A Fish (not Phish) Festival

To our delight another cyclist, Gretchen, was staying with Sam and Susan, so all three of them greeted us as we rolled into the driveway late in the evening. There was no shortage of beverages as Sam began to prepare some impressive Asian cuisine that tended to Laura’s vegetarianism but did not exclude meat entirely. It felt peculiar to be homeless on a bike one minute and a couple of drinks later to be sitting down to a five star meal in an unfamiliar yet friendly person’s home with our belongings safe upstairs on a bed that was made for us. I know this is not the first time we have used warmshowers.org, but I do not think I can get used to the feelings of amazement and gratitude for the hospitality we have been shown, and will be shown.
After dinner Susan drove us and Gretchen to get some

Fish Festival floats lit up on the water

Fish Festival floats lit up on the water

ice cream and watch the Fish Parade, an annual Vermilion tradition kicking off the fishing season during which boats are decorated and paraded on the canal that runs through town. Vermilion is a quaint town that reminds me a lot of a New England, coastline community. We had a great time with Sam and Susan, and hope to be back soon to catch some live music that is played at their non-profit venue and maybe to cook them a meal for a change.
a biker with a bubble machine

a biker with a bubble machine

Toledo, OH was our next stop before swooping north to Detroit. We called our hydro-geologist host, Susan, to check if it was OK to stay with her. Even though we gave her late notice and she was going to be out for the evening, there was no question that we could stay. On our way we encountered riders who were part of a group of 3,000 biking around Ohio. A similar program that is better known is The Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI) where over 8,000 people bike around Iowa. From what we saw and heard about these types of rides it’s just a big party that moves by bike. When we meet a new host, almost the entire time we are not in the shower or sleeping is get-to-know-you time, so over some delicious chicken and pasta we told her about our trip and Susan talked about her job and interests. It was a pleasant stay, and with Susan at work by the time we were leaving, we said our goodbyes on her chalkboard bathroom wall.

June2009 305


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