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The Great Lakes State.  Water Wonderland.  Lady of the Lake.  The Wolverine State.  America’s Left Hand.  The Automotive State.

During the summer between my sixth and seventh grade years, Dad took a posting through his company that moved us all to Canada for a few years.  Whenever we moved, wherever we traveled, we always drove; you just can’t get a real appreciation of distance by flying, and of course it’s hard to stop and take in the unique places along the way.  We crossed the border at Sault Ste Marie, the oldest city in Michigan.  I’m rather fond of bridges, and this one’s impressive, with the Soo Locks below the double arch of the U.S. span and the Canadian Lock under the single arch of the Canadian side.

Michigan is home to a lot of firsts.  To name just a few, the Packard Car Company in Detroit made the first air-conditioned car in 1939; the University of Michigan was the first university created by any of the states; Vernors ginger ale was made by pharmacist James Vernor in Detroit, and became the United States’ first soda pop; and the first international auto traffic tunnel, the mile-long Detroit-Windsor Tunnel, was opened in 1930.

The only state to touch four of the five Great Lakes, Michigan also is one of two (that I know of) states with a floating Post Office.  The J.W. Westcott II delivers mail to ships still underway as they pass under the Ambassador Bridge.


Places to go

**American Museum of Magic – Marshall

**Da Yoopers Tourist Trap – Ishpeming

**Henry Ford Museum – Dearborn

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Stuff to see

**The Heidelberg Project – Detroit

**World’s Largest Tire – Allen Park

**Paul Bunyan made of Car Parts – Alpena

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Things to do

**Dinosaur Gardens Prehistoric Zoo – Ossineke

**Iron Mountain Iron Mine Tour – Iron Mountain

**Copper Harbor Lighthouse and Tours – Copper Harbor

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** denotes places and events I have no personal experience with – YET!

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