Cleveland, Ohio

One set destination along our travel route was Cleveland, Ohio. Not so much for its history, culture or location on the shores of Lake Erie, but for visiting CB's friend Anne, who he met in South America four years ago. As you can imagine, it is always nice to catch up with an old friend and trade stories. This was no different.

We also much appreciated sleeping in a normal bed again, and not in a hotelroom or tent for a change, so this was most welcome. It also turned out, that Cleveland offered some great shopping opportunities, which DB jumped at. Not only is she now the proud owner of a KitchenAid, a Jamie Oliver pot and pan set and other stuff – we also quickly figured that we now have another problem: how to get all these highly priced consumer goods back to Australia? A quick look at our trusty workhorses confirmed that there is now way in the world that we strap on all this stuff, so we utilised our Tetris skills and packed everything up ready for posting. Once we showed up at the US Postal Service office things turned awkward very quickly once we learned the cost for posting!!! CB tried to 'cut a deal' with the highly decorated post officer in charge on the other side of the counter but with no luck, so we had to bite the bullet and pay up… Anyway, it still was heaps cheaper than buying the same items back home…

Anne also organised some Cleveland sight seeing for us, including a visit of the rock and roll hall of fame:    which was certainly a highlight for us… the hall of fame provides a most excellent overview of the history of rock'n'roll all the way to the present, and also explains the different styles, cross-overs and influences. We loved the crazy costumes from Jimmy Hendrix, David Bowie and James Brown, tons of electric guitars from Eric Clapton, Curt Cobain and Chuck Berry – just legendary. CB also found the original ZZ Top Eliminator and stage paraphernalia from U2 and Pink Floyd concerts…

When it was time to leave Cleveland behind, we talked Anne into riding with us for a couple of days, and she was more than happy to jump onto her GS (which sees way too little usage) and head to Michigan with us. We stopped at Grand Rapids to check out the Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park:  on the way. Who would have thought this eclectic little gem exists? Mr. Meijer, who made his fortunes with a chain of stores around the US was a keen art collector and left behind some amazing on a enormous property to display them…

After that visit we sadly had to say good-bye to Anne, who had to return to Cleveland and Team Berg took the SS Badger:  across lake Michigan. While this cost us an arm and a leg and the promised 'sun set cruise' was given a rain check, it easily shaved a day or two of riding of our trip, which was desperately needed since we're slowly running out of time…


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