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Pandemic Pastimes: Trails, woodburning and local rock music


Art Reach sits on 111 E. Broadway St. on Nov. 15, 2019.

Whether students want to stay online in their rooms or go outside for some physical activities, the mid-Michigan area has plenty to offer.

On this week’s edition of Pandemic Pastimes, Central Michigan Life explores art classes, miles of bike trails and a recent release from a local band.

Art Reach Classes

Local organization Art Reach continues to host its art classes through the COVID-19 pandemic, both online and in person. The organization has an upcoming class titled “Woodburning for Beginners.” According to the webpage for this class, it will teach the fundamental techniques of woodburning and will help “create one-of-a-kind pieces of art.”

Participants can bring their own pieces of wood or use one of the provided pieces. The class will take place from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 10 at the Art Reach building located at 111 E. Broadway St. Classes start at $25 dollars.

A full list of classes for the rest of the year can be found at Art Reach’s website.

Trails Galore

Fall is upon us, which means Michigan will soon be coated in snow. However, the forecast for the coming week shows there is still some warmth to enjoy. Maybe that time can be spent taking a jog or bike ride on the Mid-Michigan Community Pathways.

This trail stretches from Central Michigan University’s campus to Shepherd, according to the trail’s website. There are plans to expand this trail in the future, connecting Clare all the way down to Alma.

Speaking of Alma, another trail, the Fred-Meijer Heartland Trail, will take you from Alma to Greenville. North of Mount Pleasant, people can find the Pere Marquette Rail-Trail which is another that stretches from Clare to Midland.

Blister Sisters

Want to hear some music local to Mount Pleasant? Then maybe check out the recent debut EP from the band Blister Sisters. Singer and guitarist Tenley McLaughlin-Good said Blister Sisters is a four-piece rock band formed in 2017.

“Big pieces of (the EP) speak to past experience with abuse and repression,” Tenley McLaughlin-Good said. “Other parts are odes to mortality and burning stuff. Like so many other artists, we hope it resonates with somebody who needs it.”

The members have ties to CMU, whether being a former student, spouse to a former student or a former professor, McLaughlin-Good said. While some members are still in Mount Pleasant, other members reside in other states. She said they hope to get back together in a post-COVID-19 world to make more music.