Sunday, July 8. The wether is delightful and today I would have a tail-wind as I headed south toward Howell, Michigan. In my trailblazing quest, I have come to rely on, despise, and appreciate Google bicycle route mapping. I have discovered that I must write down every turn and distance between turns, and I will still be fearsome confused here and there. Today went pretty well.

Up front, Goggle says that the bicycle route mapping is still in “beta” and that some of the roads may not be suitable for bicycling (I am 56 years old and only recently figured out that “beta” means “this may not work, and if it doesn’t, don’t blame us).

I never knew that there could be so many dirt roads near major metropolitan areas. Dirt roads in Michigan are different from dirt roads in my home state of Connecticut. Where I live, a dirt road means that there are not enough people or cars on this road to make it worth paving. In Michigan a dirt road means that you should drive on it as fast as possible and don’t worry about that poor, stupid, slob cyclist that is eating all your dust because you are in too much of a hurry to slow down. Luckily, there were not that many cars. But I was amazed at the number of residences mixed in with farms on the dirt roads, which seem to be vital to automobile transportation.

I stopped and took a video in the middle of a four-way dirt road intersection, slowly rotating in a complete circle. Most of the dirt roads were in great shape, but the closer I got to Howell, more wash-board appeared, which really slowed me down.

20120709-213658.jpg A view of the Flint River from a bridge on East Burt Road, north of Montrose.

20120709-214001.jpg Here is John Eason’s namesake barn just north of Howell, Michigan (it is on a dirt road).

20120709-214318.jpg Andrew Carnegie funded more than 2,500 libraries throughout the world. The Howell library, completed in 1906, is comprised of fieldstone gathered by county farmers.