Aug 15, 2008
Today is a short trip up to South Haven. It is a scenic trip along the coast of Lake Michigan, with several views of the lake. Initially the streets are pretty rough but then we run on the red arrow highway and for the most part it’s smooth. About halfway we stopped at Graaftschop CRC Church. It is historically the first Christian Reformed Church. The Church has set out plenty of food for us and gives us a tour of their historical archives in the church basement. It is set up so that you walk through different time lines, starting with the reasons the Dutch immigrants left Holland in the 1840’s and why they settled in the Holland, MI area. They have built a partial replica of a ship that made the voyage over, and then a partial cabin that early settlers might have lived in. They have lots of period artifacts and stories of the pioneers in the Michigan area. From there we continued north through Holland, MI. This is a bittersweet area for me as Holland was a common place for me to visit when I was flying for Heritage Lace and was the last place I flew passengers to as a Corporate Pilot. It also happens to be where my dad was born. He only lived there about 6 months, as Grandpa was a pastor in Holland and they moved shortly after Dad was born. If I remember correctly they moved to Oak Lawn, IL which was very close to the area in Chicago we just passed through. The Holland area is a very pretty area as is the Grand Haven area, which is where we set up camp. After arriving in camp, 6 of us went on a work project to a local church that repairs donated bikes and gives them to people, mostly kids that need them. It was a good experience. Later when we returned to camp I found out I had missed Zack and Lindsey DV, who were out visiting friends and knew I was in the neighborhood. I was able to talk to them via phone later in the evening. As Grand Rapids is the last stop for many of the riders, they were given the opportunity to say a few words at the peloton meeting. It is always hard to see new friends leave.
Trip total 3256 today 46
Aug 16, 2008
Today we finished the last leg of the central section of the tour at Grand Rapids, MI. It was a relatively short trip, less than 50 miles. It was an interesting trip as there were signs and people waving us on, all along the route. There were also several church stops and a stop at Tyler Buitenwerf’s house along the way. At one of the churches they had homemade yogurt with fresh blueberries -- really delicious. We all gathered at a school about a mile from Calvin College and then rode in together as one big group. As we unloaded the gear truck and I prepared to set up my tent, Brenda’s aunt and uncle, Clarence & Irene M, showed up and told me I was to stay at their house. So I didn’t even have to set up my tent. Also about the same time Ruth, her Mom, and Dora S, all formerly from Pella, showed up with greetings. It is always nice to see familiar faces when you’re away from home.
Trip total 3305 today 49