Sunday, November 24, 2013

Taking the Backroads - Battling the Elements

I had a very specific purpose for this week's backroads adventure. It was to pick up this sweet girl…

The rendezvous point was Gaylord, which is about 4 hours south for them and 4 hours north for me. I was extremely happy with this rendezvous point because it would finally give me the opportunity to do some photographing along Alba Highway.

We discovered this road a few years ago on the suggestion of a friend as an alternate route to the Upper Peninsula. I immediately fell in love with it, so many wonderful rural things to photograph. We are usually on a tight schedule when we travel along this road, so I have never had the opportunity to stop and take pictures. Friday was FINALLY the day. I left early enough to give myself a couple hours cushion of shooting time.

It was raining when I left home, and there was strong potential that I was going to run into snow as I got closer to my destination. I was not wrong.

There were times when the wind was whirling the snow around so much that I thought my adventure would be a bust.

Alba Highway

Even as I turned onto Alba Road the snow was still blowing around pretty good, but I was determined to have my adventure. I turned down a side street to park a minute and make a plan when I found this treasure.

I love the front facade on this building, and of course the decay.

Farther along the road the snow slowly started to cease. I found some lovely barns and fields.

This barn was on a gravel side road that dead ended, sort of, into a seasonal road that will not be getting plowed per the sign.

I spotted these old cars next to an abandoned house.

The blue color on this second one drew me in like a moth to a lightbulb.

The Derelict House

Glen and I had quite the discussion one time on our way home from the U.P.  We were in Gaylord for lunch and I said I wanted to take the Alba Road home because I wanted to get some photos of the derelict house. He was certain that derelict only referred to a person and not a thing, so I preceded to look up the definition on my phone while we sat there.

Derelict: adjective - in a very poor condition as a result of disuse and neglect.

I love it when I can have these small victories and am right beyond a shadow of a doubt. So anyway, here is the derelict house...

Thankfully somebody painted the front of the house since last time I was here, there was some inappropriate graffiti on the front before.

I found the "Security cameras in use" sign quite hilarious.

The Fence

The second thing that I have always wanted to photograph along this road is this fence…

I absolutely love these old fence posts, and in all my travels so far I have never seen ones like them.

The fence was my last stop on Alba Road. I set off for Gaylord. I arrived about 30 minutes ahead of them, so not one to let good photography time go to waste, I looked for something interesting to shoot. I spied this from a couple of streets over…

 So I set off to investigate.

St. Mary's Catholic Church

From the historical marker:

The Neo-Gothic St. Mary's Catholic Church has been a Gaylord landmark since it was dedicated on September 15, 1900. When the Diocese of Gaylord was established in 1972, the church became the cathedral. The diocese built a new cathedral in 1976 and closed St. Mary's. In 1985 a local group, fearing the building would be razed purchased it for use as a performing arts center, which they named Mount Carmel Centre.

I am so glad that they didn't raze the building, what beauty it holds.

After I was done here I had just enough time to get to the restaurant to meet them. It was so wonderful to see them, not having seen them since September. To catch up and hear how the drive was down from the Upper Peninsula. After lunch we headed south separately for a time on dry roads and under blue skies. Eventually he turned east and us west, all of us journeying towards our homes.

Joining Helen for Weekend Walks.


  1. Great planning on your part! Love the fence photos - especially the first one! Enjoy your family time!

  2. Simply beautiful finds on your journey.

  3. Wonderful photos Sarah . . . I liked the derelict, the fence and the moss filled steps . . .

  4. I feel like I am on the photo journey with you . . . wonderful photos!

  5. Well planned! We always need time to break for photos! I love that old fence. I'm with you, I've never seen fence post quite like these. They remind me of bed posts! I love seeing all your snow pictures. I wouldn't mind seeing a little bit of that around here! Enjoy your week and Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

  6. Oh what a grand adventure you had this week, the snow, the barns, the old buildings, that fence...all wonderful. Enjoy your time with your daughter, have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

  7. So loved being with you on your journey, what a treasure trove the Christmas tree by the house and the blue of the car priceless so envious we don't see as many old houses over here and if there are any they are surrounded by wire. Most of our houses are brick built so to see these wooded beauties is wonderful.

  8. Oh wow - what a fantastic trip - I honestly can't choose a favourite photo because I like them all. But your derelict house is a treasure! We have so little snow here that I'm not really used to driving in it - so I think you're brave to venture out in it! Thanks for linking to my blog!

  9. Good morning Sarah, looks like you had another fun adventure. Do you find it is diffucult to find a space to pull over at times. That's what stops me... Your photos look wonderful.

  10. Sarah, I LOVE your back roads adventures. Like you, I'm drawn to derelict buildings of all sorts. As I scrolled down through this post, I kept thinking, "Oh, this is my favorite!" only to say the same at the next photo, and the next.... They're just all outstanding.

  11. that is a lot of snow, I can feel the cold but you have made it all look so beautiful, wonderful wonderful photographs

  12. Gosh, darn, so many good photos! Love the last one especially and the fence one are awesome. The snow really made the barn shots extra awesome.

  13. Awesome ... from beginning to end! You found some real treasures. Those barns are just perfect!

  14. so many beautiful photos, but that fence . . . how could you tear yourself away from it? i would've spent the whole afternoon with it! ; )

  15. You really found a photo bonanza on this back road trip...the barns, old car with the touch of blue showing and oh my that wonderful derelict house. I thought we had a market on some of those on the back roads of the VA eastern shore, but your find was perfect...loved the security sign too.


Thank you so much for visiting today and taking the time to read my thoughts on life. :)