Saginaw & Muskegon 2012

Saginaw, Muskegon, Grand Haven & the Broderick (Map)

Winter 2012/13.


The low water levels meant that Nail was heading over to Western Michigan & wondered if I wanted to tag along while home for Christmas.

I had just seen many of these Michigan cities for the first time a few months prior, but this was a chance opportunity to get back during the day.

Saginaw isn't in Western Michigan, but seeing as I had never been there, we exited the highway along the way.

There is some truly impressive buildings from more wealthy Saginaw times. The downtown does have holes and vacancies, but it would be hard to shake a stick at some of the buildings, like the Saginaw Post Office (above).

Nail had been inside a few things in Saginaw before, but his old haunts were either gone or sealed.

The East Saginaw Pere Marquette Depot was impressive enough just from the outside.

We continued for another 3 hours, to the shores of Lake Michigan and the great city of Muskegon. It being too cold for sleeping in the back of the truck, I was excited to sleep in this city I've coveted for years.

(Nail had posted intriguing pictures of Muskegon in 2005 and I'd been fascinated with seeing the place ever since.)

The Seaway Motel surely wasn't 4 star accommodations though, as I wasn't even sure that the place wasn't abandoned when we pulled up. I also wasn't sure that my credit card info wouldn't be thieved as they used one of those 1980s credit card swipe doohickeys.

Everything turned out fine though. Even walking to the 24-hour Meijer's across the street for cough medicine at 2 a.m..

We woke up in the morning and went to some lakeside park in Muskegon, searching for a boat from Nail's youth.

The boat was nowhere to be found, but at least there was a discarded krazy karpet.

Staying in Muskegon, with all the time in the world today, it was time to check off their two lighthouses.

The Muskegon South Pierhead Light, built in 1903.

There used to be a Coast Guard facility at the start of the pier, but thankfully that's been replaced with a research station which allows you to visit the lighthouse.

How awesome is that sign though?

Nearby, there is also the Muskegon South Breakwater Lighthouse. You actually need to walk back from the first lighthouse, down the shore, then along a long breakwall to get out to this one.

Thankfully the conditions were about as nice as you could ask for in December.

There were boats full of duck hunters passing by the lighthouse while we were there.

This guy above was smart enough to stick to the area near the breakwall.

We returned downtown and I was assuming I had Muskegon figured out by now...until Nail turned into a random neighbourhood with the Hackley & Hume Homes! Holy crow!

I guess there was money to be made in Muskegon's lumber industry in the 1880s.

Finally leaving Muskegon, we attended to the business which brought us all the way across Michigan - the falling lake levels had revealed the ribs of a wooden shipwreck.

Seeing as it snowed while we were driving over, it didn't seem like much could be seen.

I stayed in the car.

I didn't stay in the car in Grand Haven though...and apparently neither did 1/2 of the people in western Michigan.

I stood before the Grand Haven South Pierhead Outer Lighthouse for a good 5 minutes before I had a window with very few people in the picture.

This place must be crazy on summer nights. (Good to see people enjoying lighthouses though).

We scurried back across Michigan since Yrvelouria was in town and some people were going to go out.

The notable thing was that his buddy lives in the Broderick!

To have walked in a building that at one time was missing windows, or even walls for that matter, then to return years later and find it decorated like some apartment in Toronto or Halifax?

That was a strange one.

The bar ended up being quite fancy & I was dressed for going in buildings in Muskegon. Eventually we went back to Sloop's truck and drank Guinness while he tried to play Canadian rock songs that apparently I should've known.


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