Catching up with our WIN friends also brought a whirl wind of activities. We parked on the flat part of our WIN friend's property. I'm sure the neighbors thought they had been invaded. WIN member Nancy leases her land out and had notified the neighbors we would be arriving so the hay had been cut and the land readied for us. The group had been here a few years ago when Nancy still lived in the area, so our arrival wasn't a total shock to the neighbors.
The first morning after greetings and hugs and mugs we all headed out towards Cascade Falls Park in Jackson (our bicycles stowed on the back of our cars )to ride the Falling Water Trail all the way to Concord, about ten plus miles one way. The bike path was level and paved, which made for a very easy 10 miles. We all stopped at a small cafe in Concord for a bite to eat and then headed back towards Jackson. The temperatures seemed to climb and it was extremely hot. I was glad I was riding a bike and not hiking...the breeze while riding helped. Our after our hot bike ride we went the Parlor, famous for ice cream, Yum. We really needed something to cool us off. The ice cream was delicious. In fact the ice cream was so good our friends Maynard and Nancy had seconds!! I wished I had taken a picture of their huge ice cream turtle concoctions!
There were lots of festivities going on for the 4th of July, but oddly, most of the small villages in the area were celebrating on the the 3rd. We all gathered for an old fashioned hot dog roast and afternoon of visiting.....in a small corner providing shade.
In the evening we headed over to the small town of Manchester for fireworks. It is a small little town which puts on a huge fireworks display in the local park. We brought our lawn chairs and picked out the perfect spot. It was a great show.
On Monday, which was actually the 4th of July, we toured the Jackson Prison. This was the first Michigan State Prison built in 1864. When Michigan first became a state several small towns wanted the prison in their back yard. (Quite a contrast to today's mentality).Some businessmen from Jackson donated the land for the prison so the prison came to Jackson. Now, why would anyone want a prison in the middle of their town? Back then, fledgling towns needed the manpower prisoners would provide. The prisoners built their own prison. They worked in the prison making textiles, canned goods, farmed the land, just to name a few of the services. The prisoners were paid 30.5 cents per hour and a part of that payment went back to the state and to the town, making Jackson a pretty wealthy community.
This is Judy's apartment, as photographed from her loft. Her apartment is located in the prison and is made up of 135 cells.
After the tour of the prison, we went to Grass Lake County Park where the community was putting on cardboard boat races.
Whew! Its been a busy few days. Several of our friends visited Detroit and Dearborn before arriving at Grass Lake, and talked about how interesting the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village were so we decided to leave our group a little early (on Tuesday) and head for the Belleville Moose about 20 miles from Detroit. A few of our WIN friends followed us to the Belleville Moose so we wouldn't be lonely.