Battle Creek Michigan is popularly known for one thing – cereal. The town is charming, and we stopped at the welcome center to enjoy stepping into a way back machine of cereals. Tony the Tiger, Snap Crackle and Pop, Sugar Smack Frog, they were all there. They had a very small history room where everything from Corn Flakes and Raisin Bran to Fruity Pebbles and Coco Pops were featured, and many more were all here. It was a hoot looking at the old box covers and recalling whether we actually ate the contents in our youth.
After getting our fill of cereal history we drove to Kalamazoo, Michigan. This was the birthplace of my fraternal grandmother, Helen McIlvain, who then married my grandfather, Arthur Roy Dykeman (my dad was a Junior). I’d wanted to visit this town for a very long time and I was not disappointed in it. I could imagine my grandmother here.
When we arrived, we tried to find the Lillian Anderson Arboretum, but could not locate any signage to tell us where to turn or anything that indicated the entrance.
Since is was getting late we gave up on that and drove instead to the Kalamazoo Nature Center. It was a lovely park and we enjoyed looking around their visitor center for awhile before hiking a couple of miles. From there we headed to Markin Glen Park where we had reservations for the next couple of nights.
Kalamazoo, Michigan – Day 2
Thanks to a very helpful lady at the Nature Center, we were able to locate the Lillian Anderson Arboretum trails. We parked and headed out to hike about three miles of beautifully kept woodlands, bogs and marshes.
Along the trails we heard lots of birds but didn’t spot any until the last mile which started on a boardwalk. We saw a vireo, finches, and some other birds we couldn’t identify. All along the hike kept hearing a high pitched repeating “chunk” sound that we thought might be a woodcock, but it turned out to be the warning call of the many chipmunks we spotted along the trails.
Returning to camp we had lunch, relaxed, then showered and took all the dirty laundry to a laundromat where a sweet woman who kept calling me “honey” helped me navigate a refillable card for payment instead of coins. Once the laundry was done we returned to the camp and made our beds, then got dressed and went out for a very nice dinner at Food Dance, a non-franchised restaurant using locally sourced produce and meats to create unique and tasty dishes.
The temperature these last few days has been up in the high eighties, reaching 90 degrees today. This causes us to have to run the AC at night, which we are loath to do, but sleeping in hot sticky weather is just not for us, especially for me. I think Alan could sleep in a sauna, but he has admitted to preferring cooler temperatures for sleeping.
Around 9:00pm it started thundering, lightning and raining outside, bringing with it some cooler air. We waited for a break between rain bursts to head to the bathrooms for our nightly ablutions, but both of us got caught in the next bout of rain going back to the van.