7/2/13 Tuesday at St Clair, MI (St Clair-TT)
You may not realize it, but we like to move on Tuesdays, so naturally, we had to move today. Actually, John was NOT happy with the lack of satellite TV and only NBC (not a favorite channel) on the local antenna. Our friends Allan and Pauline moved on yesterday and no one claimed their spot. John was very hopeful that we’d get satellite reception there. I noted that it’s more open to the hot sun. He prevailed (the high’s in the next 10 days are just to the low 80’s).
I didn’t sleep well last night, maybe because it was on the edge of too warm, probably because we were going to move today. Especially with our history in Seaside of moving a little ways to get better TV led to severe damage on the passenger side of the rig. Needless to say, we were really careful this time, so all went smoothly. One small incident: once the rig had left our original site, we saw that a baby robin had crawled under it, then died (NOT squished). We arrived by 9:21 am!
The rest of the morning I organized my photos from June (800 or so) in Adobe Photoshop. John looked into a discounted plan for our phones, since his current employer discount will expire. I ran into a couple Michigan photos I didn’t share before:
Their cattails are slender, compared to ours in the Northwest. Just a different species?
After lunch we went to Port Huron. In Port Huron, we had to stop for a bridge over the Black River to raise up for a ship. Cool. When we found the Huron Lightship Museum, a kind gentleman took our money ($5/senior, over 60) and spent over 2 hours showing us everything anyone could need to know about a lightship. [When I told him I was older than John, he said to John “you must take good care of her.” How sweet is that?] I didn’t realize lightships existed. He said they’re on the West coast as well. This one, built in 1920, worked as a relief lightship until 1935 when it was stationed just north of the Blue Water Bridge, to guide freighters from Lake St. Clair into St. Clair River. In 1970 she was retired, the last lightship on the Great Lakes (and on fresh water), then in 1989 she was designated a National Historic Landmark-the only Great Lakes lightship to be so honored.
Huron Lightship (Museum). Notice that it’s sitting in sand. They pulled it close to shore, built a wall between the river and the ship, then filled the space with sand, so it won’t deteriorate in the water. Note the light (lantern) at the top of the mast. The shape of that light stretches the light – sends it way farther out than a normal light. When you step inside, you see a current running color video of the fish in the river, just beside the Lightship. Loved it.
The freighters carry mostly Iron Ore, but Henry Ford discovered that it can be pulverized, then bound with clay in to small balls, making it far easier to transport. This is what they use to make steel, so this is also a major reason (proximity to Iron Ore), along with ease of transportation through the Great Lakes, that Mr. Ford built his factory near here in Detroit.
In 1948 when they discontinued the coal/steam boiler and put in these twin diesel engines, they had to add weight, to compensate: bars of iron, extra heavy chains on anchors, steel deck above instead of wood. Mushroom anchor.
Maytag washing machine
Oldest to newest buoys: You can see the actual light, with the light enhancing lens removed. This is a summer buoy. For winter they put a top without any light on (ships don’t travel from December to March, since the Lake freezes over. The next buoy has a solar panel on the top, but they added the 4 waving wands to scare off the seagulls (and their poop). The last is where they learned to put the solar panels on the sides and placed an LED light on the top.
Came back home for the usual end of the day, with fabulous dinner of grilled pork chops, Annie’s seashell cheddar macaroni and corn on the cob. MMM Good.
PS: We’ve found that if we drive to an open spot near the freeway, using the Wilson Antenna, we have Internet with SPEED.
Also: I’ve just finished a great book “Drinking, a Love Story” by Caroline Knapp. Wonderful sharing of how an alcoholic thinks. (My father died from alcoholism, plus it’s in my family, so I’m curious).