The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Front.sculpt
    SKEWERS, gumdrops, and marshmallows are all that’s needed to create interesting shapes and designs for Layla McDowell Saturday at Stair District Library’s “Sculptamania!” Open House. The program featuring design games and materials is one part of a larger project funded by a $7,500 Curiosity Creates grant from Disney and the American Library Association. Additional photos are on page 7.
    Morenci marching band members took to the field Friday night dressed for Halloween during the Bulldog’s first playoff game. Morenci fans had a bit of a scare until the fourth quarter when the Bulldogs scored 30 points to leave Lenawee Christian School behind. Whiteford visits Morenci this Friday for the district championship game. From the left is Clayton Borton, Morgan Merillat and James O’Brien.
    DNA PUZZLE—Mitchell Storrs and Wyatt Mohr tackle a puzzle representing the structure of DNA. There’s only one correct way for all the pieces to fit. It’s one of the new materials that can be used in both biology and chemistry classes, said teacher Loretta Cox.
  • Front.tar.wide
    A TRAFFIC control worker stands in the middle of Morenci’s Main Street Tuesday morning, waiting for the next flow of vehicles to be let through from the west. The dusty gravel surface was sealed with a layer of tar, leaving only the application of paint for new striping. The project was completed in conjunction with county road commission work west of Morenci.
  • Front.pull
    JUNIORS Jazmin Smith and Trevor Corkle struggle against a team from the sophomore class Friday during the annual tug of war at the Homecoming Games pep rally. Even the seniors struggled against the sophomores who won the competition. At the main course of the day, the Bulldog football team struggled against Whiteford in a homecoming loss.
    YOUNG soccer players surived a chilly morning Saturday in Morenci’s PTO league. From the left is Emma Cordts, Wayne Corser, Carter and Levi Seitz, Briella York and Drew Joughin. Two more weeks of soccer remain for this season.
  • Front.ropes
    BOWEN BAUMGARTNER of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge constructed by the Tecumseh Boy Scout troop Sunday at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The bridge was one of many challenges, displays and games set up for the annual Youth Jamboree by the Michigan DNR. Additional photos on are the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.homecoming Court
    One of four senior candidates will be crowned the fall homecoming queen during half-time of this week’s Morenci-Whiteford football game. In the back row (left to right) is exchange student Kinga Vidor (her escort will be Caylob Alcock), seniors Alli VanBrandt (escorted by Sam Cool), Larissa Elliott (escorted by Clayton Borton), Samantha Wright (escorted by JJ Elarton) and Justis McCowan (escorted by Austin Gilson), and exchange student Rebecca Rosenberger (escorted by Garrett Smith). Front row freshman court member Allie Kaiser (escorted by Anthony Thomas), sophomore Marlee Blaker (escorted by Nate Elarton) and junior Cheyenne Stone (escorted by Dominick Sell).
  • Front.park.lights
    GETTING READY—Jerad Gleckler pounds nails to secure a string of holiday lights on the side of the Wakefield Park concession stand while other members of the Volunteer Club and others hold them in place. The volunteers showed up Sunday afternoon to string lights at the park. The decorating project will continue this Sunday. Denise Walsh is in charge of the effort this year.

2012.03.07 The Epic Bicycle Trip

Written by David Green.


Last week I wrote about the birthday party of my friend, John. As introductions were being made, one of the nieces asked John, “Did he go on the epic bike trip with you?”

She was referring to our mutual friend, Rich, but my introduction was soon to come. I’m the one who pedaled a couple of thousand miles with John in the summer of 1975.

I didn’t do well at relating old stories to the nieces. Unaccustomed as I am to public speaking.… I mentioned something about John eating an entire pie, but he missed the connection. John thought I was referring to our stop at Helen’s Restaurant in Maine.

I was once told by a truck driver to eat there and it was a good recommendation, but I was referring to a pie that John ate all by himself on Prince Edward Island. I stayed at our camp reading “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” while John pedaled off to visit the former home of L.M. Montgomery, the author of “Anne of Green Gables.” 

I think John encountered a bake sale on the way back to camp and he returned with a pie. I didn’t want any of it. Maybe I thought I had been eating too much junk food, but thinking back more than 36 years, I don’t recall what we did eat. It must have been the most bland of diets.

As John pointed out to his guests at the party, the trip started from Northampton, Mass., where we visited another college friend. Soon John and I embarked by bicycle for a two-day trip to Montréal.

“Did it take two days?” I asked John. I wasn’t sure at the time, but it came back to me later along with a lot of other details. All these years later, it’s just a series of highlights from a grand adventure.

It must have been a three-day trip. It’s a 300-mile journey to Montréal and I had my first flat tire on the first day out. We visited a bike shop in Brattleboro. We spent the first night by pulling off to the side of the road into the trees.

It’s all coming back. I can still feel the exhilaration of the first morning of the trip as I got out of the tent and gazed off over the Connecticut River that was mostly lost in heavy mist.

From Massachusetts into Vermont. New Hampshire across the river. Heading north to Canada. We used the bathroom at the state capitol in Montpelier. We looked across Lake Champlain, made it through customs and finally arrived at the Jaques Cartier Bridge. There’s a narrow pedestrian walkway where we rode our bikes at sunset. I remember looking down at the St. Lawrence River far below and wondering if I might lose my balance with my heavily loaded bike. It would have been an unfortunate way to start off what John’s niece called “the epic bike trip.”

Maybe we should meet again with John’s relatives and run through the details. At the time, I didn’t recall the day we politely responded to a woman who was sitting out on her steps in Montréal, just a few blocks from where my friend lived.

We spoke for a while and she invited us in to see something. We walked through an area heavy with junk and debris and into her kitchen. I’m sure by now we must have realized that she was not a mentally stable person, and when she reached up into a kitchen cabinet and brought out a gun, John and I made a very hasty departure and avoided that block of the city for the remainder of our visit. I need to trade notes with John on that one. I wonder if he remembers it the same way.

If I were to characterize the trip to his nieces, I would have to speak of our camping spots. We seemed to have some libertarian view that no one should have to pay money to sleep in a tent—libertarian not as in Ron Paul but as in cheapskate—and we camped most anywhere that we, hopefully, wouldn’t be spotted. We slept a night in a burned-out house. We had many nights on beaches. We went into parks and set up the tent in areas that weren’t for camping. We slept on park picnic tables. We were caught once and had to move into an official spot and pay.

It was a remarkably cheap trip, but youth hostel stays cost only five bucks a night back then.

Sometime, John and I need to get out the maps and run through this adventure once again. It really was epic.

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