The Guide

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INDEX 6 7 9 11 14 16 17 19 20 21 22 23

From Tim’s Kitchen Competitive Wine Biker Garage 101 Canoe for a Cause Conservation Corner Stone Garden Made in Michigan Act of Boardom Antique Iron Stone Ridge MX Back in the Woods Driven by Pride

The Guide to Northeast Michigan covering the counties of Alcona, Arenac, Crawford, Gladwin, Iosco, Ogemaw, Oscoda and Roscommon Winner of the 2011 O.B. Eustis Environmental Awareness Award

JUNE 2011 Volume 2, Issue III Published by: Info Northeast Jerry Nunn, editor (989) 780-0900 Contributing writers: Jerry Nunn, Scott Nunn, Shannon Nunn, Jim Smith and Ryan Reichl Advertising sales and design: Scott Nunn (989) 245-7140 Layout and design: Kathy Neff

Mi-Story By JERRY NUNN Editor It’s a dilemma that we all have faced: A stack of monthly bills on one hand that out-weigh the month’s income on the other. Like nearly all of us have done at one time, Brenda selected one bill to set aside, in hopes she could pay it another day. Given their way, a group of Ogemaw County social workers would not have the young mother of two make the choice between paying an overdue account and putting food on her family’s table. They’ve created a website – – to connect folks in need with neighbors and community members who are in a better position to help out where government programs fall short. Too bad wasn’t available to Brenda and her family six years ago. She and her husband Brian still struggle to pay off that bill. “It was our auto insurance and it was for $105,” says Brenda, 29. “I’d hoped we could catch right back up.” Perhaps they could have caught up, given time. But time was an unaffordable luxury. Before the insurance was paid, the vehicle registration came due and before the couple could make good on that, Brian got stopped by the police. So for the past five years, Brenda has watched a comedy of errors unfold: Two home evictions (a third is underway.) Brian was stopped again, jailed and fined, and lost his job and his income. While looking for a job, driving home from a Michigan WORKS! appointment, Brenda was stopped and arrested. A family member pitched in for a car, fully insured with legal plates, but the vehicles they could afford broke down and proved costly to maintain. They are the first to admit that the decision to let their insurance lapse was just plain dumb. Despite their attempts to dig out of their mess, they still wait for a break that just won’t come. Brian works odd jobs, maintaining foreclosed homes for a bank and performing clean-outs of repossessed properties (or, as Brenda calls it, “making money off the hardships of others.”) Another $125 and he gets his driver’s license back. Meanwhile, Brenda works two jobs and during all this turmoil, she managed to complete a certificate program at Ross Medical School. Her fines are paid and she’s a legal driver once again. the guide • june 2011

All told, the couple has paid more than $1,200 in fines and court costs. State of Michigan driver responsibility fees came to $900 and if they pay off another $600, they are back to square one. The couple’s strife is compelling example of all that can go wrong when we make the wrong choice. Certainly they brought this trouble on themselves. But Brenda and Brian’s case could demonstrate something else: How a small hand out from someone of greater means could translate into an entire family breaking the chains of poverty. “They are trying, God knows they are trying,” said Khaki Inkster, of the Michigan Department of Human Services and one of Mi-Story’s founders. Perhaps, if more folks were aware of their neighbor’s needs, people might be willing to step in before the costs became so great, Inkster says. While surely the cost of mistakes should fall to those who make them, in truth the greater costs fall on the community as a whole. When our neighbors suffer, so does our community. While government programs keep food on the table and clothes on children’s backs, government can’t provide that little bit extra to repair the car, fix the busted refrigerator or replace the broken sump pump. In Brenda’s case, no program could provide the $105 to pay her insurance. Nor could the state pay the $100 that Gladwin County charged each week so she could serve her 18-day jail term on the weekends. Yet, to deny her that opportunity would have cost Brenda her job and her family the income they need to survive. Income, as it were, that Brenda needed to pay her fines. Money her family could have spent breaking free from their spiraling poverty. “How far do we go, as a community, in proving our point?” Inkster asks. “She knows she made a poor choice, allowing her insurance to lapse, but come on now. How much can we really expect them to pay? And what does it really cost us all in the end?” – To learn more about Mi Story and the efforts to provide true community-based support for those suffering poverty, go online to



2: Garlic Mustard Removal, a Huron Pines volunteer event in Otsego County. Learn about the invasive and edible woodland plant and then help clear a forest stand of this noxious plant, a hands-on, physical and educational opportunity. To participate call Ryan at Huron Pines: (989) 344-0753 ext. 25. 2: West Branch Greenhouse Perennial Exchange, divide and share your favorites, find some new ones and share your garden experiences at one of Northeast Michigan’s oldest greenhouses. Info: (989) 345-1133. 2: 3rd Annual Grayling Chamber of Commerce Golf Outing, 11 a.m. shotgun start at Fox Run Country Club, with dinner buffet and desert at 5 p.m.; registration starts at 10 a.m. Info: (989) 348-2921. 2: Oscoda Bike Night, 6-8 p.m., show off your iron in downtown Oscoda, held on Dwight Street, one block south of the light, every Thursday through Aug. 18. Info: (989) 569-3660 or 3-5: 12th Annual Garage Sale, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Villages of Oscoda, on the former Wurtsmith Airforce Base. Info: (989)739-4915. 3-5: 200 Mile Garage Sale, Graying to Oscoda, including Hale and Lewiston, with garage sales, yard sales, business promotions and more. Out of area sellers are welcome. Info: (989) 826-5777 or (989) 348-2921. 4: Beaver Stew Supper, 5 p.m. at Mio Moose Lodge, first come first serve, includes dessert. Info: (989) 826-6081. 4: Breeze on Tawas Bay Annual Kite Festival at East Tawas State Dock, featuring stunt kites, kite demos and more. Info: (800) 558-2927. 4: Quilts in the Park, 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Oscoda County Park in Mio, with quilts on

Every attempt at accuracy has been made while producing this calendar of events. Nonetheless, events can change or mistakes can be made. Thus it’s a good idea to call ahead, before venturing north. display and sale along with demonstrations; sponsored by Stitches for You. Info: (989) 826-1890. 4: Hanson Hills Challenge Trail Run, at Hanson Hills Recreation Area in Grayling, a five mile course over hilly and sandy terrain; cost is $20, check-in starts at 7:30 a.m., race at 9. Info: (989) 348-9266 or 4: 11th Annual Men Who Cook, 5-8 p.m. at the Grayling Officer Club, featuring gourmet food and specialty dishes by local men. Tickets cost $15. Info: 989-348-2921. 4: Rummage and Bake Sale, Mio Moose Lodge. Info: (989) 826-6081. 4-5: West Branch Classic bicycle race, an extremely rolling 22 mile course offering 1100 feet of climb per lap ending with a 700 meter climb of 8-11 percent. View the course on YouTube, at Pedal West Branch. Info: (248) 505-0221 or 4-5: Friends of Hale Lions Club Garage Sale, at Quality Builders, 111 S. Washington, (M-65) in Hale. Info: (989) 728-6606. 5: Hanson Hills Challenge Mountain Bike Race, an MMBA CPS Points Series event, offering $1,200 total purse, with a variety of classes. Info: (989) 348-6868 or 5: Garden Tractor Pull, 1 to 4 p.m. at Wellington Farm Park, Grayling. Watch the little guys perform like real tractors, with costumed interpreters on a historic depression-era working farm;


adults $7.50, seniors and students $5.50, with a $27 family maximum. Info: (989) 348-5187 or 5: Dawn Patrol Fly-in and Breakfast, 7 to 11:30 a.m. at Bloddget Memorial Airport, Houghton Lake. Info: 8: Roscommon Adult and Student Steel Drum Bands, 7 p.m. at the Gazebo in Roscommon, kick off to a summer-long string of concerts every second and fourth Wednesday; held at the CRAF Center in the event of rain. Concerts are free good, will offerings gladly accepted. Info: (989) 275-4975. 10: St. Mary’s Of Mid Michigan Standish Hospital, Auxiliary Charity Golf Tournament, 9 a.m. shotgun start, at Pine River Golf Course, Standish, includes 18 holes, coffee and donuts at registration, lunch at the turn, raffle and prizes, and dinner. Info: (989) 846-3445. 10-12: Melvin Motorcycle Museum Grand Opening, at new retail location at 3950 Arrow Drive, Oscoda, on the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base, featuring Ron Finch, Exotic Freestyle motorcycle stunt team, live music and more; with one motorcycle given away each day. Info: (989) 569-3660 or 10-12: 29th Annual Lincoln Lions Lake Trout & Salmon Fishing Tournament, at Harrisville Harbor of Refuge, with salmon and trout divisions, daily and super tournaments. Info: (989) 736-8151 or (989) 471-5557. 10-12: Nor-east’r Music & Art Festival, at the Oscoda County Fairgrounds, featuring three stages of folk music, lessons, workshops and demonstrations, a youth guitar give-away, art shows with demonstrations by potters, weavers, carvers, beaders, blacksmiths and more. A family event with lots of youth activities; on-site camping available.



Tickets now $42 or $50 at the gate. Info: (989) 826-2159 or 11: Harrisville Area Community Garage Sale, community-wide, begins at 8 a.m. Info: (989) 724-6384. 11: Gardner’s Gathering, noon to 4 p.m. at Richfield Township Park, St. Helen, with plants for sale or swap, silent auction, gardening photo contest. Info: (989) 389-7030. Motorcycle enthusiasts have even more reason to visit Ogemaw County during this year’s Ogemaw Hills Bike Week.

AMA Sanctioned

2011 Pro Hill Climb June 10

at Bunting Sand & Gravel Located right at I-75 exit 212 and Cook Road in West Branch

Hill climb starts at noon

$15 per person, 12-and-under free with an adult For more information go online to

11: Come Fly a Kite Day, meet Kiteman Jack at Rifle River Recreation Area; the first 75 people get a free kite. Info: (989) 473-2258. 11: Hartwick Pines Free Fishing Weekend, with a variety of activities planned. Info: (989) 348-7068. 11-12: Michigan Free Fishing Weekend, grab a fishing pole and head to Michigan’s 3,000 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, more than 11,037 inland lakes and 36,350 miles of rivers and streams.


Fishing fees are waived; all other regulations still apply. Info: and follow the links. 11-12: Are you Geocacher Enough?, a two day event at the Roscommon County Fairgrounds, free camping and a road rally geocach game. Info: (231) 758-0020 or 11-12: 13th Annual Grayling Rotary Garage Sale, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, noon to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, at the old Bear Archery Building, on M-72 at the railroad tracks. Info: (989) 348-2921. 11-12: Tawas Point Celebration Days at Tawas Point State Park; featuring historical and educational displays period encampments., traditional music, children’s games, traditional crafts and trades, and a fishing derby. Event is free, State Park Recreation Passport required for entry, lighthouse tours cost $2. Info: (989) 362-5658. 13: Sunrise Creations Summer Art Show at the Medical Arts Center, West Branch, sponsoring the Tolfree Foundation and West Branch Creative Arts Association; runs through Sept. 30. Info: (989) 343-3690. 13: The Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum, at the Alcona County Library, Harrisville; kick-off to the summer reading program. Info: (989) 724-6796. 15-16: Family Garden Expo, at the Ogemaw County Fairground, with free youth workshops, herb and cooking demonstrations, heirloom gardens, vendors, garden art, silent auction, garden and floral classes, make and take workshops and more. Camping is available. Info: (989) 345-7883 or (989) 345-0692. 16: Huron Pines Brown Bag Lunch Series: Invasive Species, noon to 1 p.m. at Huron Pines, 501 Norway Street, Grayling; RSVP requested, bring your own lunch. Info: (989) 344-0753 ext. 25 or by email 16: Caring Bear Picnic, at Page Memorial Park, sponsored by St. Mary’s Mid Michigan Standish Hospital; bring your favorite stuffed animal for emergency surgery by the auxiliary’s team of surgeons, games, activities and lunch. Info: (989) 846-3445. 17: Fabulous Fridays – Gone Country, 7 p.m. in downtown West Branch, kicking off a summer’s worth of Friday events. Info: (989) 345-2821. 17-19: Tawas Summer Sizzlers Girl’s Fast Pitch Softball Tournament, held at various ball diamonds around East Tawas and Tawas City. Info: (989) 362-8643. the guide • june 2011

17: 22nd Annual O’Mercy Golf Classic, at Fox Run Country Club, Grayling, a Mercy Hospital Grayling fundraiser; entry costs $80 each, $160 team or $20 for non-golfers, includes 18 holes with cart, hot dog lunch, dinner buffet, beverage tickets, eligibility for awards and prizes, and silent auction. Registration starts at 9 a.m., 10 a.m. shotgun start, dinner and awards at 4. Info: (989) 348-0527. 18: 2nd Annual Sunrise Run, with a 5/k, 10/k and half marathon, starting at sunrise from North Higgins Lake State Park with packet pick-up and pasta dinner the night before 5-9 p.m. at Roscommon Knights of Columbus. Info: by email at 18: Intro to Kayaking, free kayak demonstrations and instruction at Rifle River Recreation Area. Info: (989) 473-2258. 18: West Branch City-wide garage Sales, 8 a.m to 5 p.m. Info: (989) 345-0500. 18: Mio Moose Lodge Steak Fry, 5 p.m. includes side dishes and desert. Info: (989) 826-6081. 18: Show & Sell Outdoor Market, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the AuSable River Center, Roscommon. Info: (989) 275-4392 or (989) 275-5826. 18: Love Your Lawn - Naturally, 11 a.m. to noon, at Stone Cottage Gardens, Gladwin; David Moore shares his secrets for creating and maintaining a lush green lawn. Info: (989) 426-2919. For a full list of events and classes at Stone Cottage Gardens, go online to asp 18-19: The Hartwick Pines ALS Classic, Vintage Base Ball tournament to help raise money and awareness for ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), at the picnic area of Hartwick Pines State Park, featuring The Hartwick Pines Swampers, Petoskey Mossbacks, Saginaw Old Olds and the Walker Tavern Wheels. Info: (989) 348-2537. 18 & 20-22: Alcona Habitat for Humanity, accepting donations for their annual garage sale at the ARA site in Lincoln from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Info: (989) 724-5090 or 21: Youth River Restoration, a Huron Pines volunteer event in Alpena County designed especially for students. Learn about river restoration and native plants by helping to clean the river and make mudballs packed with native plant seeds. To participate call Ryan at Huron Pines: (989) 344-0753 ext. 25.


21: Join Rick Kelley interactive musical performance, 2 p.m. at the Harrisville branch of the Alcona County Library. Info: (989) 724-6796. 23: Summer Music Series kicks off in Iron’s Park, West Branch featuring The Bluewater Ramblers, with events held weekly all summer long. Info: (989) 345-3717 or (989) 345-0500. 24: Horse Pull at Wellington, 6 p.m. at Wellington Farm Park, Grayling. Info: (989) 348-5187. 24-25: Fun Daze and Auto Show, at Michigan Magazine Museum, Fairview. Info: (989) 848-5894 or (989) 826-5920. 24-25: Alcona Habitat for Humanity Garage Sale and Silent Auction, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Alcona Recreation ARA site on Barlow Rd. in Lincoln. Info: (989) 724- 5090 or 24-26: Michigan Traditional Bowhunters Jamboree, at Hanson Hills Recreation Area, Grayling. Info: (989) 348-9266. 24-26: Earth Keepers Retreat and Expo, at the RAM Center at Higgins Lake, a green summit family event celebrating our connection with nature, with teachings from Native American Elders, a traditional sweat lodge, workshops, holistic health experts, meditation, yoga, drumming circles, windsurfing, kayaking and more. Info: (989) 821-6200. 25: Blessing of the Bikes, Mio Church of God. Info: (989) 848-5247. 25: 4th Annual Lincoln Lions Golf Scramble, with a noon tee time at Logger’s Trace Golf Course at Springport Hills. Info: (989) 724-9900 or (989) 724-6433. 25-July 16: 33rd Annual Heritage Fine Art Show and Sales at Fifth Street Gallery, West Branch sponsored by the West Branch Creative Arts Association. Info: (989) 836-2932. 25-26: 28th Annual Art on the Beach, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, at

Oscoda Beach Park in Oscoda; more than 150 artisans displaying and selling their handmade arts, crafts and hobbies. Info: (989) 739-7322. 25-26: Dairy Days at Wellington Farm Park, Grayling; experience a historic, depression-era, midwestern farm, with costumed interpreters, steam tractors, shingle and grain mills, and more. Info: (989) 348-5187 or 25-27: Appledore IV sailing from Tawas Bay, hour-long day trips on Sat. and Sun., cost $27 adults, $22 for students, three-hour sunset cruise Fri. and Sat., cost $40 adult, $35 students. Info: (989) 895-5193. 26: Strawberry Social and Log Cabin Day at Old Bailey School. Sturgeon Point Lighthouse grounds, 12-4 p.m. Info: (989) 727-4703. 27: Ladies Invitational at Fox Run Country Club, Grayling. Info: (989)348-4343. 28: Teen Altered Book Program with Miz Rosie, 2 p.m. at the Harrisville branch of the Alcona County Library; registration is required. Info: (989) 724-6796.


1: Open Mic Night, 6 to 8 p.m. the first Friday every month at Flowers by Jose, featuring music, poetry and literature. Info: (989) 348-4006. 1-4: 4th of July Weekend Sidewalk Sales at Tanger Outlet Center, West branch. Info: (989) 345-2594. 1-16: 33rd Heritage Fine Art Show and Sales at Fifth Street Gallery, West Branch sponsored by the West Branch Creative Arts Association. Info: (989) 836-2932. 2: Harrisville Lion’s Club Kid’s Free Fishing Day, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Cedarbrook Trout Farm; kids 12-and-under fish for free. Info: (989) 724-5241.


2: Hospice of Helping Hands Annual Duck Race, noon at Irons Park, West Branch, with cash prizes for the first three ducks to cross the finish line. Tickets cost $2 each or three for $5. Info: (800) 992-6592. 2-3: Craft Show on the lawn at the Craftmakers’ Cabin in Harrisville. Info: (989) 736-1643 or (989) 739-9059. 2: 25th Annual Sugar Springs Art Show, located at 5477 Worthington Court, Gladwin, featuring work of local artists and crafters, plus bake sale, food booth and soft serve ice cream. Info: (989) 426-4111. 2: Mio Mud Bogs, 1 p.m. south of Mio on M-33. Info: (989) 826-3331. 3: Mud Bogs 2011, 1 p.m. at the Iosco County Fairgrounds, Hale, cost is $5 per person. Info: (989) 984-7742. 4: Tawas Bay Fireworks Sail aboard the Appledore IV, a three hour sail to see Independence Day fireworks over Tawas Bay; cost $55. Info: (989) 895-5193. 4: Kid’s Derby Fishing, 10 a.m. in Rose City Park. Info: (989) 685-2936. 5: Tuesday Night Live in East Tawas, with music and dancing 7-9 p.m. every Tuesday all summer long, on Newman Street. Info: (989) 362-8643. 6: Storyteller Genot Picor, 11 a.m. at the Alcona County Library, Harrisville. Info: (989) 724-6796. 6: Summer Concert Series, 7 p.m. at Harrisville Harbor featuring DnA. Info: (989)724-5107. 6: His Way, gospel trio, 7 p.m. at the Gazebo in Roscommon, part of the first and third Wednesday summer concert series. Info: (989) 275-4975. 7: The 62nd Annual National Bluegill Festival, at Richfield Township Park in St. Helen, featuring a carnival, vendors, car show, horse shoe tournament and more activities for young and old. Info: (989) 389-7030.


8-10: Summer Fest 2011, in Tawas, with a car show, 5th Annual Kiwanis Run by the Bay, lighthouse tours, Paws in the Park pet parade and show, car cruise, street dance and more. Info: (800) 558-2927. 8-10: Gladwin Fun Days and sidewalk sales, in downtown Gladwin. 8-9: Good Ole Days Festival celebrating Mikado’s Quasquicentennial – 1886, featuring family oriented fun and traditional games, flag raising ceremony, parade, old-style baseball, view of Mikado history, wilderness skills featuring Jim Miller, teen and adult dances, metal detecting findings and much more. Info: (989) 736-7721. 8-9: Annual Fishing Tournament, on Mio Pond, featuring a variety of categories and more than $2,000 in prizes. Info: (989) 826-3331. 8-9: West Branch Film Festival, a celebration of the cinematic arts in downtown West Branch including film showings from a variety of categories. Info: (989) 345-5226.


Penne Pasta Alfredo

From Tim’s Kitchen Penne Pasta Alfredo By TIM REED



Senior Portraits FOR 10 $ POSES!


(Limited time offer) Wedding Photography Casual and Formal Sittings Photo Restoration Graphic Design Brochures, Programs Calendars, Flyers and more

K.Neff 989.848.5732


This dish features penne pasta with broccoli and chopped chicken in a rich Alfredo sauce.

Penne Pasta Alfredo Ingredients: 1 lb. pkg. Penne Pasta – Farfalle pasta also works well 2 cups fresh broccoli florettes 1 lb. boneless chicken breasts (thighs may be used) 1 cup sun dried tomatoes artichoke hearts chopped red onion Prosciutto (or thick sliced bacon) flat leaf Italian parsley Italian seasoning 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes salt and freshly ground pepper shredded italian cheese blend

Directions: Cook pasta in large amount of boiling water, salting water according to package directions. About four minutes before pasta is done, add broccoli and continue to boil, about four minutes longer or until broccoli is tender crisp. Drain. Pat chicken dry with paper towels then season with Italian seasoning and salt and pepper; saute over medium heat in 1 tablespoon butter and a little olive oil until browned and cooked through (internal temperature is 165 degrees and juice runs clear.) Chop cooked chicken into 1/2 inch chunks and combine in a large bowl with cooked pasta, Alfredo sauce and other ingredients. Mix carefully. Sprinkle Italian cheese, additional pepper to taste and garnish with flat leaf parsley. Number of servings: 6

the guide • june 2011

Alfredo Sauce Ingredients: 1/2 Cup butter – one stick 1 – 8oz. pkg. cream cheese 1 cup half and half 1/3 cup grated Parmesan Cheese 1 Tbs. Garlic powder Black pepper to taste Directions: Combine butter and cream cheese in a medium sauce pan, gently warm over low heat. When melted, stir in half and half until smooth. Stir in grated parmesan cheese to incorporate. Add garlic powder and black pepper to taste. Leave sauce pan on low heat stirring occasionally as sauce thickens. – Tim Reed and his wife Sandy own Reeds on the River in Tawas City, where this special menu item and other delectable recipes are served.



ROSE CITY – Since starting Rose Valley Winery five years ago, Adam Kolodziejski has lamented the lack of worthy competition for his successful Ogemaw County endeavor. By his way of thinking, it is hard to form a wine trail if you’re the only winery around. He can stop complaining now. This past winter, Brad and Elaine Moore started Valley Mist Vineyards just across town from Kolodziejski. All indications are, the two competi-

purchase wine. And much of that growth comes from locals – folks who are gaining a new consciousness of a local wine culture and warming to the idea of wine as a beverage of choice. That growing awareness must have set a precedence. Across town at Valley Mist Vineyards, business is “booming,” according to Brad Moore. “The problem is we can’t keep up,” Moore says. “One person will come

Tasting room manager Stephanie Kolodziejski, right, serves Rose Valley Wine to members of the Bling Girls, a Roscommon County social club described by members as “a bridge club without the bridge.”

tive wineries will prove most complimentary. Since he began, Kolodziejski has experienced rapid growth, with folks traveling from across the state to sample Rose Valley’s wares and

in and they’ll tell five or six others. The biggest surprise we had after we opened was that business came on so strong. And we haven’t even been through a summer yet.”


Stop by and try some wine. For large groups or off-hour visits, call ahead. If at all possible, folks at either winery happy to accommodate you. Rose Valley Winery 3039 Beechwood Road, Rose City Monday and Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday noon to 4 p.m. (989) 685-9399 Valley Mist Vineyards 2742 Townline Road, Rose City Open Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday noon to 5 p.m. (989) 685-9096 While brisk business right out of the starting gate may have taxed the ability of an some upstart vintners, the Moore’s have managed to keep up and even come out ahead. Credit for that belongs to family and friends, said Elaine Moore. From label design, to accessories, to ideas for new wines, sons, brothers, sisters and friends have all pitch in to help. But some credit for the success of Valley Mist Vineyard’s goes to Adam Kolodziejski and others from the industry. Last fall, eight tons of grapes were purchased cooperatively by Valley Mist and Rose Valley, hauled to Rose City to be de-stemmed and crushed by Kolodziejski, with a portion used to produce Valley Mist Wine. As one can tell by Kolodziejski’s share-alike example, that’s the way the wine making industry works. “We all help each other out,” said Moore, who retired from Taylor Door in West Branch. “I wasn’t used to that. In manufacturing, we hated our competition.” Recently, two potential wine makers from AuGres took an educational tour with thoughts of eventually starting their own winery. Moore 7

and Kolodziejski invited them up, showed them around and provided pointers on every aspect of the industry. Not all who stake a share are from the wind industry. “One guy brought in 14 bags of elderberries and all he wanted was half the wine,” Moore said. “I ended up with 20 bottles of elderberry wine and everyone who bought it loved it.” That’s a popular sentiment, no matter which winery you visit. Both offer extensive collections of wine, as well as accessories and gadgets for the wine connoisseur. Valley Mist selections are as diverse as a wine lover could hope for, with varieties such as The Swill of a Lonely Sailor, a strawberry Zinfandel, the lemon wine Lightening Bug, and The Blues, a lightly sweet blueberry wine. Many of Valley Mist’s wines are fruit-based with new varieties that aren’t even finished.


Tasting room manager Stephanie Kolodziejski, right, serves Rose Valley Wine to members of the Bling Girls, a Roscommon County social club described by members as “a bridge club without the bridge.” Over at Rose Valley Winery, names are chosen based on local geography, with the semi-dry red Rifle River, semi-dry white Grouse Haven, and Clear Lake (made from Iosco-grown grapes harvested at Rose Valley’s Hunting Hawk vineyard) all named

for local waterways. Soon to debut are their first port wine, Rose Valley Pond, and their first home-grown blanc, Houghton Creek. Sampling is easy at either winery; both Valley Mist and Rose Valley have well-stocked and welcoming

the guide • june 2011

tasting rooms with knowledgeable staff to guide the novice or answer questions from the seasoned connoisseur. With two wineries barely one mile apart, Rose City is well worth the drive for any wine lover. Best of all, wander into one winery’s tasting room and the staff there will direct you to the other. “People will come visit if you have a winery, but they are more apt to visit if there are two, three or even more wineries,” said Stephanie Kolodziejski, Adam’s daughter and Rose Valley’s tasting room manager. Varietal differences among wines are not only expected, but anticipated, she said. “We all make different products, even if it is the same wine. Even at the same winery it will come out different depending on the season,” Kolodziejski said. “But if it is on a shelf and has a label on it, someone’s buying it and someone loves it.”


Garage 101 By JERRY NUNN Editor

OSCODA – Chad Faszczewski did “When we purchased the buildnot set out to take on the world when ing, it was going to be Internet retail he started internet-based BikerGaand nothing else. Before we started rage101, selling discount motorcycle demolition we were dedicated to parts and accessories from his Hubbuilding a museum,” Faszczweski bard Lake pole barn in 2008. says. “Now we have a showroom But now that too. Before, Faszczewski this was all works from a cubicles, one 30,000-squareafter another. foot warehouse It was amazon the former ing. It took Wurtsmith Air extensive Force Base, renovations. BikerGarage101 It cost a lot is closing in on more than conquering the we thought it globe. would when “We ship to we started.” countries all over Most stock the world. Most comes from of our clientele manufacturer are online and, close-outs, if I remember factory overChad Faszczewski, owner of BikerGarage101, right, I think we stocks, dealer recently relocated his Internet-based business quit counting closings and to Oscoda and expanded to include a retail at 58 differliquidations. showroom and the Melvin Motorcycle Museum. ent countries,” Savings to Faszczewski customers said. “We started in a small warecan run 70-percent or more on some house and rapidly ran out of room. items. Then we brought in six overseas One item of growing popularity are shipping containers, but we filled the high-efficiency Puma Scooters, them up.” that achieve nearly 120 mpg and cost The move to the former Iosco around $1,300. Larger less-efficient County air base, to the former offices models cost as much as $1,800 and of the Civil Engineering Squadron, still get 80 mpg. did more than cure the BikerGaInventory ranges across the specrage101 storage dilemma. Before trum, from parts to apparel. While remodeling even began, plans were inventory varies, new items come changed to include a 6,000-squareand go with frequency and the wide foot retail store and showroom, as range of offerings means BikerGawell as the 4,000-square-foot rage101 can meet the needs of giant Melvin Motorcycle Museum. And street dressers and off-road dirt bikbefore all is complete, a repair shop ers alike and most times, a small will compliment all this. THE GUIDE



inventory of motorcycles is available as well. Perhaps BikerGarage101’s greatest attractant, at least for a broader audience, comes by way of Faszczewski’s business partner and life-long motorcycle buff, Bill Melvin, CEO of Grand Rapids-based Liquid Asset Partners. As liquidators of the Indian, Buell and Big Dog Motorcycle Companies, as well as the Harley-Davidson Test Facility, Melvin helps keep the inventory flowing at BikerGarage101. But it is Melvin’s unique and growing collection of vintage bikes and motorcycle paraphernalia that populates the Melvin Motorcycle Museum.

display some of the history of the sport,” Faszczewski said. At the Melvin Motorcycle Museum, the history of motorcycle design can be traced back to original design drawings of Indian motorcycle factory. The museum houses more than 30,000 original artifacts, prints, drawings, tools, books, magazines, manuals, documents and motorcycles. “What we wanted to do was help make Oscoda a destination. And I think this will help,” Faszczewski says. “There are great roads to ride up here. You have the River Road Scenic Byway, the forests, agricultural areas and Lake Huron. This is great area to ride.” The Official Grand opening is set for June 10-12, but the retail outlet at BikerGarage101 has been operating unannounced since early April, as the crew gets things up and These vintage motorcycles and wall exhibits make up a small running. portion of Melvin Motorcycle Museum’s collection of old bikes, “People are pretty informative displays and other paraphernalia. The museum impressed when officially opens its doors to considerable fanfare and a large they come in here,” celebration on June 10-12. said A.J. Elliott of “This is the part that excites us Oscoda, retail manager of Bikermost,” Faszczewski said. “This will Garage101. “The thing is, a lot of make it worth the drive to Oscoda for people don’t know we are here yet.” anyone, whether they ride motorFormer service manager for Clascycles or not.” sic Motor Sports in Gaylord, Elliott The museum is certainly worth came to BikerGarage101 like much a visit to the Sunrise Coast. From of the inventory here – when Melvin memorabilia to vintage bikes, the liquidated the inventory at Classic Melvin Motorcycle Museum is a and Faszczewski picked it up, he trip to America’s motorcycling past. liked Elliott’s credentials and hired While a wide range of motorcycles him at the same time. are on display, memorabilia lines the “I am excited to be here,” Elliott walls. said. “I think we all are. I know Chad “We wanted to show the fun of has big plans and from what I’ve motorcycles, but we also wanted to seen so far, we’re going to achieve them.” The Melvin Motorcycle Museum & Retail Outlet When: June 10-12 Where: 3950 Arrow Drive, Oscoda on the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base What you’ll find there: Motorcycle stunt shows, meet and greet with the legendary Ron Finch, live entertainment, swap meet, vendors, ride in bike show, three days of motorcycle give-aways and more. Info: (989) 569-3660 or online at the guide • june 2011

Canoe for a Cause By JERRY NUNN Editor

Roscommon River Festival

When: July 16-17 Where: Wallace Park and the streets of Roscommon What you’ll find on Saturday: Vendors and Exhibits, AuSable River history, fly tying, fishing, canoeing and kayaking demonstrations and workshops, Wooden Kayak, Canoe and Boat Show, Poker Walk, kid’s activities and more. What you’ll find Sunday: Lunch in the park starts at 11 a.m., with a Dock Dog Competition, $5 Kayak Rentals and the Roscommon Rotary’s annual Great AuSable Duck Race at 2 p.m. Info: (989) 275-4392 or online at

“It is an excellent experience,” says Stan Watkins of Prudenville. Retired from Ford Motor Company and with an interest in the outdoors, Watkins is a first-year student with a mind to build his own wooden strip canoe. “What I’ll do is make mine the same time they do theirs. That way, if I forgot anything, I can check it out and recall what to do.”

ROSCOMMON – In fulfilling its mission to educate, preserve and provide a forum on the AuSable River’s historic importance, the AuSable River Center utilizes a variety of avenues. Built in 1939 by the Civilian Conservation Corps, the Center is home to a number of exhibits, including highlights of the 64-year-old AuSable River Canoe Marathon, the collection of 28,000-mile, cross-continent paddler Vern Kruger along with artifacts like river guide Chippewa “Chief” David Shoppenagon’s dugout canoe. In addition the AuSable River Center hosts the annual Roscommon River Festival, a family-focused festival to celebrate the South Branch of the Under the direction of Ed Nagel, Chet Schneider and Bruce Yannatta apply a AuSable River and its value to the final coat of epoxy as members of the AuSable River Center canoe class look on. community. Each year the Center holds a class on cedar strip canoe construction, with the But if the AuSable River Center does anything to promote its misclass project raffled off to help raise funds. sion, while placing an accent on the Classes begin in early January and run through recreational aspect of the river, the canoe building early May, with completion timed to allow for class may be the Center’s most important. display and ticket sales at mid-May’s Kirtland’s For six years running, the Center’s crew of Warbler Wildlife Festival. From there the canoe river enthusiasts and cedar strip canoe builders visits the Roscommon River Festival and The has put out an invitation to any who’d like to AuSable River Marathon, before the winning learn the art of canoe building. ticket is drawn at the annual Fireman’s Memorial Cost of the class couldn’t be more affordable – Festival in September. just roll up your sleeves and pitch in with producWhen not on the road, the canoe is displayed tion. at Fifth Street Market, a specialty wine, beer and Upon completion the canoe is displayed at area beverage store in downtown Roscommon. festivals all summer and then raffled off as a fund “It sits on the sidewalk out front all summer,” raiser for The AuSable River Center. said John Bennick, store owner and former class THE GUIDE

participant. “The canoes we’ve made have all been nice but I think – and I’ve been told – that this year’s canoe is the nicest one yet.” As much a work of art as it is a usable vehicle for water-borne travel, similar hand-crafted canoes can sell for $2,000 to $3,000, Bennick said. Made of one-inch wide, quarter-inch thick strips of cedar, the AuSable River Center canoes are based on a Peterborough design and weigh less than 60 pounds. Outer gunnels, seats, yoke and stem are made of ash for strength. The entire canoe is covered inside and out with fiberglass and three coats of epoxy. Red cedar highlights embellish the canoe and, in the few places that screws are used, their heads are hidden by contrasting dowels that adds notably to the design. Many canoe class students return year after year. Most alternately refer to their group as a club rather than a class. Perhaps that is due to the shared sense of purpose. Nonetheless, one among them is selected as teacher and this year the role was played by Steve Beardslee of Terry Beardslee & Sons, plumbing, heating and air conditioning. “Over the year’s we’ve learned a lot and we have good help making them now,” Beardslee says. “A lot of these guys have been doing them for a few years and some have made canoes of their own.” For those who taken their skills beyond the AuSable River Center classroom, the canoes have proven popular according to Doug Nagle of Roscommon, a former high school shop teacher from Brighton and founder of the canoe building class. Nagle ought to know. A few years back, when his 4-year-old grandson asked what the pair could do for adventure, Nagle suggested they go canoeing. “He said, ‘But, grandpa, we don’t have a canoe.’ I said, ‘Well, I guess we’ll have to build one,’” Nagle recalls. “I’ve built three kayaks, three river boats and eight-and-a-half-canoes. You know the canoes they stand on end and put shelves in? Well my daughter-in-law saw my first canoe and she had to have one of those. That’s my half-a-canoe.” Get your raffle tickets for the AuSable River Center cedar strip canoe at these area festivals: The Roscommon River Festival, July 16-17 The AuSable River Marathon, July 26-31, The Fireman’s Memorial Festival, Sept. 15-18 Or stop by Fifth Street Market in downtown Roscommon, where the canoe is on display all summer long. Tickets cost $5 each, three for $10 or seven for $20. 11

Nor-east’r Music & Art Festival

When: June 10-12 Where: Oscoda County Fairgrounds What you’ll find there: Music, music and more music performed from three stages, with food vendors, art and music demonstrations, workshops, kid’s guitar give-away, scavenger hunt, silent auction, Cost: Weekend pass costs $50 after June 1, available at the gate; Friday and Sunday day pass costs $15, Saturday costs $25. With paid adults, youngsters 13- to 17-years-old cost $5, under 13 are free. Performers: Featuring movie star/singer Ronny Cox, Madcat, Kane & Maxwell Street, Caravan of Thieves,The Steel Wheels, Dick Siegel & The Brandos, Red Sea Pedestrians, Kidnight Cattle Callers, Cairn to Cairn, Blue Water Ramblers, Nervous but Excited, The Marvins, Annie & Rod Capps, Jason Dennie, Jan Krist & Jim Bizer, Rootstand, Judy Insley, Shari Kane & Dave Steele, Lake Folk, George Schwedler Trio, Wild Ukulele String band, Orion Community Drummers, Kelly Shively & Gordon Howie, Steven Sidebottom, The Potter’s Field For more information visit online at

Nor-east’r Music & Art Festival

When: June 10-12 Where: Oscoda County Fairgrounds What you’ll find there: Music, music and more music performed from three stages, with food vendors, art and music demonstrations, workshops, kid’s guitar give-away, scavenger hunt, silent auction, Cost: Weekend pass costs $50 after June 1, available at the gate; Friday and Sunday day pass costs $15, Saturday costs $25. With paid adults, youngsters 13- to 17-years-old cost $5, under 13 are free. Performers: Featuring movie star/singer Ronny Cox, Madcat, Kane & Maxwell Street, Caravan of Thieves,The Steel Wheels, Dick Siegel & The Brandos, Red Sea Pedestrians, Kidnight Cattle Callers, Cairn to Cairn, Blue Water Ramblers, Nervous but Excited, The Marvins, Annie & Rod Capps, Jason Dennie, Jan Krist & Jim Bizer, Rootstand, Judy Insley, Shari Kane & Dave Steele, Lake Folk, George Schwedler Trio, Wild Ukulele String band, Orion Community Drummers, Kelly Shively & Gordon Howie, Steven Sidebottom, The Potter’s Field For more information visit online at

Wooded Acres Campground HOUGHTON LAKE – Call it Wooded Acres if you will, or The John Deere Campground if you want; either way you’ll offer apt description of this Roscommon County campground. Set on 15 forested acres one mile from Houghton Lake, the campground’s given name seems most appropriate. Yet, pull in the drive and get a glimpse of the vintage green and yellow iron, and Wooded Acres’ nickname will suddenly make perfect sense. “I’m a die-hard John Deere enthusiast,” says owner Dave Dietzel, a former farmer from Owendale. “I have two old John Deere tractors up in the campground right now, one 1935 and a 1951. I have John Deere pictures all over the laundry room and John Deere memorabilia all over the office.” Those tractors aren’t just for decoration. Dietzel uses them to tow his custom trolley about the 88-site park. Even better, with two ponds, flowers lining the drive, and ornamental trees planted about the natural woodlands, the tractors fit well with the serene, family-friendly atmosphere Dietzel tries to promote. “A lot of our crowd is young families and retirees,” said Dietzel.

“We don’t get a lot of upscale campers; we’re rustic. We are right in the woods and it’s all shade. This isn’t somewhere you’d want to bring a $250,000 motor home.” That self-recognition is important, according to Dietzel. “You want to attract a market that’s a good fit for what you have to offer,” he said, noting that camping customers are well aware of what they seek. “The minute they turn off the highway and into your driveway is the minute they decide if they want to stay with you.” In addition to the family atmosphere, folks have plenty of reason to stay at Wooded Acres Campground. “Staying in a campground is different from staying in a hotel,” Dietzel said. “Campers want to know who their neighbors are. They want to know where they’re from, what they do. They talk. One person says ‘Hi,’, another says, ‘Hi’ back and the gates open.” Despite close proximity to Houghton Lake, the campground pool is one of its most popular attractions. “We’re one mile off Houghton Lake, the largest inland lake in the state, but it’s a shallow lake, so our swimming pool is a big draw,” Dietzel says. “That being said, my

second biggest draw is Houghton Lake for anything but swimming; it’s a great lake for fishing, boating, and recreating.” That doesn’t mean that fishing in the campground is not popular. Located on what was once a former bait farm, Wooded Acres still boasts two or the former five fishrearing ponds, one that offers catch and release fishing. “It has a couple of big bass, and I mean big as in the 20-inch range,” Dietzel says. “I tell kids, ‘If you catch one of those, you let me know, I’ll be right there to get a photo.’ Before that night is over they’ll be on our website, with a picture of them holding the fish. “We call them King of the Pond and their photograph will be on the website until the next kid comes along and catches one of those big fish.”

Oscoda area attractions keep campers on the go! By JERRY NUNN Editor

OSCODA – When the Eller family took over operations at Oscoda KOA four years ago, the novice campground owners followed standard procedures outlined by the more experienced experts at KOA. They should not have bothered. “When we first started back in 2007, KOA recommended we hold activities on Saturday after-

Rippling Waters By JERRY NUNN Editor

OMER – If the perfect campground you seek must feature an aquatic attraction, head to the city. Rippling Waters Campground, located on the Rifle River in Arenac County, shares a property line with Omer, Michigan’s smallest city. “We are located right on the Rifle River, the perfect river for canoeing, especially for families,” said owner Dan Gallagher. “It has a decent current, but not too fast, and it’s relatively shallow, good for families with kids.” Known as Riverbend Campground prior to 2008, Rippling Waters has 100 campsites offering full hook-up, water and electric, as well as rustic sites for the tent camper. Rippling Waters also takes full advantage of its proximity to the river, by renting canoes, kayaks and tubes and offering trips of three different lengths. A seven mile excursion begins upstream and ends on-site, while a 10.5 mile trip takes paddlers from the campground, downstream to a landing south of Omer. A combination of the two makes for a popular day-long eight hour trip.

noon,” recalls Jennifer Eller. “What we found was there was no one around.” With Lake Huron’s beach, the AuSable River, the River Road Scenic Byway just outside the campground entrance, guests at the Iosco County campground had no desire for canned programs. “Canoeing is a huge draw for our guests. People love the river and, of course, that’s what the AuSable River is known for. Most people who come here are going to go canoeing at least once,” Eller said. Add to that the abundant forests, the nearby small town shopping districts, An abundance of off-site attractions did not stop the Ellers – Mike and Jennifer, along with parents Mike and Robin – from revamping the once-outdated park into a modern enticement for campers of all sorts. This spring saw further installation of cable TV and Internet services and the conversion of some rustic sites to full hook-up. Past undertakings include the addition of a laundry facility, an improved playground, a revamped pool, an improved rec center and installation of a giant jumping pillow.

“That shorter trip takes about two to three hours and is a great trip for families,” Gallagher said. “The other one, the four or five hour one, is popular with a lot of people. “But people who are really gungho, they like that longer trip. They can go for a few hours, pit stop back here and visit their campsite, and then finish the trip.” “We get a pretty good fishing crowd,” Gallagher says. “We’re close to Saginaw Bay and there are good access points nearby. And of course we have the river.” Amenities include a bath house, playground and a camp store that sells essentials. “We don’t have a pool but we have the river,” Gallagher said. “That’s what attracts people to us. People go out canoeing or fishing; they don’t want to sit around a pool. They want to sit by the campfire and be a family for the weekend.” Visitors here have plenty to do nearby – Whittemore Speedway, Saganing Eagles Landing Casino and a summer’s worth of events in AuGres, Standish and elsewhere. And even though Rippling Waters is located right there on the city’s edge, it still offers solitude. “The way I see it, when the campground is full, our populations is slightly larger than Omer’s,” Gallagher said. “There are deer round, and eagles nest nearby. People get excited when they see the eagles. To

“The jumping pillow is pretty cool and it’s been popular with kid’s since the day we put it in,” Eller says. “They can buy a wrist band for the day or the weekend.” As one might expect, the family-owned facility paid particular attention to amenities popular with tyke-toting campers. Nonetheless, they welcome and remain popular with campers of all sorts. “We have a pretty good mixture of campers,” Eller said. “We cater to families but we try to have something for everyone. That’s why we are keeping our rustic sites and that’s why we’re expanding our full hook ups.” And that’s why they carried through with those suggestions from KOA to host activities, including hay and fire truck rides. The Eller’s just discovered those activities were better attended when held in the evening rather than the middle of the day. Apparently, the experts at KOA did not take the change of schedule as a personal slight. Each year since the Eller’s bought Oscoda KOA they’ve won KOA’s Presidents Award. “We’re pretty proud of that,” Eller said.

hear people’s reaction when an eagle flys by, you’d have though that Air Force One just flew down the river. They just love it.”

Amber Waves of a Different Kind As if to demonstrate how large the invasive phragmite can grow, Huron Pines crew leader Tim Engelhardt stands among a roadside cluster in Iosco County.

By RYAN REICHL AmeriCorps member serving with Huron Pines This is an account of what he saw on a trip to Chicago and how an invasive species can change entire landscapes. In a poem published in 1895, Katharine Lee Bates painted a picture of the American landscape that has become an iconic symbol of our nation. Originally entitled “America,” Bates spoke of purple mountain majesties and amber waves of grain. When church organist Samuel A. Ward combined the poem with a tune he wrote 20 years prior, the result was

1910’s “America the Beautiful,” and the rest, as they say, is history. But on a trip to Chicago in early April, I saw amber waves of a totally different kind. As I made my way west on Interstate-94, large patches of a tall reed became more apparent along the roadside. By the time I reached northern Indiana and their industrial waters, those patches turned into full-fledged fields, with walls of this plant stretching as far as the eye could see. What I was noticing was an invasive plant species called phragmites (Phragmites australis, pronounced frag-MYtees.) Phragmites is believed to have been brought to our shores from Europe

through ballast water on ships. It made its way from the east coast through the St. Lawrence Seaway and has already caused massive changes to the southern portions of Lake Huron and Lake Michigan as well as inland marshy areas throughout the state. The plants can grow over 15 feet tall and will choke out native plants, rapidly monopolizing entire habitats. The only way to get rid of them is to use state-approved herbicide to kill the roots over several years. In areas like northern Indiana and Saginaw Bay, phragmites has taken over to the point that eradication is no longer a viable option. It spreads so fast and grows so thick that, without an early detection and rapid response, acres of land can go from fertile soil or valuable waterfront property to impenetrable walls in a matter of a few years. In Northeast Michigan, phragmites is making its way up the Lake Huron coastline and into our watersheds at an increasing rate. My trip made it readily apparent what our land would look like if nothing was done to stop its progression.

Huron Pines, a nonprofit conservation organization located in Grayling, is leading the charge to identify and treat patches of invasive phragmites throughout an 11-county service area in Northeast Michigan. By educating landowners and volunteers, Huron Pines relies heavily on local citizens to identify patches in their area as soon as even one plant is spotted. As a result, since the program’s inception in 2009, Huron Pines has treated over 33 acres of phragmites on 80 properties – about one-third of the coastal phragmites in the service area – and is writing a 5-year plan for the program in 2011. To learn more about the Huron Pines Invasive Species Program, including potential cost-share funding for phragmites treatment, visit or contact Ecologist Jennifer Muladore at (989) 344-0753 ext. 31 or Consider attending our Northeast Michigan Invasive Species Summit on Friday, June 17 in Alpena. With continued awareness on the part of landowners and a steadfast commitment from local organizations, phragmites can be prevented from occupying valuable land and natural habitat, from lake to shining lake. Please consider joining this important effort to restore and protect our lands.




GLADWIN – When David and Mary Moore began Stone Cottage Gardens 15 years they did so without a master plan. Fortunately. Seems that lack of a clear vision allowed the couple to expand as needed, growing their inventory of hybrid daylilies more than 900 varieties and their stock of perennials to more than 600. And the Moore’s aren’t close to slowing down: The farm has grown to a dozen large and well-kept landscape beds of assorted daylilies and perennials. Several include water features and one includes a locallypopular wedding arbor. Fortunate too, that the couple were not so lax when it came to forming a vision. Right from the start, David and Mary Moore set out to educate. “We feel that part of what we do here is a mission,” said Mary. “We help people and we help kids be good gardeners. A lot of it really is a mission.” While Stone Cottage Gardens is the Moore’s sole enterprise, their dedication to education provides benefit to the entire community. Trained Master Gardeners, though they no longer practice, the Moore’s make it 16

Stone Cottage Garden

3740 Wilford Road, Gladwin One mile west of Gladwin, take Chappel Dam Road one-half mile north, then east on Wilford Road. The road leads right into the driveway of Stone Cottage Garden. Open May 2 through October 8 Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Other times by chance or appointment their business to be sure customers purchase the right plants. “We don’t just sell plants. I ask, ‘Is it shade or sun, is it sand or clay.’ Sometimes, what people want is not what works or what is best,” said David “I’d rather that a plant died on me than died on the customer. If it is not going to grow well for them, I’d much rather not sell it.” The attitude is reflected in their basic business plan. Summer time is full of workshops, seminars and

classes – an entire list can be found online at The Moore’s educational efforts extend beyond the farm that Mary has owned since 1976. Perhaps most beneficial is the lead role the couple have assumed in the local Farm to School program, a cooperative effort between Gladwin Community Schools and local produce and fruit farms. Part of a larger, national program, Farm to School provides farm-fresh local produce for use in Gladwin area

school cafeterias, as well as the sale of fresh produce in the schools. Included in the collaboration are

field trips to area farms and orchards, classroom instruction on raising vegetables organically, instruction on cooking with herbs, plant identification and more. In addition David teaches the composting portion of Master Gardener classes for Northeast Michigan Extension Agencies. Educational efforts aside, if Stone Cottage Gardens is known for anything it is for their inventory, especially their daylilies. Here you’ll find three whole acres filled with 900 varieties of daylilies. And while the daylilies are field grown, the Moore’s have incorporated many varieties into the abundant landscape beds that dot the property. “We decided to plant daylilies so people could see them in a landscape setting, but I realized they are pretty boring most of the year,” said Mary. “So I started carrying perennials.” Now the Moore’s count 600 varieties of perennials amongst their collection and Mary admits that she “got hooked bad on perennials.” In reflection of their own attention to quality, the Moore’s purchase plants and garden accessories only from reputable wholesalers. In addition to plants, Stone Cottage also offers cocoa bean mulch, Morgan’s Dairy Doo products, and Neptune’s fertilizers and soil amendments. They also carry a wide range of garden tool and, keeping with their environmentally-aware concept,

the guide • june 2011

they sell garden tools made from recycled farm implements. The Moore’s couldn’t do it all alone: Help comes from three full time workers and still other part time, seasonal employees. Landscape beds are so well kept, and the walkways and lawn so clean and well maintained, that Stone Cottage Gardens is a popular destination for wedding and graduation photographs. In addition to pristine gardens, the Moore’s have maintained the atmosphere of a traditional farm. Formerly the site of a brick factory, Stone Cottage Gardens still boasts barns, corn cribs and tool sheds usually associated with an old farmstead. When one dilapidated out building was recently rebuilt, the work order to contractors came with one odd request: “We told them it had to look old when they were finished,” Dave says. “That look of an old farm was important to us. “People love it. It’s just like coming to an old farm. It’s relaxing.”

Made in Michigan

State-wide shopping with computerized convenience, delivers Michigan made products right to your door.

STANDISH – If you dare talk down on Michigan’s economy, don’t let the Heinrich sisters catch wind of the condescending conversation. It is highly likely they’ll disagree. At the depths of our state’s recession, after brain-storming business ideas, the trio started, intent on selling Michigan made products strictly online. Begun in 2008, sales grew eightfold from 2009 to 2010. This year, maintains a four-time growth rate, according to business managing-sister Deborah Robinson of Standish. Considering that the company is still in “growth-mode,” Robinson says that Michigan-Made’s web-

By JERRY NUNN Editor based business formula suites them just fine. “I doubt we’ll ever have a brick and mortar store,” said sister and company spokesperson Rejeana Heinrich. “We sell merchandise only on the Internet and we only sell products made in Michigan. We have several categories and a wide range of items. “And we only carry good, quality products; things that are reasonably priced, backed up by good customer service, from companies that are owned by reputable people,” Heinrich said. “Basically, we only sell products that we are proud of.” They found plenty of those across the state. THE GUIDE



Arenac County’s Heinrich sisters, Rejeana Heinrich, Deborah Robinson and Kathleen Clark, promote Michigan entrepreneurs and their products through “We could be here all day,” says Heinrich, when pressed for her personal favorites. “We also carry classic Michigan products; cherry-based products, petoskey stones and other Michigan gem stones.” Perennially popular among customers are candles, jewelry and collectible dolls, but top sellers come and go. Beauty and food products, as well as fashion and household items, also rate high on the list of customer favorites. Recently, the Michigan Department of Human Services purchased thousands of journals and Paracord Bracelets are popular with federal agencies, military organizations, schools and law enforcement. Sales of the collectible Reborn Dolls have gone to movie production studios, where the life-like tykes stand in as less-expensive and easier-to-maintain replacements for real babies. Recently, to decorate for a birdthemed wedding, a bride-to-be ordered 35 birdhouses for use as table ornaments. Hand-built products are common. Much of what offers is artisan produced: Antler décor, jewelry, even ironworks. Other items are mass produced, some of those by companies that have held a

long-time presence in the state. “We have thousands of items,” said sister Kathleen Clark of Turner, web designer and Internet sales manager. “We never know day-by-day what items are going to be popular.” A global business, shipments are evenly split between Michigan and the rest of the nation, with sales to Canada and Mexico fairly common, she said. Early on, the sisters sought sellers and promoted their business by traveling across the state. Customers to their website were drummed up along the way. Lately, that’s not been quite so necessary, according Robinson. While she and Clark are kept busy full-time, Heinrich could join them if she cared to. “Initially, we started going to trade shows,” Robinson said. “We’re backed logged now. But we’ve had some great adventures. We’ve been all over the state and met some incredible people.” As might be expected, the business venture has brought the sisters closer together than ever before and each fulfills a unique professional role. “As long as we mind our P’s and Q’s we get along alright,” said Heinrich, with a laugh. “The fact that we all have our own expertise helps.”

the guide • june 2011

Of course they are always looking for new Michigan-made products to sell. A simple vetting process will get a seller on. “People think they have to pay to be on the website but they don’t,” Robinson said. “We do try to offer sellers an exclusive position, so we aren’t selling more than one of the same product and they aren’t competing against other sellers on the site.” While the focus is retail, does elicit a wholesale trade with traditional brick and mortar retailers, who also appreciate the opportunity to shop products made here in our state. The company also promotes, advertises and sometimes discounts products on its website, the cost of which comes from the company side of the profits. It all goes to the Michigan-made mission the Heinrich sisters started with. “We started this business when Michigan was in the pits economically,” says Heinrich. “We thought, ‘Hey, maybe it would boost Michigan’s economy if there was somewhere you could go to buy products that were not made in China, or Taiwan or even Wisconsin.’ Right from the start, the idea really resonated with people and we’ve had outstanding response, not only from retailers but from customers as well. We get the nicest comments from people who are glad there is somewhere they can go to get Michigan made products.”

GRAYLING –Vicky Townsend cringed every time the phone rang, anticipating another complaint about her 16-year-old son and his reckless skateboarding on the city streets and sidewalks. Apparently Vicky’s concerns finally struck home with Trey; he wrote a letter to the editor presenting his case. “If the kids had a designated place to skate board, they wouldn’t be on the

By JIM SMITH Special to The Guide

the City of Grayling. Those friends of Trey Townsend who were willing to champion a cause, now call themselves “the Crew.” They and their peers made all the difference, convincing numerous local organizations like the Rotary Club and Kiwanis to donate both money and support. The City of Grayling was so impressed with Trey’s proposal that they turned over the rarely used ice rink beside Grayling City Hall to be converted into a skate park. A new, improved ice rink will be built at a different location. The City also proTrey Townsend, (left) with Mom, vided $30,000 for Vicky, Kris Minnick and Mike Shearer the park’s developof the Kiwanis Club oversee the skate park construction. ment. And it all came about through the efforts of this small streets and sidewalks,” Trey said. group of dedicated individuals who Apparently, someone was reading are now young adults. the paper that day. A professional skate park construcOver the following five years, Trey tion company was hired and work Townsend, fellow skateboarders Kris started early this spring. As of now, Minnick and John Handy, along with the skate park is open for business several other folks managed to raise and available to all folks that like $60,000 to build a Tony Hawks-deto skateboard. The very first area signed skateboard park right here in

These are just some of the ramps and jumps available at the new Grayling Skate Board Park, thanks to the efforts of a small group of very dedicated young people. skateboard competition is scheduled for July second. While the park is physically owned by the City, it is under the management of the same group of folks who sparked the original idea and had the perseverance to see it through to completion.

scarcity of parts and new equipment. In 1972 Frank Nasworthy invented urethane skate board wheels, replacing those hard to control and dangerous wheels previously made of clay. Many credit these new wheels with resurrecting the sport of skate boarding. In 1975 the first official competiSkate boarding can trace its begin- tion was held in Del Mar, California. nings back to the 1920’s and 1930’s From that point on skate boarding when the first young man disassem- technology and style developed by bled his sister’s roller skates, nailed quantum leaps. New manufacturers them to a 2 X 4 and added an orange entered the market. Stars appeared with names like Mike McGill, Stacy crate to the front to hang on to. It Peralta and Tony Hawk. Clothing had no brakes, was unstable and styles were influenced and video hard to steer, but it was fun. games developed that were inspired Skateboarding really started to by the skate boarding tricks that catch on when the California surfwere developed. One of the besters decided to try duplicating their known skate boarders, Tony Hawks, water sport on dry land and skate is credited with the invention of boarding’s popularity continued to over 100 unique and widely imitated grow through the mid 1960’s when tricks. interest in the sport bottomed out. While Middle America still doesn’t It seemed to most people that skate completely recognize skate boarding boarding had just been a fad that came and went. People who wanted as a legitimate sport and continues skate boards were reduced to build- to pass restrictive ordinances, the sport steadily makes inroads and is ing their own or finding an old one gaining respectability in communiin a garage sale or flea market. ties throughout the country. Nonetheless, a core of die-hard skateboarders lived on, despite the



Antique iron By JERRY NUNN Editor

said. “Each year we get a little bigger. We have a great location over at the fairgrounds. We try to bring in something new, just to change it up.” With old-time machinery of all sorts, the focus of the event is tractors. And never mind the educational and historical aspects of the club; Main says the tractor show serves as a social gathering more than anything.

FAIRVIEW – All year, members of the AuSable Valley Engine and Tractor Club work to preserve America’s farming traditions, cleaning and preening the antique tractors that club members collect. Come the weekend of June 24-26, at the 7th Annual AuSable Valley Engine and Tractor Club Show and Swap, their hard work will be justified and put on display. Held each year at the Oscoda County Fairgrounds north of Mio on the last weekend of June, the event offers plenty of opportunity to admire the handiwork of these collectors of culture. “We’ll have vendors, Members of the AuSable Valley Engine and Tractor exhibits and demonClub make quick work of this Oscoda County farm strations,” says club President Marvin Main. field at their spring plow day earlier this year. The “There is camping on machinery and more will be on display at the 7th site, we’ll have country Annual AuSable Valley Antique Tractor Show and music and the Lions Swap later in June. Club will be there cooking up a chicken barbeque.” “Any time we get together we do Demonstrations include a shingle more talking than we do plowing,” mill, trashing machines, corn huskhe said. ing, feed grinding and more. The show and swap is not the only Above all else, there will be lots of time the group gathers. old tractors running around. Twice a year, spring and fall, they “It’s always a good time and a haul tractors and implements to an great reason for people to come out Oscoda County field to put the vinand see these old machines,” Main tage iron to use turning the soil. 20

For Main, a retired dairy farmer from Minden City, these gatherings are a reunion of sorts as well. His sons, Bob, Brian and Scott, share their father’s respect for old tractors and each has a collection of their own. For 18-year club member Herb Fuller, 85, the conservation of our agricultural traditions is a personal affair. Due to turn 86-years-old this summer, and a club member since 1993, Fuller still uses his antique tractor daily to maintain his garden and grow food plots for deer. “I worked at an implement dealer in 56-57. I worked on most of these old tractors back when they weren’t so old,” says Fuller. “My kids always say I should get something newer,” said Fuller. “I say, ‘Why?’ “We’re just a bunch of wild old farts up here. Those farmers back then, they did a lot of work with these old tractors.”

the guide • june 2011

7th Annual AuSable Valley Antique Tractor Show and Swap When: June 24-26 Where: At the Oscoda County Fairgrounds, north of Mio What you’ll find there: Vendors, exhibits, demonstrations, a swap meet, country music, chicken barbeque and plenty of old tractors and farm implements. On-site camping is available. Cost: $3 for the weekend, under-12 free Info: (989) 848-5894 or (989) 826-5920

Stone Ridge MX By JERRY NUNN Editor WEST BRANCH – Crisscrossed by scenic rural roads and boasting miles of back woods trails, Northeast Michigan has long been attractive to two wheeled travelers. With the recent opening of Stone Ridge MX, Ogemaw County’s new motocross and ATV facility, cyclists now have one more reason to race to the area. With racing scheduled for every other weekend all summer long, and with Wednesday and Saturday set aside for practice between race dates, Stone Ridge is attracting attention from all across the state. As one of only two full-blown motocross tracks for more than 50 miles, Stone Ridge MX joins Rose City’s Ogemaw Sport & Trail Center, in the center of Northeast Michigan’s motocross universe. And Stone Ridge MX is deserving of its new-found notice. Set on 40 acres, and located just off Interstate 75 at exit 215, Stone Ridge offers a mile-and-a-half of adult racing excitement, as well as a half-mile pee-wee track. “There seems to be a lot of talk. We’re getting calls from all over Michigan,” says Gary Moore, owner of Stone Ridge MX and West Branch MotorSports. “We have 500 followers on our Facebook page and we have daily activity on our website.” A mid-May practice session – the facility’s first – attracted 30 riders and 20 spectators. “They came from as far away as the Sault, they came from downstate and we all had a great time,” Moore

said. “We had a couple little kids and we had one guy in his 50s. It’s across all ages and genders. We had women at the track.” Inaugural race day is planned for Memorial Day Weekend, then two Sundays each month through the end of October. Practice sessions are offered Wednesdays and Saturdays preceding race days. Moore expects practice sessions to be nearly as popular as race day. “Practice sessions make it nice, so riders can check out any changes to the track that we’ve made since they were here last,” Moore said. “If we add a pile of dirt here, or take something out, or change a curve, it gives them a chance to experience it before a race.” “Of course the track changes during a race, just by running on it,” he added. “But the more it changes, the more exciting that makes it for the spectators as well as the riders.” A privateer track, not affiliated with a sanctioning organization, Stone Ridge offers opening riding and competitive events without overwhelming costs. Race day gate fees run $10 each, with riders paying $15 per class entered. Practice sessions cost $20 for riders with a $5 spectator fee. Non-riders seven-and-under are free. On-site camping will be available for riders and if all goes as Moore hopes, food vendors will be one hand as well.

While Stone Ridge MX opens to an aggressive summer race and practice schedule, given this spring’s wet weather, preparations for business where perhaps even more aggressive. “With the rain, it was tough but we got a lot done,” Moore said, noting the fitful start that late arriving snow caused track construction. “When we turned over the first pile of dirt, the ground was still frozen; we were turning over ice.” With a last minute break in the weather, finishing touches have been completed. Now, fencing is in place, starting gates and finish lines are measured off, parking areas are marked and Stone Ridge MX is ready for crowds. It’s a project that Moore has been dreaming of, not only for himself and other motocross riders, but for the local economy as well. “For a long time, I’ve had my eye on that property. There is nothing like it anywhere around here,” Moore


said. “This is not just for riders. People love to watch racing. “There are more people who watch than those who actually race. There are very few people who come to the track alone to race; they bring three or four people with them. They need places to eat. Some will need a place to stay. I hope this works out good for everybody. That’s the plan anyhow.”

For more information on Ogemaw County motocross, visit these websites:

Stone Ridge MX Ogemaw Sport & Trail Center You’ll also find both on Facebook.



Back in the Woods Back In The Woods Antiques 109 Oakwood Avenue Prudenville

989-366-8636 By SHANNON NUNN Special to The Guide When walking into an antique shop the last thing you expect to see is a sink full of dishes, but that is what you will find at Back In The Woods Antiques shop located at 109 Oakwood Avenue in Prudenville Michigan. The dishes aren’t dirty of course, they are antiques on display. Owner Rachele Farden uses every space in what was an ordinary house to eclectically display her antiquities. Each of the six rooms has its own distinctive motif and contains everything from knickknacks, hats, toys, furniture and more. Don’t forget to go down the patriotic stair case to discover a basement teeming with goodies from bygone days.

Q: What are your bestselling items? Rachele: People love the Lori Mitchell figures. I have a variety of them including holiday collectibles. Also, books and Victorian clothing are quite popular. Q: Why did you decide to open an antique shop? How long have you been open? Rachele: I just always have liked antiques. I started this in 1999 by renting this house for my shop, eventually I ended up buying it. Q: Besides antiques, what else do you have to offer your customers? Rachele: Country Home Creation dip mixes, home décor and gifts, Aroma Buddies car fresheners which are Michigan made.

the guide • june 2011

Driven by Pride! By SCOTT NUNN The Guide (989) 245-7140

In the previous issue of The Guide we discussed the regionalization of Northeast Michigan; the idea that our communities are defined not by town lines or county borders but rather by our common goals, common thoughts and a common drive for economic success. Folks in Northeast Michigan need to embrace our neighbors regardless of whether they are competitive or complimentary. Models such as the Sunrise Coast and AuSable River Country demonstrate that combined efforts may accomplish what singularity will never get done. Ponder, for a moment, our own connection to Northeast Michigan. Regardless whether we’re travelers, seasonal visitors or permanent residents, there is a reason why we’re all here. Examine those connections closely and patterns frequently emerge: Folks who visit or relocate to Northeast Michigan out of desire have a greater pride of the area than residents who stayed here because they lacked the means or initiative to leave. A common thought often voiced is the need for Northeast Michigan to educate and retain its youth. I suggest a contrasting idea: Only one parent attends high school commencement. The other stays home to pack. Send our youth into the vast world to explore, penniless if possible, and let them see the difficulties the world presents. You will find that when they return (and they often will) they will bring experience, drive and a world view that they otherwise would not have learned. They will also return with a new sense of pride. Pride is the catalyst to Northeast Michigan’s success. Pride builds businesses, futures and prosperity. If every resident and business owner took a small bit of pride in our communities and verbalized the source

of their personal pride, we would all learn a little more. Business owners in Northeast Michigan can help themselves and lend a helping hand to those around them by tapping into that pride. Train your staff to do an exceptional job within the four walls of your establishment, then spent a moment teaching them what goes on beyond those walls. Help them educate your customers of the happenings in your area and the towns around you. Not long ago, I heard a horror story of the unnamed station attendant who, when asked by a traveler about weekend events, claimed ‘there ain’t nothing to do in this town.’ That’s an argument I’ll gladly fight to my grave, for if this were true, The Guide that you are reading would have never been. If only the attendant had embraced her surroundings and taken a few minutes to proudly inform those travelers of the happenings around them, the visitors would have left enlightened rather than discouraged. If each of Northeast Michigan’s 150,000 residents offered a mere two minutes of their time to help convey the area’s message to passers-by, collectively we would deliver 5,000 hours of education to travelers, visitors and even our neighbors. Promoting Northeast Michigan on a broad scale is neither cheap nor easy, and targeted marketing to the exact audience we wish to attract is even more difficult and costly. Nonetheless, we often disregard that brief moment when have our audience’s undivided attention: Those times when they are already here dining at our table, standing across our counters and paying for their gas, or sitting in our lobbies booking a night’s room. A few minutes of your time, and a little bit of pride, can make a huge difference for those travelers. It can make a world of difference to our communities as well. Look for step three in the July issue of The Guide. THE GUIDE





Co Hwy 608 / W. Miller Rd.

N. Galbraith Rd. Gerber Rd.

Bills Rd.

Kneeland Rd.



Kittle Rd.




5 4



8 1

1 Northstar Storage Barns 2 Country Feed Supply 3 Country Cedar Crafts 4 Shady Lane Footwear and Fabrics 5 Pine Grove Woodworking 6 Granny’s Chocolates 7 Bylers Custom Cabinets 8 Highland Rail


Chocolate Specialty Hand Dipped • Homemade

Granny’s Chocolates Phone: 989-848-2172 • 600 W. Miller Rd., • Mio, MI 48647

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