Tuesday, February 28, 2006

06-16 Cadillac Michigan, visiting friend Ron

(16) Cadillac, Michigan
Visiting Friend, Ron

North Central Michigan, still in the lower peninsula, I’ve stopped to visit my friend Ron and see his pottery store, Earth and Fire, in Cadillac. It’s a most awesome building in an old wood church. The space is really open and aerie, filled with pottery from over 50 local area artists. Ron has some great displays, like using his grandfathers wooden boat, built from a kit. The Church was moved a couple blocks to make way for a new church many years earlier. It makes a great pottery store.

Ron gave me a great tour of the top part of the lower peninsula ending up in Traverse City and visiting one of the lighthouses there. We even visited a huge metal health sanitarium that is being rebuilt for housing and mixed use on many acres of land. It was spooky due to it’s past, but the yellow brick buildings were stunning to see on such a huge scale. Acre after acre of buildings, some whole blocks long! Surrounded by acres of park land, including many acres used for farming, as the place was considered fully self supporting. Imagine the people who were held here. Some deformed or mentally ill, others perhaps years ago, just because they were to have a child out of wedlock and who knows what other “crimes”. A husband who wanted to “get rid of his wife”. Hmmmm.

As we came back, we went through a huge thunderstorm. Rare for the area. We saw downed trees all along the way including a big one that we had to maneuver around on our route back to Cadillac. Fortunately, the RV park I was in did not get the brunt of this storm. Ron, however, had a downed tree leading to his home and the tree also knocked out power to his home and surrounding area.

I learned a lot about the area through Ron and he filled me in on some of the history and what life is like in the area. Surrounded by lakes with summer homes and cottages, more cherry orchards and the Traverse City area is becoming good wine country as well. The area has a number of manufacturing plants that don’t distract from the beauty of the area and they even have a power plant that uses the waste debris from the logging industry. Huge piles of chipped wood is fed into the modern power plant to produce virtually free electricity since the waste material burned would normally just be left in the forest to rot and decay. Leaving better acreage for replanting.

The park I stayed in was really redneck in the small hamlet of Irons, Mi. They had a small zoo of birds, chickens, a mule and about 6 deer caged in super high fencing. Kind of sad to my way of thinking. The town consisted of two banks, two churches, gas station, two restaurants and a taxidermy shop.

Corn will be, knee high by the 4th of July.
Weeds cut in June will die soon, weeds cut in July will surely die.

Next stop the U.P. and a visit with my other sister Ann. J

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