Organ Pipe National Park

Organ Pipe National Park

About Me

I purchased "Sadie''s House On Wheels "in late 2007 and loved traveling in a motor home so much that I went on the road full time in late 2008. I started writing this blog to help me remember all the wonder places I have been and it allows me to share those places with my family and friends. Summer of 2013 I decided to hang up the keys for a while and moved back into my stick house. After nearly two years, I am on the road again.

Monday, July 11, 2011

July 1-5, Jackson/Grass Lake.Michigan

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.
 I counted 20 rigs, which made for a pretty large gathering.

 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!
 The Falling Waters Trail follows several rivers and is all level and paved.
 It was so warm, most of the water fowl were hiding, but this swan cooperated for a nice classic pose.

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 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 one of the cell blocks.  The 300 cells have been removed and at one time it was an Armory, and is stilled used as a giant meeting hall.  Three stories made up the cell block.  Each cell was 5X8.
These are the original iron bars on the windows.

An interesting light fixture.  It's made of a wagon wheel and light bulbs.
This is what the cell block looked like before the cells were removed.
This was the mess hall in the 1900,s.
Note the ceiling.  It is arched and made of metal.  This particular cell was located in the solitary part of the prison.   Where the arch begins and ends makes up one cell. Our guide, Judy Krasnow was a great story teller and made the tour very interesting.
The ceiling is made of metal and this particular cell was part of the solitary windows or plumbing. The stories Judy tells about it are pretty heart wrenching.
We also toured one of the artist studios.  This particular studio was made from several cells.
You can see how big the cells were by the arches.
This was another part of the prison that had been "gutted" for renovations.

 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.

The water sure looked inviting.  These participants  were having a great time.  Some stayed afloat all the way to the finish line!

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.

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