Me: “So is it anywhere we’ve been before?”
Bill: “I’ll tell you where if you really want to know..”
Me: “Nah, that’s okay..”
Saturday, May 5th, we’re sitting around a backyard campfire after a day of yard work that turned into completely changing the brick path which was the route from our garage to patio, in addition to moving wheelbarrow after wheelbarrow of pond pebbles. Tomorrow we would embark on another road trip, one where we pick a direction and go. Since I chose the route last weekend, this time it was Bill’s, and he was keeping it a surprise.
A friend recently asked me if this was our Sunday thing, and it actually hasn’t been, but I think she was onto something. We woke to partly cloudy skies and got on the road about 9am, which turned out to be at first, our familiar route out to the Irish Hills area, I-275 to 94 west to 23 south to US 12 past Saline, and Clinton. Just past the Irish Hills Towers, we turned south onto Springville Hwy, several miles of winding curves through a residential area with its own private lake. Continuing past M-50, Springville turns to dirt at Slee Rd. so we took a right and headed west again towards Onsted. I remembered Slee Rd. as this is where the sports complex is that we come for the Snowmobile Grass Drags in October.
Slee Rd. continues on past fields and farms, and ends at US 223, which then led us through Devils Lake, and eventually ended at US 127. We turned back the way we came and stopped in Devils Lake to grab a photo of a lonely old Ford, whose shell was intact, but the interior completely rusted through.
Continuing on, we turned south on Devils Lake Hwy. and eventually happened upon, what else, Devil’s Lake, and the public boat launch. Score! We turned in, parked the bikes and walked around for a bit, checking out the layout and the ramps themselves. Always looking for new places to launch our boat, this looked like a really nice lake and facility. Bill added the location to his GPS and we were on our way.
From Devil’s Lake Hwy, we turned right on Manitou Rd, for a short time, then left on N. Rollin Rd, as Manitou turned to gravel. Cruising down the two lane asphalt, we passed a farmer cutting the roadside grass to our left, spraying the clippings in our path. As we rode through the shower of fresh cut grass, years of springtime memories flooded back. Our current road eventually turned into Beecher Rd., which then ended at US 127. Wanting to stay on the back roads today, we turned around again and turned right on Munson Rd., sharing a laugh and a smile as we remember one of our favorite movies, Kingpin.
I love these backcountry towns. We passed an old farmhouse and in the backyard was a clothesline loaded with laundry. Several pairs of jeans flapped in the wind and I remembered the stiff, sandpaper feeling of our clothes when hung on the line to dry instead of using the dryer. (Growing up at my house, using the dryer during the summer months was a cardinal sin.)
Munson Rd. took us past M-34, and the city of Hudson, and also eventually turned to gravel. We turned left onto Lawrence Rd. right onto Hughes Hwy., which ended at Medina Hwy. We chose left onto Medina Hwy. and into Medina, another gorgeous little town, it’s main street lined with older, beautifully kept houses. Medina Hwy. again turned to gravel so we headed south on M-156 through the town of Morenci, which dead ended in town. It was 1pm and my stomach was rumbling, so we turned into the Village Inn, and happened upon a stranded fellow rider, (speaking of being “munsonned” . He had a beautiful 2003 Heritage Softail with unfortunately a dead battery. A very dead battery. Luckily he had friends with jumper cables, but after about 15 minutes with the cables connected and their Jeep running, there was nothing but the dreaded CLACK CLACK CLACK when he tried to fire it up. Bill tried a few tricks he had up his sleeve, but no luck. By the time we decided there was nothing more we could do, and he was calling on a friend with a trailer, the diner had closed. We said our goodbyes and “good lucks” and continued on, south on 108 and into Ohio, turning west again onto Route 20, another familiar road. Bill had already been riding without his helmet and later said it was weird not stopping to take it off.
Route 20 took us into Fayette, and it was now 2pm. We found the R&H Restaurant, which had just closed! $%#@^! Back on 20, heading east, but not before stopping at Hal’s Garage, a vintage garage complete with classic cars! We walked around for a bit, looking at the old gas pumps and signs. Check out the window awnings!
We eventually found the Roadhouse, a place we’d passed before and had wanted to check out. Nice little place, with what looked like a patio out back. My gringo had the chicken strips basket and I had a Chef salad, which was much better than I’d expected! As we were leaving, a couple in a custom 1978 El Camino were pulling out, and I was able to get this shot of their handiwork.
Headed for home, we took 20 to US-23, back to the familiar I-94 into our neck of the woods, and I fought to avoid the Sunday night blues, (which unbeknownst to me until just now is a real term and has a Wiki page! Yikes). Apparently, one pony tail holder is no longer enough and my hair whipped my face all the way home. Thank God for detangler, which I’m about to apply. Bill and I both on reserve at 215 miles, stopped at a gas station near our house and filled up for the coming week. It looks like rain though, and I was happy we got in our jaunt.
So did you take a road trip this weekend? Where? If you’re in Southern Michigan, where would you recommend for our next Road Trip Sunday?