36.33 Miles / 2833.33 Total Miles
673 Ft. Elevation Gain / 96,155 Ft. Total Elevation Gain
We hit a milestone today. We are 2/3 of the way through the days we will be riding and 2/3 of the way through the miles we will be riding to reach Bar Harbor, Maine.
We slept in till 6 AM, because we changed the destination for our day off, tomorrow, from Detroit to Dearborn. It seems that the Motown Museum, in Detroit, is closed, and the Henry Ford Museum, in Dearborn, is open, so we all agreed to the change.
We packed up our stuff, then headed to the kitchen to prepare our oatmeal, and Michael was already there–baking some fresh banana bread for us. Before we even left his house, we had both our first and second breakfasts out of the way. With such a short ride, there wasn’t going to be a stop for second breakfast, anyhow, and we weren’t going to stop for lunch. We were just riding straight through to our hotel in Dearborn.
Michael’s house is off our route, and he knew the best way to get back on the route, so he hopped on one of his bikes and led us 6 miles, to the bike path along the Huron River, which we followed to Plymouth Road, where we rejoined the route. We took some photos, and said our goodbyes. Michael: Thanks for sharing your beautiful home with us and for your hospitality, amazing cooking, and inspirational stories. If you ever come to Arizona, with or without a bike, be sure to look me up, so I can return the favor.
A good part of the route, today, was on bike trails, but they were winding, hilly and bumpy, and the adjacent roads were straight, mostly flat, mostly smooth, and had shoulders. We chose to ride on the roads, with the cars.. The Hines Park Trail, and its adjacent road, passed through numerous Wayne County parks and picnic areas. I hope the people who live here appreciate all the bike paths and parks that are available to them.
We stopped in Plymouth, about half way through our ride, and enjoyed some pastries from a bakery, then got back on the road.
When we came to the Rouge River Gateway Trail, which unfortunately did not have an adjacent road, we jumped on the trail, and rode it as it wound its way through Henry Ford Community College, the University of Michigan-Dearborn campus, the Henry Ford Estate, then to Michigan Avenue, in Dearborn.
Michigan Avenue was a busy road with no room for bikes, so we rode on the sidewalk, which was scary, because cars just pull over sidewalks without looking, and can easily take out a cyclist. About a mile from our motel, Ed swerved to get around a shopping cart, that had been left on the sidewalk, and his wheel got stuck in a rut. He ended up flying through the air and landing on the grass. Thankfully, he and his bike weren’t hurt, but it was pretty scary to watch.
We arrived at our motel pretty quickly–between 11:00 and 11:30, so we were going to have some free time on our hands.. While we were checking in, a couple from Iraq were also checking in, and I spoke with them briefly, before we left for our room. The wife was dressed very traditionally, for an Islamic woman in the US. She was wearing a black abaya and hijab, and had just her face uncovered. I had heard, somewhere along the way, that Dearborn has the highest population of Arabic people of any city in the US, and that got me thinking that, with all the free time we had today, I’d like to find a good Middle Eastern restaurant that serves the kind of food the Turkish Restaurant in Riyadh, Saudi Arablia served. And then I though that maybe I could get the gal from the lobby to go out to eat with me. So I went back to the front desk and asked Ali, the guy working there, if he could tell me which room she was in, and he did. I knocked on her door and asked her if I could buy them dinner at one of the Middle Eastern restaurants in town, and she said, “Yes.”. We would meet up at 6:30, and they would drive.
I went back to the room and took a nap, then readied my self for dinner. We met, as agreed, and headed for the Al-Ameer, Ali’s favourite restaurant. And while we were driving to the restaurant, I learned their names: Asra and Fors, and I discovered that they were on their honeymoon and had only been married 2 days. I offered to let them off the hook on the dinner, but they insisted they wanted to go with me.
Dinner was wonderful. I ordered a baba ganoush, hummus, grape leaves and tabouli, to share with them, and they ordered a lamb and chicken kabob and shawarma platter, that we all shared. The meal made me wish for a chance to go back to the Turkish Restaurant, but that will never happen.
After dinner, they offered to take me to see the Islamic Center of America, the largest mosque in North America and the oldest Shia mosque in the US. I wondered how it would compare to the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, UAE, and now I was going to get to find out. Unfortunately, when we got there, the mosque was closed, which was a little odd, because there was still one more prayer call left in the day. Something else that was odd, was that the mosque was completely surrounded by other churches.
When I got back to the hotel, it was time for blogging, a few phone calls and an early bedtime. We had a big day ahead of us at the Henry Ford Museum.