Sunday, 5 June 2011

Oh Oh Ohio and Michigan Memories

Manchester Ohio, another small town on the banks of the Ohio River. The winding road that runs by the river promises another pleasant town. And Manc-ohio is. It is what I always thought an old US` township should look like with a main street on which a combination of brick and timber buildings show the history that made the town. As if the dust road from yesteryear had simply been concreted over.

A settlement town named after a UK mancunion who was sent there to survey and mark out the area to be given to war heros and military solders as reward for their services to the country.

Suffering from the world wide recession, the town showed signs of the times with shops closed and many households holding yard sales to make ends meet. Having visit the town hall and speaking to the Mayoress, I went to the river bank where two old timers in a pick-up chatted about the demise of the town, lack of employment and stricken economy. I felt sorry for this unique and classic town that to me (Just my opinion), is what 'small town USA' should look like, its a shame that the vast River Ohio can't bring some tourism and a brighter future to a charming place.

On to Michigan.

John Stedman Filling sand boxes

Manchester Village , Michigan,

After another 350 mile blast through to Michigan, I arrived in Manchester MI on Friday, about 6.30pm. Despite the long day, I was keen to meet up with John Stedman, another Facebook contact who had seen an article about me in the local Manchester Enterprize newspaper. I had spoken to Dave, there reporter a week before on a bad Skype connection that was cutting out every few seconds due the the electrical storms they were having in the area. (Great more rain up north !).

An invitation for bike talk and beer was enough to look John up.

As I arrived at THE traffic lights in one of the nicest Manchesters I had seen to date, I spotted as guy on the veranda of a bar, just above a classic Honda parked on the corner. It was John, but due to my fatigue and being at one of the four-way-give-way junctions, I didn't think it might be him until I tuirned the corner. I had his cell number and within seconds John said thats me on the corner !
A quick beer and a meet and greet from the patron of the pub, and Mrs: S turned up and I was quickly invited back for steak and a bed for the night. John had some chores to complete, and I watched as he made Tortilla Chips and a big frier in the back yard. These would be sold at the farmers market along with home made preserves.

After a steak and just one more beer, we eventually retired at 11.30pm. 4 seconds and was snoring like a good un!

Next morning more duties for the Manchester Mens Club and community led charity that created events and ploughed the profits back into the village. A few hours of filling local kids sand pits, and we were free to ride a little and see the area.

In the afternoon I was due at Missy Covill's house about 15 miles away for a party so Saturday became my second day off (but on) the bike since I started. More about Missy next time.


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