Mission San Juan, December 30, 2017

Mission San Juan, December 30, 2017
Mission San Juan, December 30, 2017

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Lansing, Michigan and Halloween is Tonight - Sat., Oct. 11, 2014

Yesterday at the Lansing Cottonwood Campground, I forgot to mention that we drove to our site, Bob backed the RV in quickly, we had the slides out and set-up done in about ten minutes. As Bob was hooking up the water and electric, the guy from the next site over walked up to him and told us we were in "his site."

That came as a bit of a shock to us. The pedestal for our site was directly behind our 5th wheel, but apparently two sites share a pedestal and we were over the line for "his site." If we had moved our 5th wheel any farther to the side away from him, our full hook-up water and electric would not have reached the pedestal behind the 5th wheel. Our sewer hose for the grey water dump was out of reach behind the rig already.

Anyway, Bob apologized profusely, told him we didn't know we were in his site, and we would gladly move if we needed to. Bob told him we were only there overnight. He relented and since it was only for one night said not to worry about it. I should state that there are no defined sites, just grass, trees and pedestals at the back of the site. There was a big tree between us and the guy next to us.

The rest of Friday evening was free. Bob did a marathon training run along a river path by the RV park. I made chili and coleslaw for dinner.

This morning, we headed downtown an hour earlier than our walk start time so I could take photos and Bob could read history markers which would make our walk go a little faster. We also tried to tour the Capitol building, but due to budget cuts they were not open on Saturday or Sunday.

Pre-Volksmarch photos:

Lansing's cast iron Capitol dome and the moon
The following four photos are of a historic bank building. The concrete work looks a lot like Pianta, who did the concrete work on a number of buildings in San Antonio. See my blog from Tuesday, August 19.

Beautiful concrete art
An eagle, Mercury (?) on the right
Elephants over the front door of the bank
Beautiful entry (note the elephants)
Below is a beautiful building built over one of the streets.

The History Museum on Kalamazoo Ave., our start point.
Polaris sculpture on the left.
The museum building surrounds a white pine tree (the Michigan State Tree) and the Great Lakes Fountain with a tile mosaic.

Michigan white pine
At 10 a.m. we signed in for the walk at the History Museum. While we were signing in, the people who run the Capitol Volksmarch came in. They told us they were having a sponsored walk at 11 a.m. and invited us to join them. That would have been lovely if we didn't have to be back to collect our rig from the campground by 1 p.m. Volksmarchers are such friendly, inviting people.

We headed off with our directions on a 10K (6.2 mile) Capitol Volksmarch. The first points of interest came up quickly: the Michigan Hall of Justice (Supreme Court) and the Michigan Vietnam Memorial Monument.

Michigan Hall of Justice (Supreme Court)
It should be noted that Michigan's state Capitol was built without regard to using only Michigan materials. The goal was to build the Capitol within budget, so materials from all over the U.S. as well as some from abroad were used.

We then walked the Capital Mall toward the Capitol, passed around behind it and entered an area with historic churches.

Central United Methodist Church
St. Mary Cathedral
Christ Community Church, Estab. 1851
Christ Community Church
After we walked through Durant Park, we saw the beautiful homes which grace Washington Avenue as we continued toward Old Town Lansing.

Durant Park Arch
Oh, hey, a squirrel snuck in here.

Old Town is the original site of the City of Lansing. We walked for a while along the Grand River, the longer river in Michigan.

Old Town and the Grand River
Grand River view
The Grand River
Along the river is a cute park with a cool playground. It invited us to play, so we obliged...

Teeter totter on steroids!
You can put a lot of people on this teeter totter.
Bob trying out another unique play structure
He conquered it!
Bob loves seeing different stadiums wherever we go. Lansing is home to the Lugnuts and we passed by their stadium.

Bob in front of Cooley Law School Stadium
Notice the big lugnut. It's on the tower next
to the Nuthouse bar. Seriously.
It wouldn't be Michigan without car manufacturing plants. I am sorry to say, however, that they look like deserted ghost towns.

The GM Lansing Grand River plant where Cadillac ATS is built
It's huge!

History of Olds Motor Vehicle Company
The Curved Dash Runabout
On one of the streets downtown we came across a star in the sidewalk commemorating Rosa Parks.
R.I.P. Rosa Parks
The ornate facade of an old theater downtown.
First Michigan Sharpshooter Memorial
on the capital grounds.
It was already after noon and we had to be back to the RV park before 1 p.m. We decided to get lunches to go at Grand Traverse Pie Company. From there we quickly finished our walk, then headed back to hook up our 5th wheel and get out of Dodge, er, I mean Lansing. We checked out a few minutes after 1 p.m. and headed to Ypsilanti's Detroit-Greenfield RV Park.

On the short drive to Ypsilanti, I called Detroit-Greenfield RV Park to make a reservation for a full hook-up (FHU) pull-through site. At first the gentleman said, "It's Halloween, we're pretty booked. I don't think we have a pull-through site." The he talked to someone else and we waited on the line. After a few minutes he came back on and said they had a site. Whew, that was a relief because there aren't many RV parks with FHUs in the area.

Couldn't understand about the Halloween comment, though, since last we checked Halloween is Oct. 31. Well, when we arrived at the RV park we were in for quite a shock. A line parents and children snaked through the parking lot waiting their turn for hayrides, lots of children were in the playground, and the RV park was very full!

The office staff were very nice in directing us to our site. When we mentioned we planned to visit Greenfield Village and The Henry Ford Museum, they told us they sell discounted tickets there. For $29 each we received tickets for two of the attractions at the complex and parking. That is quite a savings from the online deal Bob found.

With tickets and RV park map in hand, we slowly wound around past the line of kids on our way to our site. Then we wove our way through the trees in the RV park.

Packed in like sardines!

As we drove through we were amazed by the Halloween decorations at some of the sites. And not only did they have hay rides, they had pumpkin carving, site-decorating contest, and trick-or-treating through the park from 5:15 to 7:00 p.m. Wow. The park was a crazy-busy place!

After we parked the 5th wheel, we went to Kroger's to stock up on candy for the trick-or-treaters. When we returned to the park, Bob and I took a walk to see the decorations. Some people went all out. Apparently local families camp out for the RV park "Halloween" every year. If you need ideas on how to decorate your RV for Halloween, take a look.

Bob and I loved this one!

Then it was time for the trick-or-treaters. So many kids came by. It was crazy. I don't think we've had that many since our kids were young! Wow.

Handing out the candy.
Then we took it easy for the rest of the night. Wow, sorry about the length of the blog. It was an eventful day.

Travel Bug out. (Finally!)


  1. The bank building is beautiful.

    Lansing is a beautiful city. Paul nor I have ever been there. Going on my Pinterest of places to see.

    WOW...that Bob could be a acrobat with his awesome balance.

    I love the Halloween decorations. But I wonder where some of these people store their stuff once the holiday is over. Some pieces are massive.

    1. The people who had the most decorations, i.e., the ones who rented three sites to set up their stuff, towed a trailer full of all their boxes of decorations. I think most of the people were local with sticks and bricks houses nearby looking for one last weekend of camping before they winterize their RVs. They could have stowed their decor in their RV and unloaded the stuff into a garage when they got home. (Or just put it out on their lawn for Halloween at their house!)

  2. Wow no kidding a busy day! Loved the tour of town though and what a fun place to march around. Lots of cool architecture. I love the Halloween RV Park and that you two just "went with the flow" there!

    1. We met with one of my cousins yesterday and they camped at a different campground last weekend. Their campground also celebrated Halloween. Their campground had about 160 sites, but they set up two Haunted Mansions and people decorated their sites too. She told me Halloween is really big in Michigan,.

  3. You certainly crammed a lot into a day! I certainly wouldn't want to entertain that many kids often but what fun for a day. Loved the old buildings of Lancing

    1. Even though we crammed a lot into one day, it's normal for us. We like doing, exploring, experiencing and seeing a place.

  4. Maybe a long post but thank goodness you had some of that Halloween candy to give you energy to write it... :cD

    1. Yep, we made sure to get candy that we like too.

  5. My kids liver and I visited a couple summers ago. LOVED the capital building tour! I think I may have to visit in the fall after seeing your gorgeous photos. Thanks for sharing them!

    1. Fall is definitely beautiful here. In fact, we had peak of fall colors in the Upper Peninsula for the last week and now the colors are reaching peak around Ann Arbor. We couldn't have timed it any better.


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