The Lighthouse and the Flame: An Adventure

You know we like adventuring, right?

It’s one of our favorite activities.

What is adventuring, you might ask?

Well, allow me to explain. 

Adventuring (for us) is this thing where we get in the car with a loose goal and singular destination but then just let the day take us where ever it wants. 

Sometimes it’s a bust and feels stressful to “find something” and when we realize we are not enjoying ourselves, but trying really hard to make something happen, we’ll just go home or somewhere familiar. 

For example the day I will describe started out with the idea to get lunch at Major Biddles Mess Hall, a spot in Wyandotte, which is like 15 minutes from us and probably my favorite of all the smol towns near us. Allen Park is a VERY CLOSE second though. 

So, we ate at Major Biddles and it was fine. The food was good, but I think we are really getting spoiled up here, because it was tasty food, but there is much tastier to be found elsewhere. 

Once place Major Biddles did shine was their cocktail offerings, including an entire page of non-alcoholic cocktails. I got a NO-groni and it was pretty spot on. 

During a day of adventuring, it’s in the parking lots ad bar counters that we do the real work. 

Since we recently purchased a record player and have been playing records on it, I thought I’d search for a nearby record store that we hadn’t been to yet.

A pawn shop showed up in my search with the review “the best record store I’ve been to in a long time”.

So that was our next destination. 

When we arrived there was not a record to be found, but it was still the most organized pawn shop I’d ever been to. And I like pawn shops, so I’ve been to a lot. 

They’re full of treasure, okay?

Also, when we lived in Florida, our house got robbed one time and, they didn’t take a ton of stuff but they did take all of my nana’s jewelry (and mine and whatever I had left from my dad), including her charm bracelet that had been added to at every holiday, birthday and other celebration with a new 18k gold charm. So, when we went to the pawn shops in Florida, I always looked for a tiny working slot machine or french horn or my dad’s St. Christopher medal, but I never did come across ’em. Hope you enjoy all my family’s heirlooms and all of our chargers for some reason, robbers!

We wandered around the tools and carefully chose a Craftsman stud finder (brand new in box) and a Craftsman set that had like tubular tools in it. (we are slowly building a full set of Craftsman tools.) Then we wandered around TVs and computers and gaming consoles… then I broke off to look at the jewelry out of habit. 

I asked to look at two things in the case. One was a ring that could have been delicate and could have been gaudy, but it was definitely interesting. It was a clear purple-y green stone and it was cut like a flat oval, meant to be worn on the finger horizontally. It drawfed my hand and was indeed gaudy so I did not get it. 

The other thing I asked to see were these very delicate mother of pearl earrings with a tiny pink stone on the inside. These were perfect and tiny and elegant and now they are mine. It was (the day before) my birthday after all. 

Then we were stumped and kind of took a pause in the parking lot to see what was nearby on Google Maps. 

I wasn’t looking for anything in particular, but when I saw it, I knew that was our next step. 

“Wanna go to a lighthouse?” I piped up.

I do not think Mickey was expecting that at all, and replied, “Uh, yeah, sure.”

“Okay, I will navigate us there”

It was only six minutes away, so I felt confident in my skills. 

WELL. 

WELL. I don’t know if I will be able to properly express my excitement, but, I guess one of my special interests is industrial areas. I cannot tell you the surge of excitement and inspiration I feel whenever I come across one. I remember this vaguely from my road trips with my dad, too. I used to imagine they were roller coasters!

Well, these industrial spots are everywhere in the Detroit area. In fact, I have a favorite one that we pass pretty frequently when we go to Detroit proper for our Third Man Records trips. 

I call it “The Flame” and it’s just that. A gigantic open flame just flaming up into the sky all willy nilly. There are other buildings around it that are also pretty exciting but I don’t feel complete until I see “The Flame”.

Don’t get excited, I do not have a photo of it. That is because I get too excited when I see it and Mickey’s always driving so he can’t snap a pic. 

That’s okay though. 

So, to get to this lighthouse, we had to take many turns in our short drive, starting out in a neighborhood with a real live road house (Mr. K’s) but ending up in an industrial area very close to the train tracks. 

At one point in the short journey, I notice Mickey’s got his secret giddy face on, which makes me smile because I know something good is about to happen. 

“Look over there”, he gestures to his side of the car.

Y’all. I WAS SO CLOSE TO “THE FLAME”. Closer than any other time before. I’d only seen it from 94 (I think or 75. Those are the two roads we take most often when we are interstating it).

It was amazing. Total delight. 10/10. Thrilled beyond belief.

Then we turned the corner into the park that housed the lighthouse. And there was a gatehouse with prices.

$5 for non residents. Despite being so close to home, we were not residents of River Rouge, so I had my lil five dollar bill waiting at the window when we arrived. 

The fella looked at me, “What are y’all here for?”

Me: “I wanna see the lighthouse!”

He waved us in and did not take the five dollar bill. People are so nice up here. 

The lighthouse was small and cute and we were not allowed inside. 

The park was the sweetest thing, though. There were swings of many types and sizes, including standalone ‘porch swings’ for romantic couples or spies trying to be inconspicuous. There were also those free binocular things of varying heights so that people in wheelchairs could use them too!

And what a good thing to have at this park, because this is one view:

Gorgeous! Nature’s just killin’ it, y’all. 

Also, there were many people along the riverwalk with their poles dipped in the water, fishing. The park has a lil fold out table for cleaning fish (currently in disrepair) and running water for cleaning up.

And a boat launch so I can rent a kayak and try to get even closer to “THE FLAME!”

It’s just a sweet park and I love it. 

But it’s the other view that gets me way more hype. 

It’s just, like, smack dab in the middle of all this industrial stuff. Ahhh, it got me so excited in the brain area. I can’t wait to bring folks here. 

Also, I am sorry I didn’t get more pics of the park or the surroundings. These aren’t even mine. I didn’t pull my phone out once and panic asked Mickey for any pics when I decided to write this blog.

Thanks, dood. I appreciate you being my memory sometimes. 

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