90. A Big, Bold, Beautiful Mistake.
This colorful sign commemorates the spectacular failure known as Clinton-Kalamazoo Canal. The ambitious plan was to dig a horse-drawn freight and passenger waterway spanning the state (map here). Unfortunately it was such an engineering and financial debacle that the project halted after just 13 miles (full story here). But then Michigan did something wonderful. It created gorgeous parks in some of the areas. Parks that I played in as a kid and hiked in as an adult. So for me, the takeaway is this: Some places (and people) are embarrassed and secretive about their mistakes. Others commemorate their failures because they were lessons needed to create something wonderful. I hope someday I can be as courageous as Michigan so that others can learn from my big, bold, beautiful mistakes.
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