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JAGM Trip Down South (Toledo)

Pictures to follow.

Saturday, September 10 was a wonderful day for a Road Trip. Moderate temperatures and partly overcast. A small group of us started at another nice Cracker Barrel Breakfast.

We next gathered up at the National Museum of the Great Lakes in Toledo. Having never been there, I did not know what to expect. All of us were surprised at how much we liked the museum. The museum building very nicely told of the development of Great Lakes Shipping and the Great Lakes Ships with many different displays and dioramas. Watching the clock, we moved to the outdoor displays of a lake tugboat and the largest ore carrier ever on the great lakes. That ore carrier was huge at about 750 feet long. Each of the holds below could swallow up a full-size basketball court. The front structure held the navigation crew and cargo handlers with a few added guest cabins. The rear structure held the mechanical crew, the ship's mess, and all the mechanical and engineering spaces. Halfway down the open deck, there were two putting greens. We never found out if they were real from when the ship was sailing or just now for display. The ore carrier's usual route was between Duluth and Cleveland. That would take about 2 1/2 days covering over 1000 miles while traveling at about 20 knots. Once onboard, the 29-person crew was there for about 3 months at a time.

Then onto the lake tugboat, also large with about 5 different decks. It had a crew of about 11 and covered much more than just harbor areas. Both ships were retired within the last 10 years or so due to efficiencies, powerplant pollution, and berthing spaces below water level.

Since we travel on our stomachs, we were off to the Original Tony Paco’s Hungarian Restaurant. Their menu and atmosphere have not changed since the Korean Conflict. Good food and service as usual.

On the way to the zoo, we came across an unusual roadblock. When is the last time that any of you were stopped by a drawbridge on a major road? We were, but not for too long. I do not think I have been stopped on a major road since the Zilwaukee Bridge was replaced.

Then we were off to the Toledo Zoo. I have heard that many people prefer it over the much larger Detroit Zoo. They put on a nice presentation of all their displays. We enjoyed our time there. We all came away thinking it was difficult finding things and get around to all the different displays. When you knew where you wanted to go, there was no easy way to go in that direction, whatever it was. Maps were not available, so when you go, download one at home and bring it. A map on the phone helped a bit. Also, many displays were closed for major and minor remodeling. When completed, it will be a terrific zoo, if you can find your way around it.

Then it was time to head home. As expected for this time of the year, US-23 had some road construction while I-75 had a lot of construction. We all arrived home safely and happy thinking about when the next trip is.

Bob Matejek

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