Blog Entry #6 May 29, 2017: Marion, OH to Ann Arbor, MI; OVERLAND smoke stack, Dundee Park

Woke up on May 29thto a beautiful sunny morning with strong tailwinds. Wiped the morning dew of off the Jeep, did some correspondence, packed up and left Marion, OH for Ann Arbor, MI.

One must-do stopon the way to Ann Arbor was the “OVERLAND” smokestack at the site of the original Jeep manufacturing plant in Toledo, OH. The smokestack (one of 3 originally standing) is virtually the only remaining artifact of the location where our Jeep was manufactured in 1950. It took some doing to locate the stack. We discovered it to be approximately 5 miles from the current Jeep manufacturing facility. Fortunately, we were able to run down a Jeep employee departing the new facility shortly before noon on that Memorial Day. He was able to point us in the right direction, although tentatively, as ongoing road construction on the local access routes made any instructions contingent on current accessibility. His directions did bring us to the location of Willys Parkway – an encouraging sign, and with the help of a local resident, we did, in fact, locate the smokestack. The fact that it was surrounded by roads closed for reconstruction actually made it easier for us to stop and take some shots of the Jeep in front of this only remaining “OVERLAND” smokestack. Wonder how long it will be before this too is gone.

May 29, 2017: Jeep with OVERLAND smokestack at the location in Toledo, OH where our Jeep was produced in 1950

We then worked our way north out of Toledo and into the southeastern Michigan countryside where we eventually found a picturesque local park on the banks of the River Raisin in Dundee, MIfor our traditional lunch. Jean and I have many memories of Dundee from our years in Michigan; among them being the location of the store where we used to purchase our beer-making supplies, our favorite spot for finding dark, highly detailed trilobite fossils (one could count the lenses in their compound eyes) amid the white clay tailings of the local landfill, and the home of the huge billowing smokestack of the local cement making plant.

May 29, 2017: Picnic lunch on the shores of the River Raisin, Dundee, MI

After lunch, we proceeded to the home of our dearprior neighbors of 25 years earlier in Saline , MI, whom we had barely seen in the subsequent period, for a lot of fun catching up and a scrumptious lasagna dinner followed by a sinful (but reputedly healthy) dessert.Saline, MI is the smaller size town (~3,500 population in 1980) where we had raised our young daughters amidst children of the same age who spent their off-school hours wandering as a closely knit group from home to home terrorizing the host parents.

May 29, 2017: Bud, Becky, Jean & Dan, Saline, MI

We then made the short trip to our lodgings in Ann Arbor, MI. Relying on our GPS, as we did not trust our senses to navigate us through 25 years of transformed landscape.

Blog Entry #5 May 28, 2017: Huntington, WV to Marion, OH;Hopewell Mounds, Chillicothe, OH
Blog Entry #7 May 30, 2017: Ann Arbor – Howell, MI – Thermofil 25 year reunion