Then there was the two-mile long runway at the local airport. Why would a small community need a runway designed to handle the largest airplanes made?
|An airport with a two-mile long runway in a small town|
The answer came soon enough as one of the visitors camping in this municipal campground said that he used to serve on Kencheloe Air Force Base and lived in the base trailer park for enlisted men, which was exactly where the campground is now.
|The sign at Kinross RV Park|
A quick Google search found that Kencheloe was an artifact of the Cold War. The U.S. kept B-52 bombers in the air 24/7 during that time. The B-52s and the refueling planes flying over the Atlantic Ocean were out of Kencheloe. One wing of aircraft would stay aloft for 24 hours then it would land and the ground support crew had 24 hours to fix any problems while the other wing was in the air.
The cycle repeated every 48 hours. And yes, the B-52s were armed with nuclear weapons.
The base closed in 1977 and federal government gave it to the State of Michigan. The state came up with an novel plan to use the land and buildings that used to be Kencheloe Air Force Base. Why not string Concertina wire around everything and turn it into a state prison?
More than 1,000 "guests" of the State live behind the bars and fences that now enclose the former base. After looking around the campground, it became apparent that the prison is the town's main industry and that it was on three sides of the campground.
|Old Kencheloe Air Force Base buildings now serving as a prison|
We occasionally heard gunfire while in this park. The seasonal campers in the park said we shouldn't worry because some hunters were in the woods looking for wild turkeys. Still, it was unnerving to hear gunshots so close to a prison.
|Rosie parked in Kinross RV Park|
When we called for reservations, we were told to simply drive to the park and select a site. That made sense when we arrived. This is a large park with little chance of it filling up.
Here are some specifics about this park:
- Our site had 20 and 30 amp electrical service
- Our site had a water connection with good pressure
- Our site had a sewer connection
- There was one bathhouse serving the campground. It was clean and had plenty of hot water for the showers.
- We had to use a leveling tool to correct a slight lean.
- The park did not provide WiFi service
- AT&T placed a strong 4G signal for voice and data over the park.
- This was a pet friendly park
- We were able to see ABC, CBS, NBC and Global Network from Canada. The only digital channel we saw was Comet.
|Lighthouse at the Great Lakes Ship Wreck Museum|
|A quick lunch at Brown Fisheries Fish House in Paradise, Michigan, featuring whitefish|
|Searching for rocks along the shore of Lake Superior|
|Visiting Tequendama Falls|