(The 22nd 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 - - -

    During the holiday season, I enjoy getting things, and this past holiday season, I received some of the things that I really like to receive--brochures about places in Michigan and special newspapers or magazines from places in Michigan--and such gifts help me keep a little informed about changes taking place in Michigan, such as at museums and other tourist attractions.  During this past holiday season one of my brothers, David, took two separate trips to places in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, one trip between the Detroit area and the Grand Marais area and one trip between the Detroit area and the Ontonagon/Silver City area, and he brought back most of the special gifts that I got this past holiday season.  Of the other special gifts that I ended up with, one I stumbled across while helping to do a bit of "winter cleaning" (which is like "spring cleaning" in the winter) at a friend's place.  Let me pass along information about some of what I received this holiday season.

    First, I must talk about the special "gift" that I found during the "winter cleaning" adventure.  I found a brochure for the "Indian River Depot."  The brochure seems to have been made in 1982, and one reason that I state that is was probably made in 1982 is the brochure has this line printed on it: "...Indian River Old Fashioned Days will be July 31, 1982."  Yes, the brochure is old, but it is the first brochure that I have ever seen focusing on the "Indian River Depot," which you should understand is, in essence, a train depot.  The brochure notes that the depot began to be used in 1882, and the brochure hints that the brochure was put together by "Of Cabbages & Kings," a store.  A brand new telephone directory that I have for the Indian River-plus area of Michigan, which is better called a telephone directory for four counties near the Mackinac Bridge (Mackinac County, Emmet County, Cheboygan County, and Charlevoix County), has no listing for "Of Cabbages and & Kings."  It seems Of Cabbages & Kings no longer exists, which does not surprise me.  The information that I have about the "Indian River Depot" is the building exists and it is not being used regularly.  Although it is not a building that people can tour regularly, I can still add the building to my list of old train depots that exist in the state, some of which are the Alden Depot Museum (Alden, Antrim County, the Lower Peninsula), the Charlevoix Depot Museum (Charlevoix, Charlevoix County, the Lower Peninsula), the New Haven Railroad Station (New Haven, Macomb County, the Lower Peninsula), and the Williamston Depot Museum (Williamston, Ingham County).

    Keep in mind: As a rule, restored train depots or museums that are housed in or are old train depots are open only during the summer-tourist season.

    Let me make an aside.  For the last few years, at least, I have been hearing information about the work that has been going on to restore a train depot at Millersburg, which is in Presque Isle County of the Lower Peninsula, and the information has come from Special Reporter Joan Scheel; for example, Joan Scheel has reported that a new roof was put on the building during this past summer.  It seems someday in the somewhat near future, I will be able to report that the train depot at Millersburg is something people can regularly see.

    So, now, I return to the subject or really take up the subject of what I got as special gifts during the past holiday season.

    One brochure that I received is entitled "Porcupine Mountains Backcountry Guide," which is related to Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park (of the western Upper Peninsula of Michigan).  Through the brochure, a map shows, for instance, part of the "North Country Trail," which, depending on the time of year, can be followed on foot or on skis, and, certainly, this is the time of year when a person might think about following the "North Country Trail" and other marked trails of the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, and the brochure shows the general locations of rustic campgrounds and modern campgrounds and "backcountry campsites."  The Lake of the Clouds, which is a famous tourist attraction, is shown on the map of the brochure, and my brother reported that, a person who hopes to see the Lake of the Clouds at this time of the year, when there is a lot of snow on the ground, should plan to travel by snowmobile, either a snowmobile that the person owns or rents (there are places in the Upper Peninsula that rent snowmobiles).  The brochure is a publication of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Parks and Recreation Bureau (which can be contacted at, for instance, P.O. Box 30028, Lansing, Michigan 48909).

    Another brochure that I received was "Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park," which is a brochure that I had seen in the past, and the brochure talks about features of the park, such as the hiking trails, and it has a map on one side.  Yet another brochure that I received was entitled "Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park: Cross Country Ski Trails and Winter Wilderness Tips," and, for instance, it has a map on one side that shows the location of a number of cross-country ski trails and the location of the downhill ski area of the park.  Both brochures are publications of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

    I received an "advertisement," which is like a slip of paper (a third of an eleven-inch-by-eight-inch-and-a-half sheet of paper), entitled "Scenic Air Tours of the Porcupine Mountains," which I had never seen before.  The brochure focuses on a company called "Porcupine Air Tours," which takes people on airplane tours of the Porcupine Mountains area.  The flights start and end at Ontonagon County Airport, which is about two miles and a half to the west of Ontonagon along M-26.  The telephone numbers for the company are 1-906-884-2302 and 1-888-900-4876 (which is a toll-free number), and the Web site for the company is www.porcupineairtours.com.  Of course, fees are charged for tours.

    Remember: I do not report through Michigan Travel Tips the quality of any tourist-attraction-type company, and I do not endorse any tourist-attraction-type company as being good or being bad, and you have to do research about whether or not you wish to use the services of any tourist-attraction-type company noted with any edition of Michigan Travel Tips, and, in the case of "Porcupine Air Tours," I am simply noting facts about something that exists.

    Another brochure of a company that I received is from "Adventure Mining Company."  This company gives tours of the "Adventure Copper Mine," which is at Greenland, from roughly mid-May through mid-October each year.  I have known about the tourist attraction for many years, but the brochure seems new to me--I do not think I have seen such a glossy and colorful brochure from the Adventure Mining Company (www.adventuremine.com) before.

    Incidentally, when you are in the Upper Peninsula, you can find brochures of places to see in the Upper Peninsula at such places as Welcome Centers (those run by the state of Michigan), ranger stations, businesses, visitor centers, tourist attractions (of course), and Chambers of Commerce.

    Throughout the year, people in the Upper Peninsula publish official newspapers and unofficial newspapers, so when you travel in the Upper Peninsula, you will come across various types of newspapers that will have information about the Upper Peninsula or news about the Upper Peninsula.  My brother gave me a copy of one edition of the Grand Marais Gazette (December 15, 2005), which can be called an official newspaper, a copy of one edition of The Ontonagon Herald (December 28, 2005), which can be considered an official newspaper, and a copy of one edition of The Daily Mining Gazette (December 28, 2005), which can be considered an official newspaper based in Houghton, and none of the newspapers presented any information about a place to see that was unknown to me, but I did learn a bit about a few events going on, such as the "Walk A Mile In MY Shoes' Sculpture Exhibit" being held at the Hancock Community Art Center (at Hancock of Houghton County) from January 3 through January 31 ("Walk A Mile In MY Shoes' Sculpture Exhibit." The Ontonagon Herald, 28 December 2005, p. 4.)).  Official newspapers or traditional newspapers are offered to the public for fees, and unofficial or non-traditional newspapers may be offered for free or for fees.  The Copper Nugget (the December 26, 2005, edition) was one free and simple unofficial publication that I received, and The Lake Superior Voice (the December 26, 2005, edition) was another free and simple publication that I received, and both are advertiser-supported publications and give a little feel of the daily life in the Upper Peninsula (particularly the western region of the Upper Peninsula), and two of the for-fee publications that I received were The Great Lakes Mariners, Volume 8, Number 3, (a publication that was produced in Grand Marais, Alger County, the Upper Peninsula) and UP Magazine, Volume 16, #11 or 11/12 (which was produced by Porcupine Press World, which is located at Chatham, Alger County, the Upper Peninsula), and neither publication gave me new information about places to see and do research on, but they were fun to look at, especially the "Dear Abby" fishing story that appears on page 45 of UP Magazine.

    Also, I received a copy of the Upper Peninsula Visitor Guide, Winter 2005-2006 (though the cover had it identified as the Upper Peninsula Visitors Guide 2005), and it is like a magazine.  Inside I found an advertisement for "Into the Woods," which is an exhibit at the Marquette County History Museum that I talked about in the previous edition of Michigan Travel Tips.  I learned (from page 7) that the Junior Olympics for cross-country skiing is scheduled to take place from March 3 though March 11 on the Michigan Tech University Recreational Forest and Nordic Ski Trails; Michigan Tech University is located at Houghton and is where the A.E. Seaman Mineral Museum is located, and I learned (through page 8) that the annual cross-country ski event called the "Great Bear Chase" is set for March 11 in the Calumet area (Houghton County).  Much of the publication focused on outdoor activities, such as the "U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association SuperTour Tournament" for 2006, which is scheduled to take place at Suicide Hill at Ishpeming on January 15, and the "Continental Cup" ski-jumping event, which is scheduled for late February at Iron Mountain.  One article (entitled "Eben ice caves awe inspiring") talked about the winter tourist attraction informally called the "Eben Ice Caves" (at Eben Junction of Alger County).  By the way, one of the advertisers in the publication was "Evert's Snowmobile Rentals," Hancock.

    At this time of the year, people who go to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan do not usually go to see manmade tourist attractions, since many manmade tourist attractions are closed; people go to do cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, and snowmobiling.  The general Grand Marais area is one of the most popular snowmobiling areas in the Upper Peninsula, which is one reason my brother went to the Grand Marais area this past holiday season.  Two of the manmade tourist attractions that are open at this time of the year in the Upper Peninsula are the Upper Peninsula Children's Museum and Investigation Station at Marquette (Marquette County) and the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame and Museum (at Ishpeming), and people like to see or tour the Calumet Theatre (at Calumet, Houghton County), the Finnish-American Heritage Center (Hancock), and the Laurium Manor Inn (at Laurium, Houghton County).

    If you know someone who is going to a place in the Upper Peninsula soon, try to get that someone to pick up--at least--a few copies of the publications that are published and distributed in the region so that you can learn a bit more about what goes on and is going on in the Upper Peninsula..

    Your travel tips in Michigan are:

    The Calumet Theatre, Calumet, Houghton County, the Upper Peninsula.

    The Eben Ice Caves, Eben Junction, Alger County, the Upper Peninsula.

    Porcupine Air Tours, Ontonagon County Airport, Ontonagon, Ontonagon County, the Upper Peninsula.

    The Upper Peninsula Children's Museum and Investigation Station, Marquette, Marquette County, the Upper Peninsula.

    The U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame and Museum, Ishpeming, Marquette County, the Upper Peninsula.

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

Number One:

    Scattered throughout Michigan are many trail systems that people

can use to walk on, ride a bicycle on, or cross-country ski on, and

it could be said that throughout the year, people are working to

improve trail systems.  In Michigan, one nonprofit organization that

is involved in setting up trails and in improving trails is the "Top of

Michigan Trails Council," and, in particular, it is an organization that

is involved with trails in the northern two rows of counties in the

Lower Peninsula--a region that is composed of Alpena, Antrim,

Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Emmet, Montmorency, and Presque Isle

Counties.  Today, the Top of Michigan Trails Council is closely

involved with about a dozen trails, one of which is a trail that exists

between Bay Harbor and Petoskey.  To learn more about the trail

network associated with the Top of Michigan Trails Council, which

is based at Petoskey, begin by seeing topofmichigantrails.org.


Number Two:

    Although some tourist attractions are closed at this time of the

year, there are still a lot of places or things to see in Michigan.

Castle Rock is a tourist attraction that is located a few miles west

of St. Ignace, which is in the Upper Peninsula, and although Castle

Rock is closed at this time of the year, you can drive into the

parking area of Castle Rock and see big statues of Paul Bunyon

and his ox named Babe.  If you were to go to the intersection of

North Monroe Street and West Elm Avenue at Monroe, you

could see a statue of George Custer entitled "Sighting the Enemy."

And while driving on the roads, you could see icy spots right ahead.

Then again, while driving on the roads, you might not see any spots

right ahead, but icy spots could be there and could catch you by

surprise.  No matter where and when you drive in Michigan this

winter, you have to expect there are slippery spots ahead, even

when the pavement looks dry.


Number Three:

    If you were going to explain what Michigan has for people to

do to someone from another country, you would have to give

information about the many different types of festivals that are held

annually.  You could talk about "Tip-Up Town USA," an outdoor

event, which includes an ice-fishing tournament, that usually takes

place at Houghton Lake during the final two weekends of January.

You could talk about the fishing tournament called "Perchville

USA," which takes place at East Tawas in February, and this year,

the event is scheduled from February 10th through February 12th.

You might talk about the international ski-jumping event that takes

place at Iron Mountain in late February, the "blossomtime" festival

at St. Joseph and Benton Harbor of early May, the Mesick

Mushroom Festival at Mesick of early May, and the strawberry

festival at Belleville of mid-June.  And you would have to say--

"Enjoy your safe traveling in Michigan."


Number Four:

    One of the old theaters in the state of Michigan is the Ionia

Theatre, which is at Ionia, and it is a theater that was built around

the start of the Great Depression and after the heyday of the

"silent era" of the motion picture, which was the first quarter or so

of the 1900s.  That was a period of time when Actor Buster

Keaton was very popular, but, later, Buster Keaton did appear in

other films--some "talkies"--and in television productions.  Today,

the Ionia Theatre is mostly used as a place to show movies, and

although the Ionia Theatre is used to show motion pictures, you

are very unlikely to see a Buston Keaton movie there, and that

should not surprise you.  What might surprise you is--the

Muskegon Mercantile Museum, which is at Muskegon, has an

exhibit about Buster Keaton.  If you go to Muskegon, plan to see

the Buster Keaton exhibit at the Muskegon Mercantile Museum,

and if you go to Ionia, think about seeing a movie at the Ionia



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

copyright c. 2006
File date: 10 January 2006

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