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sledding

Greetings from Mancelona, MI

It's been great. I thought to myself yesterday, "I'm having too much fun; this is not fair. Others are working and suffering, and I'm living it up."

Sunday, it was a pontoon boat ride with some friends of my mom on Clam Lake and Torch Lake.

Yesterday I spent the morning on my bike. (If your not from Mancelona, you may want to skip this paragraph.) It's a Raleigh mountain bike, a few years old, with knobby tires and shocks in the front. Perfect for the roads I've been riding, mostly paved, but a lot of gravel and some two-tracks. I headed down airport road, took a left on Simpson Rd, took that to Schuss Mt. Road, hung a right, looked at the golfers, then right again on Cedar River Drive. Over a hill or two and I'm into the woods on the one-lane sandy road. This stretch is one of my favorite places to bike in the world. You emerge from the woods in a beautiful spot where the river runs under the road through big culverts. I proceeded to climb the hill and then shot across over to North Maple. From there I made my way back into town, then crossed 131, passed the renegade Catholic church (where they say mass in Latin), Moeke's lumber yard, then climbed Lesher Hill on Valley Road. I went back towards town on C-38, and took a left in order to go down Lesher Hill on the sandy two-track. That's exciting. At the bottom of the hill I took a right and was back in town.

To cool down, I went swimming with my daughter in the neighbors' pool. Soon my old friend Barry showed up, having driven up from Grand Rapids; and then my brother. It was time to head out to Kenny's for a rock 'n' roll jam session! Jim Dandy, Kenny, Barry and I had a tight little rock band back around 1980 called Lyzzy Bordyn. I believe the last time we played together was in December of 1981 or January of 1982. Anyway, almost 30 years ago.

We picked up some brews and hit the road. We sounded pretty good too, with my brother playing some nice rhythm guitar. We remembered some of the tunes we used to do: a couple of Ted Nugent numbers, some AC/DC, a few originals, and then we just made up some stuff. We had a ball, and it was a great afternoon, in the back yard under the shade trees, and we mixed our rock 'n' roll with chit chat and, as Barry would say, "strolls down amnesia lane." If we do this again, hopefully Jim Dandy will be able to make it. I hate to say it, but this was made possible by Facebook.

I hope to have some images up on Mondo Marco within the next few days.

This morning my brother and I took a bike ride, down to Antrim, then out on Elder Road to Grass Lake. After a quick look at the lake (which, amazingly, is completely undeveloped ... I always thought the word should be "exploited" rather than "developed") we got back on our bikes and took the one-lane sandy road through the woods. I could fly down the bumpy roads because my bike has good tires and shock absorbers, but poor Steve had to inch along, because he was riding my late dad's Schwinn cruiser. We passed Chapman Cemetery on the right and took a left on Lake of the Woods Road. When we got to Leonard Rd. we turned left and headed back to Antrim.

Two awesome bike rides in two days. Fields of scattered pines and lavender-colored thistles. Decrepit yet picturesque old farms. Trailers with a pick-up truck in the front and the dogs out back. Forests of hardwoods and ferns. All this and almost no traffic at all. Antrim County is a biking paradise.

Tomorrow will be our last day, and Thursday we'll start the long drive back to Carolina.

Comments

Thanks

I was able to follow your bike ride every mile and remember the back roads and 2 tracks even better. haha
Amazing how much of that hasn't changed a bit, isn't it?!
Something to be said for a dead little town I guess.
I miss it quite a bit. A nice place to get away from but a comforting place to try to return to. (for me)
I look forward to your pics. Hopefully you got some obscure back-road shots I may recognize.

(Anonymous)

Re: Thanks

I think I might have a couple shots from a third bike ride this morning that would make a nice quiz! - Mark
sledding

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