Detroit and Auto Assembly

SHHorse

Sue with the Leonardo Da Vince Horse at Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids. A great stop on the way back

When we arrived at Muskegon we checked the weather and decided the boat would stay there for several days at the least. I finished writing the posts up to the day after arriving at Muskegon (Sunday 23), but we decided to leave for Detroit that day. I could not finish and post this several other entries with pictures until we returned yesterday.

Some of our last minute trips could be better planned. We arrived in Detroit and had all of Monday to take in the sights. We forgot that most museums, and certainly all museums in downtown Detroit, were closed on Monday. That left everything else to see, which in Detroit turns out to be not very much. We saw the Guardian building and Renaissance Center, General Motors headquarters. We rode the People Mover and visited the whole block long single street that made up Greektown.

While interesting, Downtown Detroit is certainly not a tourist destination. Tuesday morning we left our hotel and went to the Henry Ford museum in Dearborn. This really was worth seeing. We met Marty and Cheryl there and took the Ford Rouge factory tour with them. Auto assembly plants were the main thing I came east to see and we got a good several hour tour watching various places along the assembly line from a catwalk above as Ford F250 pickups were assembled by people and robots.

SHGMotors

GM Headquarters. Interesting if the museums aren’t open.

That night we stayed with Marty and Cheryl up near Flint. The next day we woke determined to see another car factory. While theoretically other tours were available, Marty had made a number of calls at various factories and could never connect with anyone. Since there was a large GM plant that assembled pickups in Flint we just went there to see what might happen. In an employee parking lot we asked a few questions and were directed to another area to try our luck.

We went in and talked to the security guard at the desk. No organized tours there, but she did make a call and Debbie came out. Debbie did take groups on tours occasionally and had nothing pressing at the moment. By chance someone visiting from Aruba walked in then and wanted a tour as well. He had just bought a new GMC pickup. When Marty said he owns a fairly new Chevrolet pickup Debbie thought we deserved a tour and gave us a great one for several hours right on the factory floor. It stretched past lunch hour when many of the line workers ate lunch right there, so we could ask them questions as we went by. This was better than the previous tour. We saw everything but the painting, a robotic operation where no one goes in. Sorry no pictures. They were not allowed.

It was nice of them to do that for us even though the guard noticed that I drove us there in a Hyundai, the only non GM car in the lot. I explained it was a rental for which I had no choice, and was graciously let off the hook. We were wondering about the other guy. Where would he drive a heavy duty pickup in Aruba?

SHMartyCheryl

With Marty, Cheryl, their daughter Kendra and her two sons in Davison.

We stayed another night with Marty and Cheryl and had a great time getting to know them and some of their kids who we had heard about over the years. We left Thursday and visited the Meijer gardens, and the Costco, in Grand Rapids on our way back to the boat.

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3 thoughts on “Detroit and Auto Assembly

  1. Sheri Carlberg says:

    Hi, Jack and Sue! Thanks for the update on your travels! Sounds like you found the best Detroit has to offer. Beautiful pictures, too. Love that equine sculpture.

    Like

  2. Pingback: Back to Chesapeake | Jack & Sue

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