Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Road trip!

I promised my Grandma MacLeod that I would update this blog tonight.  She’s right…it’s been too long.  I said I was going to write about my first clinical experience today, but that blog will have to wait.  I have another clinical evaluation on Thursday, so after that I’ll write about them both.  But just now when I got home there was an email waiting for me with photos from the road trip I went on this past weekend, and I’d rather show you those and tell you that story.  I mean, don’t you want to know what this:

is all about?

My roommate Lindsey, my best pal of the past three years, is from Ann Arbor.  Her church there was doing a bike ride this past Saturday morning: a little trail riding followed by 12.5 road miles to a cider mill and then the return trip after a little snack of cider and donuts.  A few of us from my house (me, Lindsey, Laura, and Patience) and a couple of other friends (David and John) got in the car at 5 on Friday afternoon for a little weekend fun.

Our first “fun” came about halfway between Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor when we stopped to fill up the gas tank.  The Flying J there typically has much cheaper gas than you can find anywhere else along the way, and it did not disappoint.  However, our friend Jill had been good enough to let us use her car - a station wagon - since there were six of us and two bikes that needed cross-state transportation.  When we tried to get her gas cap off, we were stymied.  It seemed as though it should come off easily enough, but try as we might it just would not come loose!  That did give us time to buy some Peach-Os though, which lasted the rest of the trip.  Silver linings.
We played Ghost the rest of the way to Ann Arbor.  For those of you who, like me until Friday, do not know what that game is, it is where you go around in a circle and each person says a letter, adding on to the letters said before them, trying to spell a word.  The object of the game is to not be the one who makes a complete word though.  So if those before you have said p-a, you cannot respond with d, l, m, n, r, t, w, or y or you’ll make a word and earn yourself a letter from the word Ghost.  First one to completely spell Ghost loses.  Fortunately we weren’t in the car long enough for anyone to lose.  And we spelled some pretty good words, including “efficiencies.”
We arrived in Ann Arbor around 7:30, just in time for supper at Lindsey’s house.  We had freshly made spaghetti sauce (and spaghetti to put it on) with loads of garden goodness.  We spent the evening unwinding from our second week back at school and enjoying the homey feeling of Lindsey’s family.  Early to bed made it possible to rise early on Saturday morning to head to the church to begin biking at 9 a.m.
I do not regularly ride 30 miles in one morning, but I was pleasantly surprised at how well my bike and body handled the demands.  The gorgeously crisp fall morning and smooth roads surely aided the endeavor, as did having people to chat with on the road.  My legs felt tired about four miles in, but after pedaling through that initial fatigue, the riding got easier as I settled into a steady pace.  The midway-point donuts were still slightly warm and the tangy cider countered their sweetness perfectly.  We ate at picnic benches just above a river, listening to its gurgling notes and enjoying the delicious morning.  Riding back was, if possible, even better after our lengthy warm-up.  Instead of returning to the church to ride home in the car, Lindsey’s mom and I just biked all the way back to their house from the point where the trail split to go towards home or towards church.  We impressed even ourselves (perhaps mostly ourselves) by beating the others home by a sound quarter hour. 
After showers and a light lunch we all headed into downtown Ann Arbor for some window (and, let’s be honest, in-store) shopping, which we capped off with a visit to Trader Joe’s, a no-middle-man mostly organic foods store where the prices and quality beat anywhere else I’ve gone.  We stocked up for our house here in Grand Rapids for cheaper than the local grocery stores can offer.
The problem with stocking up so far from home was that we had to fit all the groceries in the back of the car along with two bikes and all our overnight stuff.  It was a bit of a stretch, but in the end even professional packers would have had to doff their caps to us.

We didn’t want to risk losing the memories from the weekend, so we took a number of group photos outside Lindsey’s house before hitting the road yet again.  That is what the first photo comes from, as well as these little jewels:

Stay tuned for forthcoming clinic stories!

Posted by Emily MacLeod on 09/23 at 08:36 PM

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