Monday, June 24, 2019

Happy 1st weekend of summer / Michigan Hauntfest!

Since I didn't write a solstice post or anything, let's celebrate the first weekend of Summer!
It was pretty glorious all weekend - sunny & 70's here in SE Michigan - can't get any more perfect than that!  

I decided back in May that I was going to the Michigan Hauntfest for the first time.  It was held at a campground about 90 miles from me.  I thought it was somewhat odd that you were supposed to pre-register even if you weren't camping, which I did, but I can't imagine how they could tell if someone did or didn't.  You also had to order your official Hauntfest t-shirts ahead of time to pick up there. 
How cool is that???

Last week I saw that Screamers, the store in Hell, Michigan had a new t-shirt and I couldn't resist ordering one!  They said they were on their second shipment of these. 
 It came in the mail Thursday, so I was all ready to wear it Saturday, but it ended up being too warm to wear a black t-shirt in the sun.  Bummer!
They also included a pamphlet about Hell, MI and they always give you an "Exit Visa" when you buy something from them. 

Anyhooooo, let me start at the beginning of the day. 

Saturday I was up at the butt-crack of dawn.  I was out the door by 0700.  There were a couple stops I wanted to make along the way to Hauntfest - namely 2 more real Maple Grove Cemeteries!  This makes 18 out of 30 in the state that I've been to.  These will have their own posts later. 
 #1 was in Westland.  Lots of European / middle Eastern names in here.  And it seemed like the Bible verses of choice on the stones came from the book of Timothy.  Just a little thing I noticed.

And as I did my initial drive-thru, I couldn't help but notice *another* cemetery behind it!
I had to look on Google maps to find out the name of this one (in English), but the Islamic Memorial Cemetery was immensely fascinating.  
Fun fact...all of the graves were situated so the head was pointing ESE. 
And vast majority of them had patio chairs or benches next to them. 
 And even tho there were no living people around, I still felt the odd need to cover up my rainbow Hell shirt as I walked around.
 
Planned stop #2 was called Sylvan Center (that's the road it was on) but it's actually on the outskirts of Chelsea.  This one had an interesting layout.  The area to the right and the old parts in back were basic rows, but the in the center part, some of the plots had their stones laid out in a semicircle around the main stone.
 After a quick backtrack into the town of Chelsea to find an ATM and stop for a beverage, I was on my way to Munith!  Which, btw, is in the middle of nowhere.  

Me & Chuck got to the campground around noon and tootled around a bit until I found a place that looked like it could be the right place.  It was.    
There were 2 tents with vendors and I asked one of the ladies who was selling raffle tickets where I would go to check in & get my shirt.  She asked if my name was Lisa because mine was the last shirt left!  She also handed me a goodie bag. 
There were 2 Froggy's Fog lanyards, a FF mug, a FrightProps pen & screwdriver. 
 
And 2 catalogs that are pretty much art. 

I browsed thru the vendor tents & only bought a stack of cards for the Halloween card exchange I do each fall on the HalloweenForum, a pair of skull earrings and a bling-y skull ring.  I spent a whopping $8.  And $10 on raffle tickets. 

I may have groaned out loud when I learned the raffle drawings were being held at 4pm.  I had already seen most of the campsites what were in the decorating contest as I drove around, so I walked around again.  Then I stopped in the office and got a snack.  Then sat under a pine tree and enjoyed the glorious warn breeze for a while.  And got some pictures of Chuck on the playground. 

 

Good old fashioned metal slide!

I enjoyed looking at the campsites.

 
 
I had to get a closer look at this one.

Love the little Aborigines!
 
Definitely my favorite, tho.

 

Someone's "Ghostly Garage" truck, complete with coffin on the back.
This hearse was pretty sweet.
The back console was signed by the guy who played the original Michael Myers in Halloween.
I wandered back over to the festivities and watched a few demonstrations.  The first guy I missed the first part of his talk and never did figure out what he was showing.  The second one did resin casting, which was really interesting.  He had carved this angel (gray) a couple days before for the top of one of his headstones, and made a mold from it the day before (the pink thing) and then mixed & poured resin so we could see how the process works.  It only took about 20 minutes of it to set up so he could de-mold it (the white part). 

There were several make & take projects, too.  I saw some ladies walking around with really pretty witch hats and a couple campsites had pneumatic shovels that a skeleton could be attached to so it looked to be digging.   I watched people making these trees out of cardboard tubes and Great Stuff foam.  That was a pretty cool project, too.  Quick & easy.  Since they were done painting within an hour or so. 

Then the raffles finally started!  I starting inching my way toward my car, but stayed close enough to hear if I won anything (I didn't).  Once they were done, I took off. 

My overall thoughts?  It was a lot smaller than I expected.  Most people were friendly.  They were doing bonfires both nights & pancake breakfasts for people who camped there, but as a day visitor, especially one there alone and not knowing anyone?  Neat, but Meh.   

  My next stop was the National Weather Service office so I could mooch dinner off Randy and the other people there playing with radios for Field Day.  But since the campground was in the middle of a wifi deadzone (unless you were under that one pine tree near the office) Siri & Waze both were trying to send me weird places and/or not finding where I wanted to go.  So I wasn't even sure if I was headed in the right direction when I left.  So when I found the bustling gas station that apparently makes up the town of Munith, I stopped to get a drink and verified I was on track.

So as I drove along, I saw a sign 13 miles to Pinckney.  I got to thinking, Pinckney is where Hell is!  Then I turned off onto another road, looked and saw I was only about 5 miles away!  I had to stop.

I walked around for a few minutes, to get some pictures and then went into Screamers, which is the ice cream parlor / gift shop.   I might have spent 15-20 minutes there total.
I pulled into the parking lot there was Hell-O Summer Fest going on.  The lot was packed!  There had to be 100 small motorcycles there, all lined up to head out in a group.  So I stopped and watched them leave.  There were a couple tents set up with vendors and a couple old guys playing live music.

Those are flowers planted in Crocs on the back of that shed!
the official weather station.
the wedding chapel


This is what I bought from Screamers.  So cute!
(Rusty approves)
So we finally made it to the weather service. 
We helped Randy hang an antenna.
Then we went up the hill to watch the meteorologist on duty launch the 1900 weather balloon.
Weeeee!

I didn't get home that night until 9:30pm.  I was beat! 
Rusty was happy to break in my Hauntfest shirt for me.
Ever wonder how Hell got its name?

Sunday was more low-key.  Breakfast.  Laundry.  Mowed the lawn. 
Can you handle the excitement????

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