Sunday, June 19, 2011

Traveling at home: Biking to Whitmore Lake

Marco and I took a short ride to Whitmore Lake yesterday, which is about eleven or twelve miles north of Ann Arbor. With both our bikes tuned up, we clipped in, and rode up Whitmore Lake road, which runs parallel to US-23. The ride is uphill, but the nice thing about going uphill is coming back downhill. On our way downhill, we hit thirty-two miles per hour at one point. Nice.

We stopped at Whitmore Lake...the actual lake...and sat in some shade for a few minutes. Now, while that was nice, what I was eying was the small ice cream shoppe right across the lake. I convinced Marco to forget about his diet for a second (which wasn't hard =)), and we walked into the shoppe, which had twenty-four flavours of soft serve, and, as we found out, was intent on having all local dairy products served. Marco had a scoop of vanilla and a scoop of coffee mocha ice cream, and I had a scoop of black cherry chocolate and a scoop of mint chocolate chip. There we met Samantha, who works there most every day.

Whitmore Lake
The ice cream shoppe, with our bikes parked outside.

The only thing not local were the flavourings for the shakes. All of the ice cream was from Guernsey Farms Dairy, Northville, MI.
What's your story? Where do you live, and where do you call home?
"I live in Whitmore Lake, and call Whitmore Lake home. I lived in Ypsilanti from second to tenth grade, but then moved back here. I moved out of my home when I was fifteen, and now live with a woman who is terminally ill, and whose son has Asperger's Syndrome. I showed up at her doorstep with my son, Hayden, who is seven months old...he's all smiles...and my bags, and now she doesn't want me to leave. I am finishing high school online at Kensington Woods High School, in Howell, MI. I didn't want a GED, I wanted to finish high school. My favourite subject is English. I've realised though at Ypsilanti schools are much harder than Whitmore Lake schools. I want to become an X-ray technician or a dental assistant when I am done with high school. I currently work at this ice cream shoppe six days a week. Everything here, except some of the flavourings, is local. The owner really cares about this. The ice cream is from Guernsey Farms Dairy. Guernsey is awesome. The ice cream has 16-17% butter fat, which makes it so much better than other ice creams." I totally agree.

How has this place, and the environment, changed over time?
"This place hasn't changed much, but has become a little more city like. But it really is the same smal town. There is a sense of community here. Everyone knows everyone, and when something happens, the whole town comes together. We've actually had two deaths of high school students in the past three years, and that is an example of when everyone came together. Jessie, a high school freshman, got into a car accident, and Emily passed away from cardiac arrest from alcohol poisoning. The Fourth of July is always fun here. About ten thousand people come here to celebrate."

What do you love about where you live?
"You know everybody here. It is much smaller than Ypsilanti. The graduating class at Ypsilanti High is the size of the entire school here in Whitmore Lake. News spreads though. Like when my mom relapsed, everyone knew."

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