Good morning from Barrington, Illinois just north and west of Chicago, Illinois. Melanie and I have been at the home of Ellen and Ric Lindeen for the past few days. Melanie spoke Thursday past at St. Michael's in Barrington, the parish of Ellen and Rick. Ellen is a board member of Episcopal Peace Fellowship.
We leave tomorrow morning heading south again. We have a stop in St. Louis for some minor warranty work on Miranda, then it's on the Birmingham, Alabama, with a few stops in between to see friends and family, for events including a pilgrimage to The National Memorial for Peace and Justice, The Legacy Museum, and the annual Jonathan Myrick Daniels Pilgrimage in Hayneville, Alabama.
Before arriving in the Chicago area we were in Traverse City, Michigan where Melanie preached at Grace Episcopal Church. Traverse City is situated on Grand Traverse Bay, Lake Michigan. We enjoyed great food and fellowship with the folks at Grace Episcopal Church.
We were also graciously invited to meet up and have lunch with Gary Moore and his wife Kathy who live Fairhope, Alabama. Gary is a representative of the Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast and co-sponsor of the upcoming Jonathan Daniels Pilgrimage. Gary and Kathy summer, in part, in Charlevoix, Michigan, about an hour's drive away from Traverse, City. Melanie and I were honored they traveled our way to have lunch.
While we were in Traverse City, I was able to get out on Red Ranger one morning (Melanie rode with me another morning) and took a trip north towards Suttons Bay on the Leelanau Trail. Aside from morning temperatures in the 50's, Leelanau is one of the finest bike/waking trails I've experienced on our travels.
The 16.6 mile trail is well maintained and the asphalt surface is nearly flawless. One experiences lakes, farms and vineyards along the way with minimal road crossings. My only regret is not having enough time to make the entire trip to Suttons Bay. Next time. Highly recommended.
Leaving Traverse City, we headed south. Our first evening was spent in rural Mecosta, Michigan with our Boondockers Welcome hosts, Pat and Ray. They shared a spot they'd created for their close friends from Tennessee whom they'd met when they traveled extensively in their travel trailer. Aside from the very quiet rural site, they also offer us 30 amp electric hookup and water, something not required by Boondockers, but definitely appreciated from us. It didn't hurt that the low overnight was in the low 50's.
Next morning we drove towards South Bend, Indiana to another Boondockers site. On the way we made a short stop at Equalizer Systems to have a minor problem with our 4 point leveling system taken care of. I can't say enough good things about Equalizer. They took us in on short notice and had us fixed in less than an hour's time.
We spent the night in South Bend on the street in front of Tom and Miranda's (same name, different chick) home. We had a nice time getting to know them as they had dinner in their nice backyard. Miranda works at Notre Dame. We mentioned the possibility of checking out the campus and Tom graciously followed up with places of interest we might want to check out. We did.
We owe a great debt of gratitude to Ellen and Ric. They insisted we stay in a guest room in their historic home (1888) in Barrington, fed us, took us out for lunch and to BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir. They also insisted we remain at their home after they left to meet family for a vacation trip to Wisconsin Saturday past. We thank them profusely and will see them again when we are back through.
Melanie and I traveled into Chicago this past Saturday for the day. We took the train in from Barrington, where we had a Dim Sum lunch in China Town, spent a great afternoon at Art Institute of Chicago, then had dinner at the Rick Bayless Restaurant, Leña Brava. Chicago, what a great city.
Steven and Melanie