Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Mourning for a hurting city

Originally uploaded by jeremysullivan.

Many of you heard of the three little boys that died in the trunk of a car in Camden. It's hard to see a city with so much pain suffer through more needless death. I think I felt like everyone else...helpless.
It comforting to know that our community is at least present to stand in solidarity with the city while it mourns. I talked with my housemate Andrea and she said that some our close neighbors, the Navarrez children, stopped by with flyers when the children were missing. There is a picture of these little guys one of my first entries because their whole family basically makes up our bike club. The 11-year old boy was their cousin. Andrea said she was at a loss of words when she found out the children had died. Lord have mercy.

Camping with Stiff

Originally uploaded by jeremysullivan.

This is a picture of my college teammate Steve "Stiffy" Paske. We went camping at Wild Cat Mountain last week in Wisconsin. We did a lot running together. One day we found a 1-mile incline up the mountain and did some repeats up and down (He ran and I biked). Stiff's been doing some yoga classes, so we might have to find a new nickname for him.
He and his wife are moving to Bolivia in August to teach for two years. Stiff has been teaching in Milwaukee Public Schools since college. He is also been doing quite a bit of writing and has been published in a few different magazines. He called me this morning to interview for an article he'd like to write about my trip.

Later in the week I biked up to Milwaukee to hang out with some more track friends. I stopped in East Troy to see my buddy Jason again. It was so hot I almost didn't make it due to an unexpected bout with dehydration. But I recovered quickly. Friday I hung out with the track posse. About 20 people showed up for dinner at our favorite Mexican restarant in Milwaukee...La Fuente. I stayed with two of my old teammates, Jackie and Joe, who are now married. They were wonderful hosts. Jackie even packed me a lunch for my journey back to IL and I must say it was one of the best I've had yet.

The Wedding

Originally uploaded by jeremysullivan.

This is a picture of my posse from high school. From left to right it's Chuck Lowitski, Timmy McIntyre, me and Jason Arndt...the football players on the outside and the runners on the inside. The wedding was beautiful. I made a best man speech that was entitled, "He's an idiot but you got to love our Timmy" It's a quote I stole from my dad. If you knew Tim, you'd know that it's a compliment. My parents and my sister and brother-in-law were there. The Sullivans held their own on the dance floor.

Bachelor Party

Originally uploaded by jeremysullivan.

Before my buddy Tim's wedding about 12 of us got together to celebrate his last days as a single man. Tim gave us all fat cigars as a gift for being in his wedding. The funny thing was that all 12 of us smoked the cigars at the same time in a hotel room, so the whole room was a big cloud of smoke. I'm going to have pray for my own lungs when I am praying for Camden on the rest of my trip.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Reflections...so far

Originally uploaded by jeremysullivan.

I've only been home for a couple of days but I've had some time to put the journey into perspective...up until now at least. So I figured I would share some of these thoughts with those of you who have been following along.
I definitely had expectations before starting the journey. And the first thing I tell everyone is that those expectations have been matched.
I was expecting a physical challenge and that's what I got. I found that's not not just about propelling the bike, but also dealing with various forms of resistance...pulling a 50 lb load, fighting winds, climbing inclines, and inclement weather. Having quite a bit of time to think, I've formed a few parables in my mind. One of them links the wind with the opportunity that someone is born with. I've found that when I have a tailwind, everything comes so darn easy, but a nastly head wind can be so demoralizing---even if doesn't significantly affect my speed. It makes me think about myself and the fact that many things in my life have come very easy because of the opportunity I was born with...stable/loving family, education, financial resources (tailwind). Whereas when I'm facing a head wind I think about and pray for the children in Camden that are going against the resistance of poverty, addiction, lack of resources,pollution and fragmented families.
One thing that people have asked all along is, "You're going alone?" The answer is "yes", but I don't feel alone. I feel very connected to my community, my church, and my family and friends. I have also had the chance to meet many new people. But most significantly, I have been made keenly aware of God's constant presence---especially in the times when people would consider me "alone". Prayer is becoming a constant dialogue between me and God, frankly because I have no one else to talk to. The simplicity of the bicycle has allowed me to be very aware of myself and present to my situation. When I am frustrated I can't escape it by busying myself with something else or if I am elated, I have no choice but to share the moment with God. Or like I shared before, I am finding that merely turning my pedals is prayer...hopefully redeeming myself, Camden and the earth with each turn.
Lastly, I am finding that I am learning more of what it means to live by faith. When you have to pull all of your possessions behind your bike you learn what it is that you really need, whether it's clothes, food, or books. I have also become more and more comfortable with relying on the hospitality of others rather than my own planning. As I consistently received God's provisions each day, my worry changed to excitement of what each day would bring. My faith in humanity has also increased greatly and my hope is that my experiences will do the same for others. Our society is ruled by fear. People have constantly told me, "This world isn't what it used to be?" I can't compare today to 50 years ago because of my youth but I do know that because of media, we are much more informed about all the bad things that happen these days compared to 50 years ago. Yet, despite this reality, I have had people trust me with all of their possessions several times with knowing me less than an hour. I must say that I do wonder if I would be treated the same if the the color of my skin was darker.
So these are a few of my reflections. Please feel free to ask questions via a post or e-mail me. Thanks for listening.

Sweet Homecoming

Originally uploaded by jeremysullivan.

Friday afternoon I rolled into my parents driveway on my bicycle--something I had done many times before---but this time it took me 1480 miles to get there. It was more milage than I expected, but I often found that a 50 mile ride via the highway, could be 90 miles on the backroads...not to mention wrong turns. My parents were very glad to see me. In this picture above I told my mom to look like she missed me, which I don' think was very hard for her. Friday night my parents took me out to dinner. My dad said, "Order whatever you want...kill the fatted calf my son is home."
Saturday I was able to compete in a Dragon Boat race tournament with my dad.As you can see from the picture the boats look like big canoes. When everyone's timing is right, you can really get moving. Our team was pretty solid. His company enters a team every summer and I've had a chance to jump in on the team a few of the years. They're sprint races, so it was a little different mindset from biking the last 3 weeks. Saturday night my sister Kate and her husband Bill came in from the city for dinner--- it was a treat to see them.
It's always good to be home, but I think I have a new appreciation for familiar places after being in a new town every night. Saturday night I rode my bike over to my friend Jason's parents' house for an engagement party--he had proposed that afternoon. There's a distinct summer smell by the lake here in town, which reminded me of my junior high days,when I would walk around at night with my friends causing trouble. Jason is the friend who I stopped to see in East Troy at camp on Thursday night (see the picture below). Some of the staff is still around from the summer when I worked there. They gave me a warm reception, a hearty camp meal and a bunk in one of the cabins.
Today, Sunday, I woke about at about 9am and had breakfast. I thought I would just lay down on the couch for a bit and I ended up falling asleep until 3pm. When I finally woke up, my mom was at the top of the stairs and she said "I'm glad you're listening to your body, you've probably been pushing yourself every day and not realizing how tired you are."---this is actually one of her famous sayings. She might be right...but I wouldn't have done things differently. Most days on the road I was so jazzed about the trip that all I could think about was getting on my bike---especially the first week, despite all the rain.
So I'll be stationary for awhile. This week I'll be the best man in my friend Tim's wedding. Then I'll hang around until July 16th, when my brother will be married to his fiance Nicky in the Bahamas and then we'll fly back to Crystal Lake for a big reception. I plan to be back on the road by the end of July, which is when my housemate Melissa will join me for the first 150 miles on our way to a gathering of communities in central IL. In the meantime I will be sure to post some pictures of the weddings and maybe some 1-2 day bike trips I will be taking...so don't forget about me. My housemate Chris helped me place some links on the page, one of them gives you an idea of the route I will be following for the rest of the trip. Thanks for all of your faithful prayers and correspondence so far. Love and peace.

Pic 36: Dragon boat races with my dad

Originally uploaded by jeremysullivan.

Twenty people in a 40 foot boat, including a drummer that keeps the cadence and a flag catcher. My dad is first on the right and I'm third on the left

Pic 35: Me and Jason at Camp

Originally uploaded by jeremysullivan.

I stopped by to see my buddy Jason at Camp Timberlee in East Troy, WI

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Back in the Brew City

Originally uploaded by jeremysullivan.

The picture above is of the Milwaukee Lakefront. I ran many a mile along here during my college years. I wish I could say it's this beautiful year round. I'm actually writing from the snazzy new library at Marquette. But let me step back and tell you how I got here.
Wednesday I took the ferry from Ludington, MI to Manitowac, WI. I spent most of the 4 hour trip up on the deck and sleeping in the "quiet room". When I left Michigan at 9am it was 80 degrees and it was about 60 degrees in Wisconsin after a cold rain by the time I arrived. The roads, the fields and my body all had steam coming off of them.
After about 30 miles it started to warm up and with it came a strong wind from the south that resisted me for the rest of the day. It's been a while since I've had to deal with a head wind---which I am very thankful for.
When I was about 20 miles outside of Milwaukee I decided to give up so I could really enjoy the ride the next morning rather than force my way through it. So I called my friend Julia who I was planning to have dinner with and she came and picked me up. I stashed my bike at Concordia College in Mequon, WI. They are very suspicious of long distance bikers for some reason so I had to squeeze all my bags into Julia's car. Jules and I caught up on old times over dinner on Milwaukee's lakefront. She's also from the the Chicago area and a Marquette grad. She works as a nurse at Milwaukee's Children's hospital. We always have a lot to talk about.
After dinner Jules dropped me off at my old roommate Tyrel's place downtown. Tyrel and I roomed together in the dorms freshman and sophomore year. I've always said he's the most selfless roommate I've ever had. He also the only guy I know from North Dakota...so he's got that going for him.
Selfless Tyrel not only woke up early to drive me to Mequon, but he also battled the traffic to swing by Julia's place because I dropped my bike lock key in her car last night.
I'm glad I waited until this morning to ride into Milwaukee because it was a beautiful morning...as nice as I've seen in these parts.
The plan for today is to swing by and visit a few professors and then head on to East Troy, WI to visit my good friend Jason who's worked at a Camp Timberlee there for many a summer. I worked there one summer in the kitchen while I was studying for my PT board exam. Then believe it or not I plan to be home with my folks by Friday night. I'll definitely give another post when I get there. Thanks to everyone for persevering with your prayers.

Pic 33: Me and Julia

Originally uploaded by jeremysullivan.

Pic 34: Me and Tyrel

Originally uploaded by jeremysullivan.

Ludington: Worth the trip

Originally uploaded by jeremysullivan.

Tuesday I rode 95 miles up to Ludington, hugging Lake Michigan most of the day. The ride was a longer than I expected because zig-zag nature of the route. I was on a road called Scenic Dr., so it's hard to complain. When I cruised into town at 8pm it was still 85 degrees. I road straight for the beach, kicked off my shoes and dove into Lake Michigan. The water's still in the 60's but it felt so good at the end of the day.
I had a contact in Ludington from Mike--the guy who helped me in the storm on Sunday. He gave me the card of a couple who were fellow artists. When I called this couple, Nathan and Amanda they immediately offered me a place with them. They rank up there as two of the coolest people I've met so far. They took a lot of interest in what I had to say about Camden and our life as the Camden Community House. In fact, they were so into the story, that they invited their friends Ruthie and Gus over to hear about it too. The five of us had plenty to talk about as we sipped Coronas on the back deck. We were serenated by the sounds of a some frogs "getting it on" in this little pond by the deck.
Nathan and Amanda are my age and they've had a studio and gallery in Ludington for the last 4 years. It's called the Red Door. Nathan makes ceramics that resemble aquatic life--he originally studied marine biology. Amanda's work resembles African wood carvings. Their vision is very wholistic. They came to Ludington with the intention of developing a grass roots art scene. They offer classes for children and adults in their studio and teach locally in the winter months
They have a cute little house around the corner from the Red Door and their artistic touch is everywhere from the gardens in the backyard to the wood burning stove that heats the place.
I felt strongly about going to Ludington. I think it was because I had an excellent weekend there once during college---in fact I remember telling people it was the highlight of my summer that year. I'm glad I came back...if not just for the nostalgia. But meeting Amanda, Nathan, Ruthie and Gus was well worth the beautiful trip.

Pic 32: Amanda and Nathan

Originally uploaded by jeremysullivan.

My gracious hosts in Ludington, Amanda and Nathan

Pic 31: Lake Michigan surfers

Originally uploaded by jeremysullivan.

Here's my proof that people do surf on Lake Michigan

Pic 30: Jaime, Moriah and Jerry

Originally uploaded by jeremysullivan.

Jaime, Moriah Grace, and Jerry from Muskegon--a good looking family

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Surfing Lake Michigan?

Originally uploaded by jeremysullivan.

Well I made it to Muskegon in time to enjoy a great day with a new friend Jerry and his wife Jaime, daughter Moriah Grace, and dog Rocky Balboa. I have a great picture of the fam, but I'm having technical difficulties again (what's new).
Jerry happened to be studying with Rob Bell from Mars Hill Church (I talked about it yesterday) at the same time as my housemate Chris. Jerry had been following my blog and went out of his way to contact me last week.
Jerry took me down to cool off at Lake Michigan when I arrived. He brought his surf board. The only time I heard about surfing in Lake Michigan was from a documentary I saw called Step into Liquid. But sure enough when we got to the beach there were about 5 other surfers out there (another picture I'll have to put up later). I gave it a try but had very little success. I had a good time body surfing though.
We also watched his brother's soccer game and then caught the Pistons game--they pulled through in game 7---which Jerry and his posse were happy about. I have to admit I would have liked to have seen my fellow Marquette man Dwayne Wade of the Miami Heat do well.
Jerry is the pastor of a brand new church in Muskegon---he's only 29. We had a lot to talk about theologically, and a lot to learn from one another. He's a real people person.
I enjoyed learning about Muskegon, which is a racially divided city. They are dealing with a lot of the same realities as Camden..unemployment, drugs, prostitution, violence. Michigan has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country.
Michigan wasn't originally on my route but I'm glad I've gone through here because I've met some great people and I've been able to pray for its healing. They offered to pray for my journey as well---even the librarian at the Allendale Library.
Today I head north for Luddington. Everyone is warning me that today's going to be a scorcher, but at least I'll be next to the lake all day. The plan is to take the ferry over to Wisconsin on Wednesday morning. Thanks to all who contacted me through e-mail. Love and Peace.

Pic 29: Mike and Goofus Creation

Originally uploaded by jeremysullivan.

This Mike, the good man who helped me in the rain storm. He's standing next to one of his "Goofus Creations" as he calls it.

Pic 28: Tent next to barn

Originally uploaded by jeremysullivan.

This was my spot on the farm. My trailer is strategically placed to keep the wood chucks from sneaking into the garden behind it (I've got to earn my keep somehow). That cat in the picture went up to my tent and peed on it and then gave me a funny look. I was able to keep my rain fly off for the night and watch a satellite dance around in the sky

Pic 27: Don and his bike

Originally uploaded by jeremysullivan.

Don rode out with me on Sunday morning. I hope I'm as fit as him when I grow up

Pic 26: Friends in Gull Lake

Originally uploaded by jeremysullivan.

Cindy, Don, Elizabeth, and Kim---my new friends from the Gull Lake area

Monday, June 06, 2005

Yes! Michigan

Originally uploaded by jeremysullivan.

The title Yes! Michigan is from a billboard I remember as a kid that I guess was supposed to lure people to Michigan.
Michigan welcomed me with plenty of rolling hills and farmland. The landscape reminds of our family vacation spot called Shady Shores where we went for 20 years. The hot humid corn and berry fields remind me of long runs I used to take with my dad in the mornings. Lots of sandy soil here but actually very little shade. I have a picture of a bunch of cows crowded under a tree hiding from the strong sun, unfortunately I can't upload pictures here. I'm also appreciating the Midwest accent---they have an incredible ability to use the word "yet".
Saturday evening I ended up in a place called Gull Lake. It was kind of a vacation spot, which I've found a little more difficult to find hospitality. I passed a pizza shop with a sign that said "pizza by the slice". Unfortunately that ended at noon. This very nice woman behind me must have felt bad and offered me some of her pizza. We started talking and she was very interested in what I was doing. Her name was Elizabeth and she was with a German foreign exchange student, Kim, who her family was hosting. I asked if she knew a place to lay my tent, she offered her parents place, who have a beautiful house on an old farm.
Her mother Cindy runs a flower and antique shop out of the old barn on the farm, so she was very supportive of the gardening work that our community is doing in Camden. Cindy is an herbalist and has quite green thumb. Elizabeth's father, Don, and I got on well. He earned his living as an actuary for an insurance company but he's the type of guy who could restore a barn and build an airplane. He's 72 and fit as all get out. I'll be sure to include a picture when I get the chance. He's run a couple of the marathons. He's also thinks nothing of biking into town to pick up a 40 lb bag of salt. He wrestled one year in college because had spent his food money for the year on his future wife's engagement ring (which dropped him down a weight class). Don biked with me on my way out of town during his morning ride around the lake. Cindy and Don reminded me a lot of my own parents...many thanks to them and their gracious daughter Elizabeth.
Sunday I was headed for Grandville, MI where I planned to go to a church called Mars Hill. My housemate Chris had studied with the pastor there once summer, who is an expert in the Torah. The weather was steaming hot, but as a I was approaching town a nasty storm rolled in. A guy named Mike pulled over to offer a ride. I declined at first but then the storm got worse and Mike came by again to ask if I was sure---so I took the ride. Mike and I ended up spending a few hours together. He took me to lunch and showed me some art work that he does with old metal parts that he finds. He dropped me off for the 6 pm service at Mars Hill but it was cancelled because of a Tornado Watch. Some nice folks at the church hooked me up with a this guy Mark gave me a very comfortable couch for the night. Mark is a youth group leader so we went to an open house for one of his students who had just graduated. It was a lot of fun hanging out with these high school guys. They reminded me of myself at that age. We also went to see Cinderella Man at the theater.
Right now I'm in route to Muskegon, MI, which is right on the lake. Another friend of Chris' has welcomed me there with open arms. I'm fighting a strong westernly wind the whole way.
I miss you all. I realize it's difficult to leave a post on this site for some reason, but feel free to e-mail me at jeremysullivan40@hotmail.com I check it everytime I'm on the internet.

Country Roads

Originally uploaded by jeremysullivan.

It's been a few days since I wrote--it's hard to find libraries that are open on the weekends, especially because most of the towns I've been travelling through are tiny. Most of them only have a post office, a general store and a liquor store.
Last time I wrote I met this doctor in the library who had seen my bike and came up to talk to me because his brother had done a similar trip last year. Since then I've been communicating with both of these guys. His brother's name is Jay and he has a blog at pedalwest.com Check it out if you're interested.
The last few days have been very warm---80-90 degrees and humid. It has been quite the contrast to the cool/wet conditions in PA, but I'll take it.
I was intending to take a few easy days after Monroeville but a few wrong turns lengthened my days a bit---another 96 miler. What's interesting though is that I'm becoming much more comfortable simply being on my bike all day...whether the miles are "productive" or not. In fact when it took quite a while to realize I was lost. I am noticing attitude shifting from one of "doing" to one of "being". Just a week ago I was overwhelmed with frustration when I couldn't make it through Pittsburg, now I can see a wrong turn as just another leg of the journey.
At the end of the day I noticed I was approaching LaGrange, IN, where there happened to be a Mennonite Your Way family in my hospitality directory. I called them on very short notice and they said, "we won't be home, but we trust you, come on in and make yourself comfortable". What was better is that they waited for me and invited me to dinner at their friends' home. A daughter from each of the families had just graduated from college and returned from a trip to Europe. So I got to share a little about my journey and they told stories and showed pictures from their trip. We ate out on the deck on a beautiful summer night overlooking their land. Bill and Michele were the couple that took me in (their picture is above).

Friday, June 03, 2005

Pic 25: Amish horse and buggy

Originally uploaded by jeremysullivan.

I'm back in Amish country again

Pic 24: Baxter the dog

Originally uploaded by jeremysullivan.

There's Baxter after a swim in the creek

Pic 23: Me and David

Originally uploaded by jeremysullivan.

There's me and David. You can see his trailer behind us. It's made specially for dogs by a Canadian company called Wike. Those Canucks think of everything.

Pic 22: "Bikers Stay Free" Sign

Originally uploaded by jeremysullivan.

Bikers Love Monroeville

Originally uploaded by jeremysullivan.

I'm not able to upload any new pictures here. The one of the train was actually taken back in Columbiana, OH.
Yesterday I biked 95 miles to Monroeville, IN. The day was hot and humid with some strong winds out of the south. The storm clouds were chasing me all day but I made it to shelter just in time. At the end of the day I was covered in salt from all the dried sweat. It was a long day of riding but this little town of 1236 people has quite the reputation amongst cross-country bikers. They have a park pavillion, which they've converted into a shelter for bikers passing through. This older gentleman met me at the shelter and he was quite proud of it...there were cots, nice shower, towels, free maps, and books. Warrren could tell you just about anything you want to know about Monroeville. Warren made it clear that they reserve it just for bikers..he wouldn't let the "carnies" use it last year during the town festival, which pissed them off.
One of the best parts about staying at the shelter was that there was another biker named David staying there. He's going from upper state NY to Oregon. The coolest thing is that he's towing his 75 lb dog Baxter, in addition to his gear. He reminds me of Peter Jenkins who wrote the book, "A Walk Across America", who walked with his dog Cooper. Both of them always say "we" whenever they talk about what where they've been. David didn't plan on bringing his dog, but Baxter gets separation anxiety without him. He's pulling quite a load. When he was coming through NY he only made 26 miles in 6 hours of riding one day, but he persevered and the other day he made 77 miles on the flats. He'll be strong as an ox by the time he hits Oregon.
David and I had a lot to talk about, not only because we had crossed similar terrain, but because we had a lot of the same interests. He's 35 and he's hiked the Appalachian Trail, biked the Atlantic Coast, and ran the Adirondack Marathon. He's hoping this trip might cure his itch for adventure....but then again there's still Eastern Europe and Africa to see. We also compared philosophies on women, God, work and prayer. His family owns a new restaurant in his hometown. I can tell he's not totally at peace with leaving his father and brother with extra work, but he knows he needs to be on the road right now. I'm glad David and I crossed paths. Plus it's been awhile since I've hung out with someone from my own generation.
So today I'll head northwest towards Michigan. I'm going to back off a little to recover from the past few days. The clouds are rolling in, pray that I stay dry. Peace and love.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Michigan map

Originally uploaded by jeremysullivan.

I will be following that black line from Monroeville, IN to Ludington (at least that's the plan now). Then I will most likely take a ferry from Ludington to Manitowoc, WI and then down to see some friends in Milwaukee, WI ****Click on the map to see a bigger version

My First Century

Originally uploaded by jeremysullivan.

Yesterday I logged a 100 mile day---the first for the trip (actually my first ever). Once I branched off from Lake Erie, most of the roads looked just like the one in the picture above. I stopped at a Schwinn bike shop in Fremont, OH and the mechanic said, "The only hills we have in NW Ohio are the on/off ramps to the highway". The beautiful thing was that I had a sweet tailwind most of the day. The country roads leave plenty of time for prayer, random thoughts and even a little singing...the farm animals don't seem to mind my voice.
I ended the day in Bowling Green, OH. As I was cruising down Main St. scouting out the sleeping options I met a guy on a bike named Lee. He was was really interested in the trip because he's seen a lot of bikers pass through in the summer (Bowling Green is right on the Northern Tier cross-country route). So after chatting I asked if I could set up my tent in his yard. He thought nothing of it. He's a truck driver and he had to leave to make a delivery but he left the door open and let me take a shower...he didn't even think twice about it. He's starting an organic diet and swears by it. He even insisted on giving me $5 so I could buy some distilled water instead of drinking from the tap. Thanks Lee.
Today the goal is to make it over the border into Monroeville, IN. From there I will head north into Michigan for a few days. My brother suggested posting a map but I couldn't find one that traced my route. I'll work on it. Stay in touch---don't forget me in your prayers.

Pic 21: Lee from Bowling Green

Originally uploaded by jeremysullivan.

This is Lee, a great guy. One of the most trusting fellows I've met so far.

Pic 20: Photogenic Alpaca

Originally uploaded by jeremysullivan.

This is a very photogenic Alpaca. I think he was newly shorn.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Coasting along Ohio

Originally uploaded by jeremysullivan.

To sum it up, Ohio has been treating me well. I left Willowick yesterday and took a little detour that my maps suggested that brought me through some beautiful rolling hills and into the city of Cleveland. I then rode along Lake Erie with a nice little tail wind (I thought it would never happen).
I had a nice conversation on the phone with my housemate Elissa at around 5 pm who filled me in on the happenings in Camden over the past week. Every week have a "phone date" with someone different from our house.
After about 70 miles of riding I passed St. Anthony's Catholic church in Lorain, OH. There were cars in the driveway so I stopped in. As I was approaching the doors I met a cute little nun named Sr. Ann McNulty (see the picture below). She immediately said "You have the map of Ireland on your face." She was very interested in what I was doing. I then went inside and received a blessing. The priest reluctantly said I could set up my tent on a patch of grass next to the parking lot. I had an incredible view of the sunset. (see picture) Two men from the church took me out for a sandwich. Both were florists in town and both were Hungarian, Frank and Laslo were their names.
This morning when I was taking down my tent a woman named Gracie came up to inquire about what I was doing. She knew a Franciscan nun, Sr. Prudencia, from Camden and was very familiar with what was going on. She invited me over to her home for breakfast with her husband Louie who just had a knee replacement (see the picture: Ann the neighbor, Gracie and Louie).
Louie gave me a great history of Lorain. It's called "The International City" because people came from all over the world to work in it's steel mills...Slovaks, Italians, Hungarian, Chinese, Puerto Rican---all of whom have lived harmoniously together. The US steel company alone employed 14,000 people. But like Camden, the industry has started to die with decreased demand and globalization...leaving the city in dire straights. Ford has recently shut down 2 of it's plants as wel. Louie and Gracie's grandaughter did a small documentary to show the reality of the city. It gave me goose bumps. It been great to hear the stories of the places that I've passed through and to add them to my prayers as I ride. I am thankful for the people of Lorain.
I will continue on today west along lake Erie and then start to angle south toward Indiana once I hit Huron, OH. Stay in touch and keep the prayers coming. Peace and Love

Pic 19: Chapel at St. Anthony's

Originally uploaded by jeremysullivan.

This is a little chapel of perpetual adoration at St. Anthony's. You can see a bit of the sunset reflecting in the window

Pic 18: Lake Erie Sunset and tent

Originally uploaded by jeremysullivan.

I set up my tent on this little strip of grass between the church parking lot and Lake Erie. Not a bad vista eh...

Pic 17: Me and Sister Ann

Originally uploaded by jeremysullivan.

Pic 16: Cleveland Skyline

Originally uploaded by jeremysullivan.

Cleveland Rocks...Cleveland Rocks (Drew Carrey)