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      Seniors experience a tour of color

      It was a ride of a lifetime, and the rain didn't keep anyone away.

      The 4th annual Mi-TRALE (Michigan Trails and Recreation Alliance of Land and the Environment) Fall Color Tour embarked on its 20-mile long ride through the forest to experience some of fall's beautiful colors.

      With blankets and gloves in check, 50 seniors packed into side-by-side ATVs and enjoyed the ride. I tagged along to see what the rave was all about.

      "We give them a chance to see the fall color from within the forest, not from a highway," said Mi-TRALE President Skip Schulz.

      It was a bumpy ride at times, coupled with rain and wind but all part of the memories, they say.

      "It's very emotional for not only the volunteers that put this on, but for the seniors because many of them don't have this opportunity, so we TMre really proud to do this," Schulz said.

      We jumped on our rides at the Adventure Mountain in Greenland, following 20 miles of the Bill Nichols Trail. It's named after a man responsible for its existence, and the one to see it all put to use was there with us.

      "It's always very nice to ride on a trail named for my dad, said Dale Nichols. He was an executive with one of the mining companies up here."

      The breathtaking moment came halfway. We stood on trestles 100 feet in the air, looking at a rainbow of color around us.

      Finally, after a cold and rainy ride, the gang stopped at Twin Lakes State Park to warm up with some hot coffee and a pasty.

      "It was fantastic except for the rain, said Ray Maki, a senior.

      Rain or shine, the tour went on, taking the second group of seniors back on the trail and back to adventure.