September 30 — Oct 7, 2019 Michigan City — It’s NOT in Michigan!

Our next stop was Michigan City – which we found out was NOT in Michigan.  Do cities purposely try to confuse visitors?  Michigan City is in Indiana, a corner of which touches Lake Michigan.  We pulled into the Washington Park Marina which was a very nice location, but because it was NOT part of the Michigan Park Marinas, it was not half price.  Oh well, nothing lasts forever!  Our entourage of boats didn’t last forever either.  Many of them cut across the lake to Hammond Marina, just south of Chicago, anticipating the opening of the locks on Oct 5.  We were down to us and Alcyone, and got an addition of Pegasus.  As it turned out, Barbara on Pegasus was celebrating a birthday, so we all went out to eat and celebrate with her!

Soon after, Pegasus left as did Alcyone.  Alcyone went to Chicago on a day that didn’t look so good to us.  Turned out that it was a very unpleasant ride for them. Sometimes it’s better to be a little chicken hearted.  We were planning to go to Hammond Marina, but a little voice inside told me to call one of the boats already there.  When the little voice speaks, it’s a good idea to listen.  I called one of our buddies there and she told me that the marina was fine, but they had been warned to not leave the property due to gangs in the local area.  The security people would drive them to WalMart, and there was a casino next door, but other than that, nothing to do.  OK – maybe we’ll wait a bit.  Then the news came through that we didn’t want to hear – the opening of the locks was to be delayed another week.  We immediately thought of the places we didn’t stop to see because we had wanted to be on time for the lock opening.  

Time to explore Michigan City, INDIANA.  There was a nearby beach where we walked, and the area was bike friendly, too.  AND, it had an outlet mall! Hadn’t seen one of those on our trip.  Went to browse the shops, but didn’t buy much – not a lot of extra room on a boat.  Ed found an electric buffer at one of the local shops, so he started some boat cleaning.  There was lighthouse museum in town.  One of the stories told there was about the SS Eastland.  The boat used to travel between Chicago and Michigan City bringing passengers to the beach and large amusement park.  On July 24, 1915, the boat was still tied to the dock, loaded with passengers when it rolled over on its side, filling with water.  844 passengers and crew were killed. It was the largest loss of life from a single incident on the Great Lakes.  There were theories as to why the accident occurred, but no conclusive evidence.

So what else to see in Michigan City?  We saw signs for a zoo, but never made it there.  However, we did see a metal sculpture of some bears. There were several art sculptures throughout the town as well as an art museum.  One evening we were walking out on the beach and looked across the water.  We looked, and then looked again.  We could actually SEE Chicago from where we were standing.  WOW – it was over 30 miles to Chicago – couldn’t believe we could see it from where we stood.

While talking to one of the other boat owners on our dock, he happened to mention a train that went to Chicago.  Train?  What train?  Sure enough, the South Shore Line could take us to the Big City. WooHoo!  We made some hotel reservations, packed our bags and headed to Chicago.  SO much to do there. We will do a separate blog entry for Chicago to follow this one.  SO many pictures of Chicago, I’m afraid we might overload the posting!