Rochester Hills PCT Bicycle Club

January 21, 2007
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Sunday January 21, 2007 the weather had finally turned into winter with snow and ice on the ground making bike riding very difficult.  We havenít done any riding the past couple weeks.  Iím not saying we couldnít do a bike ride, but when there is ice on the bike paths it just isnít worth taking the chance of falling.  As a group the PCT Bicycle Club officially changed our name to the PCT Bike and Hike Club.  Just because it is too risky to ride doesnít mean we arenít going to get outside for some exercise.  We decided to start doing long walks or hikes as we like to call them.   

On this day Bob, Pete, Steve and I drove over to Stoney Creek Metro Park for a nice long hike.  Steve brought his camera and he took a ton of pictures.  I have made a separate page for all of Steveís pictures.  Believe it or not I actually edited out quite a few of the pictures to keep it to a manageable quantity.  Donít worry most of the pictures I edited out were either duplicates or poor focus, so you wonít miss anything by me cutting the quantity of pictures in half.  In addition to pictures Steve also has the capability with his latest portable digital camera of making videos.  And, yes we have quite a few videos to share as well.  As long as Pete doesnít mind us using his web space I plan to post the videos as well.  Turn your volume up when watching the videos, Steve likes to provide a running audio commentary which you might find interesting.  I will post the pictures in the order in which they were taken, so if you start at the beginning and look at each one you can get a really good feel for what we experienced on this hike.  I sent Steve and email asking him if he minded me editing out a few pictures, following is how Steve responded.  ďYeah - please weed out as many as you like - the Ojibways don't like people taking a lot of pictures of their sacred holy ground anyway ....Ē   I will explain the Ojibway comment later. 

Bob had the second row captainís seats out of his van to make room for hauling some stuff recently.  Steve and Pete thought Bob purposely took the second row seats out to give them extra leg room during the drive over to Stoney Creek.  Both Steve and Pete talked quite a bit about the extra leg room and thanked Bob for being so thoughtful.    

Our plan was to walk on the paved path around the lake.  This route is approximately a little over 6 miles, which is a nice hike.  We took a few short cuts along the way, so I estimate we did about 5.8 miles.  We got there around 11:20 am and it was cool and windy.  The temperature was around 24 F when we started, but when the wind was at our backs it felt warmer.  When we turned into the wind it felt much cooler.   

There were other people out walking around the lake as well.  Not a large group of people, but we passed probably 5 or 6 other small groups doing the same thing as us, they were just going the wrong direction.  The lake was partially frozen with many areas still without ice.  The ducks were still floating on top of the water acting like it is summer.  The cold weather doesnít seem to phase the ducks at all.  Early in the walk Steve picked up a rather large rock and threw it onto the frozen water of the lake.  He wanted to see how think the ice was.  Figuring if the rock broke through the ice then it would not be that thick yet.  Well, the rock actually broke in half when it hit the ice, so we assumed it must be pretty thick.  

Pete wore a new pair of shoes, which was a mistake.  His new shoes werenít broken in yet and he paid the price.  Pete complained quite a bit early on about how his feet were in pain from the new shoes.  As time went on I asked Pete why he stopped complaining about his feet.  He told me they were so sore they had turned numb and didnít hurt anymore.  In addition to Peteís new shoes he was also very stylish wearing his confederate flag dew rag this day.  I thought Pete was being anti-social when I noticed him using a mp3 player to listen to music as we walked.  Pete was still able to hear us even with his music playing, so I guess he wasnít being anti-social just multi-tasking. 

Steve got excited when we came upon a sign that said food and point ahead.  We kept looking for food but we never did come across any. 

At one point we all stopped and Steve put his camera on a fence post and set it to automatically take our picture.  After Steve pressed the button he ran over and joined the three of us for a whole group shot.  I think is one of the nicest pictures Steve got his day.  If you quickly breeze past the other pictures make sure you at least take a moment to look at this fine picture of all four of us.

As we continued walking we came across a fairly creative snow angel someone had made in the shallow snow on the black top.  At first I thought Pete had made this snow angel when we werenít watching, but I checked the back of his jacket and he didnít have any snow so I figured someone before us must have made this snow angel.  Maybe it was a young Ojibway girl out playing earlier in the day.. 

At one point Bob and I asked Pete and Steve if they minded if we jogged ahead and then jogged back to meet up with them again.  They didnít mind and this gave me and Bob a chance to get our heart rates up a bit more.  We didnít go very far, we only went about a half mile ahead and then we stopped and jogged back.  It felt good to stretch out my legs a little and this short jog also helped warm my body quicker than the hiking pace. 

As we hiked we talked about many subjects to keep ourselves entertained.  Steve somehow got off on a tangent about the Ojibway Indians that used to inhabit this area.  Before you knew it Steve was pointing out all the left over items from the days of the Ojibway.  I certainly didnít know some of the facts Steve was sharing, it turned out to be a learning experience for me.  Did you know the Ojibway were ahead of their time by outlawing the development of Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants due to the high level of cholesterol.  Quite advanced for the mid-1800s.  I didnít even know that KFCs existed back then.  Apparently the Ojibway also invented the simple round garbage cans which were still being used around the park.  I wish I could remember more of the Objibway facts, there were just too many for me to retain. 

Near the end of our hike clouds started to roll in and it started to snow.  With the sun gone and the wind picking up it was definitely colder than when we started.  We had been out hiking at a nice pace to keep  our bodies warm so the cooler temperature didnít bother us.  

Once we completed our hike and ended up back at Bobís van it was time to decide where to have lunch.  We mulled over a few options and finally settled on Ticonderoga which is the restaurant located in the main building of Sylvan Glenn golf course on Rochester road just over the border of Troy.  Bob had eaten there recently and thought it was a cool place with decent food, so that is where we headed.  My meal was very good and the atmosphere was nice.  Very rustic, it had the feel of a hunting lodge up north.  Again, Steve took a few pictures in the restaurant so you can get a feel for this place.  There was a shadow box type picture hanging on the wall with dead bugs inside.  Steve walked over and took a couple pictures of the bugs.  There isnít much that gets by the camera of Steve. 

We got some good exercise on this hike and it was enjoyable as well.  I think we may be doing more hikes over the next few weeks until the weather breaks and we can start riding again.  Luckily we have a lot of good places to hike, including Stoney Creek which is ideal and Iím sure we will go back to Stoney a few more times this winter.   

Following are the statistics from this hike, 5.8 miles total distance.  If you didn't get a chance to check out the pictures yet now would be a good time because you have finished the story, click this link for the pictures and this link for the videos.     
David Lindquist 

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