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Mancelona Trip (II)

It was looking like it might rain, the sky gray, a few drops falling. I was really looking forward to the bike ride ... what the heck, I'll take my chances. I packed myself a little picnic (saussison, vin rouge, pain et de l'eau) and set off.

Out to Valley Road, past Moeke's Lumber, up Lesher Hill the back way. Then across C-38 to fly down the sandy two-track that comes out behind Pumphouse Pond. I've got hybrid tires on my mountain bike, not too good in the soft sand, but a good choice, given the road miles. Came out on Elder Road, through Antrim (past where the Iron Works were in the old days) and on out to Grass Lake where I followed a trail along the bank and had a nice picnic sitting on a fallen tree and looking out over the water. I'm glad to see that the small lake has escaped development.

By this time the sun had come out and it was turning into a lovely day. Back on the bike, I had a nice ride down Elder Road, flying through the woods, and using speed to help me get through the soft sand. I took a break at the Chapman Cemetery in Custer Township. Some familiar Mancelona names there: Chapman, Orman, Spires. Here are some graves that I visited:

Napoleon B. Barnes

Ida M. Ricksgers

Alice J. Elliott

Beneath her name was an inverted star; between its points the letters O, E, S ...

Ricky D. Windish

"Trucking was my life. Remember me by my smile & I will always be there."

My favorite was Sammy Wayne King. Around his grave rocks were shaped into a heart, and there was a little side stone that said, "Friends welcome, family by appointment."

On Charles Thrasher's tombstone (1956-1995) there is a truck above and a guitar below.

The oldest grave I found was that of Chas. B. Turk, "Died Dec. 20, 1892 / aged 45 ys, 5 ms, 4 ds / to live in hearts we leave behind is not to die." Interesting that you have to do the math to get his date of birth. It would be May 16, 1847, right?

There were some seemingly Jewish surnames (Baby Julia Ebenstein, 1923-1925 ... "We miss you") and Zimmerman.

After that break I rode to Lake of the Woods, where I did a little skinny dippin'. There was a guy going back and forth in a little sailboat, but I don't believe he paid any attention to me.

I don't recall any so-called "development" on that lake when I was a kid.

I found a small styrofoam container:

24 Large Canadian Night Crawlers
Contents not for human consumption

I saw a deer.

I rode past the little cabin where Jim Dandy used to live. The junk yard from across the road has spread there and there are wrecked cars parked around the cabin.

Next, I rode up to Shanty Creek, took a right on Schoolcraft road, and had a great ride on a two track down to Cedar River ... through the woods just outside the golf course. I coulda' snuck onto the fairway and played a mean joke on Chip and Mike, snatching up their golf ball, and stealing off once again into the woods (I would only think of it). I rode fast down to Cedar River, then climbed the hill and coasted into Mancelona.

A nice ride.


Brave man of Mancelona, strong man and sure...

Very descriptive. I know and can picture every road and trail you mentioned. That is also quite a haul. (at least for me.) I feel all accomplished if I bike to the supermarket. My town is on a hill side that basically slopes down to the ocean, and the supermarket is at the top. haha
But, it mostly sounds like it was an ideal day of being alone with your memories in the home town outskirts. Memories of back in the day where if you wanted to go to those places, it had to be on your bike.
Very cool. Thanx for the memories.

Re: Brave man of Mancelona, strong man and sure...

Thanks, Jimm!

Yeah! it was one of three rides I did while there. One day I rode to Bellaire. Another day I got dropped in Elmira and rode back through the Jordan river valley. Good rides all. So, your town is on the ocean?

Re: Brave man of Mancelona, strong man and sure...

On Penobscot Bay, to be precise. Still, it's ocean water with no land on the horizon.

re Mancelona trip

I cant believe you didnt stop in...you passed us all by...dana lives on elder road....but marna karen and myself are still here on Lescher hill.
Hope on your next journey down memory lane (roads) that you will STOP and see us....????

Re: re Mancelona trip

Next time, I promise. Probably in December. My bad.


OES means "Order of Eastern Star"; Mrs. Skinner belonged to that group.
Eggplant sliced into slabs and grilled with olive oil and salt until almost mushy. MMM
Heard part of your show July 29 because I didn't play at church that day...webcam gives a good shot of your bald spot!!!


Hey Marie,

Do you know anything about that group? What it was all about?

April 2018



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