Saturday, August 15, 2015
Chapter 42 - Mackinaw City to Frankenmuth, Michigan
Today we started driving south on Interstate 75 and as Kathy quickly pointed out that if we stay on I-75 for a few very long days we would soon be home in Estero, Florida. But as she also pointed out, there are to many places that we want to visit first and besides why be in a hurry to return to mid-90 degree temperatures. The distance down to Frankenmuth is around 200 miles which should be easy considering that we will again be on the interstate highway system. Unfortunately what we had forgotten was that as we approach the larger Michigan cities, the traffic and particularly the 18-wheeler traffic increases, and so it did. We were delighted to finally pull into the Frankenmuth Jellystone Park at 12:30 pm and almost immediately we were even more delighted with what we saw in downtown Frankenmuth as we briefly passed by its Main Street. The photo above shows Kathy getting into our new travel trailer. We downsized our old 2015 model for this newer more modern Shasta. Just kidding. This antique travel trailer lacked air conditioning and was not wired for cable television. Two necessities these days.
We needed to find a Walmart this morning as I needed to get a refill of one of my prescriptions at their drugstore. Frankenmuth does not have a Walmart and they do not want one. When I was online trying to locate the closest Walmart, I read that a few years ago a local resident tried to sell his property to Walmart but the local politicians refused to issue a construction permit to build the store. His deal with Walmart obviously fell through so the local resident sued the city for millions. The city fought back on what grounds I have no idea, but they lost the lawsuit and ended up having to pay their local citizen $3.8 million dollars for his losses. Apparently there are no Walmart stores in Bavaria. After driving only 12 miles into the next town south to their Walmart Superstore, we returned to Frankenmuth for our planned walking tour of the city.
As we soon discovered, this was a special day and we feel quickly fell in love with this charming city of Frankenmuth. Perhaps they were right to reject Walmart.
The city is fortunate to have the Cass River flow through the downtown area. This photo was taken of the Cass River with the Bavarian Belle Riverboat in the foreground and a wonderful covered bridge in the background. Kathy and I walked over the Cass River twice, once on the covered bridge and once on a pedestrian walkway over the river. No one can deny that finding all of this in Frankenmuth, Michigan was a stroke of pure luck. We had no idea.
Kathy and I (and Cabo) enjoyed a quiet evening although as the darkness approached the wind picked up considerably. Soon after the rain came pouring down and we quickly fell asleep. Tomorrow we are headed south to Van Buren, Ohio, another city that we have not heard of. Perhaps we will again be pleasantly surprised.