|A switch from the usual rock with a plaque|
In return, the fellow gave me pep talks about restoring our logging high wheels. He said Hartwick Pines had a set they'd restored and it wasn't that hard, just time-consuming. He kept telling me that as long as we have all the iron, we can do it. He even sent the museum a copy of a DVD Hartwick Pines sells that shows the process a fellow went through in restoring a set of high wheels near Traverse City. Hearing Hartwick Pines had a set in good condition definitely piqued my curiosity. I've seen two sets of high wheels in addition to the collapsed mess the museum has, and in both cases the wheels were close to needing restoration work again (both sets have a pretty good lean, which means they're at risk of doing what ours did -- fall over and shattering).
In any case, as long as we were in the Downer Peninsula and had to go right by the park -- it's right next to I-75 just north of the city of Grayling -- I figured we might as well check it out. We stopped in Grayling for lunch at a Big Boy. I keep seeing that franchise mentioned on Facebook as a "remember when?" as though all Big Boys everywhere had ceased to exist, which has me wondering about people who seem to think that just because they haven't seen something for awhile it's gone forever, but that's a digression. Our ultimate goal in Grayling was Hartwick Pines, not strawberry pie, so that's where we headed, more or less. The main street through Grayling is currently under construction so getting out of town turned out to be a tad more challenging than driving in had been.
I had been thinking about the park primarily in terms of its logging museum, which was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, so didn't realize just how huge the place is. It's over 9,000 acres and has a big campground (about 100 spaces total, 36 with full hookups), miles and miles of trails, and a couple of lakes.On paper it sounds like a great place to spend some time. In our case, however, we knew perrfectly well we're never going to subject the Guppy to the indignities of spending time in the Downer Peninsula. No need to check out a campground we have no interest in ever using no matter how attractive the brochure makes it sound. We went straight to the Visitor Center and then ambled over to the logging museum.