Public Parks Too Crowded? Visit Your Local Cemetery!

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Not much to report right now! I’m still on furlough from work, and don’t expect that to change within the next month or two. I’m living in Michigan, which is “supposed” to be on a state-mandated “stay at home” order until May 15, and some sort of “emergency order” after that (subject to legal challenge by the state legislature). I have no interest in getting into any of the politics about all of this…I’m taking more of an “it is what it is” kind of thing. I have no problems with wearing face coverings/masks when going out into “enclosed” spaces. It’s annoying – but hell, I like to just get in and out of a store anyway. And wearing a mask kind of makes sure you’re not going to be doing too much lollygagging!

Aside from the sporadic “supply runs,” I’ve been pretty much staying at home – all the time! Occasionally, we’ll escape to go for a walk – although visiting parks has been a bit dicey lately, because they’re more crowded than usual. Even a local park near the Eastern Michigan University campus called “Peninsular Park” was a bit crowded when my husband and I drove into its parking lot last Sunday (we didn’t even bother getting out of our cars). It’s located right on the Huron River, on the site of the old Peninsular Paper company. You can still see the old sign and the broken down old building on the site (I do not own this photo): ⇓

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Peninsular Paper Company – well, what remains of it – in Ypsilanti, MI.

Crowds weren’t just flocking to parks in my town last weekend. Apparently, a bunch of people crowded the beach in Grand Haven, MI over the weekend so city officials decided to close down the parking lot. I can understand it…really!

One one hand, I want to say “Are you out of your f—ing minds” to the people crowding the beaches during a global pandemic. On the other hand, I want to say, “I totally get it.” I want to see water too. Boy, do I! We were so desperate for a glimpse of water Sunday afternoon we went to a shitty little park in an area notorious for some of its crimes – just to see the Huron f—ing River!

I want nothing more than to be plopped in my beach chair, listening to some tunes and watching the waves roll in from one of the four Great Lakes surrounding my state. But I don’t want to battle crowds. Sometimes you get lucky and have a little spot of beach to yourself, like I did in 2017 when we camped at Hoeft State Park in Rogers City, MI: ⇓

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I asked my husband to take this photo only because you can see a freighter in the background! Sadly, when I want to soak up some sun these days, we have to do it in front of our house in our driveway!

So what do we do if we can’t go to our favorite Great Lakes beaches right now? What do we do when we want to go to the pretty park on Ford Lake (North Bay Park) and look for turtles – but don’t want to battle swarms of people? We adapt. Sunday, we took a walk in a historic cemetery instead of a park. There were very few people we encountered on our walk. Very few living ones, anyway! We visited the historic (and sprawling) Highland Cemetery in Ypsilanti to get our fitness fix.

The only time you see a lot of living people crowding Highland Cemetery would be on holidays, such as Memorial Day – and in the month of October, when local historian James Mann hosts nighttime lantern tours of the cemetery. They are not to be missed – especially if you love creepy stuff – and local history!

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I managed to get the historic Ypsilanti water tower in the background of this selfie! The Huron River valley is behind me…

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A lovely blooming tree at Highland Cemetery. My allergies were going a bit haywire – but it was worth it! ⇑
After our walk, we stopped for frozen treats! Here’s my chocolate malt from the Chick Inn drive in restaurant (almost as good as the ones me and my brother used to make at home with the blender). Unlike many other businesses that have had to virtually change or adapt their business models overnight for COVID-19, the Chick Inn has been a drive-in restaurant with carside service since it opened in 1953! Business was hoppin’ at this place right before the dinner rush on Sunday!

 

 

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