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Week of February 16, 2020 | View the Map

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Holy Idaho! Our blog readers are smart. Nearly everyone knew that Detroit was known as a major manufacturer of automobiles. When we arrived earlier today, Uncle GT had sent a copy of the newspaper (with Louie on the cover) to our hotel room. Louie was at the Ford Motor Company building. We are going there tomorrow. They are already closed for the day. We have been learning about this big, busy Michigan city. We have included a map below. Can you figure out the cardinal direction we traveled from Phoenix to Michigan? What states do you think we flew over on our flight? Trace it with your finger.

Detroit is actually the largest city in the state of Michigan. It is a port city on the Detroit River. It seems like a lot of large cities are also port cities. Why do you suppose that is? Holy Idaho! Did you know that Detroit is the only city in the United States that is due north of Canada? Detroit is north of Windsor, Ontario (Canada). That is crazy. I always thought that Canada was north of the United States, but Detroit is actually north of part of Canada. Look at the map! Did you know that Canada was on the same continent as the United States? The continent is North America. Do you know the third-largest continent in the world is North America? What do you think is the largest continent in the world?

Detroit is known as the automobile capital of the world but also for inventing the "Motown" sound. So they are well known for their music also. We are going to see if we can find a sample of Motown music to put in our blog. There are a TON of automobile manufacturers here in Detroit. I read there are over 4,000 factories in Detroit. I wonder if those are all automobile factories. Either way, that is A LOT of factories! Detroit is known as the home to the "Big Three" automobile companies: Chrysler, General Motors, and Ford. Some people call it a "Rust Belt" city. Where do you suppose that term came from?

In 2009, the United States experienced a recession in the economy. Have you ever heard the word recession? Simply put, it is a decline in the economy, so fewer things are sold, less is bought, jobs are often lost, and trade with other countries slows down. In April of 2009, Detroit had an unemployment rate of around 13%. By July of 2009, the unemployment rate was up to 28%! Holy Idaho! I guess that means that 28 out of every hundred of the people in Detroit didn't have jobs. That is a lot of people; basically 1 out of every 4 people didn't have a job. What happens to businesses when people around them do not have jobs? Although Detroit has seen a lot of improvement since then, it still struggles to catch up with other larger cities.

It is really cold up here in Detroit at this time of the year. We have even seen some snow, which is nice because we don't see that in Phoenix. I am glad we ran home for a day to get some winter clothing! The climate in Detroit is known as a continental climate. This climate experiences all four seasons and is found in the interior (the middle) of major continents, away from the ocean. Winter is generally long and cold. Detroit experiences rain, snow, freezing rain, and sleet in the winter. The average snowfall is around 45 inches. Holy Idaho! That is nearly four feet of snow! Summer is warm and humid. Fall and Spring are both moderate. They have a very different climate in Detroit than we have in Phoenix.

     - Meri

Detroit during the day

Detroit during the night


Video of Motown Music
If your school allows YouTube, check out this site that shares several pieces of Motown Music.


Map of Detroit (and Canada)
Can you figure out the cardinal direction we traveled from Phoenix to Michigan? What states do you think we flew over on our flight?


Today we went to the Ford Motor Company, where Louie spoke on Tuesday (it was in Wednesday's paper). The gentleman we spoke with wasn't sure If Louie was still in Detroit or not. He did tell us that Louie said he was on his way to a vacation home that he hasn't visited in a while, a home on a "chain of islands." We know it isn't Hawaii. Where else in the United States has a chain of islands? The gentleman told us that Louie intended to stop in the "plains" states on his way to his vacation home. Louie told him that he wanted to research ways to use energy more efficiently in the plains (wind or solar power, for example). How will we know where to begin? First, we have to figure out WHERE the "plains" states are. We are going to research this and will be back as soon as we figure this one out.

Email from Pandora: Hey guys, do you miss me yet? I wanted to tell you that a man named Louie called here for you. He thought you were still at home. He told me to tell you that he spoke to GT and trusts you now. He said he was sorry about the way he acted after he saw you with Mike. Who is Mike?

This is excellent news. Now hopefully Louie will call us soon. If not, I guess we can call GT to get his cell number again. I hope we can meet up with him in the plain states.

     - Geo

A postcard from Ford Motor Company

My (Geo) dream car that we saw on display today! http://www.flickr.com/photos/adakkak/ / CC BY 2.0

Our guess to where MANY donated cars end up http://www.flickr.com/photos/bobjagendorf/ / CC BY 2.0

Friday Night

We called Uncle GT to get Louie's cell number. When we called Louie, it went directly to voicemail and explained that he was in the northernmost plains state investigating wind power. So Geo and I left a message requesting that he text us his exact map coordinates. Hopefully we can use our map reading skills to find him. I hope he texts soon! We also researched the "plains" states and learned they are usually referred to as the Great Plains. The Great Plains includes parts of several states in the United States: Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Wyoming, Texas, South Dakota, Oklahoma, North Dakota, Nebraska, and New Mexico. Holy Idaho! The Great Plains includes parts of 10 states, out of the total of 50 states in the U.S.! We included a map of the Great Plains below. Uncle GT said Louie's credit card purchases show he is most likely in the state of Nebraska, South Dakota, or Montana. Take a look at the map of the United States, and help us figure out which state is the furthest NORTH.

     - Meri

The fog today.

Beautiful picture of the water surrounding Detroit.


Map of Great Plains
This map shows the Great Plains states, but doesn\\\'t have any state names listed. It gives you a great visual of where the great plains are located. If you need help, refer to the map below that includes the names on the map.


Map of the USA
Here is a map with all of the names of the states, if you need help to read the other map (of the Great Plains).

Tell Geo and Meri what to do:

- Should we go to the northernmost state Nebraska?

- Should we go to the northernmost state South Dakota?

- Should we go to the northernmost state Montana?



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