Tuesday, August 12, 2014

What's a half foot of rain look like?

Monroe, Michigan
Harbortown RV Resort
Back in #129

We pulled out of Lima yesterday around 11 am.  It was raining in the morning and I think there were only 4 rigs left in the park.  A Montana owner a few sites down from us who we hadn't talked to, pulled out and waved to us.  He said, "It looks like it's going to be a good day."  Normally, we would have extended our stay, but we had made a weekly reservation and were meeting John and Karen Knoll.  It was only 100 miles away.  What a long 100 miles that was. We drove through record breaking rainfall.  The rain came down so hard and there was no where to pull over in all the traffic. We saw a red truck towing a Montana Fifth wheel, tuck in behind us through Toledo and I thought it looked like the one that was parked near us in Lima.  After awhile we lost sight of him in the heavy downpour.  

By the time we got backed in and set up, my shorts including my underwear were soaked. 

We looked out and saw the Montana parked across from us.  Del, came over and introduced himself and spent some time here and then John and Karen arrived and came over to visit until the rain let up.  

We caught up on the places and things we've seen, since we left them. Okay, I guess we never catch up, but we tried.  

This morning we left early for the Ford Museum.  When we went to purchase the tickets, they discounted them 50% as the rain had caused some damage and not all exhibits were open.  

As it turned out, we wouldn't have had time to see everything if it was all open.  I can't imagine the scrambling they had to do to stay open.  We were told the train section had two inches of water.  

Thank you Ed Allard, for recommending this.  We had great intentions of visiting this last year, when we were in Michigan, but never made it.  

They had exhibits on all kinds of different interests.  The furniture exhibit was being dismantled due to the water.  The floors were beautiful but you could tell that it all had been wet.  

Bill hadn't researched the place and thought it was all about Henry Ford. Was he ever surprised?  There was a large area exhibit about the industrial revolution, agriculture, clocks, pewter, jewelry, and manufacturing in America.

The With Liberty and Justice for All exhibit was a whole museum in itself.  The Lincoln Chair was the chair that Lincoln was assassinated in, complete with the blood stains.  The museum had Washington's camp bed that folded into a trunk. 

 The Montgomery, Alabama bus that Rosa Parks rode on and refused to give up her seat in 1955 was another attraction.

I'm sitting in the seat that Rosa Parks sat on.
John and Bill said they were listening to the story of how Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white man and how the Civil Rights Movement progressed after that.  I think they were giving their feet a break while they were sitting there. 

The Heroes of the Sky Adventures in Early Flight exhibit had numerous historic planes and stories of the pilots.  I was surprised to learn that Ford was involved in airplanes.  

We took a short break for lunch in the diner, so Karen and I got a chance to sit for a little bit.  

This was the 1961 Lincoln Kennedy Car.

And then, the guys found the cars!  This was a 1906 Thomas Flyer.
I loved this car.  It is a 1931 Bugatti Type 41 Royale.  All of the cars were labeled with the price of the car, average yearly wage and how long it would take to pay for it.  This one was $43,000 in 1931 and the average wage was $1,388 per year.  It would take a mere 31 years to pay for.  

Yep, I want that one!

It's hard to seen in this photo but that floor is all wet.
They must have had thousands of buckets still catching the water.  
You can see they threw plastic over this vehicle to protect it.
I found out that "by the 1920's, too many 'carefree' campers were invading private property, littering roadsides, and polluting streams.  Many localities established public autocamps with clean water and privies to deal with the problem."  Do you think that was the beginning of the RV resorts?

This train was a 1831 DeWitt Clinton.
Needless to say, Bill really liked this DeWitt train.  
I wanted to see what it felt like to sit in the engineer's seat.
Hey, it's a turtle on the top of this baggage car.  

We didn't take our usual amount of photos because I didn't bring any extra batteries.  It was almost closing time and we hurried through the train section.  

As we started back, we realized why the Henry Ford Museum had so many problems with the rain within their building that was built in 1929.  

We couldn't get on the freeway because it was flooded.  I mean really flooded.  This is the freeway which is below the road.

The height limit on this underpass says 14 FEET 3 INCHES. and the water is about a foot from the top of the underpass.

The underpass photo was out the driver's side of the truck and this is what we saw out the passenger side.  There was a man that walked through the water past his knees.  That's when the battery on the camera died.  

When we got home we turned on the news and found out that they are searching the cars under the water to find out if there are any bodies that were trapped in there.   They had over 6 inches of rain in a 3 hour period which set new records.

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