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

  • Front.cheers
    MACEE BEERS joins other Fayette Elementary School students for the annual Mini-Cheer performance during the half-time break at the basketball game.
  • Family.3.wide
    CHILDREN at Stair District Library’s Family Story Time toss scarves into the air during an activity. The evening program provided a mix of stories, songs, dancing, crafts and snacks Monday evening. The program is offered at 5:30 p.m. every Monday for five more weeks. The program is designed for three to five year olds and their family.
  • Front.newpaper.2
    THE INTERVIEW—Evelyn Joughin (right) records the interaction with an iPad while Jack Varga, next to her, asks questions of Morenci Elementary School principal Gail Frey. Morenci senior Sam Cool (standing) listens. Cool serves as the editor for the newspaper written by members of Mrs. Barrett’s second grade class.
  • Front.code.2
    WRITING CODE—Brock Christle (left), a Morenci fifth grade student, takes a look at the progress being made by fourth grader Anthony Lewis. Libby Rorick, a sixth grade student, is next in a line of girls trying out the coding tutorials. This year marked Morenci’s second year of participation in the Hour of Code project.
  • Front.skelton.vigil
    MORENCI’S three Skelton brothers were remembered with both tears and laughter last week during a candlelight vigil at Wakefield Park. Several people came out of the crowd to give their recollection of the boys who have now been missing for five years.
  • Front.gym.new
    REMIE RYAN (left) tries to dodge the foam wand held by Hayden Bays during physical education class at Morenci Elementary School. In the background, Lauryn Dominique and Brooklyn Williams stay clear of the tag. Second grade students were working on cardiovascular health on the first day back from vacation. For the record, Safety Tag is a very difficult sport to photograph.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.

2012.03.07 The Epic Bicycle Trip

Written by David Green.

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.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016