The village of Rothbury, Michigan on the state's western border with Lake Michigan is a quintessential middle America slice of life that refreshes the imagination and soothes the spirit. In nearby Montague MI Rick Zwern and Karen Huffman have built a unique home atop a serious sand dune overlooking the sandy beach and endless vista of the Lake.
BikerBuck was thrilled to pay them a visit and even more delighted when they up and decided to ride along for the MI 50k. Rick and Karen went so far as to pick the route and to test ride it in advance.
and the route they picked....
... was perfect. Starting from Rothbury, we did an out-and-back to the town of Hart along the rail trail, gliding through a cross section of mid west life that is both timeless and timely.
The town of Hart is a place of simple pleasures. Small and friendly, a case study in civic pride. With a centerpiece little lake to which the center of town is anchored. Chief among the park's features is a touching tribute to Hart's veterans. A vintage jet trainer is the physical icon that compliments the tapestry of paving stones with the names and dates of service for Hart's veterans, several noted as KIA. What strikes this visitor is the number of veterans who came from this one small place. It reminded BB of the monuments in tiny English villages that memorialized scores of young men who fought in WWI from those communities. It doesn't seem mathematically possible for such places to produce so many young service men.
And not to be upstaged by the jet, the ground warriors' memento is inspiring as well.
We think that when news of the Hawaii biking trio got around the rose lei was hurriedly prepared to make us feel at home. Mind you, the roses are silk...but so was the chocolate shake.
After the ride each of us saddled up for new destinations. Rick and Karen to different mainland appointments and BB to play tourist a little further east of MI. But that's a different story...
BUT... I will tell you that I spent the next night snug as a bug in my Town&Country mini-van. It was late, I was on my way to Niagara Falls but not yet to the Canada border, and saw the KOA sign. No big deal. Great night's sleep. And a welcomed chuckle as I departed the campground...