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Optimism

It gets a bit wonky around Baldwin Lake. The Flat River Trail map shows that the trail doesn’t officially go around the lake but rather ends at a narrow road by the water’s edge. But that road follows the shore, wraps around the northern arm, cuts across a tiny strip to Manoka Lake, and from there rejoins the official trail.

Thing is, I didn’t know about all this wrapping and following and cutting across. Undoubtedly the fair and industrious Trudy would have explained it. She had researched the Greenville trails and even ridden this one with Jenny last week. But I had done no research other than to learn that if you followed that road you’d eventually find yourself back on the trail. So I followed it.

There came a point where the bike lane diverged, and both paths looked equally travelled. So I took the left one, because it climbed a hill into a White Pine woods. I was optimistic that I really couldn’t choose incorrectly. Greenville, Michigan is not a big place, after all. Any of us dropped anywhere in the town could find our way back to the trailhead.

The climbing, winding path passed cutouts where benches might eventually go and turned in sharp switchbacks and passed a playground until finally at the top it emptied out onto a parking lot. Not far away, a guy was trying to start a weed eater. This was The Greenville Optimist Camp. My optimism thereby rewarded, I turned onto a street that Trudy and I had driven on just the other day, and from there, the true trail what just several heartbeats away.