Sunday, August 17, 2014

Two Out of Three

Monroe, Michigan
Harbortown RV Resort
Back In #129

Yesterday was great for two out of three activities we did.  I pulled my back out of whack yesterday leaning over to look at a map in John and Karen's fifth wheel.  

The first stop yesterday was the River Raisin National Battlefield Park.  As we pulled into the driveway, I thought it wasn't going to be much.  Was I ever wrong!  

The reenactment included  these three men. They were passionate about the War of 1812.  
 I'm sorry I forgot his name, but he's been doing this for 47 years.  He was in the movie Northwest Passage and the Last of the Mohicans.  

He even had this laminated photo of his part in the movie.  
An explanation of all the different weapons was given to us.
This was a lead pencil made out of a musket ball which I signed as a souvenir.
They shot off the cannon while we were in the Visitors center but no way were we leaving the center at that time. 

We've been in an enormous amount of historical places and museums.  It's not  about how much stuff a place has, but how you feel when you leave.  John, Karen, Bill and I walked away with a great understanding of the War of 1812 thanks to the park ranger, Ron Jones.  

This is new park and while they don't have the large displays and elaborate exhibits some parks have, they have park rangers with a passion about their subject.

Ron was proud to say that these "museum quality" show cases came from the Henry Ford Museum and all they had to do was pick them up.  
There was a large map which lit up showing the movements of the different factions.  Before Ron turned on the map he gave us an excellent story of the area and how this battle changed the coarse of history of the United States.  The state of Michigan should be grateful for the men that fought in the River Raisin Battle or they would have been Canadian citizens today.   

Ron told us that he's been a ranger there for three years and before that he was a history teacher.  Even though he's a native from Michigan he had no idea of the importance of this battle.  
The city of Monroe is proposing within the next ten years to have the village of Frenchtown reconstructed to look like it did originally with NO money from the federal government.  It's nice to see a town realize how important it is to maintain its history.  
Here's a photo of the cannon sled.  

We all agreed that this is a come back place.   

After such a great experience, we all decided it was time to get some food before we go to the Woodward Dream Cruise.
I'd read on Roadside America about Pete's Garage and we'd driven past it a few times and noticed the parking lot was packed.  
Now if we're going to the world's largest one day car cruise in the world, we needed to be primed for it and what better thing to do than to have our meal in 1950's Chevy!
We were very lucky as we got the last empty car for our meal.
They did remove the steering wheel and we checked the mileage on the car to find that it had 98,000 miles.  I would have driven it until made it to 100,000. 
The overhead had all kinds of graffiti but they didn't give us any crayons to write on it.  
The windows were down, so it was comfortable.  
The food was delicious, very reasonable and plentiful. Sorry about the blurry photo.  I ordered fish and chips and it had 4 pieces of fish for $9.99. 
Burgers were huge and priced under $10.  They also had a great selection from burgers to steaks.  
I keep telling people Bill spoils me, here's an example.
We were upstairs and here's some "tables" looking down.
Jim Dixon, we were thinking of you when we ate in that Chevy.
I highly recommend putting this place on your bucket list. It's well worth the stop.

OK, we've got two great things we've done for the day.  Now we're off to the world's largest cruise in.  The Woodward Dream Cruise has been in existence for 20 years.  This is their 20th anniversary year.  The cruise is 16 miles long through many towns.  According to the news cast, they have over 40,000 classic cars and one million spectators.  

While it took us an hour and a half to get there I must say until we got close the traffic wasn't bad.   I parked the truck on a side street with a parking meter.  Twenty-five cents for 7 minutes.  We all scrounged around for change and came up with 2 hours and 13 minutes of time.  

It was about four blocks down to Woodward.  There were classic cars parked everywhere and we finally arrived at Woodward.  Yes, there were classic cars, but it really looses something with a minivan in between the classics.  It appeared to me there was no organization at all. There was a block area where people had their cars parked, but again they had normal every day cars parked with them.  Woodward is three lanes separated by about a two lane wide size median and three lanes going the other way.  Why didn't they close the road to all other traffic instead of having it interspersed with regular traffic?
The TV station had interviewed people who staked out their spot for their chairs at 3 am.  Can you imagine sitting at 
the curb that long to watch this?

And that folks, is the Woodward Dream Cruise.  At this point, I said, "my dream cruise has lost its dream".  My back was hurting, but I still would have felt the same way if it wasn't.  Everyone one else was in agreement so we headed back to the truck.  Karen said they were having a two hour special on TV about it, I decided to skip it.  

After watching this, it makes the Kearney, Nebraska cruise in look like a world class event.  I'll return to Kearney before coming back here for this one.  

Turtle Safely........

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