At the end of 2017 we should have all but four states filled in on our map. While we've certainly spent considerable time in many of them, there are a few whose sticker we earned simply by staying one night there. Ohio falls into that category.
We literally hit the Ohio turnpike and never left until we arrived in Michigan. We were able to do that because Ohio has some awesome Service Plazas that offer RV spaces with electrical hookups. We wheeled in, hooked up, paid our twenty bucks and went inside to the food court for a snack. The next morning we had breakfast at Panera and then hit the road. That was our entire experience in Ohio and frankly, it was kind of awesome, a no-muss, no-fuss overnight.
Maybe one of these days we'll return to Ohio for a more in-depth stay but, on this trip, our goal was to get to Dearborn, Michigan. We wanted to stay there three nights so we'd have plenty of time to spend at The Henry Ford and Greenfield Village. We also had plans to hit up Costco and Trader Joe's, our last opportunity for a couple of months, and we wanted to stock up on our favorites.
We originally intended to stay at the Elks Lodge in Dearborn but, when we called to confirm RV parking, we were told they had sold that location and moved. No RV parking was available in their new location. Bummer. When I posted this on the Elks message board on RVillage, we got a few recommendations, all for the same place - Wayne County Fairgrounds. So that's where we went and it was just fine. Better, perhaps, than boondocking in the Elks Lodge parking lot.
Early during our first full day we took off to spend some time at The Henry Ford. Also known as the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation and Greenfield Village, it is a huge history museum complex and a National Historic Landmark. Indoors, there are huge displays of American transportation over the years, as well as historical exhibits, including many presidential limousines, Thomas Edison's laboratory, the Rosa Parks bus and many more. It was fascinating walking through the buildings seeing the evolution of the transportation industry. As you might imagine, Ford autos were front and center, but there were plenty of others as well. We really enjoyed seeing all the different car designs. And that Duesenberg still looks fabulous today. :)
Greenfield Village, the outdoor living history museum section of the Henry Ford complex contains nearly one hundred historical buildings that were moved to the property from their original locations and arranged in a "village" setting. The museum's intent is to show how Americans lived and worked since the founding of the country. The Village includes buildings from the 17th century to the present, many of which are staffed by costumed interpreters who conduct period tasks like farming, sewing and cooking. Steven visited the Village on his own during our second day there. He wanted to stay all day and photograph everything and I wanted to stay at home. Since we'd done our shopping the day before I had some food prep to do and some meals to cook. When Steven is out photographing, the kitchen is my happy place. It works for us.
Our time in eastern Michigan was short as we were on a mission to get to our next stop. Based on a recommendation from our friends Jim and Diana of ExploRVistas, we had made reservations at the Wild Cherry Resort in Lake Leelanau for an entire month. Rare for us, but we knew we'd need a good long rest if we were to make it through the rest of our busy summer. This stop came at just the right time.
UP NEXT: Pure Michigan