Michigan Jamboree 2011 report

Well, folks we were at it again, this time in Michigan, August 18th-21st, 2011. The Zimmer family, Jack, Jan, Mikey, Erika and Sarah together with Brian and Kelly Dowell invited the Ontario T’s to come and join them along with all of the chapters of Michigan to go touring for the annual Michigan Jamboree. What fun! Not only did we get to see our Ontario tourers but also many old and some new tourers from Michigan and surrounding states as well.
The headquarters for the tour was the Thomas Edison Inn in Port Huron, Michigan and while many stayed in the Inn, those of us who were camping were fortunate to be able to camp right on the grounds of the hotel. It was delightful and kicking tires in the parking lot was a favourite activity for all right from the beginning of registration. Arriving on Thursday for registration, there was also a “get to know Port Huron” tour for those ambitious souls who could not wait to get started.

Friday’s tour saw us head south along the St. Clair River through small towns with many great views of Canada. Of course that meant we headed north through farmlands of St. Clair County on our way back to Port Huron. Did I mention it was HOT? However since the sun was ever shining should we complain? There were a series of questions during the day which could be easily answered if you asked the right questions. For instance, did you know that the Wills St. Clair car was manufactured in Marysville originally? (John knew the answer to that one – kudos!) and also the 2nd largest industry in the State of Michigan is agriculture. It was a delightful driving tour and along the way we passed St. John’s Marsh, a notorious area for the rum runners during Prohibition. During Prohibition, rum running was the largest industry of the time and the locals would lose the Revenuers in the Marsh as it is over 40 square miles. Clever folk those rum runners! We also passed through Fair Haven which is notorious for its fish fly problem and for a few moments we thought maybe we were in Port Dover who have a similar problem. We had a coffee break complete with delicious donuts at a beautiful park. Lunch was on our own but it seems a lot of us thought that Mom’s Country Kitchen en route was a great choice. At the “mandatory” ice cream stop, some adventurous souls walked the mile trek to a trestle bridge built in the late 1880’s. Apparently there was quite the view when you got there but for me it was toooooo hot. The ice cream and ice cold water certainly helped with that. Then it was back to site and after dinner there was lots of chatting and car games. Popeye even set off fireworks with his T. A perfect evening for fireworks!

Saturday’s tour was again a lovely driving tour and it was beautiful and sunny and a tad cooler. Lots of garage sales along the route for all today. To add excitement to the day, the entire group was pleased to congratulate Gray and Jane Robling on their 67TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY. As they pointed out, they have been married longer than many of us have been on this earth. Congratulations to them both. We travelled along through gorgeous farm country with the ever present soy beans and corn and stopped at the “Be Good to Your Mother-In-Law” Swinging Bridge. I have no idea why it is called this but it sounds like a good idea to me. Many of us took the journey across the bridge and there were no mishaps thank goodness! The trip today was basically to the Village of Lexington which is a delightful, charming village on the shore of Lake Huron. It has a gorgeous harbour, picnic area, beach, shops and places to eat. Something for everyone I think. I think a few of the fellows even spotted a few “mermaids” on the beach. The dark clouds started to roll in but I think most folks arrived back before getting too wet. Back on site we had a terrific thunderstorm and one crack was way too close and the rain was torrential. Fortunately it subsided a great deal and we were able to get to the Inn where we enjoyed a lovely banquet.

Sunday’s tour was to Armada and its famous flea market. I expect many people picked up some bargains. En route today tourers crossed Smiths Creek and this was the location of the Smiths Creek Train Depot now at Greenfield Village. This is the location where Thomas Edison was kicked off of the train for setting a boxcar on fire. One of my favourite things about the T’s and touring is all of the little tidbits of history we are continually exposed to. Fabulous. A short tour today and then farewells and head for home. Too soon over for sure.

Our thanks to all of the Borderline T’s for the lovely tour as the roads were fantastic, the sights delightful and the friendships everlasting.

Hope to see you all down the road. Your’s in Model T’ing, Jo Eagles.