DAY 63. Monday, 1st July. From Cheboygan to Bay City, Michigan USA

It’s already 1st July. The time is simply flying. In order to avoid queueing for the shower, I was up early (7 am) this morning. Having seen the queue last night, I did not want that experience. I was lucky, no waiting.

The day started dull and overcast. We thought it was lake mist, at first, but it didn’t rally clear until late afternoon, when the sun finally came out. It was very hot and humid, though, and looked as if we would get a storm. 

We didn’t get a very good night’s sleep and were both tired, so after not being on the road for very long, pulled into a restaurant for a coffee break. Soon after, we stopped again, at Alpena, where Dennis went into an auto spares shop looking for a larger Donaldson pre-filter. I think he has already mentioned the one we have is too small. 

After coming out of the auto part store, Dennis noticed we had developed yet another diesel leak! We found a quiet road to pul off, out came the overalls and tools and Dennis was once again on the ground underneath the vehicle for an inspection. It was the other two copper washers he hadn’t changed. So, changing them and then a further tighten up and we were back on the road. 

Soon it was lunch time so we took a small side turning down to the lake at Sturgeon Point. Here we found some interesting bits of information and old buildings preserved by the local historical society. These included the Bailey School. A one-room schoolhouse built in 1907 of Norway pine for the education of logging crew’s children.

A lighthouse dating back to 1846 and various relics from ships that had foundered on Lake Huron. Apparently 6000 ships and 30,000 sailors have been lost. I think this figure refers to the five Great Lakes, though and not just to Huron.

Many of the Great Lakes, from the early 19th century, had a prosperous fishing industry. Catching lake trout, white fish and other species. In the 1940’s and 1950’s an ocean predator, the sea lamprey, entered the Lakes in ship’s ballast water and decimated the fish population, completely wiping out the commercial fishing industry.

The further South we have gone the more developed the lakeside seems to be. There is virtually no space left beside the lake for any further building. Lovely homes, holiday homes, hotels, motels, resorts, cabins, all spread along the foreshore. It is all beautifully kept. Every piece of grass seems to be mowed to perfection and flowers are planted everywhere, or in pots and hanging baskets. I am surprised as I thought this part of the world was more ‘run-down’. We are not all that far away from Detroit.

We stopped just outside Bay City to refuel. What a performance that was! Throughout Canada we haven’t had a problem using a credit card at the pump. Always a simple procedure. Now we are in the US there seems to be an issue. I hope this situation is not going to happen everywhere. The key pad required us to type in our ZIP code. Of course we don’t have a US one. It then asked us to see an attendant, so I went inside to see the cashier. Same thing, he also needed the ZIP. When I explained we were visitors and didn’t have one, he said he would come out and help us. This he did, with instructions on his mobile phone, telling us to use the first 3 figures of our overseas post code plus 2 00s. We tried 2 or 3 times, but it didn’t work!!!!! I finished up paying cash. Luckily we had some.

Deciding to call it a day we asked if there was camping in Bay City and were directed to the Bay City State Park. This is located on Saginaw Bay. I keep thinking of a song which has a line “In Saginaw, Michigan”. I cant remember any other words or the title!!! Am sure Alzheimers is setting in. Anyone any ideas?

2 Comments:

  1. That song you are thinking about is call Saginaw, Michigan. Two verisions I can think of are by Johnny Cash and Lefty Frizzell. I prefer Johnny Cash’s verion…..a little less two stepping for me thanks.

    I hear there’s some HOT humid weather coming your way (southern Ontario). We are still getting rain, and will get more over the next five days. Wettest summer out here I can remember. Tose and Derek (portugese gentleman and his son that came to the pub for dinner) are off touring the British Columbia interior and are now camped out in Bella Coola, on the west coast. Very much like a Norwegian fiord.

    take care kids 😉

    cheers, Bill

    • Hi Bill,

      unfortunately we have gone through London and Hamilton and are now in Toronto. have only just got your suggestions. Some to look for further ahead though. Great stuff. Sorry about the rain. Not sure which is worse. Humidity here is off the scale so it may as well be raining..:). At last we have some aircon and faster wifi in a motel. Going into the city later in the day.

      Us 🙂

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