Since the last post - dinner at Zingerman's (I got #2 The Rueben and Jenelle had #57 Nic's Opportunity, which we shared half of after..), the 250th Michigan v. Michigan State hockey game that was a sloppy/scrappy rivalry game that ended in a tie because neither team deserved to win, a looong but colorful drive north in the Vibe, some cider making, and some leisurely work at the Club and 8th Street Coffeehouse.
The 120+ mile stretch of the drive that traces the northern shore of Lake Michigan on United States Route 2 has been frozen in time for most of my life, but this time it seemed to have taken a step backwards. Usually there is a revolving door of struggling businesses along the way: "Open in Spring" or "Under new ownership" or "Back and better than ever!" are oft-made claims. This time there were very few claims and the revolving seems to have stopped. A flea market near Blaney Park was bulldozed, used car lots were grown over, one of the cement lawn decoration shops has gone under, and even the two enormous roadside restaurants 2.5 miles from each other near Naubinway have closed. It was very sad.
On a happier note, the apple guy outside of RRHS sold me two bags of the highest quality "deer apples" you can imagine (Jenelle's parents used them to make applesauce & pie filling) and Dad and I fired up the apple blitzer, disintegrated two bushels of apples, pressed them, filtered the extract, funneled into gallon jugs, and put the finished cider in the freezer. I decided that working with cider is like working at the mint...if you think about what you are doing you'll go crazy. It's impossible not to want to lie down on the ground and let the cider drip out of the press into your mouth rather than into the lawn once the bucket is moved.