‘Round and Down Dirt Roads

Yesterday, Julie and I traveled ‘round the dirt roads to the southwest of where we live in Michigan. It is the first time since last fall and it felt so good. Like coming home together. This time is so very special, although it is hard for me to define why. We experience solitude but also the excitement of new ‘finds’.

We frequently don’t have a destination when we start, but always arrive at where we need to be. This week we went ‘round dirt road we had never found before and this surprised us. We went ’round, turning left and right to follow the dirt, sometimes ending up where we started only to turn onto a new dirt road. We found Straight Road that took us ’round to where we were hungry and heading back towards lunch.

Here are a couple favorite rounds I found on our ’round about.

Silo covered with ivy vines and shadows.

Silo covered with ivy vines and shadows.

Fence post with round hole & pipe - once painted purple. Notice the saw marks.

Fence post with round hole & pipe – once painted purple. Notice the saw marks.

Ailsa’s Travel Theme this week is Round. I hope you get ’round to visiting her here:

Travel theme: Round

Down Dirt Roads: House

This weeks WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge is once again a reflection of their earlier post on color and photography. The title of the photo challenge is “The Hue of You”. In spite of the vivid trees in my neighborhood, I am feeling rather muted lately – in a gentle way. My posts over the past few days have mostly portrayed muted, soft colors. When we were on our photo safari this week, this image wouldn’t let me go.

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This house grabbed my emotions. I am captivated by the color and sheen, the mirror of the soft color of the ripened soybean field, how it is almost hidden in green foliage, but with just a hint of color to tell us it is fall. I am touched by the sensuous curve of the road and how it also mirrors the color of the soybeans, the leaves blown and collected at the edge giving structure with the hint of gold. So much beauty on this dirt road.

For more info and expressions of personal color visit the WP Weekly Photo Challenge:


Down Dirt Roads: Barn on a Hill

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When Julie and I go on our photo shoot, both of us love the country roads. And the best country roads are the dirt roads. I immediately start to smile when we turn down a dirt road we have never traversed and I feel some excitement about what we may find.

What we found this week were lots of barns, along with some special treats that we will share in the coming weeks. The weather wasn’t especially good as clouds came in earlier in the day than expected, but we still found lots of treasures.

Railroad Trestle

Ailsa picked “Wild” as the travel theme this week. Friend Julie and I didn’t travel far – just an hour away in time, but much further back down dirt roads. We had stopped on a small bridge thinking we could photograph the stream underneath but nothing struck us. A truck came along and stopped; a small fear rose in me. A young man smiled at me and asked if I was having fun. Strange question but I decided to take it at face value, smiled at him and said yes I was having a great time finding fun things to photograph on the back roads.

He said we need to go down to Shaytown and photograph the old train trestle. Go way down to the end of this road, (he stressed way down – to the end) turn right at the fork, and turn left at the first road. He even showed us a photo on his smart phone.

We were off. And it was way down, the end of that dirt road, when it turned onto Shaytown Road. Further on we found a road going left and there it was, on our left.

Eaton Rapids 222

Eaton Rapids 227

The photo the lad had shown us was of the ties up close so we figured we could get to it. Julie started walking down the road and I followed with the car. A ways down she found the old bed (sans track) but it was very overgrown and difficult to walk along. Ever notice how quickly our civilized plots of land become wild once we walk away from them. This was dense and Michigan overgrown wild.

Besides, the mosquitoes were wild, vicious and very plentiful. We decided that we would return in the fall after the first hard frost. We also decided we needed to go back the way we had come so we could get road names to put into a GPS because we were clueless as to where we were.

We turned the corner and there was a mowed lane. We had been speculating on how much blood we had lost to the blood-sucking little… (I’ll keep it nice) so it never entered our minds to get out and walk. I decided to drive it, like hubby used to do up in the copper mining areas of Michigan’s UP. This lane was just wide enough for a car to get through – and it wasn’t posted.

Eaton Rapids 233We found it!

Eaton Rapids 245

The ties are laid over steel beams so it is still sturdy, but it appears that the steel is supported by a wood structure underneath. The wood beams that supported the rails are starting to rot, and will someday return to the earth as nutrients for the vegetation growing wild around it. It is already nourishing some plant life.

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There wasn’t enough room to turn around so I had to back out – while Julie is telling me that I’m pretty close to the drop on her side and it is really deep. We will walk back there in the fall – after the wild mosquitoes are gone.

If you would like to share your interpretation of “wild” you can visit Ailsa at: