Everything was going great, and then there was that proverbial fork in the road.
Decisions, decisions … I’m horrible at decisions, especially when I glimpse two vehicles behind me in my rearview mirror and their drivers are honking.
Patience is a virtue people – cut me some slack! Especially because Google Maps never mentioned no stinkin’ fork in the road in those directions I so carefully copied from my computer screen early this morning.
Well there was no time to dawdle, nor risk more horn honking and maybe even a stray finger showing up when I next glanced in the rearview mirror.
So, I chose the right fork, though I saw nowhere straight ahead that I was supposed to be making my next turn. I knew the last part of those directions would be problematic … every few tenths of a mile, it was either a left or right turn. Well, I put on my right blinker and moved along, just to get those drivers off my tail and also figure out what to do next. After all, nobody said I had to be the first one standing at the gate when the DeBuck’s Sunflower Festival opened this morning.
Just relax Linda!
But, soon I found myself on Waltz Road and I knew I was on the wrong track – sigh.
But I kept rolling along anyway.
A big sign said “Welcome to Huron Township” and before the afternoon was done I would pass through the villages of New Boston, Waltz and Willow, all part of Huron Township.
I conceded I was enjoying this road trip, though it was not getting me to the sunflower farm anytime soon.
I continued on my journey, past all the tall corn stalks bending with the breeze. Okay, I could do that too … bend with the breeze, I mean, go with the flow.
Oh look – a turkey farm and a pig farm.
A sod farm too.
And a ton of road kill – eww! The road kill was gory enough to see, but I had to roll up the window, shutting out that cool breeze, when I smelled a skunk. “P.U.!” as we used to say when we were kids and smelled a skunk. (I know I just lost a few of you and I had to check Urban Dictionary to ensure it didn’t have some other meaning in 2019.)
Wow – I was really out in the boonies!
There were multiple roadside stands like this one.
The stand was unattended, so you bought your goodies on the honor system as you see from the sign. Across a narrow gravel road was a huge garden brimming with a bounty of beefsteak tomatoes in different stages of ripening on many tangled vines. A few cukes were suspended by stems that grew between large leaves that wandered around the floor of the garden. I looked for a “no trespassing” sign and there was none. I saw no humans or big dogs and the only sentries “guarding” the garden were these sunflowers. I decided to take a few pictures just in case I didn’t make it to the sunflower farm today – at least I’d have a mini sunflower fix.
Back on the road again, I passed through the tiny town of Waltz, Michigan. I haven’t been this way in decades and my head swiveled back and forth as I drove down the main street in this quaint town. There was The Waltz Inn, just as I remember it. On our Sunday-drive-in-the-country jaunts, my folks and I sometimes went there to eat. The Inn is over a century old, rumored to be haunted and has a colorful prohibition history as well.
I decided I was hopelessly lost by now and of course I did not have a paper map in the car, no GPS tracking device, nor a smart phone, just my flip phone. All I had was my written directions and I had already strayed far from my original route.
Before I turned around to head back to wherever, I saw a sign for Apple Charlies, a popular cider mill. It’s been years since I was at this venue either, so what the hay, maybe I’d make a pit stop here as well. That side trek didn’t happen since I got to the intersection to turn and it was blocked off by a brigade of police vehicles with lights flashing, but no sirens. I waited in a long queue as 100 motorcyclists with their riders rolled in front of us. Wow – pretty impressive. I wondered what the occasion was – funeral of a fellow biker, maybe a ride for a cause?
Since the police diverted traffic to accommodate the bikers, I went down still another road – “this will be interesting” I thought, glad that I had a full tank of gas.
Before I had too much angst, I saw a sign for Lower Huron Metropark – well, this was on my Trek Bucket List. Dare I go here and just skip the Sunflower Festival until another day? Sure, why not?
It was the first time here and just like the other Metroparks, it did not disappoint. I took in the sights as I walked along a pathway that wound parallel to the Lower Huron River. I was wearing a long-sleeved shirt with cuffs, long pants with cuffs and socks to thwart any mosquitoes, as the health department is warning everyone to keep covered when walking near any woodsy areas as we had a death from EEE, (the mosquito-borne virus), yesterday and several other cases have been discovered.
I said “good morning” to a few walkers or bicyclists, but I pretty much had the trail to myself. The occasional colorful leaf fluttered down onto the pathway and the refreshing cool temps were reminiscent of Fall. The camera was clicking away as I inspected wildflowers near and spilling over the split rail fence and the bees and butterflies were plentiful. I’ve included a few of those shots below.
Blooms, butterflies and bees.
The wildflowers were so vibrant …
… and a few Monarch butterflies danced and hovered over them.
Bees busied themselves, burrowing down into the blossoms.
Signs touted fishing in the area where I walked along the Huron River, but it was catch-and-release only due to PFAS contamination in the water.
You see one fellow fishing, but the dock where most of the fishing is done was empty.
There were a few oddities along the way worth noting.
We’re happy to yield to turtles, but it sure would be nice to eliminate these tent caterpillars which seem hellbent on ravaging all the leaves on this bush.
As I passed each mile it made me want to savor the perfect Summer day as this season is on the wane now.
Peaceful is the word I’d use to describe these three canoeists paddling down the Huron River Water Trail.
I walked seven miles before hopping into the car to head home. I’ll get better directions and try again next weekend – how difficult can it be? After all, this Park and the Sunflower Festival were in the same city and same zip code!
Tranquil time in nature versus the busy festival atmosphere was just perfect. In retrospect, I believe I did NOT take the wrong fork in the road after all.