July 29 – August 14, 2018
We are happy to be back in Leelanau County, Michigan for the months of August and September. We will be volunteering for Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. As we did for Oregon State Parks, we will be working as Interpretive Volunteers throughout the park. Our duties include working in the two maritime locations, the visitor center, and as narrators on bus tours of Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive.
As compensation, we are given a campsite at D.H. Day Campground.
We came in a few days early and camped at Leelanau Sands Casino, just north of Suttons Bay. In order to stay there, we had to sign up for a Players Club card. First time cardholders are given $10 in free slot play.
I had a pretty lucky night. The machine I was playing started going wild! The guy next to me was laughing, as he thought I was doing pretty good for a 30 cent bet. When I informed him I was playing on the casino’s money, his jaw hit the floor. By the time we walked out, I was over $180 in winnings. Not bad for someone who doesn’t frequent casinos!
Before we headed to Sleeping Bear, our friends Linda and Steven came and stayed next to us at Leelanau Sands.
We all went to Patti and Lane’s house for dinner, along with Rod and Mary. We also went out to eat a few times and checked out Peterson Park.
We love the view from up there, as it’s possible to see four islands on a clear day.
We also went kayaking on Little Traverse Lake with Lane and Patti. Here they are heading back out after we had to get ready to go back to our camp.
Pretty soon, it was our first day on the job….which also happened to be out 36th anniversary!
Here we are in the Cannery, which is a fruit processing plant turned boat museum.
The boat I am sitting in front of is identical to the one from the movie, The Finest Hours. It is self-righting, self-bailing, practically unsinkable and the diesel engine will run upside down.
The other maritime location is the 1902 lifesaving station. The boathouse is said to be the most completely equipped station in the United States.
Here I am letting one our visitors feel how heavy the Lyle gun projectile is. That particular gun would shoot a line over a disabled ship in order to establish a lifesaving zipline, then called a breeches buoy. The Lyle gun was the only cannon ever developed to save lives, instead of taking them.
We also have two open surfboats on display.
And every afternoon, the park puts on a program called Heroes of the Storm, a reenactment of how a Lyle gun rescue works. Seven children are pulled out of the crowd to serve as surfmen. The sailors they save from the ‘ship’ are Raggedy Ann and Andy. It’s really fun. 🙂
And on Thursdays, the park fires off a real Lyle gun. It is a sight to see!
The initial blast…
…pushing out the flame and the projectile.
As the projectile gets dragged by the shot line coming out of the blue box, it turns around and heads out over the water….
…eventually landing 200 yards out, dragging the shot line behind it. The surfmen back in the day could launch the projectile up to 600 yards.
We also worked at the Port Oneida Fair, which is a celebration of the early 20th Century rural culture. Living history activities were held at several of the historic farms, as well as the school house, that are a part of Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.
Diana worked at the washtub station, teaching children how to do laundry.
When the local TV station started filming, we decided to watch the news that night. Not only was she on there…
…so was I, teaching kids how to run a corn sheller. 🙂
One gentleman was even teaching youngsters how to play a hammer dulcimer.
And who is that in the Blacksmith shop? Well that is Diana, providing lunch relief for the blacksmith and keeping the fire going, while explaining the role of the blacksmith in the town of Glen Haven. 🙂
We also were visited by our friends Jodee and Bill! Here we are at Music in the Park in Northport.
We also checked out Sleeping Bear and the Old Mission Peninsula with them….
…and their sweet fluffy dog Tessa. 🙂
Our last night with them, we managed to get tickets for The Accidentals. We have been following this trio for several years now. Their latest album Odyssey has been played in our CD players from Oregon to Florida to Maine and back to Michigan.
Diana and I have seen them perform twice in the past at outside venues, but it was great to see and hear them inside an auditorium. The four of us were blown away, hooting and hollering throughout the show. If you ever have the opportunity to see them, don’t miss it.
Well, that gives you an idea of what we’ve been up to the past few weeks. Stay tuned for our next post as we continue to find new adventures to share with you. Until then, safe and happy travels to all!