Thursday 26 July, 2012

Days 42 and 43 – Grand Rapids


I first met Sally’s family in Michigan for a family reunion in the mid nineties, just after we were engaged. Her paternal relatives we’re very welcoming and made me feel right at home. We only visited one more time in 2001, but her fond memories of early childhood in Michigan stayed with her. She would [...]


I first met Sally’s family in Michigan for a family reunion in the mid nineties, just after we were engaged. Her paternal relatives we’re very welcoming and made me feel right at home. We only visited one more time in 2001, but her fond memories of early childhood in Michigan stayed with her. She would often tell me stories and through the second hand memories I came to feel like I knew them a bit. Sally’s aunt Gaylene organized a dinner and I unfortunately forgot to take pictures. Maybe it was the ride from Chicago, or the heat, or me feeling a bit overwhelmed. I did manage to snap a pic after dinner, but we lost some folks in the trip back to Gay and Larry’s house. There were new kids and spouses so I don’t remember everyone’s names, maybe someone can leave a comment with details.

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I had a wonderful time seeing everyone, it still feels wrong without Sally. Her absence is impossible for me to see beyond. Like when you have a missing tooth, your tongue is constantly tracing the place where it should be. So my brief stay in Michigan is superimposed with the past and the future that isn’t. It’s not an unfamiliar experience, but it can be overwhelming.
I had left open the possibility of staying a second day, but the weather forecast was calling for a wave of thunderstorms. I had a lot of ground to cover by the weekend and wanted to stay ahead of the rain so I decided to leave Wednesday morning, getting as far as I could before the weather turned soggy. After a simple breakfast with Gay and Larry where they told me tales of their travels to the upper peninsula and a meeting over coffee with some of Larry’s friends, I road about 450 miles to Pitsburg, going through the Ohio and then Pennsylvania turnpikes (and spending about $20 on tolls) but arriving dry and achey as the sun was setting.
I have until Friday to get to Philadelphia, I may break it up into two days or rest tomorrow and do another big travel day. Mileage wise I’m more than half way through my trip, even though I’ll still travel farther from my starting point. I’m wondering if the fatigue that I’ve felt the last few days is temporary and hope to get my second (third?) wind.

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4 Comments

  • Jack VanHesteren says:

    Glad you were able to get together with Sally’s Aunt Gaylene & Uncle Larry Brownell, Their daughter-Cathy Strait, her husband-Mike, his daughters-Lelia & Naomi & son-Mike Jr., also her Aunt Joyce Weinmann, Uncle Ron and grand-daughter Madelyn (Madi)Skinner.
    Madi is the one with you in the separate pic.
    Glad you were able to get ahead of the rain, but do believe that you are very wise to take a day of rest before pushing on to Philadelphia. BTW-are you planning to route thru the Hershey & Lancaster areas. Do recommend that, as Hershey Park is well worth seeing, as are the Amish & Pennsylvania Dutch sights around Lancaster. Marilyn was raised near there, near Reading, PA. Wish you lots of fun…

  • Al DeHaan says:

    Scott,

    It was great to see you again. Sorry we were not able to visit with you more at Gay & Larry’s. Would liked to have had a chance to take you out for a fishing trip, maybe next time if you can make it back to the area again. If you get the chance we highly recommend riding the “Dragon’s Tail” in North Carolina. I’m sure you will love it!!
    Keep the great pictures comming, we really enjoy following your journey.

    Al & Betty

  • Scott Nelson says:

    I’m thinking of you every day out there, Scott. Enjoy the trip, ride safe, and I look forward to seeing you back home.

  • Julie Ward says:

    I vote for rest. It’s necessary sometimes to stop and process what you’ve seen and done before moving on. That way, you’re not as stressed on the road AND you remember things better. At least that has been my experience. Everyone is different. Enjoy.


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