MICHIGAN TRAVEL TIPS
THE HOLOGLOBE PRESS
(The 41st 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 - - -
And now it is time to report what I did on "my summer vacation," as if I were in school again!
Okay, guys! See if you were so lucky. I spent most summer days watching for "bikini gals" on the beach along a portion of Lake Huron (in Michigan, of course). Yes, while you might have been putting down "EternaBond" on the eves of a flat roof of a house, I was looking for those brunette "bikini gals" strolling on the sand. Yes, while you might have been installing a new trap on a bath tub, doing that from in the crawl space of a house, I was looking for bikini gals jumping up and down in the surf. Yes, while you might have been painting, painting, and painting--from gliders to chairs and from a seven-foot-tall cedar lighthouse to a group of "pole people"--I was looking for bikini gals splashing about in the summer sun. Yes, while you might have been using an oxyacetylene torch to braze and weld stuff on a regular basis, and I was looking for bikini gals looking for "pudding stones" in shallow calm water of Lake Huron.
That does that!
Really, much of the summer, I did do welding work, brazing work, plumbing work, roofing work, a lot of painting work, and other types of work, but I did travel to places in Michigan to see things that tourists see or take part in. This edition of Michigan Travel Tips has information about things that I saw this summer that you can see in the future, either over the next few weeks or next summer. And this edition of Michigan Travel Tips also has information about a few other things that you could see soon or someday.
In August (2007), I took an afternoon trip to the Mackinaw City area (of Cheboygan County of the Lower Peninsula) to see things I had not see before. A short distance from Mackinaw City along US-23 is a place called "Historic Mill Creek." It was in the very late 1700s and early 1800s, that a real saw mill was run at the site, such as by Robert Campbell and his son. Historians note that the real mill was one of the first industrial facilities in the northern Great Lakes, and during my trip to Historic Mill Creek, I learned not only about the mill but also about other things, such as about how beaver were trapped to nearly extinction in the Great Lakes area by the 1840s (the heyday for trapping beaver was in the late 1700s and early 1800s), and most beaver pelts were sent to Europe so that clothing, such as hats, could be made, and that information I learned through a talk given by one of the staffers of Historic Mill Creek, and that staffer also reported that beaver were later reintroduced to Michigan and can be trapped in Michigan today (during beaver-trapping season). Incidentally, Historic Mill Creek will be open for the season till October 7, and I visited Historic Mill Creek with someone who decades ago had been somewhat involved in searching for the site of Mill Creek (and who also did archaeological digging work at the site of old Fort Michilimackinac). In the late afternoon and the early evening of the same August day, after seeing "Historic Mill Creek," I went to a marina of Mackinaw City so that I could see the inside of the old icebreaker known as The Mackinaw, which was replaced in 2006 by the new icebreaker called The Mackinaw (which is based at Cheboygan). In the past, I have talked about the Icebreaker Mackinaw Maritime Museum, but then I did not talk about the icebreaker with knowledge gained from having been on the icebreaker. I can now report that I have been on and in the old Mackinaw, which I do urge you to see and to show children (when I got on The Mackinaw, I recalled the first time that I toured in the 1960s the real World War II submarine on display at a museum in Chicago). There is truly a lot to see at The Mackinaw, since it has not been stripped of things, such as ear plugs, tools, books, pots and pans, photographs, warning signs, menus, et cetera. I looked very carefully at the ship, and, for instance, I found a place in the piping where a repair seemed to have been made at a joint with a nonstandard gasket (it looked as if the gasket was cut out of a sheet of rubber with scissors, and I tell you about it so that you will look hard to find it if you tour the ship soon). A staffer of Icebreaker Mackinaw Maritime Museum, who was Rick Horstman and who was the guide for the small group that I was touring with, said that the museum management is still looking for people to help out as volunteers on the ship this season. This museum ship will be open for the season from ten to six on weekends through October.
Let me make an aside here, which should help foreigners and others who are unaware what "pole people" are (at least as I know them to be). The type of "pole people" that I know about you might come across while traveling to a fair or a craft show in Michigan. Such "pole people" are figures made of wood. For example, a "pole person" could be made of a three-foot-high cedar log, which is about five inches in diameter and which stands on a wood base, which is like a one-inch thick disc that is about nine inches in diameter, and the figure could look like a fisherman, having been painted and dressed to look like a fisherman. This summer, for a friend, I worked on or repaired "pole people" that looked like a fisherman (in a yellow slicker), a ship's captain, a snowman, a farmer/scarecrow guy, and farmer/scarecrow gal.
It was on Labor Day (September 3, 2007) that I traveled to Cheboygan and Mackinaw City to take part in events or get information about events going on at each place. The reason that I went to Cheboygan was to take part in the annual "State Street Bridge Walk," which was set to begin at 11:40 a.m.; the State Street Bridge is a drawbridge bridge along US-23 that goes over the Cheyboygan River in downtown Cheboygan, and the bridge can be opened up to let boats go up or down the river. When I got near the bridge, I saw there was a long line of people getting ready to walk across the bridge. I tried to stay near the end of the line to make the walk so that I could get a report of how many people took part in the walk. When the walk was finished, Dawn Adams told me that 581 persons took part in the walk this year, and I determined I was number "577." Dawn Adams is married to Rich Adams, who is the editor for the Cheboygan Daily Tribune (which is a newspaper based at Cheboygan), and Rich Adams does writing and editing (as the "editor") and sometimes also takes photographs for the newspaper. Rich Adams reported to me that the walk really began in the 1980s when four guys decided to walk the bridge at Cheboygan instead of walk the Mackinac Bridge and then go to a bar, and the bridge walk was held for a number of years, and then the walk was discontinued. Rich Adams was one of the persons who helped get the current annual walk started again for 2000 (through not related to any guys who would end up walking to a bar). So the 2007 event was the eighth annual event. Next year, you are invited to attend the State Street Bridge Walk. After the bridge walk this year, I walked with all the others to Washington Park, where people served up free hot dogs, potato chips, and other things, and it seems to me it is very likely the little lunch event will follow the bridge walk next year (keep that in mind). Next, I went up to Mackinaw City, where the annual Labor Day Mackinac Bridge Walk was taking place (it was the 50th annual walk of the bridge on Labor Day, and over the past few decades, the walk has attracted from about 40,000 to 60,000 persons). The walk was still in progress at around 1:30 p.m. when I ended up talking with a state police officer near the south end of the bridge or near the finish line. The officer was Trooper Mike Jermeay, who is regularly based with another trooper at a little state pollice post at Rogers City. One thing that he told me is that he heard 26 buses did not show up for the event to help move people. The most important thing that I learned from Mike was he is involved in "letter boxing," which is sort of like "geocaching," which I talked about in Michigan Travel Tips #36 (you can reach Michigan Travel Tips #36 now by hitting this link: Travel #36). In essence, letter boxing involves going to places to find "stamps" (like rubber stamps) that a person searching for such stamps uses to stamp a diary or book or notebook or whatever to indicate that the person has found the stamps (I will have more about letter boxing in the future). Mike reported that he knows some stamps are hidden in Michigan, such as at Sugar Loaf (the ski area in the Lower Peninsula) and Northern Michigan University (which is at Marquette in the Upper Peninsula), and he said that he had a stamp made for Forty Mile Lighthouse Park and that he hopes to soon have the stamp at the park for people to find. To finish the day, I went to "Colonial Fort Michilimackinac" at Mackinaw City. The fort is a re-creation of a fort made of logs at was used by the French and the English in, for instance, the 1700s, and during the visit to the fort, I learned there is a new muzzle loader exhibit in the building that is identified as the "Powder Magazine" building, and I did see the exhibit and did see the entire fort again. Around 4:00 p.m., when I was leaving at the fort, which will be open for the season through October 7, I could still see people walking on the Mackinac Bridge.
Remember: Next year on Labor Day, you can attend the 51st Annual Labor Day Mackinac Bridge Walk.
Again this summer, as I did last summer, I spent much time in northeastern quarter of the Lower Peninsula--far from home--and because I did spend much time away from home, I missed out on learning more about new things that were started up in the Detroit area, where I live. For example, I missed out on getting a lot of information about the new theater in Northville that is called the Tipping Point Theatre, so sometime in the future, I will have to get and put in to my files more information on that theatre, which you know now exists if you were unaware it was now in existence. However, because I was not only in the Detroit area this summer but also in the Mackinaw City area, I was able to come across information that I might not have come across as soon--I now have a bit of information about what is called the "Weird Michigan Wax Museum, which is located in St. Ignace, which is in the Upper Peninsula and at the north side of the Mackinac Bridge, and I know the museum will be open though late October from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and I know two of the exhibits, as noted in a pamphlet that I found, are "The Grand Rapids Wooden Leg Murderer" and "The Snake Princess of Belle Isle." Also, because I was away from home, I discovered that the place that has been called the "Mackinac Island Butterfly House" on Mackinac Island for many years (since 1991) should now be listed in my files as the "Mackinac Island Butterfly House and Insect World," since the operators of the place changed the name of the place this year when they opened up an "Insect World" exhibit, and, by the way, you yet have a few more weeks left in which to go to Mackinac Island to see the place. And although I was away from home and not too far from Naubinway (of Mackinac County in the Upper Peninsula), I did not get around to learning much more about the Top of the Lake Snowmobile Museum, which is at Naubinway, but since early August, I have learned the place is open to tours from noon to 8:00 p.m. on a Wednesday-through-Sunday basis and through appointments.
In addition, I have finally put into my files a little information about a place called the "Scaredy Cat Horror House." I picked up a brochure for it when I was at the location for it in Mackinaw City (the place is at 301 East Central Avenue). I learned from a person at the Scaredy Cat Horror House that the admission was $5.00 if I wished to see it, but I did not have time to see it.
Oh, it was this summer that I found a good "pudding stone." I have talked about "pudding stones" in the past, such as in Michigan Travel Tips #29 (which can be reached now by hitting this link: Travel #29) and Michigan Travel Tips #33. The pudding stone is about the size of a baseball, and it is a good example of a pudding stone since the features that make it a pudding stone, such as little red pieces of rock on it or in it, are evident on all of it--not just on one side (which I have seen some pudding stones exhibit). I have decided to keep the pudding stone with me when I make trips so that I might show it to someone who has no idea what a pudding stone looks like.
Your travel tips of Michigan in this edition of Michigan Travel Tips are:
The Annual Labor Day Mackinac Bridge Walk, the Mackinac Bridge, Mackinaw City (Cheboygan County of the Lower Peninsula) and St. Ignace (Mackinac County of the Upper Peninsula).
Colonial Fort Michilimackinac, Mackinaw City (which is in Emmmet County and Cheboygan County), the Lower Peninsula.
Historic Mill Creek, the Mackinaw City area, Cheboygan County, the Lower Peninsula.
The Icebreaker Mackinaw Maritime Museum, Mackinaw City, Cheboygan County, the Lower Peninsula.
Mackinac Island Butterfly House and Insect World, Mackinac Island, the Straits of Mackinac area, between the Upper Peninsula and the Lower Peninsula.
Scaredy Cat Horror House, Mackinaw City, Cheboygan County, the Lower Peninsula.
"The State Street Bridge Walk," Cheboygan, Cheboygan County, the Lower Peninsula.
Tipping Point Theatre, Northville, Wayne County, the Lower Peninsula.
Top of the Lake Snowmobile Museum, Naubinway, Mackinac County, the Upper Peninsula.
Weird Michigan Wax Museum, St. Ignace, Mackinac County, the Upper Peninsula.
- - - Public Service Copy for Broadcasters (four pieces) - - -
Let us pretend a little now! Let us say that you are taking your dear
on a trip. Maybe, you are taking your dear to Fort Gratiot Lighthouse
at Port Huron and then to lunch, or, maybe, you are taking your dear
to Hidden Lake Gardens of the Tipton area, which is in Lenawee
County, and, by the way, both places are in the Lower Peninsula of
Michigan. Maybe, you are taking your dear to Munising of the Upper
Peninsula. It is always possible your dear might be disappointed for
some reason about what is seen on the trip. Let us stop pretending
now! Keep in mind: Your dear will very likely not be disappointed,
since there is a lot of good to see in Michigan. However, your dear
would really be disappointed if you hit a deer--the four-legged type
of deer. Fall can be a bad time for motorists, since there are a lot of
car-deer accidents, so when you take your dear on a trip, watch for
the four-legged deer to enjoy your safe traveling in Michigan.
If you were to tour the old icebreaker known as The Mackinaw,
which is open to tours through October at Mackinaw City, your guide
might tell you that The Mackinaw never got completely stuck or
trapped in ice of the Great Lakes during the roughly seven decades
the ship was on active duty on the Great Lakes. However, the guide
will note that, once for about a day, the crew of The Mackinaw had
to fight hard to get The Mackinaw out of a tough bit of ice. Also,
your guide might note that The Mackinaw can break "white ice" that
is up to about 15-feet thick and break "blue ice" that is up to about
four-feet thick. If you were to tour The Mackinaw, your guide
will tell you more about The Mackinaw, and the guide would show
you such places on the ship as the engine room and the captain's
quarters. Remember: There is still time to see The Mackinaw on
weekends through October. Go and enjoy your safe traveling in
This summer, a lot of people got the opportunity to see and
tour the old icebreaker called The Mackinaw, which was open
this entire summer tourist season as a museum at Mackinaw City,
and, in fact, it will be open for tours on weekends through the end of
October. The Mackinaw is not the only real ship or boat or seagoing
vessel that can be seen in Michigan. At Sault Ste. Marie, which is in
the Upper Peninsula, people can see the museum ship know as
Valley Camp, though they can only see it through about mid-October.
Elsewhere, Muskegon, which is in the Lower Peninsula, is the location
for the Great Lakes Naval Memorial and Museum, and, there, it is
possible to see several vessels, one of which is a submarine known as
U.S.S. Silversides. Generally speaking, the Great Lakes Naval
Memorial and Museum is open throughout the year. If you go to see
a real ship on display in Michigan, go buckled up and enjoy your safe
A good time to do color touring in the Straits of Mackinac area of
Michigan is in very late September and in early October, and if you
are unaware, I will say that "color touring" is that type of touring to see
fall color in the trees. If you go color touring in the Straits of Mackinac
area, you will probably go to see other things. For example, you might
head west on US-2 from St. Ignace so that you can see the "Weird
Michigan Wax Museum." There, you can see such things as "The
Snake Princess of Belle Isle" and "The Soop Cemetery Ghosts." The
Weird Michigan Wax Museum is open to tours from nine to seven
through October. In addition, you might go to Mackinac Island to see
the "Mackinac Island Butterfly House and Insect World." The "insect
world" exhibit is new this year, and some of the features of the exhibit
are spiders and scorpions. To enjoy your safe traveling in the Straits
of Mackinac area, avoid alcohol before driving!
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The Hologlobe Press
Postal Box 20551
Ferndale, Michigan 48220-0551
The United States of America
copyright c. 2007
File date: 10 September 2007
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click on: Travel #40.
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