Monday, September 10, 2012

Exploring Port Huron

St. Clair, MI     High: 68       Low:  46

It's football weekend....Notre Dame home game today...So we're hanging around the rig so Eldy can watch his game this afternoon. He gets so excited when his beloved Notre Dame team plays! He stands up for the opening play just as he would if he were at the game. He's up at the beginning and he was up at the end when the score was tied in the fourth quarter with about a minute to go, down to a field kick for Notre Dame to win....and the field kick was GOOD!  It's a good thing, or Eldy wouldn't be fit to live with for the next couple of hours.

But we did have enough time to drive up MI-29 through some little harbor towns this morning, checking out the area. We drove from St. Clair to Port Huron. Sparky was looking for some bike trails. There's a Bridge to Bay Trail here in the area, but so far we haven't been able to figure out a close enough trailhead without driving miles to get to it. There's supposed to be part of the trail right near the Blue Water Bridge. In the St. Clair County Park system, there is a trail called the Wadhams to Avoca Trail...12+ miles of trail, 5 miles paved and a 640 foot Mill Creek Trestle bridge...That sounds cool!
Gotta do a little more research...We'll head out again tomorrow and visit some of the things we saw on our drive today...

We drove up MI-29 north to Port Huron today, and stopped to admire the views in different spots along the way. It's a different view with the industrial side of Canada showing itself across the river and pretty little parks and houses along the American side. The Canadian side looked clean and modern despite the many factories visible. The Blue Water Bridges are a spectacular set of two spans connecting Port Huron with Sarnia, Ontario, Canada.
We saw a little farmer's market at the Vantage Point on the Saint Clair River in Port Huron and stopped to buy some tomatoes and corn...Yum!
Almost bought some really cool looking sugar cookies...these are somehow dusted with stenciled brown sugar (?) designs and baked into the cookie. But, trying to be good and not eat junk, so we didn't. And besides they were expensive! One dollar per cookie and you couldn't buy any less than six. Phooey!
The Fort Gratiot (Gra-shut?) Lighthouse is here in Port Huron, MI...Recently renovated by an extensive re-bricking process brick by brick and a beautiful paint job, the main lighthouse reopened this year.

And of course, Sparky had to take the tour (only 5.00) and climb the steps....all 94 of them. Sparky can't tell from the photo if she was coming or going, so sorry if the stairs are upside down! Hm-m-m-m...I think they ARE upside down!

It was a great tour. What was REALLY cool, was two elderly ladies came and joined the tour a little late. It turned out that one of them had LIVED in the lighthouse in the forties. Her name was Louella Buford Miller and her dad was the lighthouse keeper! She was a family of eight girls and one boy and she came to live on the lighthouse grounds at the age of 12. She told stories about all of the girls having lots of attention/boyfriends in the community because the coast guard was stationed right next door to them! Guess her mom was always cooking up a storm because there were so many kids in the house. Here she is showing a model of Port Huron that her brother-in-law had made back in the forties.

Guess one of her older sisters and her boyfriend used to sneak up to the top of the lighthouse when they weren't supposed to. Doesn't seem like you could get into a lot of trouble up there, there was no room for any shenanigans up there! She had a ball walking through her old house that had now been turned into a classroom and meeting place and remembering some of her childhood spent there. The park is going to renovate her house into a bed and breakfast or maybe a "Be a Lighthouse Keeper" for-a night type place to stay. It was great to have her along on the tour today!

We learned some interesting things about the lighthouse, as you always do when you hear a guide talk. The locals called the foghorns that sounded the "B-O" horns...That was the sound they made in the fog..."BEE-OH......" There was a really bad storm in 1913, with more than 100 mph winds that eroded the original lighthouse, and toppled it over a short time later. The Fort Gratiot Lighthouse was rebuilt in 1829, we think.

And we had to see the Huron lightship...These are cool ships...sort of like portable lighthouses out in the Great Lakes in dangerous areas like shoals. They had a tour for 5.00 for seniors. A small price to pay to see an important piece of maritime history. We decided not to go inside, we've seen lightships before. They were a really important service to mariners out in the rivers and channels of the Great Lakes.

A wonderful way to wrap up the weekend....Hope everyone else had a nice weekend, too, and that their favorite football teams won!


  1. Hm. Getting some exercise during a football game. Probably the best way to watch.

  2. At least one of those sugar cookies could be given out a Halloween treat...hehe Very creative.
    Oh how fortunate for you two to have a personal tour guide. I would have loved to hear some of her stories!

  3. Just love lighthouses! To see a lot of them is on my list :)

  4. Michigans East coast is such a wonderful area to explore go much history of the great lakes, nice that you enjoyed your day.

  5. My favorite football team is the Bears, but I have no idea if they even played. Not big on my list of things to do. :)

  6. Love to watch football. I stand up at the end when I am nervous. Great tour of the lighthouses.

  7. We have been in that area several times, great pictures:)

  8. I was in Port Huron and Sarnia about 40 years ago and there sure wasn't much to do then. (We attended a family wedding.) I think I've always heard it pronounced Gra-shuh. Some of my husband's family were from that area.