Last Friday evening, I put my fleece jacket on and headed down the shoreline to Colonial Fort Michilimackinac for an evening of mayhem . I had no idea what this was about, but I wanted to find out.
The evening was very fall like with winds blowing out of the northwest at 25-30 m.p.h. I thought that once I got into the fort that the walls would protect me. I was so wrong. A costumed interpreter met us and guided us into various buildings and told us stories of actual events that took place over 200 years ago. He lead us into the winter barracks where the room gave every indication of winter. Over the intercom the sound of a blustery winter wind could be heard. When I stepped outside the barracks, I thought that it was a miracle these early soldiers and settlers survived. I could not imagine being locked in a small room, all winter with no heat, running water and very poor food quality. I also felt sorry for the soldiers that were on guard duty. In my mind I was trying to phantom being a soldier on guard duty on a blustery winter night in January. The winter uniforms were probably not warm enough to combat the stiff, north winds and snow. Then retreating to my quarters that were not very warm. There were four men to a bunk with one blanket for them to share. No one went anywhere because there was no place to go. The nearest fort was Fort Detroit and that was 400 miles away. Once here, you were stuck.
I stood in the middle of the fort grounds and marveled at the ingenuity and perseverance of the settlers and soldiers. Yes, I was cold. But nothing like the cold experienced by the soldiers.
I walked back to the motel along the shoreline and it was alright that the wind was blowing hard and chilling me. I knew that I would be at the motel where I could get warm and we have more than one blanket.