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Author Topic: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012  (Read 37164 times)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #150 on: October 09, 2012, 12:27:44 AM »
Oct. 9      Day 47      Newberry, Michigan

Dean got up early and fixed the heater, but he doesn't know how he did it or what was wrong.  We got parked at our new site before 1:00 and took off for our adventure.

Today's log is dedicated to the brave men and women of the Coast Guard.  I am so inspired by their courage and the stories I heard today.

The Shipwreck Museum in Paradise is at the tip of Whitefish Point.  Admission for both of us was $20.   It is a museum dedicated to those who lost their lives and the Coast Guardsmen who tried to save them.  It is divided into 4 buildings-the history of shipwrecks, the lighthouse, the gift shop, and the Coast Guard surfboat museum.

The shipwreck building had stories of many shipwrecks and their relics, such as dishes, boiler, nameplates. It starts with the history of a Frenchman who first explored the area, before the people we've heard of, and how the Huron tribe turned on him, killed him, and ATE him!  They had the big lens that warned sailors of White Shoal.  It had a clockwork mechanism like a grandfather clock which was regulated by a pendulum dropping 44' through a tube into the heart of the tower.  Every 2 hours and 18 minutes throughout the night, the light-keeper had to wind the mechanism.  The bell from the famed wreck Edmund Fitzgerald which sank in the 70's was brought up at the request of the families of those who perished.  The wreck is in the Canadian portion of the Lake Superior has been designated a National Graveyard, and no one is allowed to go near it.

The Whitefish Lighthouse (Picture 1) is being restored.  It is usually available for tours, but more and more, we are finding that we are at the end of the season and things are closed totally, or at least are open for fewer days and have shorter hours.  The light in the lighthouse is still used.  It is lit by an LED light that is expected to work for over 20 years and is monitored from the Coast Guard station in Sault Ste. Marie.

We wondered what a surfboat was, and my son-in-law is a Coast Guardsman, so we wandered inside this building (Picture 2). Other visitors were confused by this, too.  This is a replica.  A docent inside told us that the "Shipwreck Coast" from Munising to Whitefish Point was 80 miles of chaos where over 300 whips went down.

The Coast Guard started as the U. S. Lifesaving Service.  It later combined with the Revenue Cutter Service, which was our nation's first tax collectors.  The Coast Guard is the longest continuous service because the Army and Navy disbanded after the Revolutionary War.

The U. S. Lifesaving Service established a boathouse every 10-12 miles around the shoreline of the Lake Superior.  It was chaotic because there were 10,000 to 20,000 ships traversing it every year, so there was lots of congestion.  There were no rules or laws.  The navigational aids were non-existent or rudimentary.  Sailors were blinded at night by fog and smoke.  The sands shift in the lake, but where there is a sandbar one day, there is none the next, but a new one has formed somewhere else.  Therefore, navigational maps were worthless.  They just couldn't chart these waters.

The first thing we saw was a surfboat replica which cost $85,000..  The originals, built in 1889, weighing 1300 pounds, cost $275.  They were made of white cedar plank and had copper nails, bronze oarlocks, a brass foghorn, a sea-brake, a spruce mast, 1 sail, and a grappling hook.   The surfboat was rowed by 8 oarsmen with 12-foot ash oars, and the Keeper stood at the stern, gripping a 16-foot steering oar.  With their backs to the dangers lurking ahead, the surfmen, wearing state-of-the-art lifevests, watched the keeper and did what he said.  The surfboat did have great handling advantages when it was near wrecks.  It had "scuppers" which allowed water that sloshed inside to exit, so it was self-bailing.  It had an air chamber under the deck which made is more stable.  This enabled the crew to take off the stranded crew.

The Coast Guardsmen were called "Storm Warriors."  They paid for their own uniforms and earned $1.33/day minus the $0.40 for meals.  In the early years, they had no pensions.  Later, they did receive a tiny pension.

There were 62 stations on the Great Lakes.  A wooden watch tower was built at each station, which gave the lifesavers an unobstructed view of the lake.  They watched for ships in trouble and recorded passing vessel traffic.  Each night and on thick weather days, two men would set out in opposite directions, until they met patrols from the adjacent stations.  Brass tokens were exchanged to verify to the Keepers that the surfmen had performed their duty.  Surfmen carried a patrol lantern and a pouch containing cotton flares.  if a wreck was discovered or a vessel was too close to shore, a red flare was lit to warn them off or assure the victim(s) that help as on the way.

The Keeper made the decision on how to proceed with the rescue.  Sometimes they couldn't take out the surfboat, so they used the Beach Apparatus  (Pictures 4 & 5).  Eight men wearing harnesses would push or pull this huge cart to the shoreline near where the ship was in trouble as quickly as possible.  Sometimes they would have to do this through miles of soft sand with rain, snow, hail, sleet or sharp sand, which would cut their faces..  Once on scene, the Keeper loaded, aimed, and fired the Lyle gun, sending a projectile with tethered shot line streaming over the stranded vessel.  Attached was a whip-line and tally-board stenciled with instructions in English and French directing survivors how to secure the lines for rescue.  A large 1" diameter hawser rope was then pulled to the wreck and tied to a mast as high above deck as possible.  By means of a pulley system and traveling block riding the hawser, the breeches buoy was hauled back and forth, recovering one survivor at a time.   (Pictures 6 & 7)

They told many stories, but this was the best.  In November, 1886, the Keeper of the Portage Canal Life Saving Station received an emergency telegram from Marquette saying that two big ships, the steamer Robert Wallace and schooner David Wallace, had stranded and were in great danger--110 miles away!  The keeper loaded the station's lifeboat and his crew on an Ontonogan RR train, and made the run through a raging blizzard in only 3 hours.  The lifeboat was transported by wagon to the wreck scene, and after several failed attempts in tremendous seas, the Keeper and his crew saved all 24 people aboard the two vessels.  11 months later, the same keeper repeated the same railroad journey to rescue 10 people aboard a stranded schooner.  A few years later, he died.  When a Lifesaver dies, his pension dies with him.  Surviving family received nothing.  He is buried in an unmarked grave in Eagle Harbor Cemetery.  Surviving children were unable to afford a headstone.

The Whitefish Bird Observatory, a watchtower undergoing reconstruction, is next to this flagpole.  The wind was about 30 mph, and those flags sounded like a whip cracking. (Picture 8)

Even though it was getting dark, we pushed on to our next stop.  We were rewarded by the colors of the Tahquamenon Falls State Park.  Their trees were brilliant and shone brightly--even through raindrops!   I was shivering by the time we reached the Lower Falls, (Picture 10) about 1/4 mile trail of cold and wind.  It didn't seem to bother the grey heron sitting at the base of the falls fishing.  (Picture 11)  It was getting darker, colder, and windier, but we made the trek 5 miles down the road to the Upper Falls (Picture 12), where they also had beautiful trees and what would have been a beautiful 1/4-mile trail if the weather were better.

Staying at Clementz's  Northcountry Campground--FHU, 50 amps, $26
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #151 on: October 09, 2012, 12:29:40 AM »
More pictures...
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

therealsimpsons

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  • Stan & Becky & Moe the Cat
Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #152 on: October 09, 2012, 06:15:40 AM »
Beautiful! Thank you.
05 Beaver Monterey Laguna IV
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Bonnie Lawrie

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #153 on: October 09, 2012, 11:00:57 AM »
Hi Linda & Dean,
     Your post about Whitefish Point is fabulous and I learned so much from it! Your photos are great, as well. Thanks for sharing your wonderful adventures.
                                                                                            Happy Trails,
                                                                                                         Bonnie

ArdraF

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #154 on: October 09, 2012, 01:15:24 PM »
We also loved Whitefish Point but, Linda, I have to say your description was excellent.  You got a lot in that I just plain don't remember seeing!  Kudos.  Also enjoying your pretty trees.

ArdraF
ArdraF
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Billy Bob

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #155 on: October 09, 2012, 10:37:01 PM »
Beautiful! Thank you.

Same for me Thank You Again

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #156 on: October 12, 2012, 08:02:55 PM »
We're back for good!  (I HOPE!)  As soon as we got rid of the virus, our battery popped out of the computer.  The computer still worked because we had electricity, but the edges from the battery door threatened to scratch our desk.  No Apple Store within 200+ miles still, so we persevered.  Now, problem solved, CROSSING MY FINGERS!  It was inspirational to read such nice replies from friends.  What a nice way to get back in the groove!
« Last Edit: October 12, 2012, 08:05:52 PM by Dean & Linda Stock »
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Billy Bob

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #157 on: October 12, 2012, 09:52:38 PM »
Glad that you made it back without any major problems. I have enjoyed following along on your trip to The Northcentral US

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #158 on: October 13, 2012, 01:28:08 AM »
Oct. 10      Day 49      Lansing, Michigan

We arrived at the Capitol and walked thru a dimly lit hallway entrance on the Lower Level that reminded me of a dungeon.  The next tour was at 12:30.  We watched an interesting film while waiting.  At 12:30 we discovered there was a large bus tour, so we decided to wait and go at 1:00.  Bad decision!  At the 1:00 tour, we were joined by 31 third-graders, and the docent gave us a very simplified tour targeted at 8-year-olds. Most of what I write, I learned reading pamphlets.

Each capitol we've visited has its own uniqueness, and Dean says Lansing is "The Best Restored Capitol."  When Michigan was admitted to the Union in 1837, Detroit was the first capitol, with an expiration date of 1847.  There was a lot of debate because each legislator wanted it to be in his district.  A speculator talked the governor and legislators into naming Lansing Township, while horrified observers, noting that not even a village existed, called it a "howling wilderness."  They threw up a quick temporary capitol, and it was called "Michigan, Michigan."  (I have to wonder what may have caused such a irrational decision--political corruption???)   It has served as Michigan's capital since 1847, but didn't become a city until 1859.  They had to wait for the Civil War to end before they could build a better capitol.

In 1872, they started making plans for the capitol.  They chose the best materials for the best price, and showed no favoritism to Michigan materials.  The final cost was $1.4 million, which was relatively very inexpensive.  It was completed in 1879.  The exterior is made of Ohio sandstone.  "Most of the Capitol's woodwork is inexpensive Michigan pine carefully hand painted (not stained!) to mimic costly walnut.  Called 'wood graining', this technique involves applying seven layers of paint, all by hand.  Every line of grain is carefully hand painted--even the pores in the wood."  (Picture 1)  Sometimes they mimicked maple.

None of the hall's "marble" columns were actually marble.  "Hand painted to fool the eye, the columns are cast iron, the pilasters are plaster."    They painted plaster over bricks so the columns look like marble.  They were able to make these "faux" materials for a fraction of the cost of real marble, walnut and maple.

Over the years, the population grew, so they took those rooms with 20' high ceilings, and divided the floors into two 10' high floors, doubling the square footage.  By putting in these half floors or "overfloors", they covered up the architecture and painted over decor.

When the building turned 100 years old in 1979, it was obvious that it needed attention.  It had been overtaxed, and really needed attention.  Plans were made to restore the Senate lobby, and it turned out so well that they decided to restore the whole building in 1987.   It would only cost 1/3 as much as building a whole new capitol.  Restorers discovered that no two rooms were painted the same.  "Over nine acres of hand-painted surfaces were carefully restored to look exactly as they did originally."  (Picture 2) They took out the over-flooring and restored the dramatic 20' high ceilings.  They installed new heating, cooling and safety systems and modernized all the functioning parts while restoring the decorative parts. 

Many of the original materials were gone, so they used reproductions to replace lost antiques.  Some original furnishings were returned.  (Picture 3)

The original roof was made of tin and leaked.  The architect had envisioned the capital having a copper roof, and it finally got one.

Our tour started on the ground floor.  It was designed to be storerooms and an armory, so it is plain and unadorned.  During the restoration, I'm sure they were tempted to decorate it, but they accurately returned it to its original appearance.  They did make a few changes.  The lighting fixtures are electric rather than gas.  Gray tile that would last was substituted for original strip pine flooring.  And, conspicuously absent are the hundreds of spittoons once found throughout the Capitol. 

Throughout the Capitol, the walls, ceilings, and floors are built of solid brick. At the time this was built, most buildings were built of wood.  This is one of the few capitols we've visited that never burned.

We took the elevator to the First Floor.  At one time, all branches of the state government, including the supreme court, legislature, governor, were all housed here.  But, now it's offices for the legislative leaders, the ceremonial office of the governor, lieutenant governor, and the legislature still meets here.

We looked up 160 feet to an opening at the top of the inner dome. (Picture 4)  The tip top represents the starry sky.  Dean says the white is clouds, but I'm not so sure.  Just below the eye are eight paintings of muses, sources of inspiration,  that were painted on canvas and glued directly to the inner dome.  The artist's name, Tommaso Juglaris, was forgotten for over 100 years until it was rediscovered in 1992 because of the restoration.  They not only did a physical restoration, but they also restored some of Michigan's history.

Michigan is really proud that they sent over half of the military-age males in the state to save the Union and abolish slavery.  They have 160 replicas of the battle flags that were carried by those troops. (Picture 5)  The real ones are housed in the Michigan Historical Museum. 

I saw two chandeliers that I really enjoyed.  They are both were originally gas and have been electrified, computerized, and restored.  The one outside the governor's office is elegant.  (Picture 6)  The other has was a magnificent cast metal chandelier, which features a beautiful elk and shield design. (Picture 7)  "It was recently discovered that they were actually cast from a mixture of several OTHER metals"  (brass and zinc, but no copper). In most capitols, these would be carved; these were made of stamped steel.  This is evidence of how practical they were.

Both chambers of the legislature meet officially on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays for 9 months a year.  They earn $89,000/year.  The representatives are limited to 6 total years, and the governor and senators are limited to 8 years.

The House of Representatives Chamber seats Democrats on the left and Republicans on the right.  As of now, there are 64 Republicans and 46 Democrats.  They use a voting board to record votes.  "Original 1878 desks were refinished."   However, in an apparent contradiction, they don't replace chairs until they wear out.   You can see the mismatch. (Picture 8) They copied the authentic period design for the carpet.  The ceilings in both houses used to have ruby-and-white hand-etched glass panes representing each state.  "These were replaced in the House by plastic and in the Senate by plywood."  When they  did the restoration, they put in replicas featuring the coats of arms of all 50 states.  They also got rid of the dull eggshell white and re-painted it in terra cotta and teals.  "In both chambers the solid walnut members' desks...originally cost the enormous sum of $13.65 each!  They have done much of the restoration based on photographs since the original chandeliers and carpeting were thrown out over the years.  In fact, now all of the lights are computerized to dim somewhat at 6:00 PM and really dim at midnight in order to save money.  Total cost of the restoration was $58 million.

There are 38 members of the Senate Chamber.  The President of the Senate is the lieutenant governor.  The Senate Chamber, which was painted eggshell white, has been repainted in the original vibrant blues and silvers.  (Picture 9)

The old Supreme Court Chamber is now used by the Senate Appropriations Committee for hearings and meetings.

On the second floor, we saw the Gallery of Governors (most recent 14 governors) in the Rotunda.  GOVERNORS PAY FOR THEIR OWN PORTRAITS!  They give these portraits to the state when they leave office.  When they "age out", their portrait is put on one of the many bare walls in the Capitol.  I really liked this portrait of Governor John Swainson.  It looks like the painting is damaged.  However, it was painted this was on purpose.  He was only 35 when he became governor, and he left office when he was 37.  "The painting's unfinished appearance was intended to symbolize Swainson's then-unfinished career."  I had to find out about this, since I knew that the governors here have 4-year terms.  I learned that they had 2-year terms until 1966. 

Nest to Gov. Swainson is the portrait of George Romney.  He looks just like Mitt.

The Governor's Office and Parlor are here. (Picture 11)  He uses it for press conferences, bill-signing ceremonies, and special occasions.  His real office is with the legislators in the big building next door.

The current governor, Rick Snyder, is really popular because he and his republican really severely modified the "helmet law."  You don't have to wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle if you are 21 years old or more, have completed a motorcycle safety class, and have $20,000 medical insurance. 

Their first female governor was Snyder's predecessor.  Governor Granholm's name brought reactions which peaked my curiosity.  I could feel an undercurrent.  So, when we had lunch at Bob Evan's, I talked with people there, also.  I then read her biography on the Internet.  It sounds to me like she did a great job.  There is a lot of resentment because "she is a Californian".  She grew up in California, but came to Michigan when she graduated from Harvard Law School and married her Michigan-born husband.  She has lived here all her adult life.  She and her husband got offers to teach at UC Berkeley when she lost the election, and they accepted professorships there.  Why shouldn't they?  Our waitress said with disdain, "She was a Democrat, wasn't she?  And she was from California."  If my small sample of 6 is any measure, the Democrats are going to have a tough road to hoe this election in Michigan.  (I am politically unbiased this year--I don't like either one of them!)

I love the idea of spending "the people's money" wisely.  But, I hate the idea of faux anything in government.  Picture 12 is of a "faux copper" (stamped steel) light, which is quite pretty.   Why pretend?  Just leave it the color of steel, and be honest.  The faux marble really doesn't work.  For one thing, chips in paint happen as people use the capitol.  However, even if it were newly painted, there's no way it looks like marble or granite--only to a blind man.  Of all places where honesty is necessary, government and marriage are at the top.  I commend their thriftiness, and I think they should have been proud of it.  Politics and trickery are a terrible combination and definitely not the example they should have set for future legislators.

Staying at Lansing Cottonwood Campground, $64/2 nights with Good Sam, 50 amps, FHU, non-working WiFi, but available at office, nice people, free fishing
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #159 on: October 13, 2012, 01:51:44 AM »
Oct. 11      Day 50      Monroe, Michigan  (outside Detroit)

There aren't many places to stay around Detroit.  This is the closest with the "mostest".  We made the easy 110-mile drive, quickly set up camp, and headed to the Apple store, which was about 60 mile drive to Troy, to either get a new battery or a new computer.  Those who know Dean know what we got.  Dean is really pleased with his new toy.  However, we couldn't bring it home because they had to transfer everything off the old one.  Oh, we also bought the battery ($129) because Dean rightly thought that our daughter could use the old computer in her classroom.

By the time we got out of the Apple Store 2 hours later, we decided it was time for lunch.  The "Genius" recommended a mall restaurant that was new to us, J. Alexander.  We looked at our watches, and it was 5:00, and we decided to have "lunner."  We both REALLY enjoyed our meals, and the service was great.  It wasn't cheap, but it was so good!  I was so impressed that I asked if there were others, and I got a list of their locations, which I will add to my States file.  I've only done that for 2 other restaurants.

We then went to Windsor, Canada, through the tunnel.  It was a real maze.  We have been to most of the Harrah's properties, so we wanted to visit Windsor Caesar.   Both of us had wonderful luck at the blackjack table.  We enjoyed meeting the people from Ontario, also, and we have added a Windsor attraction to places we will visit.

Staying at Sterling State Park--$132 + $29 for an annual pass (or $8/day)  FHU, 50 amps, great satellite reception, paved roads and pads, grass, fire pits, right on Lake Erie, some smell from nearby smokestack, very accommodating rangers
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #160 on: October 13, 2012, 02:10:53 AM »
More pictures...
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Billy Bob

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #161 on: October 13, 2012, 08:08:57 PM »
Glad that you made it back without any major problems. I have enjoyed following along on your trip to The Northcentral US

Guess that I misunderstood thought that you had finished your trip. Anyway I do enjoy your photos and commits on your trip

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #162 on: October 13, 2012, 10:03:07 PM »
Guess that I misunderstood thought that you had finished your trip. Anyway I do enjoy your photos and commits on your trip

We have lots more.  We promise our kids when we leave each fall that we'll be home for Thanksgiving and try to get home a few days before.  We are headed next to Ohio (Toledo, Oak Harbor, Port Clinton, Cleveland, Sandusky, Cayuhoga Valley NP, Columbus, Powell, Dayton, Cincinnati) and then Indianapolis.  Then we'll look at the calendar and select from Plans A, B, and C.

I am enjoying your log, too, now that you are safe.  You make our problems seem miniscule.  It sounds like your boat captain was very professional.  We are planning a New England trip in the next year or two.  Do you recommend the ship you took?  Can you give me the name?  It sounds like you had an exciting time, rich with whales.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #163 on: October 14, 2012, 07:57:41 PM »
Oct. 12      Day 51      Monroe, Michigan  (outside Detroit)

If I were a zoo animal, the Detroit Zoo would be my #1 choice.   It is one ne of the most modern zoos in the country, featuring spacious, open exhibits.  Designed to simulate natural environments, habitats are laid out over 125 acres.   Admission for 2 seniors and 1 car was $29.

There were several animals that were new to me  It was odd to see the Matschie's Tree Kangaroo IN A TREE!  (Picture 1) He can climb, because unlike his land-bound cousins, all 4 limbs are nearly equal in length.  The do carry their joeys in their pouch.  They eat leaves and fruit.

I have never been so close to a bull before.  Yes, he is small, but those horns could still do a lot of damage (Picture 2)

Did you know there are no wolverines in Wisconsin and never were?  The wolverine is a fierce predator with awesome claws.  (Picture 3) The state either got its name because of the trading of wolverine pelts at the "Crossroads" of Sault Ste. Marie or from the way the gluttonous French traders ate their food.  (I love the info I get from my I-phone!)

I have seen bear cats before, but I can't ever remember their real name--binturong. (Picture 4)  He is supposed to be a great swimmer and climber, but all I've ever seen him doing is relaxing.  Maybe it's because he lives in a zoo and doesn't have to fish or chase small mammals, like he does at home in Southeast Asia.

I think the giant anteater is an oxymoron, both beautiful and ugly. (Picture 5)  His beautiful fur on his paws is combined with the world's most ugly face.  His tongue is 24" long!  The white at the rear is a jealous anteater who ran over to get his picture taken, too.

The polar bear posed for us. (Picture 6)  He sure doesn't look like he can run a mile in 2 minutes. 

The snow monkey (Japanese Macaque) must be permanently embarrassed because his face is always very red (as are his private parts).  (Picture 7)  The zoo had a lot of snow monkeys, and they seemed very happy.  Some were grooming each other, and this keeps the social bonds within the troop and keeps the monkeys free of parasites.

The lioness (Picture 8) was very vocal.  She is a recent widow, and they are looking for a male lion. 

Just a big pussycat?  The only other cat in the zoo was this gentle-looking Siberian tiger (Picture 9).

The butterfly area was small, but it had pretty butterflies. (Pictures 10 and 11)  The morpho (Picture 12) was a streak of fluorescent blue as he flew right in front of Dean.  This camera-shy fellow kept his wings folded up and outwaited my patient husband.

We were greeted by beautiful macaws (Picture 13) when we entered the free-flight aviary.  It looked small, but as we came around each curve, we found more interesting birds.  I like the eye make-up this little lad uses, as well as his bright orange feet. (Picture 14)  The bright red on this scarlet ibis reflects the good care he's being given. (Picture 15)

Throughout the whole day, we saw keepers working hard to keep the enclosures clean, but they were willing to stop to answer questions.  There were zero wire cages or fences.  They used natural barriers, like moats.  Many of their animals are rescued animals.  I loved the Detroit Zoo!

Staying at Sterling State Park--$132 + $29 for an annual pass (or $8/day)  FHU, 50 amps, great satellite and cellphone reception, paved roads and pads, grass, fire pits, right on Lake Erie, some smell from nearby smokestack, very accommodating rangers.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #164 on: October 14, 2012, 07:59:51 PM »
More pictures
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

ArdraF

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #165 on: October 15, 2012, 03:36:43 PM »
Nice photos!  Linda, I'm so glad you tell us what we're looking at because I'd never guess some of them!

ArdraF
ArdraF
:D :D

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #166 on: October 16, 2012, 12:35:03 AM »
Nice photos!  Linda, I'm so glad you tell us what we're looking at because I'd never guess some of them!

ArdraF

Zoos are a favorite place for us to visit, but sometimes I get stressed when I see small enclosures.  It seems, though, that every zoo has some animals that are new to me.  And it bugs the heck out of me when I've seen an animal in 5 or 6 zoos and I can't remember its name--like the binturong.  I have been reading the book, Sacajawea, that you gave me a couple of years ago, and it is so interesting!
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #167 on: October 16, 2012, 12:37:18 AM »
Oct. 13      Day 52      Monroe, Michigan  (outside Detroit)

We drove an hour through rain to get to President Gerald Ford's Presidential Library at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, only to discover that it just houses his papers and is for research.  His museum is all the way across the state to its western border in Grand Rapids.  OOPS! 

We did enjoy driving around the beautiful city of Ann Arbor.  At one time it boasted the greatest number of telephones and cars per capita in the U.S.  Definitely an upscale community!  On my cellphone I learned that they have an awesome mall, but we decided not to tempt ourselves.

Instead, we saved our money (Ha! Ha!) and went to the casino.  Actually, I won what Dean lost, so as a team we broke even.  I wanted to try their buffet that they were so proud of, but I found it pretty average.  We've been spoiled by the Las Vegas buffets, I guess.

Staying at Sterling State Park--$132 + $29 for an annual pass (or $8/day)  FHU, 50 amps, great satellite and cellphone reception, paved roads and pads, grass, fire pits, right on Lake Erie, some smell from nearby smokestack, very accommodating rangers.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #168 on: October 16, 2012, 01:53:02 AM »
Oct. 14      Day 53      Monroe, Michigan  (outside Detroit)

I verified all my information today before we left for The Henry Ford in Dearborn.  The Henry Ford campus includes the museum, the Greenfield Village, the Ford Rouge Factory Tour, an IMAX Theatre, and the Benson Ford Research Center.  Senior admission to the museum is $15, plus $5 for the car.  It is very well maintained and has wonderful exhibits, so it is worth the price.

Seeing the original 1952 Weinermobile brought back fond childhood memories.  (Picture 1)  We sped past the dollhouse section, the farm machinery, oil wells, power, furniture, and "Made in America" manufacturing, all of which were beautifully exhibited and explained.  However, we could see by the size of the museum that we were going to have to pick and choose the areas where we had real interest.

We saw the bus that Rosa Parks was riding on when she refused to cede her seat. (Pictures 2, 3, 4, 5).  After the boycott ended, the riders were instructed by their leadership to follow Martin Luther King's non-violence.  Rules are listed on this chart that was posted in their center. (Picture 6)  I was surprised to see the whole Ku Klux Klan costume and the honest, forthright explanations. They had wonderful displays throughout the "With Liberty and Justice for All" section about the struggle for equality experienced by all groups that have been discriminated against.

The aircraft section was fascinating.  I didn't know that Edsel Ford, Henry's only child, got him involved with planes. From 1925 to 1928, Henry experimented with a small, economical airplane that would be the "Model T of the Air."  Charles Lindbergh took him on his first flight, and he only flew a few times.  He said, "I would rather build a big plane and learn something, even if it didn't fly, than build a smaller one that worked perfectly and not learned anything."  He could see that it was the transport of the future, and he developed the Flivver. (Picture 7) However, a special young man, who Henry treated almost as a son, died at age 25 flying an experimental Flivver, and that killed some of Henry's desire. 

Henry Ford did develop an all-metal aircraft, "The Tin Goose".  The Ford Trimotor (Picture 8) had rugged durability.  The display had a standard sheet of aluminum and the same thickness of corrugated aluminum so you could feel how much stronger and less flexible the corrugated aluminum was.  Its success opened a whole new era in commercial aviation in the late 1920's.

Henry Ford's involvement in aviation helped make passenger flights practical, but his aviation division was only in full operation from 1925 to 1932.  He lost over $5.5 million in that time, and he never turned a profit.

Using the plans from the 1903 Wright Brothers' plane, Ken Hyde built this replica to the same specifications with exactly the same materials for the 100th anniversary for the museum. (Picture 9)

The "Heroes of the Air"  taught me a lot.  Planes originally were used mostly to ferry mail, not people.  A pilot named Jack Knight waited in North Platte, Nebraska to transfer mail sacks from San Francisco and take them on to Omaha.  By the time he transferred the sacks, it was 10:45 P.M.  Citizens along his route lit bonfires to guide him in his effort to prove that airplanes could be flown at night.  He said that without the farmers' bonfires, he'd be completely lost.  The idea was to get the mail across the country in a continuous relay.  However, when he got to Omaha, he found out that his relief pilot was snowed in over in Chicago.  He was so determined to make it, that he hopped back into the plane and headed for Des Moines, which he found snowed in.  So, he continued on, hoping to make it to Iowa City before his fuel ran out.  He stayed on course by looking at his map with his flashlight.  He circled the place where Iowa City was supposed to be.  But, with a snowstorm coming, all the citizens had put out their bonfires and gone home!  One night watchman heard his engine and lit a fire just in time.  He landed, refueled, and went on to Chicago--after taking a catnap and warming up his frozen feet.  Knight together with the San Francisco pilot and the Chicago pilot--made it cross-country to New York in less than half the time it took by any other mode of transportation.

Navigation was a mammoth headache.  Sometimes the pilots followed train tracks, rivers, and landmarks.  Pilots taped several maps to their pants and made their own books, recording landmarks on the route they usually flew.  Landmarks they noted were tall church steeples and golf courses.  People across the U. S. wanted to help.  If people heard of a plane in trouble, they would rush out to light bonfires along a path and on the nearest landing field.  Pilots made a list of farmers who would let them use their phones in an emergency.  In 1920 the US Post Office compiled this into the Book of Directions.  In the 1920's in order to promote all-night flying, the Post Office set beacon lights along routes at 10-25 mile intervals.  They rotated in every direction and could be seen 40-100 miles away.

Another pilot wanted to get from New York to Cleveland for a romantic evening.  He was so desperate that he talked one of his buddies into taking him.  The plane was full of mailbags, so he laid down on top of the wing and held onto the wires the whole way!

As a young mail pilot, Charles Lindbergh ran out of gas, was caught in bad weather, and unable to see the ground.  Thinking quickly, he rose to 5,000 feet, jumped overboard, and parachuted through the fog while the plane circled around him out  of control.  Once on the ground, he took off to find his wrecked plane.  The plane was destroyed, but the mail was undamaged, so he walked it to the nearest post office.

When Admiral Byrd chose to fly over the North and South Poles, he had to fight the cold.  Oil can get sticky.  In order to keep the plane running, he built fires around the oilcans to heat the oil to a liquid so he could pour it into the engines.  He kept the engines warm through the use of canvas sacks and gas-powered stoves.  I wonder how he prevented a big explosion!  There is a big debate about whether he actually made it to the North Pole. I don't think he made it.  What do you think?  (Picture 10)  I can't imagine flying this tiny metal plane in such weather. (Picture 11)

Dean and I were in college when President Kennedy was assassinated, and we were devastated. We have been to the Texas Book Depository Museum, which is outstanding.  Seeing the actual 1961 Lincoln limousine that he was riding in when he was killed touched heartstrings. (Picture 12) 

The1972 Lincoln that Ronald Reagan sought refuge in when John Hinckley shot him is on display (Picture 13).  We could see the place where a bullet ricocheted.  Like all presidential cars after Kennedy's death, it is completely armored and has a permanent roof and bulletproof glass.  But, in a concession to the presidents' desire to be seen, the sunroof can be opened so two people can stand up and wave.  It had a flip-down bumper for the agents to stand on.  (Picture 14)
 
Their auto collection was like a timeline.  It started with horse-drawn carriages and went into the future with the prototype for the electric Ford Fiesta.  Remember the Corvair? (Picture 15)

The 1948 Tucker sedan (Picture 16) with its swooping fenders and 6 exhaust pipes looks like a Buck Rogers comic book rocket ship.  The center light turns with the front wheels to illuminate corners.  You can see the taillights from the side for safety.  The doors curve into the roof for easier access, and the grilles on the rear fenders feed cooling air to the rear-mounted engine.  It had a huge trunk.  Only  51 cars were sold before financial troubles killed the company.

There was a section on the evolution of the RV.  Henry Ford gave this trailer to his friend Charles Lindbergh in 1942. (Picture 17)  Charles and his wife used it as a home on the road and as a spare room and study at home.

This 1975 FMC motorhome (Picture 18) was used by Charles Kuralt when he taped the show, "On the Road", which lasted 27 years.  It carried a 3-man TV crew on America's back roads, where they inspired others to travel and camp.  No one ever slept in it.  His crew modified the interior, creating storage for equipment and film.  It was like a rolling studio.  They went to all 50 states and traveled more than 1,000,000 miles.  The motorhome cost $27,000 when the average wage was $8,632.

There were a lot of huge trains on exhibit.  The 1601 was an "articulated engine," which is a more powerful engine. (Picture 19)  I know Dean thought the Canadian train (Picture 20) was really special, but he's in bed, so I can't tell you what is special about it.  Maybe I can get him to comment tomorrow.

Our grand finale was a trip to the IMAX  to see "Rocky Mountain Express" about the Canadian train and building the railway.   We only paid $4.50 each because after the first admission, each subsequent admission is 50% off.  Dean really isn't into visiting period houses, but I've heard that their Greenfield Village is the best attraction of all.  I would recommend visiting the Henry Ford.

Staying at Sterling State Park--$132 + $29 for an annual pass (or $8/day)  FHU, 50 amps, great satellite reception, paved roads and pads, grass, fire pits, right on Lake Erie, some smell from nearby smokestack, very accommodating rangers
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #169 on: October 16, 2012, 01:56:19 AM »
More pictures...
Dean and Linda Stock
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Betty Brewer

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #170 on: October 16, 2012, 10:10:34 AM »
Linda and Dean,
Your trip is adding so many things to my bucket  list!  However if I do not make it to all of them,  I will  have a lot more knowledge about places due to your informative reports.  Thank you so much.  I know how much time it takes!
I had a little chuckle about your  Gerald Ford Library  trip.
Betty Brewer

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #171 on: October 16, 2012, 04:03:05 PM »
Linda and Dean,
Your trip is adding so many things to my bucket  list!  However if I do not make it to all of them,  I will  have a lot more knowledge about places due to your informative reports.  Thank you so much.  I know how much time it takes!
I had a little chuckle about your  Gerald Ford Library  trip.

Betty, you got me started, and it is really addictive.  It takes a lot of time, but it makes scrapbooking easier.  And, I get tips from Forumers that are really good--more so on our spring trips than on the fall trips.

You once told us that these little boo-boos make for good stories.  And, I really did enjoy Ann Arbor.  It is so-o-o-o-o pretty, especially in the fall.  Unfortunately, it was rainy, or I would have gone to a cute cafe and had lunch and window-shopped.  Just from looking at the "average" homes, I know that I wouldn't want to pay what the shops would be asking, but I'm sure they had  wonderful, high-quality merchandise.  Dean isn't big on shopping, though, especially if we're not on a mission to buy something new (like a computer).  He could spend all day in the Apple Store.  Browsing just to enjoy what's out there bores him quickly.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
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therealsimpsons

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #172 on: October 16, 2012, 04:51:15 PM »
Quote
Dean isn't big on shopping, though. Browsing just to enjoy what's out there bores him quickly.



Thank you Dean!!  ;D

Seriously, I love reading your reports. Thank YOU Linda!
« Last Edit: October 16, 2012, 04:53:15 PM by parttymer »
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ArdraF

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #173 on: October 16, 2012, 04:55:59 PM »
Linda,

When I mentioned your comments about the Detroit Zoo, Jerry surprised me by saying he'd love to go there.  It seems when he was a boy growing up on the west side of Detroit, they used to get on their bicycles and ride out there for the day.  Even though I lived in Detroit for eight years, I don't think I've ever been there, so I guess that's on our list for the next time we're there.  We did stop last summer at the old Fort Wayne which neither of us had visited before.  Sadly, it's in very bad repair with roofs disintegrating and quite literally buildings falling apart.  Such a shame.  By the way, we went there to see the Tuskeegee Airman Museum which is on the fort's grounds.

I'm glad you liked the Ford Museum.  When I was in college I was a Greenfield Village guide for two years (a plum job I might add) and I remembered the museum as being old and dusty.  As you can imagine I was delighted to see the upgraded bright and modern facility that was well arranged and so interesting.  I think you'd both love Greenfield Village.  When we had guide training we had to memorize all the details about every building.  The packet of materials was about four inches thick.  I was disappointed that they now rely more on recordings, but people whose time is limited don't seem to want to stick around to listen to someone tell them about the buildings.  It's too bad because a lot of interesting details get lost in the process.

ArdraF
ArdraF
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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #174 on: October 17, 2012, 10:11:33 PM »
Linda,

When I mentioned your comments about the Detroit Zoo, Jerry surprised me by saying he'd love to go there.

  I think you'd both love Greenfield Village. 

ArdraF

I am hoping to get my last Detroit blog done tonight.  I don't know how "spur of the moment" you guys are, but be sure to get BBQ at Slow's (Dean and I both had brisket).  I'm going to try to get my favorite Detroit site finished tonight.  We've been so busy having fun and taking care of business that I am a couple of days behind.

I would have liked to see Greenfield.  The weather chased us out--really rainy and cold.  I'll put Greenfield on my "Next Time" List.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #175 on: October 18, 2012, 12:31:36 AM »
 Oct. 15      Day 54      Monroe, Michigan  (outside Detroit)

I love seeing and doing new things, and I rarely like "Do Overs"--whether it's seeing a movie for a second time, or a book, or an attraction.  I'm sure I could count the list of places I would go to a second time on my fingers.  But, this would be my first stop if I'm ever in Detroit again.

 There aren't superlatives grand enough to describe The Guardian Building.  Our guide, Christopher, (Picture 1) said it is the most ornate in detail Art Deco Aztec-Renaissance building in the United States.  Absolutely GORGEOUS, it was nicknamed "The Cathedral of Finance" when it opened in 1929 as the headquarters for a bank, the Guardian Detroit Union Group.  It has a Southwestern United States Native American theme, with touches of Aztec.  The "Indian" theme was popular at that time as a symbol of peace and prosperity.

When we entered the elegant lobby, I felt like I stepped back 80 years in time.  This beautiful mosaic was the first thing we saw. (Picture 2)  When was the last time you saw "faith" and "ideals of financial service" in the same sentence?  Isn't that an oxymoron?  Wrapped around the big window in the lobby is an Indian headdress with feathers coming down the side.  Outside the window I saw beehives inscribed.  I was told that was because the workers were supposed to be busy worker bees.  The lobby was large and they had dances there after hours.  In front of the window is an indoor balcony where the band played dance music.  I can picture it!

The SmithGroup, the architectural firm that designed the building, still houses over 200 of its employees here. The lobby's vaulted ceiling is covered in vivid Rookwood tile laid in diamond patterns.  The architect, Rowland, used marble and stone from many different countries.  They even had a mine in South Africa re-opened to get the exact red color marble they wanted.  Rowland helped formulate the tangerine colored "Guardian Brick".  Almost two million bricks were used to construct the building.  Rowland also designed the Buhl Building across the street, which I would have loved to visit, also.  It advertises "elegant business suites", and if the inside is anything like the outside, I would love to work there.  Mary Chase Stratton made Pewabic tiles for the building, and her pottery is very famous today.

On our left was a little cafe.  Our tour, which was supposed to leave at 1:00 was postponed until 1:30.  So we purchased butternut squash soup (Yummy!) and split a delicious grilled turkey sandwich.

The grand archway into the banking hall is an elaborate grille of Monel metal, which is a unique, expensive composite of copper, nickel, and aluminum with a taupe-colored finish.  In the top of the archway, there is an original Tiffany clock, one of only three in existence. On the sides are a key shape, symbolizing locking up the money, and a sword, symbolizing protecting the money.

It has one of the largest suspended ceilings in the world. (Picture 3) It has a colorful canvas and horsehair treatment to improve the hall's acoustics.  People didn't want to be broadcasting their banking information.  The big yellow splash at the back wasn't there.  It has to be a reflection from something. 

There were 80 teller windows, 40 on each side of the center aisle in the hall.  The original teller windows were made of Monel metal.  They were melted down to make battleships during WWII, but some were "lost" (someone hid a few teller windows away).  They were re-installed on windows upstairs when they were found recently.  (Picture 4) They also melted down the Monel wastebaskets, and doorknobs.

The bank housed 40% of the area's resources. One-fourth of the depositors in Detroit banked here.  Unfortunately, when the market crashed, the bank did, too.  Wayne County took it over.  During the war, it was used as an armory.  Now Wayne County holds its commission meetings in a room underneath the Grand Arch, operates tours, rents our the Grand Hall to the Bank America, and has several little shops selling Michigan products in the Main Hall.  Kudos to Wayne County government, a political body that recognizes the value of restoring a building which is now a National Historical Landmark.

At the rear of the banking hall is an amazing 5-story high mural map of Michigan. (Picture 5)  It pays tribute to Michigan's industries.  They were aware that the sun would fade the brilliant colors, so they put in these sun-filtering windows.  (Picture 6)

Another distinctive feature is the use of a "notched arch" design throughout the building on windows, doorknobs, floor patterns, and drinking fountains.

There were two beautiful alcoves leading to the striking elevators (Picture 7).  These are original elevators, and they are LARGE.  With 40 floors of employees, they had to hold a lot of people, even though there were four of them. 

At the end of each hallway is a beautiful stained glass Aztec angel made by Tiffany.  He holds over his head the portal for fidelity and security. (Picture 8)  Dean is an excellent photographer, but it is impossible to capture the elegant feeling and stunning beauty of these areas.  These lamps were in the architect's plans, but they were never made.  When they restored the building, they commissioned an artist to make them to the architect's specifications. (Picture 9)

The original banking boardroom on the 6th floor is still intact, (Picture 10) which includes walnut and wood-paneled interiors.  The mahogany and walnut are all handcrafted and beautifully matched. Throughout this floor, there was so much wood--all hand-sculpted. I wish I could show the intricate detail better.  (Picture 11) Behind that door in the rear is a kitchen where chefs prepared gourmet meals for the board members.  The Monel doorknobs  have also been restored. (Picture 12)  When we look out the windows, we see other magnificent building.  One was "The Old Gas Building", which was the prototype for The Twin Towers.  Another is the Buhr building, and when I visit Detroit next time, we will wander through its lobby if they will allow it.

There was a grand room, which served as a dining room for all of the building's employees.  There used to be French doors leading to outside balconies where the windows are now.  When the crash happened, so many bankers jumped off the balconies they replaced the doors with windows that were hard to jump out of. (Picture 13)

We re-boarded the elevator to go to the top of the 3 basements.  The very bottom basement housed the heating system and boilers.  The middle basement was used for storage.  And the top basement was used to protect the money.  Look at this incredible safe!  (Picture 14)  It is so big that they rent it out for dinner parties and bridal lunches.  Dean says that the locks are just like the ones he saw in the missile silos. (Pictures 15 & 16)  The safe deposit boxes were huge and stored in a separate vault. (Picture 17)  Note that there were 2 combination locks instead of 2 keys.  There were timers on all the vault doors, and the safe couldn't be opened until the bank opened the next morning.  (Picture 18)  There are de-humidifiers in the ceiling to keep the money crisp.  This vault has been in 3 films with famous actors, "Game of Death," "Street Kings 2," and one more.  No one every stole one dollar out of this vault.

"Big Chris" told us that if anyone who has their picture taken with this "Indian" has good luck for 24 hours. (Picture 19) Since we were going to the casino tonight, I hopped off my scooter and had my picture taken.  And, it worked!  So, if you come, be sure to get your picture taken with the Indian.

When we exited, we went through this door.  We haven't seen a door like this that doesn't operate automatically in over 20 years.  The tour was free (Christopher deserves a nice tip!), but Valet Parking, which is a necessity, is $5.

Christopher recommended that we go to Cliff Bell's to eat and hear blues and jazz.  I looked it up on the Internet, and it sounds like a special place.  I wish we had better weather and could go.  He also highly recommended the Bucharest Grill.

We had heard from a couple of others who raved about Slow's BarBQ.  It is in a seedy neighborhood.  There is street parking and a dirt lot across the street.  There are so many people going in and out that you feel safe.  We had eaten at Red Smoke BBQ a couple of days ago, and we didn't think it was anything special.  But, Slow's was!  Their beef brisket was tender, moist, smoky--just delicious.  We also heard about the Yardbird Sandwich, piled high with juicy smoked pulled chicken tossed with mushrooms and cheddar and topped with applewood bacon. The wait for a table was 1.5 hours.  We got ours "to go."  Lots of others did, too.  It is a hopping joint, a testament to its good BBQ.

Staying at Sterling State Park--$132 + $29 for an annual pass (or $8/day)  FHU, 50 amps, great satellite reception, paved roads and pads, grass, fire pits, right on Lake Erie, some smell from nearby smokestack, very accommodating rangers
« Last Edit: October 18, 2012, 12:32:05 PM by Dean & Linda Stock »
Dean and Linda Stock
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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #176 on: October 18, 2012, 12:34:40 AM »
More pictures...
« Last Edit: October 18, 2012, 12:39:25 AM by Dean & Linda Stock »
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ArdraF

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #177 on: October 18, 2012, 04:54:20 PM »
Okay, Linda.  You got us.  How did you find out about the Guardian Building?  Neither of us ever heard of the Guardian Bank Building and Jerry worked right across the street in the Buhl Building!  Fifty years ago we didn't appreciate the Buhl Building so maybe we need to visit both of them on our next trip to Detroit.  Did you get to the Renaissance Center?  It was built after we left.  Right across the street is the Mariner's Church which is a monument to Great Lakes sailors and their ships.  Also, the Fisher Building which is farther out of downtown (and might not even be open now because G.M. is no longer there) had a beautiful art deco theater where we saw Dame Margo Fonteyn dance.  Jerry went to Cooley High School and when we went back for his 50th reunion they had just renovated it.  They did a wonderful job on the art deco auditorium.  Sadly, Cooley has been closed because of Detroit's declining population.  If you drive around you might see where entire blocks have been leveled and replaced with vegetable gardens.

ArdraF
ArdraF
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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #178 on: October 18, 2012, 11:09:03 PM »
Okay, Linda.  You got us.  How did you find out about the Guardian Building?  Neither of us ever heard of the Guardian Bank Building and Jerry worked right across the street in the Buhl Building!  Fifty years ago we didn't appreciate the Buhl Building so maybe we need to visit both of them on our next trip to Detroit.  Did you get to the Renaissance Center?  It was built after we left.  Right across the street is the Mariner's Church which is a monument to Great Lakes sailors and their ships.  Also, the Fisher Building which is farther out of downtown (and might not even be open now because G.M. is no longer there) had a beautiful art deco theater where we saw Dame Margo Fonteyn dance.  Jerry went to Cooley High School and when we went back for his 50th reunion they had just renovated it.  They did a wonderful job on the art deco auditorium.  Sadly, Cooley has been closed because of Detroit's declining population.  If you drive around you might see where entire blocks have been leveled and replaced with vegetable gardens.

ArdraF

Ardra, one of the reasons I enjoy posting is that so many people tell me about attractions.  Also, you may have picked up on the fact that I like to play blackjack on my first night in a Harrah's city.  I always ask the players and dealers about where they take visitors.  Usually, the pit boss overhears (a good pit boss hears everything), and he/she may add in info.  I get Audubon magazine, and they give me some sights, as do the RV magazines & Sunset magazine.  I use AAA Tour Book, and I look up "TripAdvisor Attractions and the name of the city" on line.  I started saving info about 30 years ago, and when I retired, I organized it by state on my computer.  Some info I get in RV parks.  I usually ask my neighbors what they've done and if they liked it if I see them outside.  I chat with people I meet while I'm waiting in line.  I don't know where I heard about The Guardian, but  from my notes I am sure I got it from a person rather than a magazine.

I didn't realize how tied you were to Detroit or I would have asked you for more info.  If you go to the Buhl, please send me a personal e-mail at my e-mail address (ask me now if you don't have it), and I want to see your pictures.  It's possible that these buildings weren't as grand 50 years ago because they had 30+ years of use, and if they weren't maintained, they could have been dulled.   Having a great guide makes a tour if they enjoy what they're doing.   I didn't have the proper money for a tip for Christopher, so I just wrote him a thank-you note and sent him a check tonight.  I never thought a building would knock my socks off!  Unfortunately, I didn't hear about the Renaissance Center.  I did have a theatre on my list, but when I checked on it, either it was not open on the days we would be there or it had something playing we weren't interested in.  I don't know if that's the same theatre.

We're in Cleveland area, headed for Columbus, OH, tomorrow morning.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Northcentral US with the Stocks 2012
« Reply #179 on: October 19, 2012, 07:59:35 AM »
Oct. 16      Day 55      Medina, Ohio (35 miles south of Cleveland)

I am really sad that we won't have time to go to the Detroit Museum of Art because I've heard raves about it.  I came into Detroit with a negative image of gangs and inner-city blight.  As I leave, I look forward to coming back.   However, the only park "close" to Cleveland (27 miles away) is shutting down for the winter, so if we want to see Cleveland at all, we have to scurry.  Cleveland is not predicted to have rain on any of the 3-4 days we are going to be there.  Hurrah!

The drive was an easy 140 mile drive--at least it was easy until we came across the sign that said "BRIDGE OUT" and no suggestion for a detour.  All the GPS wanted to do was "Make a U-turn" or "Turn right," which we knew would be followed by 2 more right turns to take us back where the bridge was out.   I knew we were within 20 miles, so I called the RV park for new directions.  The lovely lady who answered knew nothing and turned us over to a lady (I think) who had such a raspy voice that we could not even get a hint of what she was saying.  So we drove and drove, then turned right and let the GPS guide us in.

It was too late to go to an attraction, so we went into the new Horseshoe Casino.  It's set up really oddly.  The building was formerly a meat market.  The parking garage is a block away from the casino, and the casino does not have a hotel. There was a sign saying parking cost $25, to which I reacted, "NO WAY!" (even after driving 45 minutes to get there).   However, other cars had come in behind us.  I would have gotten out, talked to the drivers, and had everyone back up.  But, Dean bit the bullet and drove on in.  The man in the next parking spot explained that if we played in the casino for 30 minutes, parking was free, and they would also give us a free buffet.  They  have the high charge because they are right next to the city's stadium and want to have parking for Harrah's customers, rather than stadium visitors.  There is a high city police presence, so we felt safe.  Their slots were pretty loose, and both Dean and I had fun and won (very unusual!).  I suspect that this is because they've only been open 5 months, and as they get a customer base, they will tighten up.  We don't bet a lot, so we don't usually make a lot, but we had fun winning.  The buffet was very good for a mid-size buffet.  Harrah's employees are always top-notch.


Staying at Willow Lake Park, Inc. $120/3 nights, (too expensive for what it is, but it's the only game in town--or even around the vicinity of town---old game of supply and demand, 50 amps & water, dump station, good WIFI, close spaces, but no one is here, so it seems spacious, the closest decent RV camp
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

 

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