Friday, June 22, 2007

June 18th: Elkhart, IN to New Buffalo, MI

Today's ride was a short, sweet, and flat 44 miles, which gave us a
great excuse to take a detour. Many of us decided to follow Matt and
Liz to their alma mater, Notre Dame, just a mile down the road from
our main route. It was so beautiful! The main cathedral was
brilliantly painted in blue and gold with jewel-bright stained glass
windows within the walls. We also visited the stadium, famous for the
movie "Rudy" (I, at least, called my friends to brag) and a few other
sites before we were called by the van to get a move-on.

Upon arriving in New Buffalo, we went straight to Redamaks, "the
hamburger that put New Buffalo on the map." According to Kathleen, one
of many who experienced a burger, "the meat melts in your
was incredible!" When we got to the church, friendly Pastor Brad took
us on a tour around town, pointing out the ice cream store, Oinks,
that we would visit later.

I managed to fall asleep in the public library, but everyone else went
to a lovely home just over the Indiana border where a pool and dinner
awaited us. Eventually I came back to consciousness and made it to the
party. The church members were all great to talk with, and this was by
far the best part of the day. They also all (roughly) were related to
each other in some way, which seems pretty remarkable, but then again,
most of them have lived in New Buffalo all their lives. And I can see
why! New Buffalo is a lovely town right on the lake. Apparently it
used to be much smaller, but as our hosts pointed out, tons of housing
is going up for all the Chicagoans who want a relaxing place to stay
over the summer (fun fact: the population of the town in the winter is
1800; in the summer, it is 12,000!).

At the end of the day, we went to Oinks, an ice cream store with some
pretty creative flavors, but their glory lies in the decor. Oinks has
one of every pig-related item manufactured in history....just a slight
exaggeration. They even had a yellow, pig-themed biking jersey, which
we asked to buy, but, alas, they weren't interested in selling.

What's more, Brian's still alive, which makes today, in all, an amazing day!

-Laura Gaynon

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