Thursday, June 22, 2017

Making tracks to Michigan

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At the end of 2017 we should have all but four states filled in on our map. While we've certainly spent considerable time in many of them, there are a few whose sticker we earned simply by staying one night there. Ohio falls into that category.

We literally hit the Ohio turnpike and never left until we arrived in Michigan. We were able to do that because Ohio has some awesome Service Plazas that offer RV spaces with electrical hookups. We wheeled in, hooked up, paid our twenty bucks and went inside to the food court for a snack. The next morning we had breakfast at Panera and then hit the road. That was our entire experience in Ohio and frankly, it was kind of awesome, a no-muss, no-fuss overnight.

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Camping at the Ohio Service Plaza with electric. I wish more states offered something like this!

Maybe one of these days we'll return to Ohio for a more in-depth stay but, on this trip, our goal was to get to Dearborn, Michigan. We wanted to stay there three nights so we'd have plenty of time to spend at The Henry Ford and Greenfield Village. We also had plans to hit up Costco and Trader Joe's, our last opportunity for a couple of months, and we wanted to stock up on our favorites.

We originally intended to stay at the Elks Lodge in Dearborn but, when we called to confirm RV parking, we were told they had sold that location and moved. No RV parking was available in their new location. Bummer. When I posted this on the Elks message board on RVillage, we got a few recommendations, all for the same place - Wayne County Fairgrounds. So that's where we went and it was just fine. Better, perhaps, than boondocking in the Elks Lodge parking lot.

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Wayne County Fairgrounds. We find Fairgrounds are often a good option when there are no events going on.

Early during our first full day we took off to spend some time at The Henry Ford. Also known as the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation and Greenfield Village, it is a huge history museum complex and a National Historic Landmark. Indoors, there are huge displays of American transportation over the years, as well as historical exhibits, including many presidential limousines, Thomas Edison's laboratory, the Rosa Parks bus and many more. It was fascinating walking through the buildings seeing the evolution of the transportation industry. As you might imagine, Ford autos were front and center, but there were plenty of others as well. We really enjoyed seeing all the different car designs. And that Duesenberg still looks fabulous today. :)

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I can totally see this being towed behind Scoopy, can’t you?

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A perfect marriage: classic car and iconic hotel sign.

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Presidential limos: Teddy Roosevelt’s horse-drawn carriage and JFK’s 1961 Lincoln Continental

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We have a few more comforts in Scoopy than these early models.

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Lots of familiar models in this exhibit, most from my generation.

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I love this McDonald’s display. I remember when they used to post how many burgers they’d sold.

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Rosa Parks bus. Usually there were tons of people in here, but I managed a few seconds alone.

Greenfield Village, the outdoor living history museum section of the Henry Ford complex contains nearly one hundred historical buildings that were moved to the property from their original locations and arranged in a "village" setting. The museum's intent is to show how Americans lived and worked since the founding of the country. The Village includes buildings from the 17th century to the present, many of which are staffed by costumed interpreters who conduct period tasks like farming, sewing and cooking. Steven visited the Village on his own during our second day there. He wanted to stay all day and photograph everything and I wanted to stay at home. Since we'd done our shopping the day before I had some food prep to do and some meals to cook. When Steven is out photographing, the kitchen is my happy place. It works for us.

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Period horse carriages and costumes at Greenfield Village made it feel like stepping off a time machine.

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A potter demonstrates his craft at one of the village shops.

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Greenfield Village has an active farm where only those things available from the early twentieth century are used.

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Reproduction of Thomas Edison’s workshop.

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The vintage cars and trains made perfect subjects for Steven’s favorite shooting style: pinhole photography.

Our time in eastern Michigan was short as we were on a mission to get to our next stop. Based on a recommendation from our friends Jim and Diana of ExploRVistas, we had made reservations at the Wild Cherry Resort in Lake Leelanau for an entire month. Rare for us, but we knew we'd need a good long rest if we were to make it through the rest of our busy summer. This stop came at just the right time.

UP NEXT:  Pure Michigan

16 comments:

  1. There is a lot of history in Ohio, much if lost, but two bicycle kids from Dayton taught the world to fly! Give it another chance when it fits in.

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    1. I know Ohio deserves more attention. Maybe someday.

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  2. Thanks for the shout out, Linda! 😊 So glad you enjoyed your time in Michigan. ✋️😎

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    1. It has been everything we hoped. We really needed a place like this to site and relax. Thanks for the recommendation!

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    1. Not all Service Centers have the RV spots, but probably 5 out of 8 do. It was great to be able to just stop, refuel, eat, sleep and go! There is a map online, so just google it next time you're traveling through Ohio!

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  4. Love Stevens pics as always! I'm sure Bill will love that museum! Will have to check it out!

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    1. Bill would need at least two days to go through it all. Honestly, if we had the time and inclination, we could have spent several days there. There is a lot to see and it is so worth visiting.

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  5. Not fans of the toll roads, but those travel plazas are awesome! I agree there should be some everywhere. We're hoping to spend a few weeks in Michigan the next time we head east and the Henry Ford is high on the list for me. I loved the Sherborne in Burlington that has a similar village lay-out. Plus I've always been a Ford gal!!!

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    1. There is so much to see here, I hope we are able to come back again. I know you would find so much here to enjoy.

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  6. When I read this, I thought "hey, we stayed at that Fairgrounds!" and went to see how we reviewed it. No review! Then I read our post about Detroit and remembered why. We were feeling just like you, like we REALLY needed a break from travel and sightseeing, but we just had a few more things we HAD to fit in... I managed to eke out a blog post, but let go of the campground review. Sometimes you just can't do t all, can you? It was always a relief to me when I was able to just say SCREW IT if I got too far behind! Very fun to read your blog post and let the memories come pouring back. Summer around the Great Lakes is wonderful.

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    1. I remember when we were still living in the BAH and I followed your travels in Michigan. You seemed to enjoy such a lazy summer and from that time on Michigan was high on my list. I has been great for us, as we have a very busy travel schedule coming up. We sure needed the time to just relax.

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  7. We're heading to Michigan early next summer so it's really fun to read your posts! I visited Greenfield Village too many years ago to remember much about it....but I do know I want to go back. And the Henry Ford museum looks so cool!!

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    1. Michigan has been at the top of my list for a long time, so it's great to finally get here. It is everything I hoped for and more. You'll love it!

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  8. Cool pinhole shots! We loved our stop at the Henry Ford Museum last year; was so cool!! We also enjoyed some time in Ohio last year as well....Cuyahoga Nat. Park is a great stop if you make it back through.

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    1. It's always a little sad to blow through an area and not spend any time there, but even in this lifestyle, we can't see it all. We can try, though, right? :)

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