July 2: Don't Go Chasing Waterfalls

After our last night not sleeping in the RV for a while (pray for us), we awoke to a welcome sight: chocolate chip pancakes. Mike went for a run and David Brown ’07 continued his fantastic hosting by prepping some joy disguised as breakfast. He went even further and agreed to be interviewed by us, which featured his dog BB napping on his foot. The conversation with David explored his own cross-country travels, his storied Williams connections (he even applied to Williams without knowing his grandfather had attended), and his journey back to Rochester, NY.

Our adventure then took us to a place you probably never heard of: Niagara Falls. A true sight to behold, Mike had never been there before, but immediately wanted to start taking as many pictures as possible. Juan similarly took photos, so enjoy a mini dump of some shots from there (and we highly recommend visiting even if only for like 45 mins like us). We ask people "What brings you joy?" and it is no secret that Mike and Juan are big fans of the outdoors and nature photography. Feel free to share some of your joys in the comments at the end of this post.

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Next we ventured to Cleveland (Lakewood, technically) to meet with Alex Sherman '13, a former Reunion Ranger (go code tangerine) and Ohio native. Prior to the interview, we had to figure out where to park the RV. Naturally, a nearby school parking lot seemed to make sense. At least until we were apparently going to be interrupting marching band practice and were asked to move slightly out of the way. They even asked what an E-P-H-S on the mooove was... at least they weren't Amherst alums amiright?

Onwards. Alex's interview was delightful. Her Williams experience shaped her trajectory in a number of ways: her entry welcomed her as someone from a small town, Mystic and Storytime let her learn the importance of listening and connecting, and Winter Study gave her the space to realize medicine was not her calling. She now serves as a speech pathologist, helping children learn and strengthen their communication skills in light of learning differences - truly remarkable work! She expressed gratitude for us connecting with her as she felt a little out of the typical Williams narrative as someone without a flashy job and also being in a smaller region. We were proud that this project helped someone like her feel more a part of the community as this is at the heart of EotM: encouraging people and fostering space for inclusion of all Ephs through the bicentennial’s theme of  “There's A Place For You.”

After a lovely treat of watermelon, courtesy of Alex, we stopped by the Happy Dog, a local bar created by Sean Watterson '91. Sean was out doing great work in New Orleans  with Save Our Stages, so while we couldn't chat with him, we appreciated this space and hope he continues his great work! 

Before Toledo (campground 1!), we got some food behind enemy lines in Amherst (Ohio). Pretty cool old architecture, good tacos, lovely skies. 

Oh and then a never ending train held us from our campground for like 10 mins as we were about a mile away. 

It’s 247 miles to Chicago, we’ve got a half tank of gas, a full jar of peanut butter,  it's the 4th of July weekend, and we’re still talking to each other. Hit it.

M-n(elly)-J

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