The main goal of Saturday’s ride (6 August 2016) was to get in a ride of at least 80 miles. I hadn’t had a ride of that length since May 2014. I had done a 71 mile ride on Wednesday, so was eager to extend my range now that I was getting used to longer rides again. Also, I was nostalgic for the sight of my odometer running up numbers like that.
I also visited some township halls. I added two new ones to my list: Jefferson Township and Wright Township in Hillsdale County, Michigan. The latter is located in Waldron, a village I had never visited before, in the southeast corner of Hillsdale County, near the state line with Ohio. So there was that to look forward to as well.
The map above shows the day’s route. I traveled from northwest to southeast, and had the wind more or less in my favor the entire way.
The first photo stop was at the Albion Township Hall, at the 39 mile point. When I got there I realized I realized I had already visited and photographed that one two years ago. I took a couple of photos anyway.
After leaving the Albion Township Hall, I rode a couple miles further east, and then headed south on Van Wert Road. At this point I was finally on a road I had never ridden on before. Any ride that includes a bit of road I have never seen before is a success, if only for that reason.
Where Van Wert Road crosses M-60, a few miles east of Homer, there there is a big Brembo manufacturing plant. (The internet tells me Brembo is an Italian manufacturer of high-end disk brakes.) It may be that construction of this plant was just about to get started when I rode to this site, or one near here, many years ago. I remember huge stacks of pipes lying around, making it look like some type of construction was coming up. Maybe it was at this place.
From the Brembo location I continued south. I was still in Calhoun County when I stopped in the shade near a residence to check my maps to figure out which way to proceed. A man, probably the owner of the house, was in his vehicle in his driveway and wanted to talk. I was by that time tired and and starting to feel a little time pressure, so maybe wasn’t as sociable as I could have been. He asked where I was headed, and I told him Waldron. He had to think about where that was. Southeast of Hillsdale, I told him. He thought a bit, and then remembered he had been there once. “There’s not much there,” he told me.
All I needed, though, was a township hall.
I decided to continue south and then take the state highway between Litchfield and Jonesville. I’ve already ridden that road many times and would have liked to explore some other roads for variety, but at this point I needed to save time. Also, I could get a quick bite to eat in Jonesville.
From Jonesville I headed south on the east side of the St. Joseph River. At one point I was surprised to see myself practically next to the Hillsdale College administration building. When our youngest attended school there, I usually approached the campus from the west. It looked a lot nicer from this side, I thought.
But I didn’t stop there for photos. I kept moving until I reached Osseo, where the Jefferson Township Hall is located. The above photo is of a building just to the north of the Township building.
After leaving Osseo I rode along M-34 for a ways, and then headed south along the Pittsford State Game Area. Here there were mild hills, shade, and very low traffic. I had ridden to Osseo before, but now I was definitely in new country.
At the intersection of Squawfield Road and South Waldron Road I looked at my map and saw that I was next to the St Joseph of the Maumee River, so took a photo of the bridge on the other side of the intersection. Actually, I had already crossed that river a couple of times since leaving Hillsdale. I also saw that there was a historical marker of some kind on the other side of the road, behind the stop sign, but contrary to my usual practice, I didn’t stop for it. It looked like it might be about the Native Americans of this area, but I left it for another time. Maybe it will give me a reason for coming this way again sometime.
The final six miles to Waldron were on level ground, and the wind was still in my favor. I can’t say this flat country in the Maumee River drainage is my favorite, but it was refreshing to be in this kind of country again for the first time this year .
Despite what I had been told by the guy back on Van Wert Road, there was more to Waldron than I had expected. It’s a village of 500 or 600 people, and included a BP station where I could end my ride. I even had to look around a bit to find the township hall, which is actually a combined Wright-Waldron municipal building, for both the township and the village. The bell in the photo looks like it might be one that once stood on top of a two-story Wright-Waldron fire station, pictured on a history web page for the Wright-Waldron Fire and Ambulance Service.
The building across the street looks like it may once have been a hotel or boarding house. Now that I’ve been there, I’ll see what I can learn about the place and its history.
Total mileage for the day: 84. YTD mileage: 1653.