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.splash
    Water Fun—Carter Seitz and Colson Walter take a fast trip along a plastic sliding strip while water from a sprinkler provides the lubrication. The boys took a break from tie-dyeing last week at Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program to cool off in the water.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.drum
    on your mark, get set, drum!—Drew Joughin (black shirt), Maddox Joughin and Kaleea Braun took the front row last week when Angela Rettle and assistants led the Stair District Library Summer Reading Program kids in a session of cardio drumming. The sports and healthy living theme continued yesterday with a Mini Jamboree at Lake Hudson State Park arranged by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Next week’s program features the Flying Aces Frisbee show.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks

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