Rest Day

Hank – David took us into Dearborn and dropped us off downtown. We had a morning snack at Starbucks where a group of retired Ford employees spoke in great detail about the Detroit Tigers, derided the Detroit Lions, and debated the ins and outs of their pensions and Social Security.

We walked over to the Henry Ford Museum, paid the fee, and checked out the exhibits. The old steam-powered machines and classic automobiles are big attractions. But the museum also included innovations in home furnishings, heating, aircraft, women’s rights, and other categories. We also walked the Greenfield Village where a wide variety of older lifestyles and skills are on live display. We spent a good six hours of the day there and enjoyed it very much.

David picked us up after he got off work. A thunderstorm hit so we skipped the food trucks and went downtown to eat some excellent pizzas at NeoPapalis. Carsten helped Kathy plant her flowers for Michigan in his front yard.  It was a very good rest day. Tomorrow we’re back on the road.

Kathy – After eight days of riding we decided to take a day off from riding.  David and Christa offered to host us an additional night.  We are so thankful for these amazing people.  David was on his way to work and dropped us off not far from the museum.  We really enjoyed our time at the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village.  I loved the old president cars and learning about the special designs made for them to keep them safe and comfortable.  Of course all the old classic cars as well as the original Model T and other cars from that time period were great to see.  I also really liked the historic exhibits related to Abraham Lincoln and slavery ending, Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks related to equal rights for those of color, and finally the Susan B. Anthony and other amazing ladies who stood up to ratify the 19th Amendment for voting rights for women.  These were moments in history that helped to improve our country and make America the wonderful place it is now.  So if you are ever in the Detroit, Michigan area, do not miss out on The Henry Ford Museum.

David drove and Christa was our guide as we drove around for a quick tour of Ann Arbor, Michigan.  We had a fantastic dinner and conversations with David, Christa and Carsten.  The salad and pizza were outstanding!  Carsten helped me plant my daises in their front yard. So my Michigan flowers are planted in my goal to plant flowers in every state.  We are Making America More Beautiful – one state at a time.   Thank you Carsten!!  It was hard to say goodnight to these wonderful host knowing that we have to leave in the morning, but we ll needed to get some rest.  Such a great relaxing day and grateful for David, Christa and Carsten.  They are simply outstanding!

Lake Erie Bound

Hank – This morning David, Christa, and Carsten rode with us to Dimo’s Deli & Donuts for donuts. Dimo’s is interesting. The owner has a bit of a reputation along the vein of the Seinfeld show’s Soup Nazi. Christa was surprised at how well behaved he was with us. But later on we got to see a little of him come out. In a loud, gruff voice he barked, “Start talking, young man. Whattaya want? Make it quick.” But he does it in a good natured way.

After donuts we said goodbye to our WarmShowers host and headed out of Ann Arbor. After several miles we hit some construction. Both the road and bike path were blocked off. There were a couple of heavy machines working. Rather than backtrack and detour a few miles we decided to boldly walk our bikes through the construction. Both machine operators stopped, waved to us as we went by, and started back up again once we did. Several other construction workers hardly gave us a look.

We pressed on to Milan (pronounced MY-lehn) where we got breakfast at the Milan Coney Island, self-professed “Best food in the galaxy.” It was good but not best in the galaxy good. Kathy noticed a nearby hair salon, The Shop,  and found they had room to fit me in for a haircut and her for a cut and color. So we had a long break in Milan.

Today we’re headed to William Sterling State Park in Monroe, MI on the shore of Lake Erie. After getting all beautified we covered our pretty hair with our helmets and pressed on. We ran into more construction. A bridge was being rebuilt and new culverts we’re going in. We went with the “walk through it like a boss” strategy and asked a guy sitting next to the new culvert if we could walk through. He allowed that we could and I carried the bikes across. We hustled through the rest of the site. The heavy equipment operator stopped for us and didn’t seem bothered by the interruption.

Twice when we stopped later, once at a store for a cold drink and once to take a picture of bikes for sale, someone asked us how far we’d traveled. Both times their jaw dropped when we said Spokane, Washington. One guy asked, “Do you know where you are right now?” Some people can be unintentionally funny.

We finally got to Monroe, MI, which we soon learned was where George Armstrong Custer grew up. We got on a very uncomfortable trail taking us to William Sterling State Park. It has lots of buckling caused by tree roots. We got a tent site at the park, which is almost on the beach. Lake Erie lies east of us, including a nuclear power reactor with it’s twin cooling towers spitting out steam.

Kathy – Total was a 48-miler with very little elevation.  The temps were in the 80’s but not too uncomfortable because there was only a little humidity.  We did get a nice headwind for part of our journey today.

Our morning at the bakery was interesting as I was very quiet and once I knew what i wanted only gave my order to the owner who tends to shout at people.  I did not want to get yelled at or kicked out of the donut shop.  He actually gave me the wrong donut but I did not upset him and just ate the one he gave me.  It was a fun place with good donuts.  We do not often eat donuts but today was special because eleven year old Carsten recommended this place.  He even woke early so we could have our donuts before we headed out of.

We said our goodbyes, which was hard because we clicked so well with these amazing people.  Our bike travels were pretty uneventful.  Twice today we avoided road closures that would have added multiple miles to our plans.  I love when we just show up like we own the place and walk right through.  Please know we are not condescending, we just want to move through the works site ASAP and move on with our trip,  Lucky today it all worked out and we did not need to do any backtracking.

It’s been over three months since my last hair color.  My hair has faded out really blonde with all the sun exposure. Shelly, the gal that cut and colored my hair in Milan, Michigan was rally fantastic.  She did a great job on my color.  Hank got a haircut too so we are looking good right now.  😉   All is well today, and we had a wonderful day of travels.