Deb and I returned home from our 15 day adventure trip to Nova Scotia, just 2 weeks ago. Already we were longing for another riding adventure and savoring the memories of Nova Scotia. This Labor Day weekend we decided to take advantage of the extra day off and take a ride north through what I will call our local Amish country.
Did you know that Michigan is home to the sixth largest Amish population, approximately 11,000? Michigan’s 86 Amish church districts are scattered over 35 settlements, from Hillsdale and Branch Counties in the south, to Mackinac County in the Upper Peninsula. The Amish community that we visited this day is shown in the route map below (primarily contained within the square).
Our route for this trip. Approximately 130 miles.
We woke up to this Saturday with the forecast of partly cloudy with a high in the mid 80’s, sounded like perfect riding weather. We did not have a specific route in mind when we left only that we wanted to head up Meyers Lake road, go north to Morley, MI area.
As we passed Meyers Lake, a bug plastered the right side of my helmet shield, I think it was a large bee. Well… had to stop and clean it off. We stopped right next to Meyer Lake (see below). Starting out, it did not look “partly cloudy”, more like overcast in the low 70’s. Come on sun, where are you?
We played Meyers Lake road out, traveling north, as far as we could go. We even had quite a few miles on dirt road. We came out near Pierson, MI on old US-131, then head north to Kendaville road and took a right. Further up we passed a ranch that had buffalo Had to stop for a photo.
Soon we found ourselves passing Amish homes with no electricity, small boys with wide brimmed hats, girls with bonnets walking along the roadside. Horse drawn carriages, men plowing in their fields behind a team of horses. AND… we wanted to take some photos.
But wait, photo ops are not appreciated by the Amish, at least that’s what Deb told me.
Here is a quote from a website about the Amish:
The Amish hold humility as a highly-cherished value and view pride as a threat to community harmony. Because items such as personal photographs can accentuate individuality and call attention to one’s self, they are prohibited from the home. Moreover, the Amish believe that photographs in which they can be recognized violate the Biblical commandment, “Thou shalt not make unto thyself a graven image.” They want to be remembered by the lives they lived and the examples they left, not by physical appearance
So after passing quite a few photo ops, Deb strapped on the camera and candidly took a few pictures as we rode by.
Turning the corner with hands to the plow behind a team of five horses.
Chopping hay the way it was done more than 100 years ago…
Typical Amish Homestead.
An Amish cheese shop. They were making cheese in the back.
For a little diversion, we headed east to the small town of Blanchard. This is a quaint little out of the way town with small shops of yester years. It is referred to as Loafers Glory.
We had a nice little lunch at what used to be the hardware store, now turned into a nic-nac store / restaurant. Just the place wives love to visit :).
Enjoy some more photos of Blanchard.
On the way back we spotted an ice cream place in Cedar Springs that we had heard good things about. Had to check it out for ourselves. Yep, it was worth the stop.