We’re sitting in a marina in downtown Detroit, hearing music from all directions and from various vehicles…cars, boats, motorcycles, bicycles, scooters…a constant musical parade going by! Plus the sounds of a live concert nearby. This city sure loves its music. (I guess that’s why it’s also called MoTown?) There’s a prominent but friendly police presence here and our marina is secure so we feel very safe. We took our bikes to a store, then rode Detroit’s impressive Riverwalk, then sat by the nearby outdoor amphitheater to watch the parade of people in various forms of dress – and undress! (Maybe I’m a prude. 😄) Everyone seems happy and polite, and it’s been more entertaining than irritating, but one evening in Motor City/Motown will be enough…at least on the weekend.
I’ve been to Detroit often, on trips with my family. Dad made the eight-hour trek here from our home in the Upper Peninsula to visit his brother and attend big church meetings. (He was in demand because of his ability to do simultaneous translation of sermons from Finnish to English, or vice versa, “back in the day” when sermons were given in both languages.) But we never saw this side of Detroit. I wonder what he would think of it. Nothing good, I assume! Though he may be pleased at how clean it is, compared to the 60s and 70s. I wonder how it was in the 40s and 50s, when many of my elder relatives – including my mom – came here to work for awhile.
We hoped to anchor out tonight after two nights in a marina, but anchorages on the Detroit River are hard to find. It’s ok with me. I’m pleased to be in the William Milliken State Park Marina. Milliken served as Michigan’s governor for many years. I interviewed him privately in his office at the state capitol in the 1980s while a budding broadcast journalist. I felt a bit intimated by the trappings of his office — but by that time had done a private interview with First Lady Roslyn Carter and a brief one with then-Vice President Bush. When you’re a small-town journalist, such opportunities drop into your lap! There’s not a lot of competition.
How strange it feels to be back in Michigan, where we started this journey almost a year and 5,600 miles ago. But then, these Michigan waters are strange to me and we still have nearly 800 miles left before Many Moons returns to her home port in western Lake Superior.
It took us 8.5 hours to travel 56 miles today as the current of the Detroit River pushed against us. Photos and captions below of our cruise from the Bass Islands in western Lake Erie up to Detroit.