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Attica on map for pilgrimage


Californians trek east through US, Europe toward Jerusalem



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October 07, 2009
ATTICA — Stopping for lunch last Tuesday at the Pleasant Soul Cafe turned out to be even more pleasant than usual for Pauline Preisel.

There she meet a couple on an amazing journey. Husband and wife Mike Metras and Petra Wolf are walking across the country and later, across Europe, on a pilgrimage from California to Jerusalem.

After traveling down Peppermill Road, the couple decided to take a break at the Lake Pleasant Road eatery.

"They were very interesting to talk to," Preisel said.

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Cross country walkers Mike Metras and Petra Wolf made a stop in Attica last week at the Pleasant Soul Cafe, meeting owner Angie Burgess and her friend, Laure Greenwald. The couple is bound for Jerusalem.

"We had quite a conversation."

Preisel said she learned they were headed next to Port Huron where they would cross the border into Canada and continue on to New York where they'd hop on a ship bound for Europe. She said she was amazed the couple was making the trek pushing small carts with their supplies and spending nights in their tent or a hotel.

The couple has been documenting their adventure online at www.walkingeast.com. They write that they left their California home in January and expect the journey will take at least 18 months.

Averaging 14 miles per day, the couple has followed Route 66, the Sante Fe trail and other notable routes. From Illinois, they traveled north to Milwaukee and took the ferry across Lake Michigan to Muskegon.

In Michigan they followed many bike trails, walking through towns such as Walker, Cedar Springs, Howard City, Edmore, Saginaw, Frankenmuth.

From there they headed south toward Lapeer County, walked east on Peppermill, stopping in Attica. On their blog, the couple spoke glowingly of Pleasant Soul Cafe owner Angie Burgess, praising her for following her dream and exuding such enthusiasm for her business and community.

"I was so surprised and excited," Burgess said of the Metras and Wolf's visit.

Fortunately, Burgess said she wasn't busy when they walked through the door and the three had the chance to chat about a lot of things. It's not everyday that people on a cross country journey come down Peppermill, Burgess said with a laugh.

Once they cross the Atlantic, the couple plans to traverse Spain, France and Italy. They write that they've yet to decide if they'll stay on dry land to get to Jerusalem or take a boat across the Mediterranean Sea.

Metras and Wolf have done other walking pilgrimages in the past and say they get "homesick for the unknown."

"We like living every day differently, in a new environment," they wrote.

Castle Creek
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