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April 02, 1998 - Image 23

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1998-04-02

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10B - The Michigani nDaily Weekend

Magazine -Thursday, April 2, 1998


Trippin' abounds on
Michigan's roadways

Th & MichigaiDaily W<
At Ann Arbor climbing gym,
students take rocky road to fun

By Ryan Malkin
For the Daily
Not much going on this weekend?
No classes on Friday? Pack up some
clothes, grab some great CDs and hit
the road.
Although many think Michigan is
-boring in comparison to other states,
that is not entirely true. Michigan
actually has a lot to experience, espe-
cially in the spring and summer.
There are several places that students
and faculty alike can enjoy for either
the day, weekend, or week.
Before getting into the specifics
about where to go, some general road
trip rules must be laid down. First of
all, the driver must be established. This
sounds easier than it actually is. Most
people are willing to go on a road trip,
yet most would rather not drive.
Sometimes the driver may be the
only one with the car, but often times
it comes down to a coin toss, rock-
paper-scissors, or a bribe.
Bribes tend to be the best bet. For
example, good bribes are offering to
pay for the gas, a dinner or the first
case of beer. As LSA sophomore
Darryl Goldberg said, "Experienced
drivers are the way to go. Forget
about your friend who's gonna bitch
the whole way, considering it's the
first time their parents allowed them
to leave the nest. Just find my man

who's gonna deal with it as long as
you pay for gas."
Once the driver is established, the
music must be decided upon. A vast
range of music is preferable, for two
reasons. First of all, during the
course of the drive everyone will fall
into different musical feelings. Each
person in the car can pick a tune so
that no one person gets his/her way.
Another very important reason why
everyone should bring all their CDs,
if possible, is that during the course
of the trip everyone is bound to get
in a quiet, reminiscent mood.
One person will play DJ and put
on some '80s music, everyone will
start singing for an hour or so, then
get bored and take a nap, leaving the
driver able to play his/her favorite
music. Don't think it sounds crazy
- it is an inevitable part of road
A few quick things to be sure and
remember to take along are a Swiss
army knife, cellular phone and radar
detector. Erica Viers, an AAA repre-
sentative, also suggested getting a
map or AAA Triptik "if you're not
familiar with the roads."
Now that everything is packed and
someone has offered to drive, we're
Our journey will take us through
many stops and each stop can in

By Renatt Brodsky
For the Daily
The goal is to climb. The point is to
have fun. The place is the Ann Arbor
Rock Climbing Gym, Inc.
Located on West Ann Street three
blocks north of Main Street, this
facility, known for its friendly atmos-
phere, has become a popular hangout
for University students as well as Ann
Arbor residents who want to chal-
lenge their physical and mental abili-
ties through climbing.
A newcomer can expect to shake
hands with the owner, be licked by
Bernie the dog, climb to the tunes of
Bob Marley and leave knowing most
of that day's climbers. Former
Michigan MBA Cortland Coene
opened the gym in 1993 and has cre-
ated a place where anyone from a
beginner to an advanced climber can
feel safe anal comfortable taking part
in this trendy sport.
The gym measures 4,000 square
feet with 12 20-foot walls for vertical
climbing, known as top-roping, and
three 170-foot bouldering routes that
go side to side on four-foot-tall walls.
Each wall offers a variety of different
routes and is color-coordinated to
accommodate different skills.
The gym also has a 720-cubic-foot
bouldering cave for climbers who
want an extra challenge and a com-
plete upper-body workout. Coene
said bouldering is a bit more chal-
lenging for some than top-roping;
since bouldering is side-to-side
climbing, it requires certain balance
skills. People aren't used to climbing
sideways, so climbing vertically may
seem easier because it's similar to

me ntally7 it's
like a game of
- Cortland Coene
Owner of Ann Arbor Rock
Climbing Gym, Inc.
climbing a ladder.
As far as exercise goes, Coene said,
"rock-climbing is as much a physical
workout as a mental workout.
Physically you get a full-body work-
out, but mentally, it's like a game of
chess." He said climbers must pick
their route before they climb and
imagine in their minds exactly how
they are going to do it. Rock-climb-
ing is a form of problem-solving
because each route is set up so that
each move requires a specific tech-
It is also very important to use the
right techniques. In top-roping, for
example, if climbers don't use the
right methods, "your forearms will
burn out and your fingers will just die
before you reach the top," Coene said.
He said rock-climbing is a sport that
people can perfect by either practicing
on their own or by watching others
climb and then sharing notes. It can
also be a social activity, because often
a group of climbers will suddenly
solve a problem as they watch a
climber tackle a specific route with
which they may have had difficulty.
Kenneth Kim, an LSA senior who
learned to climb about a year ago, said
that when he masters a route, the feeling
of accomplishment and fulfillment he

gets is beyond anything else. He prefers
top-roping to bouldering because of
knowing that he climbed to the top
rather than going around in circles.
"Climbing gives me a good positive
vibe," Kim said.
Regina Zajia, a Rackham third-year
student who has been climbing at the
Ann Arbor facility for six months,
said, "Climbing stretches my muscles
and I feel great after." Stephanie
Palmer, a Rackham student and long-
time climber, said that the great thing
about climbing is that it is one of the
few exercises where she uses all of
her muscles.
Coene said that climbing is an
overall physical challenge for both
men and women, but gender issues
surface in climbing. Women are natu-
rally better climbers than men
because of their balancing abilities.
Therefore they seem to pick it up
much more quickly - that is, after
they get over the initial trepidation of
going up and down.
Men, who rarely seem fearful about
climbing, tend to use their upper body
to hold themselves up, but in order to
be successful climbers, Coene said,
"they need to unlearn to use their
upper body and be reminded that they
have feet"
Coene admitted that there is not
much glitz to his facility, but cus-
tomers like it and keep coming back
because it is a'safe, nonthreatening
and friendly environment. When the
Michigan weather turns temperamen-
tal again and students need an indoor
activity, indoor rock-climbing is a
great way to keep in shape until it's
time to go outdoors again.

Some University students I

Courtesy of AAA

The Presque Isle Lighthouse Is one standout Michigan destination.

" "

itself be a final destination. Anyway,
begin the journey by driving north on
1-75, which is always a safe bet
because Ohio is less than an hour to
the south.
Most of the popular student desti-
nations in Michigan are reachable by
I-75. "There are the gambling casi-
nos in Mt. Pleasant that seem to
attract a certain number of students,"
said Dan Nolikowski of Regency
Travel. He said that Traverse City is
also a popular stop, because of its
beaches, restaurants and the nearby
Interlochen music camp. "And the
UP's a nice destination if you like
solitude," Nolikowski said:
The first top, Birch Run,is located
about an hour and a half from Ann
Arbor and about 30 minutes north of
Flint, and can be a day trip in itself. It
has one of the largest outlet malls in
the country, although a larger outlet in
Auburn Hills is in the works. The out-
let includes Nike, J. Crew, Polo,

Tommy Hilfiger and Esprit.
"Birch Run is a good place to stop
even for nonserious shoppers. But
sometimes you have to search for the
bargains," said LSA sophomore
Aubrey Kepes.
Now that the shopping is done, it
is time to eat. This meal has to last
the traveler until the next destination,
so eating a large amount is a necessi-
ty. The place to do it is Tony's, a
restaurant directly across the street
from the Birch Run shops. Although
it is a truck stop, the food is great. A
club sandwich at Tony's consists of
one pound of turkey, half a pound of
bacon and condiments, all on what
seems like a loaf of bread. If for
some odd reason that is not enough,
try the sundae, in a glass parfait dish
that takes up about two feet of the
About two and a half hours further
on, after getting off I-75 at Grayling,
travelers reach Traverse City, the

cherry capital of Michigan. Traverse
City is a stopover for the night or a
final destination.
Besides the usual beaches, small
shops and jet-ski rentals, Traverse
City also has casinos. Unlike those in
Vegas or Windsor, these are small
buildings with scattered tables, out-
side the heart of town.
While in Traverse City, a cheap
lunch can be found at Stone Soup,
in the heart of town. For dessert,
Tom's Mom's Cookies is next door.
If someplace to sleep is necessary
for a weary traveler, there are plenty
of cheap motels around. But if the
travelers are rolling high class and
looking for outdoor activities, the
Grand Traverse Resort is beautiful. It
has a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf
course, but this costs more than $100
per round.
Charlevoix is a bit north from
Traverse City, about 40 minutes
away. Along the side of the road to
Charlevoix many cherry stands are
present, and the farther from
Traverse City, the lower the price
gets. The usual price is about $4-$5
per pound, and the fresh cherries are
usually worth every penny.
See ROAD TRIPS, Page 138



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