May 222014

Intersection of Stow and Sober Roads

Which way to go?  I was in the middle of a three day ride to Port Huron, but for the past several miles on gravel roads didn’t have any of the old Universal Maps that show paved roads.  Google didn’t know paved from gravel, so was no use finding my way back to pavement.   It’s not that the gravel was hard to ride on.  It had rained heavily the day before, but there was only one place where I had to negotiate between puddles.   The surfaces were otherwise firm.  It was not too difficult to navigate between and around the pitted areas, and I was making decent time.  At this intersection I made a wild guess, and continued on my way north.

Methodist Church in Nicholson

I took a right turn at the next section corner, then a mile later came upon this old Methodist church.  Even though it’s boarded up, it has a nice, new-looking metal roof.  So maybe somebody has plans for it.  I tried to learn a little of its history but with no luck so far.  However, I have now learned from Universal Maps that this gravel road crossing had a name: Nicholson.

From here it was only a mile back to pavement.  Later in the day, south of Flint, I found myself on some paved roads with potholes and heavy traffic that I would gladly have traded for the gravel roads I encountered early in the day.

The route for the three days is shown here.  Day 1, to Williamston: 69 miles.  Day 2, to Denison: 63 miles.  Day 3, to Port Huron: 88.5 miles.  The wind was at my back the first two days, but shifted to the south the afternoon of the 3rd.  I made the smart move of getting in a bunch of my miles to the south early in the afternoon, before the wind got stronger.

The 3rd day I did visit some sites connected to the Black Hawk war.  But there are others I didn’t have time to get to, and probably quite a few I don’t even know about yet.  So maybe my first ride to Port Huron won’t have to be my last.

YTD mileage: 644.5

Clark Brody, Cooperative Extension, and the Farm Bureau

Clark Brody, Cooperative Extension, and the Farm Bureau

This photo was taken on an April 26 ride to Fabius Township in St Joseph County, Michigan. The  property on the left (west) side of the road once belonged to Clark Brody’s grandfather.  Brody himself ended up with part of his grandfather’s property,  though as far as I know, not this parcel. I also have [...]

Illinois militia veterans

Illinois militia veterans

In preparation for an upcoming ride I’m trying to learn more about a Michigan man who went to Illinois to serve in the Black Hawk war. From the way it’s told in the county histories, it isn’t clear whether he served in the regular army or in a militia. Usually it was local citizens who served in local militias, but lots of things are possible.

Lemuel Bolter's Pension

Lemuel Bolter’s Pension

A recent story in the Wall Street Journal about the last remaining person still receiving a Civil War pension (“Still Paying for the Civil War: Veterans’ Benefits Live On Long After the Bullets Stop“) reminded me to go back into my old photo collection to find the above one taken in 2008 at Shavehead Cemetery [...]

Prairies in Burlington Township

Prairies in Burlington Township

Last Tuesday afternoon I rode to the southwest part of Calhoun County to look at a couple of small prairies that had escaped my attention until now.  This photo was taken towards the east end of one of the two prairies, on M-60, just before I reached the village of Burlington.  The green pushpin marks [...]