Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Too many cities with too many attractions…

Watching the weather as we traveled west. It sounds ridiculous, but we need a break!  Just yesterday, walking with Odel on the bike trail through the beautiful small town where we are currently parked, I said “I want to stay long enough somewhere to get bored.”  And, I meant it!

From sightseeing in Cleveland, we went to Detroit (with a one-day break to allow the heavy weather to pass).  We could have spent a week in Detroit and still had plenty to do, but knew we didn’t have the stamina to do it all.   Mostly, we wanted to see our friend Gloria, which we planned for our second day in Detroit.

That left one day for another attraction, and we chose the Henry Ford Museum.  It was fascinating, and I’d like to go back someday – but, this trip, we were burned out on being “vacationers”, simply too overwhelmed to enjoy all there was to see.  Two hours were all we could manage.

Rosa Parks sat here!However, one fabulous highlight: we sat on the actual bus, in the actual seat, where Rosa Parks had refused to move to the back of the bus. 

On that day, in 1955, four non-white riders sat in the four seats of this row.  As more white folk boarded the bus, the driver told the row of non-white passengers to move to make room for a white passenger (white and non-white passengers never shared a row, so the entire row was to be vacated for any white passenger).  Three of the non-white passengers moved; Rosa Parks, sitting where I am in the photo, simply slid to the window seat and refused to give it up.  The police were called, and she was arrested, sparking the year-long Montgomery Bus Boycott.  I loved sitting in that seat, thinking about that brave, brave woman.

Downtown Detroit looked great! Next day, we were off to visit our friend.  We met Gloria and her husband Tom just over a year ago, in Sacramento, and when we parted a few days ago in Detroit, none of us could believe how much has changed in that short year.  

About six months after we met, fit, healthy Tom died of a stroke.  We have continued to follow Gloria’s life through her daily blog, with a visit in Texas and now again in Detroit.  She is open and straightforward about her struggles to move on with her life, and about the value of family and friends as she does so.  Still, she has the wanderlust that strikes so many of us who have the good fortune to travel extensively, and is planning her next cross-country trip.

I love being in her energetic company, and it was the highlight of the stop in Detroit.  We met at the Eastern Market (forgive me, it deserves its own blog… but we’re moving on!) for a tour, shared lunch at a delicious Thai restaurant, and got a driving tour of downtown Detroit and the surrounding area.  It was a great day for us.

Setting sail out into Lake Michigan. Next day, we were on the move again, dodging thunderstorms with the help of the laptop computer, aircard, and the NOAA website’s live radar.  Just one downpour on our way west…

Now we’re on the west coast of Michigan, bordered by Lake Michigan… and it feels like our summer vacation has begun!  Everything here is sparkling and bright – the blue lakes, the green grass, the brightly painted shops, the pennants flying, the flowers blooming.  We’ve (at least temporarily) left the humidity and heat behind.  Odel is on the golf course as I write this, and I’m ready to head out to explore the small town (Montague) just outside our door.  I’m so ready to kick back and do…. nothing!


  1. We've also found being a tourist can become overwhelming. My interior data bank gets overloaded and I cannot take in another thing. We have to just STOP sometimes. In the meantime, places you and Odel been and things you've done keep being added to our list of things to do some day. Just not THIS day.

  2. We met up with Gloria in Arizona this past winter. We did a hike of Silly Mountain with her and Len Winger and his partner Nancy. What a nice lady. We were so glad when she accepted our invite to go for a hike. I can't remember what led me to her blog, but it was just after Tom died. Her touching blog posts about her tragic loss induced us to reach out to her when we found out she was in the same area as we were. We were so glad we did. We still follow her blog today.

  3. If you get a chance, drive up North around Lake Michigan and into Wisconsin...a beautiful trip. There is a cool place in Wisconsin called Door County, on a peninsula...As you say, too much stuff to see! Enjoy!!

  4. Being back home a week we are already missing the road. We've managed to get all 4 kitties in the rv for a daytime experiment, with no issue. So we are hopeful to be back on the road soon. Your travels and blog posts are making our long bucket list of places to visit. The Rosa Parks Bus must have given you chills. What a wonderful item to preserve for history. I fully understand wanting to be in a place and just chill. We find after a week we start to get antsy again. Enjoy the nice weather and have a wonderful 4th of July!

  5. How about that? Sitting on the same bus and in the same seat as Rosa Parks!

  6. Glad you are slowing down for a rest. I've been wondering how long you could keep up that pace. I don't blame you for wanting to stop and take a break. We get that way too.

    Enjoy your time in lovely western Michigan. There's a lot of beauty there to appreciate.


  7. I agree - wonderful you could sit in Rosa Parks seat!! Yes - take a break! Also appreciate the tornado warning advice. I grew up in OK in a 'fraidy hole' and would hate to get blown away as an adult in an RV.

  8. Seeing you in Rosa Parks' seat brought tears to my eyes. What an amazing experience.

  9. I am surprised that they let anyone sit in Rosa Parks seat, it will get worn out!
    What an exciting adventure and part of history.
    Slow down and relax, you are fulltimers, not vacationers!
    Happy Trails, Penny, TX