Thursday, November 08, 2018

Sweet Justice in the Upper Peninsula

I had some righteous business to attend at the courthouse in Iron Mountain, Michigan. The arm of Milito justice is long indeed!

Did some blog writing with my free time on the plane. These are some artisan, handcrafted words you're reading right now.

Oh this old thing? It's just a pen I picked up at the Conrad Hotel in Cairo, Egypt. It overlooked the Nile. It's not a big deal.

The plane bathroom had funny fake Delta family photos on the walls. This is truly some hard hitting journalism.

I arrived late enough that all of the rental car places were closed. So I stayed at a crap hotel near the Milwaukee airport and went back and grabbed a car in the morning.

I was thinking about how much more horrible this trip would become if I got snowed in.

So after 2 flights I still was a 3.5 hour drive away from dealing out sweet justice in Iron Mountain.

It was pretty desolate country up there.

Once arrived in Iron Mountain I was on the hunt for some local cuisine. Lucky for me I was in pasty country. Long time readers may recall that I first encountered the pasty from whence it came: Cornwall County, England. At the time I described it as "basically a hot pocket that doesn't make your stomach sad" and I think I will stand by those profound words.

So Cornwall was full of miners and they ran out of things to mine, so they migrated. You may be shocked to learn that Iron Mountain, Michigan had a few things that needed mining. So some of those Cornish dudes settled in the area and brought their delicious Hot Pockets with them. And the rest is history.

This sign was so fun. Not only does it explain how to pronounce "pasty", but it refers to them as Yooper food.

As you can see from the map, Iron Mountain is in Upper Peninsula Michigan, or UP for short. So Yooper describes someone from the UP. I thought that was kind of fun.

The ladies at Jean Kay's had delightful northern accents with plenty of "eh"s for me to enjoy. Eh.

I went with the classic steak and potatoes with rutabaga. It was fantastic.

While I waited for my hearing I did some paper copying at the Dickinson County Library.

It was a cute little library. I had to give them my driver's license to get this internet access placard thing.

I then headed over to the Dickinson County Courthouse. There was a Michigan Historic Site sign out front:

Dickinson County

In 1873, John Lane Buell exposed one of the richest deposits of iron ore in the world. His discovery, known as the Menominee Iron Range, led to the development of the area and the subsequent creation of Dickinson County in 1891. The last of Michigan's eighty-three counties to be organized, it was named for Donald M. Dickinson, a prominent Detroit attorney and postmaster general in the first administration of President Grover Cleveland (1885-1889). Three of Michigan's largest iron mines were located in Iron Mountain, which had an abundant supply of water power and was served by two major railroads. Iron Mountain became a center of commerce and distribution for the range and was the natural location for the county seat once the county organized.

It was fake lawyering time!

Needless to say I had no idea what the hell I was doing. I'd never talked to a judge in court before and it was pretty terrifying. The courtroom seating was very pew-like. It was kind of like being in church except that the potential punishments for misbehavior were very real. I mostly recall uttering a string of "yes your honor" and "no your honor" and then it was over. The first hearing was over. I then realized I was going to have to make this journey at least two more times before this quest was completed.

Welp. Back to Wisconsin!

I stayed the night at the Milwaukee Athletic Club. It was a pretty nice place downtown and didn't cost too much. I was amused because their little "m" symbol was the exact same as the Missouri Athletic Club in downtown St. Louis. It's such a snooty place that I hadn't realized that it was a chain. 

I decided to check out what this fellow beer town had to offer with a little bar hopping.

I started off real with a visit to Jackson's Blue Ribbon Pub, located in the historic Pabst Brewery.

I was hanging out with Matt Iseman, host of American Ninja Warrior just last week so when it popped onto the tv at the bar I was very amused.

I asked "what's the most Wisconsin food you serve at this joint?" and they pointed me to the fried cheese curds with buffalo sauce on the side. They were very rich. I couldn't finish the whole basket.

Next I went to Wolski’s Tavern located on Milwaukee’s lower east side. The place has been open since 1908 and seems to have a local cult following. I didn't really get what all the fuss was about. It was pretty much a neighborhood bar. 

They did have a fun little gimmick: "We’ve become known for our “I Closed Wolski’s” bumper stickers, which end up posted all over the world. Stickers are earned, not purchased, and require a late night at the bar." I had more hopping to do and so was not the recipient of any bumper ornamentation.

Other bars were also in attendance. I don't know. I had a hoot.

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