(The 47th 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 - - -

    Variety--that is what a person needs.  Michigan is a place that offers a lot of variety for vacationers, and one reason is it is a four-seasons vacation place--having four clearly different vacation seasons.  And throughout the year, it is possible to see a variety of animals in the state.

    Right now, it is--we are pretending--Monday, February 11, 2008 and you are staring out the window of a house, and you see deer.  In fact, you watch for a while and count the deer that are going by.  You count thirteen deer (in a group). You think no more will pass.  Then, you see another deer outside.  You watch and count.  You count six deer.  In total, you have seen nineteen deer within one-hundred feet of your window.  Also today, your bird feeders have been attracting several chickadees and nuthatches.  And since you changed to different bird feeders and different locations for bird feeders a few days ago, the black squirrels, gray squirrels, and especially the red squirrels have been in a tizzy, unable to get to the feeders.

    I cannot guarantee you will see nearly twenty deer at one time while traveling in Michigan, but I can say it is possible to see at least one deer or a couple deer at a time at least somewhat regularly, especially when traveling on rural main roads or secondary roads.  There are places that you can go in Michigan to see real deer without trouble.  One place you can go is Deer Forest Fun Park, which is really a tourist attraction aimed at children, as it has been for decades.  Generally speaking, Deer Forest Fun Park is open every day during the summer tourist season, and it is located at Coloma (of Berrien County in the Lower Peninsula).

    While on the subject of wildlife, I remind you that Michigan is where a museum called the "Call of the Wild Museum" exits.  It was in the early 1980s that I first learned about and talked about on radio stations in Michigan this museum, and it was also the first time that I saw the museum.  Since beginning the Michigan Travel Tips publication series, I have not talked about the museum.  In February, I was at a restaurant "up north," particularly in Cheboygan (of Cheboygan County of the Lower Peninsula), after having had a trip to Mackinaw City (Emmet County of the Lower Peninsula), and at the restaurant was a brochures stand, and I saw a brochure for the Call of the Wild Museum, which is at Gaylord (of Otsego County in the Lower Peninsula), and I picked up the brochure so that it might remind me to talk about the museum.  Really, the museum is two attractions, one of which is the Call of the Wild Museum and the other of which is called the "Bavarian Falls Park," which has, for example, go-carts to ride and a mini-golf course to play on.  The first time that I was at the museum, the Bavarian Falls Park did not exist.  In essence, Call of the Wild Museum is a museum that shows off--in dioramas--animals of the wild, such as the black bear, the Alaskan brown bear, the coyote, the polar bear, and the moose.  What is nice is the museum is open most days of the year (it is closed on a couple big-name holiday days, such as Thanksgiving Day).  The Bavarian Falls Park is only open from May through October.

    If you were to travel through the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, it is possible you could see live bear, and, in fact, I can guarantee you will see live bear if you go to a place known as Oswald's Bear Ranch, which is at Newberry (of Luce County).  Since 1984, Dean Oswald has been the driving force behind the bear ranch.  It is a place that has fenced-in areas in which bear live and roam about, and, generally speaking, Oswald's Bear Ranch is open every day during the summer tourism season.

    The information of the previous paragraph leads me to this information that I came across recently while going through a collection of brochures about places to see that were published from the 1970s to the early 1990s, which were in a house that recently got flood damage caused by bad work done by a plumber in the mid-1980s.  One brochure that I found was about "Project BEAR," the latter word of which stood for "Broad Emergency Assistance Radio," and "BEAR" was, for example, a Michigan State Police program of the 1970s, in which state police regularly monitored CB radio traffic (Citizen's Band radio traffic) along I-96 between about Detroit and Grand Rapids, and, through the project, officers specially monitored Channel 9 for people who needed help along the freeway.  (By the way, CB radio has existed from the late 1940s to today, and it was in the 1970s that CB radio had a heyday or was in what I call a fad phase.)

    Let me pass along some text from the back panel of the brochure:

    * Project BEAR is an experimental project being conducted jointly by the Michigan Department of State Highways and Transportation and the Michigan Department of State Police.

    * It is the first CB system in the nation to qualify for Federal Highway Administration funding....

    Let me pass along some text from the inside of the brochure to give you more of an idea of what "BEAR" was about:
    * If you need help, put the "HELP" sign in your window where it can be seen and attach a handkerchief to the door handle or outside mirror.  [One panel of the brochure had the word "HELP" in red letters, which were on a yellow background.]

    * If you have a CB radio, ask for help on Channel 9....

    * Do not assume that the incident has been reported by someone else.  It is better to report an incident two or three times than to let it go unreported.

    * When giving help, be sure to give the exact location and other necessary details....

    In the early 1980s, cell-phone systems began to show up around the country, and, over the years, people gave up on CB radio or never adopted it, and, today, Project BEAR no longer exists.  One reason that a person might need help from police is the person has hit a deer along a road--spring and fall are the busiest times for car-deer accidents along the roads.

    When you travel in Michigan, watch for animals all the time.  For example, if you are traveling with children, you can give them something to do by having them watch the skies for bald eagles and by having them scan the ditches for wild turkey, which are commonly found down in the ditches along roads, even main roads, such as US-23.  And when you are at Welcome Centers, look for brochures that give you information about wild animals in Michigan.

    Your travel tips of Michigan in this edition of Michigan Travel Tips are:

    Call of the Wild Museum, Gaylord, Otsego County, the Lower Peninsula.

    Deer Forest Fun Park, Coloma, Berrien County, the Lower Peninsula.

    Oswald's Bear Ranch, Newberry, Luce County, the Upper Peninsula.

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

Number One:

    When you travel in Michigan, you are very likely to see real

animals from time to time, and it is possible, when you see an animal,

you might not know what it is.  A place exists in Michigan that can

help you learn what animals you might see in Michigan before you

see them.  That place is the Call of the Wild Museum, which is really

two places--it is the "Call of the Wild Museum" proper and the

"Bavarian Falls Park," which is a fun park.  Unlike the fun park, the

museum is open throughout the year or almost every day of the year.

The museum has dioramas of animals in the wild.  For instance, it has

dioramas featuring black bear, coyote, and moose.  Not all the

animals shown at the museum are native to Michigan or can be found

in Michigan.  For example, the museum shows off the Alaskan brown

bear and the polar bear.  The Call of the Wild Museum is at Gaylord,

and on the way there, be buckled up and enjoy your safe traveling in



Number Two:

    And now I have to ask a serious question!  The question comes

from the publisher at The Hologlobe Press, which is the company that

produces monthly Michigan Travel Tips on the Internet.  Here is the

question--"What is your turkey count today?"  Think a few moments.

Oh, the question does not deal with people--"turkeys."  The question

is about real "turkeys," which you can see while you travel the roads

of Michigan--even highways.  If your turkey count is zero, that is too

bad, and if your turkey count has been zero for months, it is time to

take a vacation to some place in Michigan.  If you were to take a

vacation in Michigan, such as to Port Huron, which is the location of

Fort Gratiot Lighthouse, you should see turkeys.  If you do see turkeys,

do not forget to yell out to your passengers--"Turkeys!"  If you have

passengers with you, make sure they are buckled up, watch out for

turkeys ahead, and enjoy your safe traveling in Michigan.


Number Three:

    Today, if a motorist has a problem, such as a real emergency,

while traveling on the roads in Michigan, the motorist is very likely

to use or get someone to use a cell-phone to contact police.  Before

roughly the mid-1980s, a motorist with trouble might use a CB radio

to get police, especially if the motorist was somewhere along I-96

between Grand Rapids and Detroit--for a while, such as in the 1970s,

the Michigan State Police was involved in a CB radio emergency

service called "Project BEAR" along I-96 between Grand Rapids

and Detroit.  "BEAR" stood for "Broad Emergency Assistance Radio."

"Project BEAR," which was an experimental service, is gone, but

Michigan state police troopers still patrol the roads to help motorists

in need of help.  If you see someone along the road who seems to

need help, call place and do not expect someone else has called

police about the problem already.  And then enjoy your safe traveling

in Michigan.


Number Four:

    In the spring, it is The U.S.C.G. Mackinaw that does a lot of ice

breaking on the Great Lakes to get the ship traffic moving again.  By

the way, I am referring to the new or fairly new Mackinaw.  And when

the ice is cleared for the freighters, people can find places along the

Great Lakes to see freighters on the move.  Some of the places to see

freighters from beaches or marinas are Rogers City, Cheboygan, and

Mackinaw City, which are on the west side of Lake Huron.  In addition

to watching freighters from those cities, a person can see museums at

those places.  Rogers City has the Great Lakes Lore Maritime Museum,

and Cheboygan has the Cheboygan County Museum, and Mackinaw

City has the old ice breaker called The Mackinaw, which, generally

speaking, is open only during the summer tourist season.  If you want

to watch freighters, try Rogers City, Cheboygan, and Mackinaw City,

and enjoy your safe traveling.


- - - Contact Information - - -

The Hologlobe Press
Postal Box 20551
Ferndale, Michigan  48220-0551
The United States of America

copyright c. 2008
File date: 10 March 2008

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    click on: Travel #46.
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    click on: Travel.
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