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Greetings from Mancelona, MI

I came up to Michigan for the Bootsy Collins concert in Detroit, which I attended with my brother and Maya. That was a lot of fun. We took advantage of the fact that we were in Detroit to visit the Institute of the Arts, where, among other things, we saw the Diego Rivera murals. Both the concert and the museum deserve entries of their own.

Here in Mancelona, the weather has been lovely, Heather. I'm talking low to mid seventies and sunny. I took my new bike out for ride. My summer bike rides here have become something of a ritual. I'll describe today's route for the benefit of any Mancetuckians out there who might want to take a stroll down Amnesia Lane:

From the northwest corner of town, Kresnak Road to Johnson Road. Right on Johnson to Simpson Road. Left to take Simpson Road out to Schuss Mt. Right on Schuss Mountain Road down to Cedar River Drive. Then past a couple of A-frames and a gingerbread house to where the enchanted bit starts. Through the woods as fast as my forty-nine year-old legs can push me to the other side, where the road crosses Cedar River, a quintessential Mancelona sight. Then up the hill, breathing regularly and tacking back and forth to make the climb easier. Cruise to what I think is Zipp School Road, by the airport. Then a quarter mile over to North Maple, down to Scholl Road, and over to M-66. There I stopped at the BP. A guy with a shaved head pulled up behind me on a Harley as I was leaning my bike against a pole. He greeted the old man who was exiting the store:

OLD MAN: How are you doing?
BALD GUY: Couldn't be better if I had a blond! Or two of them, because they're small.

I couldn't resist adding: A blond hair or two?

I like the new bike. It has big wheels, a low low gear and a high high gear, meaning you can go fast when it's flat or downhill, and you can climb hills easily. I'd say the ride today was about 14 or 15 miles, on all sorts of surfaces: paved, gravel, and sand.

At the gas station I bought a Labatt Blue Light tall boy to accompany the bologna sandwich that I had in my bag. Delicious. I got back on my bike and exited the station on the M-66 side. When I got the the junction with US-131, the motorcycle guy rode by and waved. I crossed 131 and took a left in order to climb Lescher Hill the back way on Valley Road. When I got to the top, I took a right on C-38, then a left on Soderquist road. Before turning a scooter rode by. They tooted the horn and the girl on the back in a bikini top waved to me. I took a right on the two-track to go down the hill and back into town. Before the descent I stopped and had my picnic. I saw a tree that had engulfed some barbed wire, it looked like it had barbed wire stabilizers growing out of its trunk down to the ground. I had a hard time going down the hill because of the soft sand and the smoothness of my tires. I remember I used to ride as fast as I could down this hill just for thrills. No longer; I guess I'm getting on in years.

I'll cook for my mom and Walter this evening.



Thanks for the bike ride. I remember the route well. I stomped them grounds many a time back in the day.
I'll bet Cedar River hasn't changed a bit. (I hope.)

October 2019



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