(Continued from Part 1 – See)
Day 4 – The Organization for Bat Conservation (OBC), Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
Our first destination in Michigan was the OBC at the Cranbrook Institute in Bloomfield Hills, about 50 miles north of our campground.There are many bat caves here in Middle Tennessee; unfortunately, the number of bats has dropped dramatically in the past several years due to White Nose Syndrome. We visited the OBC, a short one-hour drive north of the campground, to learn more about how this deadly syndrome is affecting the overall bat population, the value of bats to the environment (and to humans), and what programs are available to protect these insect-hungry predators (look for a detailed article in the coming weeks).
Following our visit to the OBC, we toured the adjacent Cranbrook Institute of Science’s Natural History Museum.We were back at the campground that afternoon—the one afternoon for which we had no touring plans. Consequently, I had planned a Dutch oven dinner for us. John was skeptical of my described cooking method. First I lighted a pile of charcoal briquettes. While they matured to hot cooking coals, I placed a two-pound pork roast in the greased heavy iron Dutch oven, added one-to-two-inch squares of potato, rutabaga, parsnip, celery, and onion, and seasoning per my recipe. By then the coals were ready. I placed the Dutch oven over about 10 coals and placed another 14 coals around the top of the lid, and let cook for an hour and 45 minutes. John claims he had never had parsnips or rutabagas before, but he ate everything, and an extra helping of the pork. We had just enough left over for the next day, too.
Day 5 – Greenfield Village, Dearborn, MichiganWhere can you see the original Wright Brothers bicycle shop and family home? Not in Dayton where they were located, but in Greenfield Village, along with many other buildings that The Henry Ford organization has meticulously disassembled, shipped, and reassembled in the village. Greenfield Village is a walk-through history of early 20th century Americana. For example, you can ride in a fully authentic, restored Ford Model T or climb aboard an early 1900s steam locomotive (full article forthcoming).
Day 7 – The Ford Museum, Dearborn, MichiganAdjacent to Greenfield Museum, The Ford Museum is also dedicated to early 20th century of America, but includes older technical and social elements. The most photographed item in the collection is one of the largest steam locomotives built—the 544-ton, 7,500 horsepower Allegheny built for the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway. It was built to pull 100+ loaded coal cars from western Virginia to Norfolk (which means this engine crossed the farm I grew up on see: ). There are also many classic and famous cars (not just Ford products), and much, much more. One highlight was the 1920s Lamy’s diner where we had lunch—unfortunately not at 1920s prices (and yes, expect an article in the next week or two).
Day 7 – Riverside RV Manufacturing, Lagrange, Indiana
Our camper was manufactured by Riverside RV based in Lagrange, Indiana. There are two articles already on my blog about this camper. I made arrangements to visit and tour the factory and, at the same time, have them install the “lift kit” to raise the camper a couple of inches (see: Camper). Look for the article and photos coming soon.
Day 7/8 – Return Travel to Tennessee
The homeward-bound leg presented more challenges. We were delayed nearly six hours in a rest stop by strong storms and tornado watches. This is one time I was happy to see the tractor trailers. In the rest area, we were parked between two large trucks that protected us from of the high winds that swept through the area. But, once again, after the strongest storms subsided, we were traveling in steady rains while being passed continuously by tractor trailers. We arrived back home early on the morning of Day 8, totally exhausted. Over the entire trip we traveled some 1,550 miles. And, it was worth every mile.
The saga continues with visits to the Organization for Bat Conservation, the Ford Museum complex, and the Riverside RV factory: Two Old Guys Trying to Recapture Their Youth – Part 2.
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Two Old Guys Trying to Recapture Their Youth – Part 2. The saga continues with visits to the Bat conservancy, the Ford Museum complex, and the Riverside RV factory.