We live within a couple of miles of lake St.Clair and Jefferson road runs right along the edge of the lake. If you've seen Grosse Pointe Blank or Grand Torino, then you've seen part of the stretch I'm talking about. Those movies show some of the road a little south of where we usually go on our quickie 30 minute ride. When you head north you get to ride though the city of St.Clair, up along the lake to Metro Parkway and Park, then as you go further north you will eventually run into Selfridge Air National Guard base. Once we arrive at the edge of the base, we usually veer back west, away from the lake, and take the highway home.
Now, a huge part of the fun of riding down Jefferson is sneaking peaks between the houses and trees at the lake, sun reflecting radiantly off of it. Also, it can be quite fun to check out the homes. Some are really large and have windows that allow you to see clear through the house to the lake (really nice views). Some are just large, interesting, and beautiful homes to look at (way out of my league). And insanely enough, in between some of these million dollar homes are some rather small, unremarkable houses, some almost small enough to be considered cabins, and some whose beauty is fading from days past.
I think fading beautys caught my eye a little longer than the others. You could tell that some were, probably even 10-20 years ago, modestly fancy, beautiful, and reflecting the grace of the lake. Now with the economy here in Michigan as it is, some looked plain ghost-like and abandoned. The siding and paint were fading and peeling off, the yard looked less kept and cared for, you could see into the windows and the lake almost wept for them in the distance. A gorgeous chandelier hung in a large room's window, showing some of what used to be and what might again happen should anyone be able to purchase and shine things up once more. Another mansion, another small park, another small marina, another boat access way, another glimpse of unfettered lake, all in succession as we road our merry way down the lake.
Now, on a good and lucky morning when we get down to the base (especially on a Saturday), we've been able to pull over to the side and watch the jets take off and land, we've also been able to see paratrooper drop practice. It can be a lot of fun to watch; a personal air show. As much as I like the planes, I was glad today wasn't one of those days. It was 84 degrees Fahrenheit by 8:30am, with full humidity, we knew that it didn't bode well for the rest of the day. We hustled back to breakfast at the Coney Island and enjoyed a cool down in the air conditioning. It was a really nice ride and made for an enjoyable day.
Don't neglect your local little neighborhood rides. They are great fillers in between longer and greater excursions and a way to get a quick, cheap thrill, and a thrill is a thrill!