Monday, August 20, 2018

Traveling around Michigan's Thumb, June 2018

On our way to Bad Axe for a wedding, our first stop was Frankenmuth, of Christmas and Fried Chicken fame.
Bonner's is Christmas insanity and we didn't last more than ten minutes.
Fans of Elvis and Christmas decor won't be disappointed.
Maybe John Wayne is more your guy.
Lunch was next on the agenda and we checked out the Bavarian Inn first. We were seated with no problem but after 15 minutes without a server showing up we left. It felt more like a tourist trap anyway with lots of dirty tables and waiting customers.
We walked across the street to Zehnder's but apparently a tour bus had just landed so there was a huge wait. The atmosphere felt better than Bavarian Inn but still not worth the wait.
Just down the street we found Frankenmuth Brewery, which was great and just as historic.
Unless you are just passing through, we see no reason to make Frankenmuth your destination.
Before checking into Bad Axe, we drove to the coast to visit some of the towns located on Lake Huron. Harbor Beach was first and has a few claims to fame, the first being the world's largest man-made fresh water harbor, along with an abandoned Coast Guard station and a lighthouse.
Its second claim to fame is being the home of Supreme Court Justice William Francis Murphy (known as Frank Murphy). Before joining SCOTUS, he was mayor of Detroit, Governor-General of the Philippines, Governor of Michigan, and Attorney General of the United States. That's quite a stellar career for someone you've probably never heard of. What he is most famous for, however, is his historic dissent in the Korematsu v. United States case (1944). The case was decided 6-3, in favor of the government's constitutional right to order Japanese citizens into internment camps. In his dissent, Justice Murphy condemned the majority's decision and rejected its reasoning. Murphy wrote that the decision was nothing more than the "legalization of racism" and concluded, "Racial discrimination in any form in any degree has no justifiable part whatever in our democratic way of life. It is unattractive in any setting, but it is utterly revolting among a free people who have embraced the principles set forth in the Constitution of the United States." That's a hero.
Continuing up the coast, we stopped in Port Hope and viewed a historic chimney :-)
Just a little further north was Pointe Aux Barques Lighthouse, where over 100 shipwrecks occurred.
After a drive through Grindstone City,
we made our way to Bayport, home of the Fish Sandwich Festival. What's not to like?
This has to be the best advertising found anywhere.
It was an interesting little town and we enjoyed visiting the fish market.
The next morning we had some time before the wedding and spent it exploring Bad Axe. It's classic small town, rural America.
They still have their old-school theater.
The old train station is converted into a hair salon but the building is preserved.
Pioneer Village highlights some of the town's roots, but it's not open often.
The best part of Bad Axe has to be the "bad axe." Besides containing excessive, funny signage, the library holds the alleged, original bad axe that gave the town its name.
The reason we made this trip was for the wedding of Mary Alice Walker and here are a few photos from that on what was a 90 degree plus day.
We had one last place to check out on our way home and that was Michigan's Military and Space Museum (Frankenmuth). There is so much to see but here are a few highlights from our Michigan astronauts.
Roger B Chaffee
Jack Lousma
Al Worden

Flickr link to Military Museum Photos

It was a great weekend exploring the thumb and spending time with friends!