Ferry Crossing and Unusual Food

This is our 19th day of the Great Lakes Tour (Sat., October 12).  We started the day with an early morning 4-hour car ferry crossing of Lake Michigan.  We departed from Ludington, MI, and landed in Manitowac, WI.

Some passengers didn’t enjoy the motion of the waves at the beginning of the sail, and although it got smoother as we approached Wisconsin, some were VERY happy to step on land again.

Here are shots of the ferry taken by the Krills:

The USS Badger is the last coal fired ship/ferry still sailing the Great lakes and it has been designated a National Historic Landmark. Our crossing was the next to last of the season.

We met a long-time friend, Michael, for lunch across from this courthouse in Manitowac.


From Manitowac, WI, we ambled northward toward Door County and our hotel in Sturgeon Bay, WI. Here are a few pix along the way:

For dinner, we all gathered at Scaturo’s Baking Co. for an authentic Door County “Fish Boil”.  It was cold and windy so we gathered inside in the warmth.

Then we stepped outside to view the actual boil-over.  The Hulstroms got this shot of most of us as the boil was about to happen.


Other shots of the process:

And, the final results:



One of Our FAVORITE Museums

Today we drove about 17 miles to Hickory Corners, MI, to visit the Gilmore Car Museum.  The docents arranged special parking for our Model As on the lawn of the facility.

We had a tour of the Model A Museum (the largest in the world), a vintage diner, various period  displays, and over 300 vintage autos and motorcycles.

Our car clubs had contributed to the new museum and received acknowledgement in the form of engraved bricks.

Tonight’s hotel is in Ludington, MI, on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan because we’ll take a car ferry across the Lake tomorrow morning.  See you then!

Great Lakes Image Ludington

Turkeys, Cars, and… OOPS

Today, October 10th, Jay and I attempt to rejoin the tour group.  Since we were flying into Detroit too late to make the first stop, the Hulstroms document Cornwell’s Turkey Farm.  This is not only a turkey  farm where they raise turkeys it’s also an all-turkey restaurant. (Photos by Hulstrom.)

After the turkeys, the group visited Philip and Mark Eyre’s private collection of Model As, Model Ts and a Model N. (More photos by Hulstrom.)

Terry, Sally and Cammie had waited for us in Dearborn and we thought we would be able to see the car collection, and here we are leaving the Detroit area.


But…MAJOR oil leak from the rear main (?)…resulting in oil on the clutch…which made shifting very difficult.

After some road attention, we limped the rest of the way from Dearborn westward to Battle Creek, Michigan.

Great Lakes Dearborn Battle Creek

Tomorrow, we’ll head to Gilmore, which is a fantastic Model A museum and other era artifacts.




Detroit vs Nashville…

Today is October 9 and Jay and I are still in Nashville for our daughter’s birthday. But the tour group has a BUSY day.  First stop is the Picquette Plant facility, the original ford factory built in 1904 and the birthplace of the Model T.

Next stop is the Ford Rouge Plant to view the assembly line of the aluminum F-150 pick-up. They walked the catwalks above the line to view the production from a bare chassis to driving out the other end with six gallons in the tank.

The final stop was to tour the Edsel and Eleanor Ford home..

The group had a pizza party for dinner in the lobby.

Highlights from the Hulstroms:

In the meantime, we were celebrating Adina’s birthday in Nashville.

We’ll rejoin the tour group in the morning,

The Tour Is In Detroit; We’re In Nashville

Jay and I are leaving the tour for a couple of days to celebrate our daughter’s birthday in Nashville, so the group is reporting highlights of these couple of days in the Detroit area for the blog. (Most of the shots below are by Terri Padgett.)

We said goodbye to the group as they boarded their tour bus.  All the Model As stayed at the hotel for the day.

After the bus left, this is what Jay did while we waited for our plane to take us to Nashville:


Meanwhile, the tour visited the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation.  The tour took them into the original lab where Thomas Edison had his lightbulb moment.

They spent the afternoon outside at Greenfield Village and had lunch was on our own at one of the several period restaurants on the property.

On the way back to the hotel, we visited the gravesite of Henry and Clara Ford and the bus took them to St. Claire Shores, MI, to tour the Edsel and Eleanor Ford home.

Here are some of the Hulstroms’ highlights:

More tours on the docket for the tour group tomorrow…

More Than Just Cars

Our first stop of the day was at the private Stahl’s Automotive Museum in Chesterfield, MI.  Here are our cars in the parking lot and just a few cars inside the museum.

Besides all kinds of automotive memorabilia, there was a fabulous collection of player pianos, organs, and other mechanical instruments.

And our tour accordionist Cyndi found her favorite mechanized  instrument:

There were also jukeboxes, gambling machines, and a 50’;s style diner, complete with the Blues Brothers.


After lunch at the museum, we headed toward our hotel in Dearborn, MI, which is a suburb of Detroit – and our first signs of a big city:

Dinner was on our own, but many of us were drawn to Ford’s Garage, a fun restaurant with auto-themed decorations.

Here are some highlights documented by the Krills:

The tour will stay three nights in Dearborn with bus tours of various museums nearby.  We’re all thankful we don’t have to drive our cars in the busy Detroit traffic!



A Lighthouse, Pretzels, and a German Dinner

Today was a busy day…  We started out with a 70 mile drive to Point Aux Barques Lighthouse in Port Hope, MI.

Great Lakes Frankenmuth

The museum here usually closes on October 1st, but they were so excited about our group of 1928-1931 Model A Fords that the volunteers came in just for us!

They even fed us a picnic lunch, which was really yummy!

Next we drove to Frankenmuth, MI, which is an entire town devoted to Bavarian style architecture and its German roots.  And, it’s the home of the “World’s Largest Christmas Store”.

We had to curtail the shopping, though because we had a date to learn to roll pretzels. We started the class by donning pretzel “glasses” and food-handler hair nets.  The former were optional, the latter were required. Here’s our group and our pretzel instructors:

You can tell that while some of us were a little skeptical, we ended up having a lot of fun.

Pretzels in progress and a few of the finished product:

The staff baked our pretzels while we enjoyed a German dinner with accordion music provided by our own Cindi Krill.

Tomorrow we may be heading further away from the Lakes, but there’s an exciting stop planned for lunch.  Stay tuned!



Farewell, Mackinac

On Saturday, we caught an early ferry back to the mainland. Farewell, Mackinac:

We had a leisurely drive south toward Bay City, MI.

Great Lakes Bay City

As we drove further south, our fall colors began to change.  We had almost no reds, fewer yellows and more greens.

We accidentally found 40 Mile Lighthouse which had a wonderful museum and docents ready to tell tall tales.

Then we stopped for lunch at a wanna-be lighthouse.


Tomorrow, we’ll travel to another lighthouse.




A Step Back in Time

Let’s review for a moment…  Our Great Lakes Model A Tour started on Tuesday, Sept. 24th, in Milwaukee, which is on the western shore of Lake Michigan (LAKE #1).  After a couple of days, we drove basically northward to Ashland, WI, which is on the southern shore of Lake Superior (LAKE #2).  Then we drove a few days along the southern shore of Superior until we reached Sault Ste. Marie, MI.  Here we took a tour of the locks, which had us touch a bit on Lake Huron (LAKE #3).

We will spend days 10 and 11 of on Mackinac Island in Lake Huron.

Great Lakes Image Mackinac

To get there, we drove 60 miles south, then up and over the Mackinaw Bridge – in the rain.

If you notice the two spellings (Mackinac and Macinaw), they are pronounced the same but Macinaw refers to Macinaw City on the mainland, and Macinac refers to the island.

We left our Model As on the mainland because there are no motorized vehicles allowed on the Island. (It’s truly a Step Back In Time.)  Here are photos of some seasonal decorations in the ferry ticket office, the initial view of our hotel, and a shot of our ferry.

After lunch, we did a little window shopping and just walked around downtown.  Because of the rain, we didn’t get too many photos.  The turtle below is the first of many turtles – The indigenous people named the island Michilimackinac (shortened to Mackinac) which meant “the place of the great turtles”.  The island is shaped more or less like a turtle and turtles seem to be a symbol of good luck.


On Friday morning, we all met for a tour of the island.  Mackinac does not allow motorized vehicles — transportation is walking, riding a bike, or taking a horse-drawn taxi.

Here are photos of our tour carriage, with horses “Judy” and “Mona”:

Some of the sights from the tour:

The tour ended at the Grand Hotel, where we had the buffet lunch and were able to tour all the public spaces.

At the very top of the hotel is the Cupola Room, where there are 360 degree views around the island.

We had a pleasant walk home with some more window shopping followed by dinner with some close tour friends.

Here are highlights from the Clausens:

I think I’ll miss the sound of horses and carriages…


We Visit Ghosts of the Shipwreck Coast

Today we drove the remainder of the southern coast of Lake Superior.

Great Lakes Image Sault Ste. Marie MI

It was mostly overcast this morning, but as you can see below, when the sun came out, the trees really lit up!

The morning drive was over 100 miles, but we managed to make time to visit Tahquamenon Falls:

We arrived at the Great Shipwreck Museum in time for lunch in the old boathouse.  After that, some of our group climbed the stairs to the top of the lighthouse.

Others were satisfied vising the museum and the lighthouse keeper’s quarters. I was especially interested in these Fresnel lighthouse lenses:

Then we rushed off toward Sault Ste. Marie to check in and rush on to meet our Locks tour boat. (Yes! We finally made a cruise.)  It was a narrated dinner sunset cruise and really enjoyable.

Some of the giant freighters that float through these locks are 1,000 feet long.  I couldn’t get it in one photo:

Here are some of the shots from the boat:

The following are highlights from the Clausens:

And some from the Hulstroms:

And one from the Krills:

IMG_0614Tomorrow is Mackinac Island, which involves another bost (ferry) ride.  Please keep your fingers crossed for us!