Visiting the Arb


I have visited many arboretums in my travels. (Arboreta?) I usually make a point to go see the local one in each new town, if it has one. Usually it will have an official name, such as the Hoyt Arboretum in Portland, or the Dominion Arboretum in Ottawa. But generally people just refer to them generically: “Have you been to the arboretum?”

Never have I heard that word shortened to “the arb” until I arrived here in Ann Arbor. Perhaps it’s because the city’s name itself is related, but that’s what everyone calls it here, and I think it’s adorable.

It had been on my list to see while I was here, and I did so today. I was very glad for its shady trees; the day was very hot and muggy.

First, I bade farewell to my Warmshowers hosts on the southern edge of town, Emma and Benny. Around noon I set out on a ride of about an hour from their place to the northern edge of town, to meet my new Warmshowers hosts Rod and Amy. I passed some pretty scenery on the way.

After I arrived and had a brief chat with Rod about travels, both domestic and international, he gave me a ride back downtown—with the bike folded in the back of the car so I could pedal back—so that I could see a bit more of the art fair on its last day. However, the crowds soon felt like more than I wanted to navigate, so I headed a few blocks north to enjoy another lunch at the all-vegan Vedge cafe (not to be confused with the non-affiliated vegan restaurant of the same name in Philadelphia) where I enjoyed a delicious BLTA and some potato salad.

Then I biked over to the arboretum, where I met up with a local fellow I met on Bumble, and we ambled through the shady paths for an hour or two. The trees were towering and beautiful.

After we said goodbye, I pedaled back downtown to grab some dinner at the co-op and a treat at the local Cinnaholic. (It had been a long time since I’d visited a city with a Cinnaholic! Fort Worth, perhaps…? The one in Cary, NC was sadly closed when I visited.)

The way back to Rod and Amy’s place was beautiful, especially in the waning light. It’s such a pleasure to be able to travel by bike, taking in all the natural beauty without any filter.

Tomorrow I will drag myself out of bed early to receive a woefully overdue professional massage, and then see what else might be in store for me on my last day in Ann Arbor!

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2 thoughts on “Visiting the Arb”

    1. I love trees too! (My entire Instagram is nothing but my tree photography.) I hadn’t thought about drought as the cause of those bare branches; I was just struck by the aesthetic. But you may be right. 😕

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