#3 Sleep in a Lighthouse!
Charley is having some charging issues this week and it’s making life very difficult when it comes to updating the site so I hope you guys don’t mind the delays in new content. (Because I freaking HATE it!) I’m taking him to the hospital (a.k.a. Apple Store) this afternoon but before I do that I wanted to get an exciting post up.
It seems one of the countries best kept secrets (right up until you read this) is North Western Michigan. I don’t know what the area is like during the wintertime and that always scares me (you all know #4 on the list of things I hate is “cold weather”) but while I was hanging around the Frankfort, Crystal Lake, Pt. Betsie area I was greeted by nothing short of an extra large helping of beautiful.
But to skip to the point (Get it? Oh man…that’s a good one…), my second night in the area brought me to the Point Betsie Lighthouse, where thanks to Jen and Amy, I was given the grand tour of this 150 year old piece of Michigan history (by Jay) before being left to my own devices.
My “devices” in this case seemed to consist mostly of my mobile phone as around 1am I found myself standing in the top of the lighthouse trying to get enough cell reception to conduct a phone interview (This link will only be up for a little bit. I’ll try to get it uploaded to Amtrekker permanently.) with a Canadian radio station.
Prior to that, Amber from Papano’s Pizza came by to drop off the world’s largest midnight snack and I gave her a quick tour around “my” lighthouse. Throwing off some fun facts I had learned from Jay and largely pretending I knew what I was talking about and that I had actually done some research. At one point we considered making GIANT shadow puppets but that didn’t seem to work out so well…
My favorite story surrounding Point Betsie (as told by Jay) involves the specs for construction as laid out by the US government circa 1858. Apparently it was mandated that “Milwaukee brick” be used for the construction of the outer walls of the main keep and that the roof be painted a slate grey. The funny thing about Milwaukee brick that is completely apparent at first glance is that it is made from pale yellow clay.
“What makes that so funny?”
Well, welcome back Mr. Disembodied Voice. I’ll tell you why that’s is funny.
Lighthouses are built for only one purpose: As an aid to navigation. The light shines all through the night at a specific rotational speed to alert passing ships of exactly where they are by providing an easily recognizable marker on land. Unfortunately, Point Betsie at its infancy still had twelve hours of daylight a day in which to HIDE from passing ships with its 18th century stealth technology…
It took years of the shipping industry petitioning the government to paint the lighthouse bright white with a bright red roof before they could actually consistently see the marker the government had built for them.
I love that story.
That evening, after the interview, I took one final lap around my bachelor pad, poked my head out the door when I thought I was going crazy to verify there was a party going on at the beach and then made my way up to the “Master Suite.” (Which consisted of an old twin bed with a foam mattress and a rug. In short, one of the coziest places I had slept in a week.)
The evening was absolutely perfect in its uneventfulness (which I officially declare a word now). The bed was more comfortable than you’d think. The sturdy construction of the lighthouse kept out noise from the wind and the party. The temperature stayed comfortable enough to sleep with nothing more than a sheet. And most importantly, I didn’t get raped by any ghosts.
And as great as it was to have another goal accomplished and crossed off the list the highlights of the week really came from the surrounding community. Bob and Ginny Istnick, Jen’s parents, were incredibly gracious hosts and very forgiving (in more ways than one). Andy, the owner of Papano’s Pizza, put me up for a night and was a great guy to have around (making just about every situation more entertaining). Although his 4 year old son did steal my dignity in a game of Wii baseball.
I literally didn’t meet a single person whose company I didn’t enjoy and if I left anyone out I’m sorry and feel free to leave a comment telling me what a thoughtless jerk I can be! It’ll be cathartic.
Okay, Charley has an appointment so I guess I’m done.
If you like to follow the adventure and want to help with Charley’s “medical bills” then feel free to donate…
Don’t let me stop you.
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