to see the Kingman Museum at Battle Creek,
the Ionia State Recreation Area of Ionia County, the Raven Hill
Discovery Center at East Jordan, and the Harsha House Museum
at Charlevoix. By the way, if you end up at Charlevoix from July 17
through July 23, you'll be there for the "75th Annual Venetian
Festival." Along M-66 are a number of places to stay, such as
RV parks and motels. M-66 may not be "Route 66," but it is
something to see in Michigan.
And now I have some geography facts about Michigan for children.
The "Cereal Capital" of Michigan and the world is Battle Creek. That's
where "Kellogg's Cereal City USA" tourist attraction is located and
where a lot of breakfast cereal is made. I hope you don't think cereal
grows on trees, as cherries do. Cherries are grown in the Traverse
City area, and Traverse City is the "Cherry Capital." To get to
Traverse City, you might travel in a car that came from the "Automobile
Capital"--Detroit. Detroit is where "Diamond Jack's River Tours" are
given this summer, and they're given on the Detroit River by ferry
from Thursday through Sunday. Another capital is Colon, and Colon
is the "Magic Capital of the World," and from August 3 to August 6,
Colon will be the site for the "68th Magic Get-Together." Those are
some of the capitals and things to see in Michigan this summer. Tell
mom and dad today and have fun!
- - - Contact Information - - -
The Hologlobe Press
Postal Box 5455
Dearborn, Michigan 48128-0455
The United States of America
copyright c. 2005
File date: 10 June 2005
To see the next edition of Michigan Travel Tips,
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click on: Travel #14
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click on: Travel
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