A Brief Explanation & Road Trip Wrap Up

 

 

 

I know it’s been over a week with no updates and a sudden stop to the story of my road trip up north. I apologize for this as I’m sure some of you were genuinely interested in my weird travels and writings. None of this is without reason. Last Sunday (the 24th), my two Dominique hens killed Amelia, the red and grey jungle fowl hybrid. It was simply awful and I have had a hard time looking at the photos from the trip, especially the section yet to be covered, as many of them feature her.

Adding to my frustrations is the heat wave we are currently experiencing in Southeast Michigan, with temperatures tickling 100 degrees F (depending on who and when you ask, it may well be OVER 100) and my air conditioning deciding to quit, because of course. Luckily, with the help of a friend, we were able to diagnose the problems (a faulty electric motor, which then blew a fuse) and order the needed part. It doesn’t arrive until Tuesday, but having something to look forward to and the fun (my friend who helped, Jan, is from Poland and always has something interesting to say) of screwing around with the thing has taken a lot of the sting (as I write this, it’s 88 degrees IN MY HOUSE) out of the situation.

I have also been knee-deep in my first foray into e-commerce, a sports novelty decal I am becoming increasingly unsure will ever see the light of day.

Anyhow, thanks for sticking around and (barring any further disasters!) I will resume bringing you regular, interesting content.

And now for the thrilling conclusion of the Road Trip Saga. I was planning on breaking this up into two posts but let’s just get it over with so we can all move on with our lives. THIS IS GOING TO BE A LONG ONE.

Since it’s been so long, I’ll place the recap links here instead of at the bottom:

One last note: I am STILL fiddling with formats and writing style, thanks for putting up with the nonstop assault on your eyeballs!

Saturday Afternoon

Embarking from the Knotty Pine, we drove south, toward and sort of around Escanaba, ending up in Hannahville, an Indian reservation with a rather large casino, the Island Resort and Casino.

It was raining off and on when we arrived and the pow wow, originally scheduled to be held outdoors, had been moved into the high school, deeper within the reservation. I admittedly didn’t grab the greatest pictures of all this, as I was doing my best to:

A. Be respectful (I’m not a big fan of taking shots of people’s faces without their permission and am unsure of pow wow etiquette)

B. Take in the sights myself

The pow wow mainly consisted of various categories of dance and dance competitions, accompanied by authentic singing/chanting/drumming provided by the Northern Cree Singers, a tribal group from Canada. I haven’t the foggiest clue what they sing about, but they have a great passion and talent for it. From what I understand, the drumming and singing not only go with the dancing, but, in fact, dictate it, providing the dancers with cues and instructions via the melody and rhythms of the song.

There was delicious food served in the cafeteria and I chose what is known as an Indian Taco:

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The Indian Taco: A combination of standard taco ingredients served atop a piece of frybread.

 

After some time (an hour or so, I don’t know), it was announced the weather had cleared and the pow wow would reconvene outside, at the traditional pow wow grounds/camp site.

While the pow wow was migrating, we took the opportunity to tour the Potawatomi Heritage Center, a turtle-shaped (if you were to look at it from above) museum which relates the history of both the Potawatomi peoples and Hannahville. Also housed within this turtle is a truly weird and wonderful exhibit which showcases Michigan copper and presents alternative history hypotheses, none of which I can remember, but I can assure you they range from the reasonable to “Um, okay?”

Unfortunately, I was unable to grab any pictures while inside. I did, however, partake of (read: stuffed face at) a lunch buffet, which had been kindly laid out as part of an open house by the Heritage Center staff, coinciding with the pow wow, which nobody bothered to show up for! How rude! I had to sit there and eat free cheese, crackers, cold cuts and pineapple all by myself! The horror of it all. I made such a huge sandwich I got the meat sweats and had to sit down for a half hour while my friends were……you know what, I don’t know what they were doing. I think they were being given a way beyond normal hands-on tour and meeting the director of the Center/tribe, but I was off somewhere in meat land.

After this excursion into the unknown reaches of lunch meat, I was scooped up, poured into the car and driven over to the outdoor pow wow grounds.

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Here, the same things which were going on in the school gym went on………….outside! There was a pass-in-review of sorts, a salute to the armed forces and LOTS of dancing. Some of these people (unsurprisingly, they were the same dancers who walked away with top honors) danced for an hour STRAIGHT. It was amazing to see. Also impressive was the level of detail and craftsmanship shown in the performer’s regalia (costumes or outfits).

Once again, I didn’t get the greatest shots here, looking to protect people’s privacy and not be a jackass.

I also sampled more frybread. Frybread is interesting in and of itself, given it’s history, so I’ll cover it briefly. Frybread is a traditional food at pow wows, festivals and even in native people’s homes. Frybread originated in the mid-19th century, when the Navajo and other peoples were moved onto reservations. The tribes were given flour, sugar, salt and lard as rations and frybread was what they could come up with to nourish themselves, both on the journey to, and upon arrival at, the reservations. I will delve no further into the sociopolitical implications of frybread.

After the pow wow wound down, we set up camp for the night. I did not take any pictures of our tent or campsite, as I didn’t even think of it because we were having too much fun entertaining our neighbors with our weird jungle fowl and listening to an elder’s tales and opinions on a wide array of topics.

Sunday

I did, however, manage one photo of a deranged madman waving his Wampum and a bayonet at me in a tent and I refuse to provide any context or further information.

Sunday morning arrived and, after packing up the tent and saying goodbye to our camp neighbors, we hit the road, headed back down to the lower peninsula. There was some kind of cool stuff and nice scenery along the way, so I took a few pictures:

This picture, and the two which follow, were taken at the rest stop in Naubinway, which has 4.5 stars, which I think is hilarious for a rest stop.

Soon after leaving the scenic rest area, we once again arrived in St. Ignace. This time, we stopped to visit the Father Marquette National Memorial. This picturesque, walking-trail park has a great view of the Mackinac Bridge, as well as tons of information about both the early French settlers and local plant life. There is also a native graveyard, which I will point out, but otherwise I present pictures from this park with little commentary.

The grounds where the St. Ignace pow wow are held, roughly in the center of the park
I believe this to be the frame of a birch bark hut

The graveyard, I believe it is of the Odawa.

The Father Marquette Memorial itself.

After visiting the Memorial, we headed back south, to the Lower Peninsula.

A nice view of historic Fort Michilimackinac from the bridge
The most polite restroom sign I’ve ever seen.

In Conclusion

After a few more hours on the road, we arrived back at the farm and were beset upon by John’s rampaging hell geese, who were extra spicy after being cooped up for a day and a half. They so were angry they wouldn’t sit still for a good picture.

The little ones were happy to be out of the box and flapping.
Amelia, enjoying herself in the woods where she was born.
I WILL DESTROY YOU.

I didn’t stick around long, as it was already pretty deep into the afternoon and THE GEESE WERE FEISTY.

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“Let’s get the HECK outta here!”
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So we did.
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“AREN’T YOU SUPPOSED TO BE DRIVING?”
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“WHAT THE HECK IS EVEN HAPPENING”
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I stopped for McDonald’s along the way, it WAS DELICIOUS, quick and so nicely presented I had to take a picture. 10/10
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Somebody wasn’t very happy to be at the rest stop.

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And that was the trip that was! I got home around 9 PM and WENT TO BED.

Thanks so much for following along, reading all of this and reading my blog! I’ll be posting more often again and hopefully you will find it entertaining!

-Joseph

 

 

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