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.bridge Cross
    STEP BY STEP—Wyatt Stevens of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge Sunday during the Michigan DNR’s Great Outdoors Jamboree at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The Tecumseh Boy Scout Troop constructed the bridge again this year after taking a break in 2016. The Jamboree offered a variety of activities for a wide range of age groups. Morenci’s Stair District Library set up activities again this year and had visits with dozens of kids. See the back page for additional photos.
  • Front.bridge.17
    LEADING THE WAY—The Morenci Area High School marching band led the way across the pedestrian bridge on Morenci’s south side for the annual Labor Day Bridge Walk. The Band Boosters shared profits from the sale of T-shirts with the walk’s sponsor, the Morenci Area Chamber of Commerce. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.eclipse
    LOOKING UP—More than 200 people showed up at Stair District Library Monday afternoon to view the big celestial event with free glasses provided by a grant from the Space Science Institute. The library offered craft activities from noon to 1 p.m., refreshments including Cosmic Cake from Zingerman’s Bakehouse and a live viewing of the eclipse from NASA on a large screen. As the sky darkened slightly, more and more people moved outside to the sidewalk to take a look at the shrinking sun. If you missed it, hang on for the next total eclipse in 2024 as the path comes even closer to this area.
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  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
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