Miles to Date: 1,796
States to Date: 8
June 5, 2015 – Sunny, 75 degrees
One month on the road! It was great to start it with David Bere, who made sure I got a solid breakfast before we cycled over to Western Michigan University. David showed me around the Sustainability Center where he works and he tuned up my bike. Friday is the day David’s mother makes cookies for the Sustainability team, and we all ate awesome chocolate chip cookies.
At eleven I met with Mike Way and the Innovation Team at Bronson Healthcare. I have worked with Bronson since 1997 when they began planning the replacement hospital that opened in 2000. Now, Bronson is a national leader in community healthcare, won the 2005 Malcolm Baldridge Award, and continues to lead innovation in wellness and sustainability. We had a great round table discussion about tomorrow.
I enjoyed lunch with my good friend Vickie Nelson, my Kalamazoo counterpart at Diekema Hamann, a local architecture firm with whom I worked on several Bronson projects. Vickie’s life and my own have shared several parallel interests. She has been deeply involved in education and aid work in Guatemala, as I have in Haiti. She is retiring this week and will have more time to devote to that effort.
I didn’t leave Kalamazoo until almost three but wanted to get a few miles under my belt. When I reached Paw Paw, which had a nice little motel, I still had energy, so I kept on. But I was tired by the time I reached Hartford, a farming community that appears to be 100%Mexican. No motels in town, but, happily, an ice cream stand that sold soft serve as well as burritos.
After a short break and a generous cone, I had renewed energy. As soon as I rose out of the Hartford valley, the vineyards were lush, the lettuce fields thriving, and the air was tinged with a cool breeze. Lake Michigan was near. It was another twenty miles before I passed through Benton Harbor (a desolate place) to reach St. Joseph (a lovely place). I was hoping for vintage lakefront motels, but there were none. So I kept along Lakeshore Drive until I found a Super 8 near the highway. Not exactly a seaside hideaway. Still, it was after 8 p.m., I was tired, and happy for a clean and quiet place to stay.