Day Three was to be an active day. We had packed the longboards and the Big Sticks.We hoped to land paddle on the Heartland Trail. When we were in Michigan last July we had planned to do the same thing, but someone forgot to pack one of the Big Sticks. I won't say who the culprit was. Let us just say it wasn't Heather.
|Notice the two Big Sticks and two Longboards. Please ignore all the other junk.|
But before we went land paddling there was something we wanted to do first. On the way home the night before we had passed through Wheeler. Wheeler isn't even a town, but it has a large grain elevator and a receiving area for Sugar Beets. Heather wanted pictures. She had never seen crops stored on the ground.
|Here are the trucks filled with sugar beets lining up to be weighed and unloaded|
|After the beets are unloaded they are piled high waiting to be transferred to the processing plant over in Bay City.|
|There were a number of these piles.|
|The corn did really well this year. So well, that there was no room for all the corn in the storage areas. So, it too was piled high. While I was familiar with beets being stored on the ground this was the first time I'd seen corn stored like this. Eventually there will be a tarp covering the corn. The beets will just set there until they are all processed, probably sometime in February.|
It was late morning by the time we reached Alma and made our way to the parking lot at the Heartland trail head in Alma. The weather had changed again. The revised forecast was wrong.
When we had entered Alma Heather had seen smoke. Recently there had been a major fire in Alma. She had said she hoped someone was burning something and not that something was burning. We didn't think much more of it.
But as we sat in the car waiting to see what the weather was going to do we heard a steam whistle...and then we saw a steam locomotive backing up on the track directly in front of where we were parked. This explained the smoke Heather had seen earlier.
We didn't get to land paddle, but we did get to see this wonderful relic from railroad days past. The trail we would have been land paddling was once a railway. A pleasant surprise indeed.
And, we saw a scooter. In the time we were in Michigan I think we only saw a handful of bikes and those were on the trip home after the weather had changed yet again and things were warmer.
|Can you find the scooter in this picture? We saw him just as it began to sprinkle. If he had very far to go he got wet.|
Since it was time for lunch we headed for The Great Wall. We discovered this restaurant on an earlier trip. It was raining very hard by the time we got there.
|We watched it rain as we waited for our food.|
|Vegetable Lo Mein for her and Vegetable Egg Fu Young for me.|
|Eventually the rain settled into a drizzle.|