Day 10: Chugging along in Southern Michigan

A mix of sun and clouds today — good enough!   I’m just happy to be rolling again.  Really hot & humid today — in the 90s.  When it was time for doggie recreation, I tried to find ponds and rivers — or I kept it very short.  Normally, my guys get out to run & pee about 30 times a day on these trips.  But today, they were only out about 7 times — mostly for longer, swimming & wading situations.

Well, Sparkle’s “service engine soon” light came on at 10:20am and my heart sank.  But we never lost power.  So I’m really thinking these two things are separate issues.  Or maybe there will be heartache tomorrow.  For now, all I can do is keep driving.  Nine hours with the light on and still running perfectly smooth and all else normal.

A good part of today’s stops were in remote areas surrounding Lansing & Grand Rapids — farmland with probably not much cell phone service or garages.  Which made me a bit nervous but I pretty much just try to stick with the planned route.  It’s about all my brain can handle anyway with the fatigue from lack of sleep, the heat, and fallout from the stress of the past few days over the mechanical issues.  I might need a sanity night off soon from all this homework (Flickr & blogging).

We started the day in Lansing.  This volcano downtown was a bit of a mystery.  Asking locals didn’t help much but thank goodness for Google.  It seems that this was created by the Lansing Community College to conceal a sewer steam vent (note steam escaping thru the top):


Lots more from Lansing — a nice Art Deco storefront:


This one appears to be a modern sign (rather than a reworked, old sign) — but huge and irresistible:


Dueling tire franchises.   I don’t think I’ve ever seen a neon Goodyear and neon Firestone signs together like this.  The Firestone signs are still pretty plentiful — but not many of these Goodyear signs left:

From Greenville:


Moving on to Grand Rapids — a neat, orphaned star — no idea what business it went with originally:


A damned shame.  The former Our Theatre:


I normally don’t shoot these (what I call) split-roof Dairy Queens.  Too modern for me.  But this one caught my eye because it was so tiny.  It stands on a very narrow lot.  According to the woman working there, the building still fits the footprint of the gas station that was there originally.  Sounds like it was a 1920s/1930s canopy type station.  In fact, some of the station’s walls might even have been used for this building.  It was remodeled as a DQ in 1970.


Last one for the night.  I believe the Anchor Bar is an oldie — but these signs appear to be modern:


Tomorrow, if all goes well, we should finish up Grand Rapids & move up the coast to Muskegon, etc.  If still time, I’ll start heading east from there towards Saginaw.   Bedtime before midnight — what a treat!

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