Om and I managed to plan a bike ride today. We continued south from where we left off last June on the White Pine Trail.
We began at Reed City and rode to Big Rapids and back for a total of 25 miles. Interestingly enough, the midpoint was through the small town of Paris where I "took you" in January 2012.
There is more to Paris than met my eye on the highway. There's a large and family-friendly county park there. The trail goes right through it. It's also the site of a former state fish hatchery, and the old ponds have been incorporated into the design of the park.
This section of the trail was a lot prettier than the last one. There are quite a few pieces that are nicely wooded. All second growth, of course, since it's a former railroad line. The pieces with trees are very appealing, and the shade is really nice. I didn't tell Om to wear a red shirt, but it makes a good picture.
When we reached Big Rapids the trailhead is out of the main part of town. Big Rapids is a college town (Ferris State), and decent size, but you'd never know it from the trailhead. That's also because of it being a rail trail. They go where the railroad went- usually through the industrial sections. The old depot is still standing, but in need of serious work. However, damaged sections were carefully boarded up, as if someone is trying to keep the weather and vandals out, so maybe there are plans for it.
Omer contemplated the information on the kiosk for a while.
We were hoping to eat at Pere Marquette Catering Company in Reed City when we got back there, but they were closed. Instead we grabbed a sandwich at a sports bar. The food was good, but it was seriously noisy. A wedding party was celebrating, and the bartender actually finally told them to tone it down a notch. I was going to be good and eat light, but the patty melt sounded so good, I gave in. And it was served with homemade potato chips!
Another great bike ride! (And I'll be using these trips on the White Pine Trail for my monthly newspaper column this month, so it was a research trip too.)
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