Seeing and riding SS Badger is a goal that’s been acomplished, a pilgrimage made. And I will return to more fotos of Badger soon, but along the road we looked for nirvana, too. Nirvana, Michigan . . . it’s a place name on my road atlas, and unsuccessfully I looked for a post office and a zip code. Alas! But journeys are comprised of what unexpected places you find and take time to savor. Here are some of what can be discovered between Manitowoc (home of Sputnikfest!!) and Port Huron (home of Thomas Edison Depot Museum).
SS Badger runs on coal, transformed by an engineroom crew of 20 into torque on the twin cast steel 166″ diameter propellers.
Tourism . . . largely derived from the vessel on the welcome sign . . . buoys this town of less than 10,000.
Turn any direction, almost, and you’ll see the importance of the SS Badger and
things Michiganite in this town.
Halfway across this section of the state a billboard brought us to this bakery/coffeeshop, which appeared caught in a timewarp. Here’s the history, and here’s
Now I’ve known the boatnerd website for a long time, but I hadn’t gathered this . . . world headquarters set within Great Lakes Maritime Center. The sixth boro needs something like this . . . maybe this will be my retirement project?? It will need a benefactor or many . . . like Dr. James C. Acheson. More on this renaissance of land once used for scrap.
I plan to do a whole post about this place, for now, let me share an artpiece inside that resonated with me. Read the name on the stickie note. I’ve already befriended a lot of nuts along the fringes of the sixth boro. And they’ve enriched my life.
I love the weathervane on the pilot station and
the exotic small boats passing by, like PonTiki and
this Sea Skiff and
this 42′ vessel–same age as Badger–named for this island,Lime Island.
Are the Great Lakes great? Greater than great, but there are too many great places for me to discover before I cease these gallivants. All fotos here by Will Van Dorp.