Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Grayling Michigan to Auburn Indiana - ACD Museum

Today started off slowly because we didn't have a long way to go. After our continental breakfast, I went out to watch a pretty blonde Grayling policewoman trying to break into a pickup truck from West Virginia. The owner had gotten distracted and locked his keys inside. She was using a long flexible rod she pushed in around the top of the window. Apparently side door airbags have rendered the traditional Slim Jim unusable. I wished I had my camera.

I went back to the room and finished the blog entry from last Thursday before we packed to go. When we came out, the truck was gone so I guess the tool worked.

We got underway about 8:30 under grey skies and light drizzle. Traffic was light on US 127 as we headed south towards Lansing. Right off the bat, there was a four mile stretch of single lane bounded by orange barrels. As is usually the case, there was no work going on or sign of equipment anywhere in that section.

Orange barrels on US 127

We stopped at a Rest Area near Clare for our first break. There was a series of metal structures depicting highway work crews. That was a first.

Construction workers at Clare Rest Area

Our outfit at the same Rest Area

As we continued, I noticed that the fuel mileage visibly improved when I shut the air conditioning off. Later, I did some research and found that they estimate a loss of 10% due to A/C. But opening the windows instead, above 50 MPH, results in an even greater loss due to drag. Oh well, that is the price of comfort.

The temperature hit 27 C (81 F) by 11:15. Since we left Clare, we had a mile tailwind with mileage in the 14.9 MP(US)G. That is a number I could live with. We saw fuel near Lansing for $3.45 per gallon, compared to $3.79 in Mackinaw City. Michigan seems to be like Ontario with cheaper gas found near where the politicians hang out.

Our lunch break was at an Applebee's in Charlotte, Michigan. We split a lunch combo with each of us having a different salad. Katelyn served us and I talked to her about traveling. She thought she would like to go to Arkansas but that her boyfriend wouldn't like it. Then Sandy came back from the Ladies Room.

What frontier???? This is Michigan!!

By 1:30, we were 45 miles from the Indiana line. It was 29 C and large popup clouds were developing across the south and east horizons. Somebody was going to get some weather before thee day was out.

Clouds developing in southern Michigan

We encountered road construction at the state line. The road off the exit at Fremont wasn't very good, either. But the gas was $3.459 so I wasn't complaining.

I-69 at the Indiana border

The land of somewhat cheaper gas

One serious trike

Approaching Auburn, we noticed the normally green cornfields were a mishmash of colours as some of the plants were turning brown and the tops were reddish. The bright sun enhanced the effect and, although we knew the camera wouldn't capture the beauty, Sandy tried anyway.

Indiana corn fields

In Auburn, we went straight to the Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum. I hadn't realized that there was a period when all three marques were part of the same conglomerate and all were built here in Auburn. The museum is located in what used to be the corporate headquarters. As we approached the building, we saw an older red Ferrari pulling away. This wasn't a museum car. The owner had just stopped by for something.

Classic Ferrari in Auburn

The Museum exterior

We paid at the front counter. The ladies on the front desk and the docents in the museum were all volunteers. The main floor was set up like a splendid showroom. In the back, there were examples of other brands of significant cars like a '53 Corvette and an E Type Jag. On the top floor were examples of classic cars and exhibits from the manufacturing days. One room has a series of cars that are the last remaining examples of their kind. Some others were one of a kind prototypes. A docent named Bob spent some time sharing the history of the cars (the collection has 120, some owned by the museum and others on loan).

The Showroom

The Rest Of The Museum

Sandy at the wheel

Mother-in-law seat

The Last Of Their Kind

The Cord 810 had been rushed into production to qualify for exhibition at the major auto shows of the day. Most cars were not completed but had the unfinished work disguised. After the shows, most were destroyed but Hupmobile took the design, making a rear wheel drive instead of front driven. Then, when Hupp ran into difficulty, Paige took over.

The Original - Cord 810

And it's cousins the Hupmobile and the Graham

Someone's idea of a sports car

Auburn Boat Tail Speedsters

Sandy in the Classic Car room on the third floor

These cars contributed heavily to modern technology

The museum was fascinating. I expect to return but will do a lot of research before I do so that I can appreciate the nuances when I do.

From the museum, we stopped at WalMart for some supplies and a new set of hair clippers. We heard the Boo Berry and Franken Berry cereals were back in production so we looked for some for son-in-law Mike. No luck, but we'll keep looking.

The Super 8 was right by WalMart. This was my first check-in using my Wyndham points and it was easy-peasey as granddaughter Jolene would say. Show ID, fill out the usual form and get the keys. No credit card. I liked it.

We went next door to Applebee's for supper. I was avoiding potatoes and bread so I ordered the seven ounce sirloin with shrimp and bruschetta topping. Instead of potatoes, I ordered extra veggie and sauteed mushrooms. Sandy had the same. Nicole provided excellent service and manager Anne stopped by for a nice chat.

Applebee's supper

Back at the room, I went to work on the blog. I managed to post three more days before going to bed at 12:30. Today's post was the only one left outstanding. We should have lots of time tomorrow night to get totally caught up.

Today's Route (258 Avalanche/trailer miles):

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