Day 9: Smooth Sailing in Southern Michigan

Perfect sun all day — and, even better, no warning lights or power outages.   Sparkle ran like a champ all day!  I don’t know how this miraculous healing seems to have taken place but what a relief that it apparently has.  Maybe that fuel filter really did help resolve things after all?  But fuses were still blowing at the garage and on the mechanic’s test drives after that was replaced.  So it all makes no sense.  I kept waiting for that light to come on.  And I was ready to crank the steering wheel HARD if I needed to get us out of harm’s way.  But nothing — all good!

Last night was my test drive of sorts when I left the mechanics around 6pm.  I only had time to shoot a dozen or so photos before the sun went down.   Here are a few signs shot for the blog.

Love these hand-painted signs at Marv’s Meats in Brighton:


See those perfect blue skies that we missed all day sitting at the Firestone?  It made me want to weep.  This sign  is also in Brighton — since 1949 — and this sign is probably from then:

A couple from Howell at dusk:

Moving on to today’s photos.   A couple from Pontiac:

A couple from Lake Orion:

At the Bald Mountain State Park Recreation Area.  There are four little mid-century buildings right on the beach — which the dogs and I had completely to ourselves this morning — woo hoo!   The dogs got lots of water time today.  I had to make it up to them for yesterday’s imprisonment in that Firestone waiting room.

Red Knapp’s in Rochester — for all you vitrolite lovers:

There are two horseshoe counters inside — did what I could shooting through the window:

From Shelby Township:

From Utica.  It appears this sign and facade were spared when the other stores in the strip were “updated”:

Even the small towns have swell mid-century buildings — this post office is in Emmett:

From Port Huron — this is the other sign for the Brass Rail Bar (see my Flickr account tonight for the other):

From Flint — although Bob Perani auctioned off most of his Dort Mall collection in 2009, there is still enough stuff there worth checking out.  Some of the signs:

and a Fisk Tire Boy statue:

Also in Flint.  This hardware sign might have had opal glass letters — if not, then some other translucent material to be lit from inside.  There appeared to be plastic for the letters now:

And lastly for the night — had to stock the pantry given the chance that we could break down without warning in the middle of nowhere.  But I’m hoping those days are over.  Still a good excuse to support the Dawn Donuts in Flint.  The guy at the counter told me the bags cost 10 cents each to print.  I posted the neon sign for this place over at Flickr tonight.

So tomorrow, if all goes well, I’m hoping to bang through Lansing, Grand Rapids and more.  My itinerary only allowed for four more days in Michigan — but it’ll probably take more like six.  I’ll have to decide much later in the trip if parts of Minnesota get whacked by region — or if I do some skimming of the entire state.  Keep those prayers & superstitious behaviors coming for our trip leader & dearly loved Sparkle.

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