Travelog of the Lake Michigan Shore, 2006

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Domination of Eiler Journal #11: Operation Freedom Rider

What Is the Domination of Eiler?

In one sense, "The Domination of Eiler" is a political entity modeled upon the Holy Roman Empire. Which is to say, it works through national and local political entities, but transcends nation-state boundaries. You may already be a citizen without knowing it!

In another sense, "The Domination of Eiler" is a pen name for an amateur but very prolific web journalist. Perhaps you may enjoy these travel writings, given this simple guide:

  • The Domination of Eiler is led by, of course, the Dominator.
  • Its chief military force, and bodyguard of the Dominator, is the Domination Guard.
  • The Domination's world headquarters is in Scumburg-Illinois, near Chicago. And he has associates in Kalamazoo-Michigan.
  • As such, the south tip of Lake Michigan is already subjugated. But the remainder cries out for Domination.
  • The Domination of Eiler has gone to extraordinary lengths to prepare this offensive. To make it possible, the Domination declared its Day of Glory, and cast itself loose from major corporate sponsorship.

    Therefore, for the first time ever, a Domination offensive is open-ended. Get used to it, citizens. The Domination of Eiler can now come to you, anywhere in North America! Which is to say, North Eilerania.

    This operation brings the Domination of Eiler to all the shores of Lake Michigan. All U.S. states bordering that lake have already submitted to the Domination, but many of their lakeshores have not.

    Operational Map

    Day 0: Monday 29 May 2006

    Operation was declared underway, when the Domination Guard automobile / bicycle combined arms force broke loose from the associate-EilerBase in Kalamazoo-Michigan. Breakaway occurred late in the day (after suitable summertime family-friendly festivities involving junior associate-Eilers). Operational music "Freedom Rider".

    Given the lateness of the hour, the day's objectives were limited - but easy to achieve. Target Holland-Michigan submitted barracks at "Days-Inn", dinner at "Longnecks", and dessert at "Goog's".

    Holland-Michigan is more industrial-class than tourist-class, at least along "U.S. Highway 31 Bypass" and its approaches along "Michigan State Highway 40". This is highly to be respected, as long as there's something for the visitors to see.

    Day 1: Tuesday 30 May 2006

    Haunted Mansion
    Creepy mansion at a Saugatuck township park. Open Sundays only.
    Breakin at the Township Park
    Other facilities at the Saugatuck township park are self-service and always open. Just mind the broken glass.
    Radar and the Star of Saugatuck
    Saugatuck has a paddle-wheel tour boat and a weather radar.

    A freakish lake-effect thunderstorm has risen to smite Holland-Michigan throughout the morning, while leaving nearby Saugatuck bright and sunny. The Domination armored force therefore moved against Saugatuck.

    Back in Holland, Domination forces had some down time, then (with storms having cleared) mounted up to subjugate dinner by bicycle. New Holland Brewing Company in downtown Holland was the obvious choice. Entirely acceptable.

    Day 2: Wednesday 31 May 2006

    Grand Haven Museum Downtown
    Historical museum in downtown Grand Haven, with plentiful free public parking nearby! The Domination expeditionary vehicles are visible in the background.
    Ludington Historical Village
    Historical village in Ludington. It has everything!
    Death Site of Father Marquette
    The really-maybe-true death site of famous Father Marquette. No, the Indians didn't kill him.

    Domination forces intended to subjugate the Dutch-themed tourist attractions of Holland on the way out of town, but all they saw were heavy traffic and trashy antique malls. Bypassed.

    Instead, up the road, the town of Grand Haven submitted a maritime museum and a town historical museum - both fancy, and free admission! (But leave a donation.)

    Further up the road, the city of Ludington submitted many things:

    It becomes obvious, the forces which drive the Domination of Eiler are not letting up at all since the Day of Glory; they're just aimed at dominating different things than they used to. Like nice sunsets. The Domination plan for this operation will exploit this advantage to the fullest.

    Day 3: Thursday 1 June 2006

    Traverse City Museum Downtown
    Historical museum in downtown Traverse City.
    Petoskey Museum Downtown
    Historical museum in downtown Petoskey. And the Domination's distinctive vehicles are there.
    The Grand Hotel Petoskey
    Grand hotel in downtown Petoskey. Check out the lake view!

    A very useful brew pub map of Michigan was obtained at the Ludington brew pub last night. Traverse City has a brew pub! If Traverse City has anything else to offer, it is probably today's only destination. Rapid deployment mode brought the Domination frontline to downtown Traverse City before noon.

    There was massive resistance from governmental barricades. It's road construction season on U.S. Highway 31.

    Of course, this just made the Domination forces even more eager to break through. This was Charlevoix's loss, because the Domination drove its frontline all the way to Petoskey. Mackinaw City less than one hour away tomorrow.

    Day 4: Friday 2 June 2006

    Colonial and Modern Mackinaw
    Historical fort in Mackinaw City, plus the big bridge between Michigan's two peninsulas.
    Mackinaw Lighthouse and Tour Group
    Historical lighthouse in Mackinaw City, overrun by tour groups. An antique-dressed tour guide is attempting to deal with them.

    The Dominator was the season's first visitor to the Historical Society museum in Petoskey. He gave double the recommended $1 donation, and got a guided tour. Main exhibits: (1) the naming of the town after Indian chief Petoskey - even while local resident General Custer was on campaign in the West, and (2) the extermination of the passenger pigeon, which made their final stand as a species around Petoskey, shortly after General Custer himself was exterminated.

    Then, on to Mackinaw. One more rebellious construction barricade was conquered. In return, the Domination forces sped past the Michigan Fisheries Visitor Center without granting it a visit from the Dominator.

    The Mackinaw region will be crazy this weekend. Besides the usual tourist stuff...

    Given that choice, the Domination of Eiler stands with the bikers.

    Day 5: Saturday 3 June 2006

    Fort Mackinac
    The historic fort, and the local transportation.
    Aww, You Missed the Freighter!
    Authentic fort, right down to the cannons. Aww, they missed the freighter!
    The Grand Hotel Mackinac
    The Fancy Place that everyone talks about here.
    Checkin Line at the Grand Hotel Mackinac
    The checkin line at the Fancy Place on Saturday afternoon.

    Today, Mackinac Island finally submits to the Domination of Eiler! The island has been defiant since 1998, even when all nearby mainland points submitted. But finally a Domination expeditionary force has the time to embark for subjugation.

    All major ferry services to the island charge $20 per person round trip, plus $7 or $7.5 for the Domination's bicycle. Sailings every hour or so, more at the height of summer, less in winter. The "Star Line" ferry was chosen just because it left at 9 am instead of 9:30.

    No cars allowed on the ferry - or the island! Freight is moved by horse-drawn carriage. As a result, the island has many street sweepers.

    The Domination Guard got ahead of a ferry-borne wave of Girl Scouts, and therefore had an extra hour to subdue Fort Mackinac without undue interference. The fort personnel were already bracing for the Girl Scout onslaught.

    Lunch at the conveniently-placed "Sinclair's Irish Pub", then off for a bike ride in the Mackinac Island State Park and environs.

    Grand Hotel Mackinac (where the Detroit mayors are staying) was of course raided during the bicycle exercise. The Domination force amused itself by taking pictures of the line for tourist checkin, while smugly thinking about its already-secure quarters back on the mainland.

    Yes, I'm Sure

    Then, time for refreshment - other than water and lemonade, which the Domination force had already sucked in constantly, at venues down to and including a kids' lemonade stand. But bars here have Happy Hour on Saturday! And many of them are near the same pub as for lunch.

    Oh, let's go catch the ferry, two hours before the last boat out. There's always more fun closer to home. After all, the bikers are still on rally in Mackinaw City!

    Day 6: Sunday 4 June 2006

    It would be a Domination day of rest, except the forces which drive the Domination of Eiler are not relaxing. In fact, it's a full travel day.

    The View in Escanaba
    The best view available from the cheap hotel in Escanaba.
    Lighthouse in Escanaba
    Scenic Escanaba, with the Coast Guard shrine.
    Escanaba Waterfront
    Chicago's rusting hulls are decoration for Escanaba's scenic bike path.

    First, it's time for Kingdom-of-Heaven obeisance. The churches of Mackinaw City put up posters everywhere. So, this being an open-ended vacation, there's really no excuse to miss Sunday morning service. "Church-of-the-Straits" Methodist/Presbyterian church was chosen.

    After that, the Domination crosses over to the Upper Peninsula. Travellers there have a westbound choice of Lake Michigan shore or Lake Superior shore. Lake Superior has more attractions, such as brew pubs and shipwreck museums. But Lake Michigan is more direct and less expensive, therefore chosen.

    Much travelling was done, because there were very few attractions other than trees, sun, southward-facing sandy beaches, and cheap hotels. This should make the area attractive to many citizens, but the Domination is getting overloaded on these.

    Escanaba is strange. Today is a warm sunny summer day, and tourists have been in town all weekend for a big auto show - but local restaurants are missing out on the Sunday brunch trade, and are closed until 4 pm! Now the tourists have left, and the town looks like the neutron bomb went off and left the buildings standing - but the restaurants and coffee shops are opening for Sunday evening!

    Day 7: Monday 5 June 2006

    What Is This, the Junior Ho Chi Minh Trail?
    Escanaba-Michigan: More children than museum to put them in. It's like the Junior Ho Chi Minh Trail.
    Big Church for History Fans
    Menominee-Michigan: Hey Kids, let's stash the next local history in an old Catholic church.
    Eek, Big Fire!
    Peshtigo-Wisconsin: Another popular museum with the children, because a big fire was involved.
    Someone Famous Lived Here
    Oconto-Wisconsin: Another famous house. Way off the travel paths.
    What Can Say More About Green Bay?
    Green Bay-Wisconsin has a historical museum, but that has nothing to do with the exhibit.

    Today: Blitzkrieg! Which is to say, "lightning warfare" (German term) which will subjugate all important resistance while bypassing the unimportant parts.

    If all goes well today, the Domination expeditionary force will make it to within half a day's easy travel of its world headquarters at EilerBase Scumburg - maybe as far as Sheboygan, which has defied the Domination during an earlier operation.

    With that in mind, the Domination's force rolled down the coastline, attacking the local historical societies (the prime target in any town, other than brewpubs) one by one.

    The Domination has evolved a blitzkrieg policy to quickly conquer local museums. Basically, "Artifacts. Check." Then speed-read the placques and learn the story of the town. Then, move on. That policy worked well today - but only to an extent.

    After today's time-consuming Domination Battle of Oconto, it became obvious that today's blitzkrieg would not go as far as Sheboygan's attractions. But Green Bay-Wisconsin is still within range for Domination. And it seems Green Bay has a historical museum, a brewpub, and a choice of hotels - all within easy walking distance of each other!

    And that's about it for tonight. Five towns and their museums have been toured today - not counting where the museums were closed! The Domination forces are just too tired for anything else, partcularly barhopping.

    Day 8: Tuesday 6 June 2006

    The Bold Look of Kohler... Toilets
    The Bold Look of Kohler, as exemplified by toilets.
    Sheboygan Historical Buildings
    Some of the historical buildings of Sheboygan. Note the "CostCo" in the background.

    Domination day of rest. Besides, it's raining. One could go see things and still easily get home today, but let's keep today even easier than that.

    Technically, Green Bay-Wisconsin submitted to the Domination of Eiler in 2001. In that year, a Domination armored force crossed Green Bay on the way to subdue Door County-Wisconsin. In Green Bay, one gift shop and one sports pub submitted then.

    Now, at last, the Domination of Eiler has occupied Green Bay for an evening, which is much different than just passing through. There are some other attractions here, but these will be bypassed.

    Instead, on to Sheboygan / Kohler.

    Day 9: Wednesday 7 June 2006

    Okay, the operation is not quite open-ended. The allies back in the Core Territories of Illinois are crying out for the return of Domination. That's because they like to party on Thursday nights, and the Domination of Eiler is always good for a party.

    But a week and a half has more than sufficed to drive around Lake Michigan. The Domination once circumnavigated the Gulf of St. Lawrence and conquered Labrador in that time. More recently, Brazil was conquered in that amount of time. For the Lap Around Lake Michigan, the forces are coming home a day early. From Sheboygan, the Domination forces will go into rapid deployment mode and get home in three hours.

    Ribbon of Domination

    This operation shows these magnificent signs of success:

    Domination of Eiler forces return triumphant as ever, all praise to the One Maker.

    (signed) Dominator S. Eiler, Fist of the One Maker, for the Domination of Eiler.

    The Domination of Eiler believes in free sharing of information. But if you wish to reproduce significant parts of the commentary within, or the photos (which are what everyone seems to want to see), be aware that they are © copyright 2007 by Eiler Technical Enterprises. And have a niiiice daay.