Cross-country bicyclists pass through 2011.06.29

Written by David Green.

Four cross-country bicyclists took a small detour into Lenawee County earlier this month on their way to Oregon. That’s because one of them wanted to log a visit with his grandparents.

Travis Vernier, grandson of Hershel and Mary Helen Love of Sand Creek, started his journey with three college friends in Times Square, New York City, in late May. They expect to finish the trip in Portland, Ore., by the end of July.

They travel 50 to 80 miles a day, depending on weather and terrain, and had reached South Dakota last Thursday.

Each rider carries about 35 pounds of gear, clothing and food. The boys planned to camp each night but have often ended up as guests with families or at churches.

They continue to face physical and mental challenges on the 3,700-mile journey. In Pennsylvania, for example, Vernier experienced a tire problem that required him to stop and pump up his tires repeatedly over 20 miles of mountainous terrain.

In a Southern Nazarene University  news story, Vernier said last week, “from the natural beauty of the Appalachian mountains, to warm hospitality of the Heartland, experiencing America on bicycle has been an amazing and unforgettable experience.”

Vernier and one of his companions are students at Southern Nazarene University in Bethany, Okla., near Oklahoma City. The other two travelers graduated from SNU this year.

Travis is the son of Morenci native Nick Vernier and Sand Creek native Kay (Love) Vernier.

  • Front.tug
    MORENCI pep rallies generally end with a tug of war. The senior class entry, shown above, did not advance to the finals. Griffin Grieder, Alaina Webster, Kyle Long and Jazmin Smith are shown at the front of the rope, giving it their best effort.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Athletic Fields
    SPORTS COMPLEX—Fayette’s outdoor athletic facilities will include three ball fields for summer recreation leagues at the southwest corner of the school. The baseball and softball fields, along with the running track, will be constructed on the east side of the school. Outdoor athletic fields were not part of the new school project from 2007, but voters approved a $1.4 million levy for a school addition and the sports fields last August. Both projects are scheduled to be complete by July 20.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.band
    TROMBONISTS Jake Myers (left) and Max Baker perform Friday at the annual Senior Citizens Luncheon at Fayette High School. The National Honor Society and the FFA chapter teamed up to serve a meal to area seniors and to provide musical entertainment. Both the school band and choir performed. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Station.2
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  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.

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