Skippack Shop Owner Embarks on a Coast-to-Coast Adventure

Art Berger, co-owner of the Wooden Duck, with Sophie the shop's beloved greeter, before he departs for his bicycle trip across the United States. Skippack Village Cross Country Bicycle Trip

Art Berger, co-owner of the Wooden Duck, with Sophie the shop's beloved greeter, before he departs for his bicycle trip across the United States

Art Berger, co-owner of the Wooden Duck Shoppe, with help and support from his wife Jane Berger, and Sophie, the store’s new star employee, is about to fulfill a long-time dream: He is going to ride his bicycle across the continental United States, from Portland, Oregon to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. He will be joined by three other cyclists and expects the trip will take five to six weeks.

Art is 57 years old. This is an impressive effort, and makes Art something of a hero to middle-aged guys like the Skippack Blogger. I visited the Wooden Duck, seeking a few words of inspiration from Art. I ask him for a quotation before his journey.

“At this juncture, I just want to get it done,” he says, bringing the practical perspective of an experienced businessman to temper talk born of the excitement of dreams about to be fulfilled.

The Lady with the Cocktails

Behind every man who goes on an adventure lasting over a month is a woman who can manage affairs back home. In Art’s absence, Jane Berger, who is co-owner along with Art, will be alone at the helm of the Wooden Duck, a well-run, tasteful, eclectic and chic boutique which specializes in women’s fashions, handbags, and jewelry as well as collectibles such as Byers’ Choice Carolers.

The Skippack Blogger's Wife gets to know Sophie, the new greeter at the Wooden Duck.

The Skippack Blogger's wife gets to know Sophie, the new greeter at the Wooden Duck.

Jane brings out a tray of Margaritas for customers to enjoy. That’s my kind of shop owner.  ”Hopefully, I’ll do as good a job as Art,” she says, modestly but confidently anticipating the weeks ahead. She promises a cocktail every day at the Wooden Duck, until Art returns.

Sophie Steals the Show

I want to ask Art more questions about his trip. What will he be eating? Where will he sleep? What does he expect will be the most difficult part of his journey? However, we are all distracted by Sophie, Wooden Duck’s adorable puppy-greeter, who has just survived her probation period, and is now a full-time employee and has already proved her retail marketing cred by becoming a hit on Facebook.

Jane Bane, co-owner of the Wooden Duck, gets ready to take control as her husband and business partner pedals a bicycle across the country.

Jane Berger, co-owner of the Wooden Duck, gets ready to take full control as her husband and business partner pedals a bicycle across the country. She promises free cocktails every day.

Sophie is a Jug or JackPug, part Jack Russell Terrier and part Pug, and 100% lovable. She has stolen the heart of the Skippack Blogger’s wife and just about every other customer who walks in the door. We stand around her and take turns petting and holding her.

Good Wishes to Friends Who Journey and Friends Who Stay Home

Thus ends our talk of Art’s cross-country bicycle trip. However, you can find out more by visiting Art’s online journal. Readers of I Love Skippack are encouraged to leave Art words of encouragement in the guest book.

And so, below are a few words from the Skippack Blogger:

To Art: Congratulations on fulfilling a dream, and may all your days bring adventure and a sense of accomplishment. Keep it safe. When you return, I look forward to hearing your stories.

To Jane: Debby and I will be joining you for cocktails. Debby wants to know if she can hold Sophie again.

The Skippack Blogger's wife knows fashion and she loves the Wooden Duck.

The Skippack Blogger's wife knows fashion and she loves the Wooden Duck.