The world's largest dulcimer festival. - Two Far 2018 - Trailing through the Rust Belt - CycleBlaze

The world's largest dulcimer festival.

We were excited that half of our ride today from Cadillac to Evart would be on the White Pine bike trail. Or would it? The trail started out nicely, but soon we came to an all too familiar road closed sign, this time due to a washed out culvert.

A nice start to the White Pine trail.
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But all too soon our path was blocked.
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What to do? Our choices were to continue on the paved trail and hope we could get past the washed out culvert, or to take a 3 1/2 mile detour on a gravel road.

Take the detour on this road, or take a chance and stick to the trail?
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In most CycleBlaze journals, the authors seem to love gravel roads. No traffic, no noise. But we are whimps. We don't enjoy getting our bikes dusty and struggling through sandy patches. So we took our chances with the trail.

Pretty soon we saw two bikes coming the other way. 

"Were you able to get through?", we asked.

"Yes, no problem.", came the answer.

Good news, we had an existence proof that bikes could make it past the culvert. True, they were on mountain bikes, but if they could make it through, so could we. Probably.

Then we saw two people coming on trikes. We definitely can get through anything a trike can get through.

Eventually we got to the wash out. It was tough, but somehow we made it past and continued on down the trail.

This was the "washed out" culvert. The pavement wasn't even buckled! I'll never believe another detour sign.
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We did encounter a delay on the trail, but that was due to the numerous raspberry bushes along the trail.

Yummy.
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Living off the land.
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In Ukraine these are called wolf berries. Don't eat these!
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Living off the land - we passed a dozen deer blinds along the trail.
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We suffered a further delay when we met some cycle tourists coming towards us on the trail and we stopped to chat. They were on their way to Cadillac, which has a nice park for camping.

Two cycle tourists.
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Make that three tourists.
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Ready to roll.
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We stopped for a break in LeRoy where the paved trail ends. We met a man setting up a garage sale for his kids to get rid of their old toys and sports equipment. Good news - their grandmother had contributed some baked goods to the sale items. More good news - he told us that as of last week the White Pine trail was now paved all the way to it's junction with the Pere Marquette trail. That meant we would be on paved trails all day, not just half the day.

Living off the land - cinnamon rolls at a garage sale.
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Our lunch break was in Reed City, where the White Pine and Pere Marquette trails meet. The town features a Yoplait yogurt factory and a museum. At the museum I was surprised to learn that this area if Michigan was once full of oil and natural gas wells.

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This picture in the museum of historic Reed City was our first clue that this area was once an oil field.
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Michigan needs some rain. They can have all they want as soon as we leave.
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Yogurt was not the only culture we encountered today. It turned out that our hotel in Evart is at the center of the world's largest dulcimer festival. The fair grounds next to the hotel are full of people camping out for the festival. We were treated to an impromptu dulcimer concert in the breakfast room of the hotel.

More culture - a mini-library on the bike trail.
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Dulcimer players camped out at the fair grounds.
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Dulcimer players jamming in the hotel breakfast room.
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Kelly GugleNice to meet you in Leroy today. I enjoy reading about your adventures
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10 months ago