The Detroit Ford Museum

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One day of travelling after our visit to Mackinac Island we were finally in Detroit. We did not want to go into the big city because we decided that there wasn’t enough there to do that was worth the risk. It started to be filled with crime after 2007 when it never recovered after the economy dropped for the recession where all of its people lost their jobs. What we did, however want to see, was the Ford Museum. We had heard AMAZING reviews of this place and really wanted to check it out. After checking into the area we would be spending the next few days we set up the trailer and left. On the drive we didn’t see much; just a couple of houses and trees along with the occasional train-tracks that divided our road. We drove past the buildings that they were building self-driving cars, and some buildings that were research centers. No matter what they were, all of the buildings were in amazing condition. They all had giant glass windows covering the entire sides of the buildings. We finally found a parking spot where a lot of cars were parked and got out. We walked for a long while until we got to the grand entrance of the museum. There was a gate to our right but the 3 pairs of double-doors was strait ahead of us. We already had our tickets so we walked past the long lines of people waiting to get theirs at various other booths. I held the door open while my family walked behind the small group of strangers entering and then walked in myself before it gently shut behind me. Once inside there were chandeliers lining the ceiling and very interesting designs on the left in right. There were museum item collections such as old (but in perfect condition) toys that you would have played with in his time (around the 1900’s) in glass cases underneath the large windows that let golden light into the covered hallway where you ACTUALLY entered the museum. We walked past a modern diner that was on our right and to a counter where a man stood waiting behind the counter. We gave him our tickets and walked inside to see museum artifacts EVERYWHERE.

The first thing that we saw was a huge set of trains to the right. One of them was just a regular locomotive but it was impressive that they actually had one inside of a museum. The cool part was that you could go inside of it. After climbing up a couple of stairs you could walk into the compartment where the conductor would shovel coal into the fire that powered the train. The train on the right was not accessible but the front was very odd. It was a snow plow from the 1900’s. After we had seen our share of the trains we saw some old auto coaches and very old cars. We saw a section on camping that we enjoyed, and even though the motor homes they had were old and small, they look nicer than the average one today! We eventually even saw the car that Kennedy was assassinated in. After walking around and seeing all of the cool things the car section had to offer we went into the theater and sat down to watch a couple of looping 7-13 minute productions. The first one was about how cars became popular and how that effected hotels and things like that. The next one was The Need For Speed, and it walked about people that set records for speed and how they developed jet engines to fit into cars and how it helped them win. After a couple of other short films about technology we calmly exited the theater and walked around to see what else we could find. One are talked about planes, and I was very interested in it. I was somewhat sad that we were not able to stay long enough, but it is what it is. Some of the exhibits talked about the earliest planes to the more modern ones today including the Write Brothers plane, trick planes, water-landing planes, and arctic planes, to name a few. When the others wanted to leave the exhibit I went with them too. We decided to split up half and half and we walked around to see some other stuff that the others might not find as interesting. What we did find was more than we expected. We found one of the oldest McDonalds diners that ever built and it was INSIDE of the Museum! We we looked inside and saw the prices- only 30 cents for almost everything! One of the people running the register (dressed as a REAL chef of that time) chuckled a bit and he said “Sorry, those aren’t the actual prices.” We laughed a little too and then met up with the other half of our group.

When we found them they were in an area all about electricity. I didn’t have a lot of interest in that section but I went along with what they were doing. We soon left and tried to find something to eat. I mentioned the McDonalds that we had JUST went to but nobody remembered it… How do you forget something like that THIS soon? I led them to the McDonalds that we had just went to and they still claimed that they hadn’t seen it until they walked inside. We actually sat down to look at the menu this time and we saw that the prices were not great for what they had to offer. It was cool, and the place was original, but being original also means they didn’t have a lot of options. We got up and decided to find somewhere else to eat. We had heard that they outdoor exhibit was very well done so we decided to eat out there. We walked to where we first came in and got our hands stamped before we walked out of the museum and through the gates. There were a lot of houses scattered everywhere and a diner to our left. In front of us was a large playground where a lot of kids were running around and climbing on things. We went to the diner and they had more reasonable prices and they also had exactly what we wanted. We took some fries and burgers and sat down to eat them. While we were eating we got the chance to look around and see what we would do next. We saw horse drawn carriages everywhere! We wondered where we could be able to ride one, so once we were done we looked around. We also saw some old vehicles that were a little more advanced than horse drawn carriages but were still not really cars.

We finally found the place but sadly the line was extremely long and it was $8 per person in order to ride. We decided to move on and look at one of the strange olden-day buildings that were scattered around the park. The first place we went had a nice little window in front and a casual door standing to its right. We walked inside and one man told us that this was where the Wright Brothers created their first airplane. How could that be? We talked to a tour guide and apparently our old friend Henry Ford had a very large collection. Of houses. We thought that was insane. We had just walked into the ACTUAL building where the first plane was created! The carpet and wood was the exact same as it was when they were building the plane long ago. The guide told us how they figured everything out and that 90% of the original plan of the right brothers house was still being used today in modern planes. We next wandered over to the next house which didn’t look anything like the one before. It was large and it had a huge gear on the right side of the room that turned every one of the devices. Large cords hung from the top of each of the rotating poles hooked up to the gear which powered the machines that were used by Thomas Edison himself. We next went to Noah Websters home, the creator of the Websters Dictionary. He had a huge retirement home and he apparently spoke 20 languages. He was an extremely successful writer and he rewrote some sections of the bible to try and make it easier to read. Nobody wanted it even though he thought he would become famous for it. The creation he lest thought to be successful was the one that was actually the MOST successful of all- the Websters Dictionary. He created more than 15,000 new words to separate the real English language from the new “American Language”. He thought that if america actually wanted to go somewhere he would have to make new additions to characterize america as, well, america. The only bad part was that it cost a terrible $20 in order to produce- instead of making money he actually lost a lot of it. After he died he was still wealthy but the world didn’t quite know his name. Two brothers thought they could recreate it because he did not have a copyright for his book so they made the same book which was highly successful for only $6 instead. They renamed that book the Merriam-Webster dictionary (Merriam was the last name of the two brothers that recreated it, but Webster was added generously so he could have the credit- they didn’t have to do that). After that we saw the famous Robert Frost’s home where we learned that all of the houses were taken brick by brick with Ford’s money and replanted into his museum. We couldn’t go very far into it for whatever reason but some of his poems were displayed inside including his most famous one, The Road Not Taken.

We next visited Heinz’s home where we saw all all of the ketchup and mustard that he had ever made. After leaving the Heinz home we saw a person on a very old bike. He was doing a demonstration so we stopped to watch. He gave us some history on it and he showed us how he got onto the bike. He used a little metal part sticking out of the bike to hop onto and jump to his seat. How funny it was to watch him do it! He pedaled off and we waited but we started to chuckle when we realized he might not be coming back. He went to the end of the road and as we were walking away he took the entire intersection to turn around. It was hilarious to watch him do it! He came back and said goodbye and took of the other way again, finding somewhere else to do a demonstration! We looked at some more houses including Thomas Jefferson’s house and Henry Fords home itself. We were done looking at all the houses so we walked back into the museum before it closed and saw the most exciting stuff (kind of) of all. We walked in and went to the Black History section where the one and only bus that the famous Rosa Parks protested and was arrested. The renovation of it took a whopping 300,000 dollars, not including the amount of money that it took to buy the historical work itself. We walked inside and learned about it a little bit and one Japanese woman asked us to take a picture. The guide for that station to us that she was actually sitting in THE spot that Rosa sat in when she was pressed with her unfair charges! The very last thing we saw was the chair that Abe Lincoln was assassinated in. It was sad to see the blood that was stained into that old seat that he was sitting. After that we left to go home. They started closing when we walked into the gift shop. We couldn’t find anything that we liked so we left amazed at what Henry Ford had let us experience. Like I said, we weren’t going to downtown Detroit, so I guess that was the end of our trip there. If you have stayed with me this entire time thank you so much for reading, it took me an entire hour to type this adventure! Thanks!

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IF YOU ARE NEW to my blog, and you would like to learn a little more about my long adventure, come to my ABOUT section by clicking HERE

#Ford Museum     #History     #Museum

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Mackinac Island

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Mackinac Island was for sure one of the highlights of my current 6 month adventure. After getting up early I opened my closet and got some fresh clothes to start the morning. Once I was up I met up with my family, all of whom were already up and sitting in the living room of our camper. I was very excited to go to Mackinac Island but I didn’t fully know what it was like there- no cars at all. I walked over to the cupboard and pulled out cereal and milk from the fridge and in only a half hour later everyone was ready to go. We walked outside and put in the password for the bike lock and pulled it from the bikes. We rode our bikes a short ways through the insanely large campground to the entrance. where we parked our bikes on the dirt. Only two of our bikes had kickstands so we leaned the others against a tree or a large rock. It took a while until the first bus got there bus got to our station but it was full and only two people could get on. Another 15 or 20 minutes went by before the next one came, and it was empty. We were the closest ones to the bus so we pushed our bikes towards the back trailer where the driver stood to put them onto the platform.

We were the first to get on the bus. When everyone got there bikes onto the platform and got seated (or stood wherever there was room) then the bus took off on its leisurely stroll of only about 30 MPH until it got to its seashore destination 20 or so miles away. We were the first seated so we were the last to get out, same with our bikes. My bike (the shiny gray one) was the very last one to be taken from its open compartment. After that we walked our bikes to the line that held somewhere close to 500 PEOPLE! luckily each of the giant boats held 200 or so people each. When the line finally narrowed down we put our bikes in and walked up 3 flights of stairs to get to the top. There were only 4 seats left, and exactly four seats left, and they were all next to each other so we all got lucky. On the 30 minute ride through not only Lake Michigan but also Lake Huron to get there. The water was constantly changing colors from greenish to bluish. When we finally got there we saw through the Hawaii-clear water that there used to be a dock were we were standing- Planks and poles made of wood were lying on the bottom! It was cool watching them slightly sway with the sand on the floor of the somewhat deep water that our boat was on until it was our turn to get off. We walked down the stairs with the crowd of people, all 3 stories, and then met up by the bikes on the gently-swaying dock we stood on. Once we had our bikes we explored. Not a single car. It was amazing and it was VERY hard to explain which why I chose the thumbnail (picture) that I did for today’s post. The basic version? It was amazing everywhere. All of the mail was picked up by horses and shipped off by boat. The island was modern day and it wasn’t a recreation, but it was the EXACT same as it would have been some time in the very early 1900’s.

The first thing we did was obviously bike around. We looked at the town, passed all the million dollar homes that were on the right (each one with their own beach) and to the 2-mile long bike path that went past all of the clear water that let the rocks be seen fully. After a while of biking past the trees and piles of stacked rock creations we finally hit a large stairway that we would need to climb up to in order to see some sort of island landmark. One of the signs pointed up and read GRAND ARCHWAY.

On the way up the very steep stairs my shoes started to start slipping; my shoe laces no longer stayed together. After all this I would NEED some new shoes. At the time it wasn’t really that bad, however it was annoying. Every couple of seconds my shoes bugged me so much I took them off and retied them. When we were finally at the top we saw some horses going down another road and the bridge over the arch on the left.

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IF YOU ARE NEW to my blog, and you would like to learn a little more about my long adventure, come to my ABOUT section by clicking HERE

#Mackinac Island     #Island     #Horses     #Biking

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