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Monday, July 14, 2008

The rest of Indiana was fairly uneventful. Lots more fields of corn, wheat and soy beans. We camped at Fletcher's Lake, which was a tiny lake, barely on the map. A cluster of little houses were snuggled up to the lake. We weren't sure where to camp until the man who lived across from the campground (a bunch of old campers that their owners used on weekends) pointed it out to us and showed us where we could pitch our tent. He and his wife had seen and met a lot of cyclists passing through so we shared stories with them until the sky was on the verge of a very heavy downpour.

The next day we got off to an early start to do 90 miles to Monroeville. At least we thought we left early but when we stopped for lunch I noticed that all the clocks were an hour ahead of the clock on my odometer. The day before I had noticed that Ray's phone was an hour ahead, too, but we thought that the time changed (from central to eastern standard time) when we got to Ohio. I'm still not sure where the time change occurs. It didn't really matter, but it was funny to realize that we lost an hour somewhere along the way.

Monroeville is a very special town. Its at the end of the map that started in Muscatine, Iowa and after 400 miles of riding through corn fields bicyclists have a place to stay in the Monroeville Community Building. Ever since 1976 (the year that the Transamerica bicycle route was starte, I believe) they have let cyclists stay in the building which has a kitchen, a shower and free laundry machines. They also have a log book with over 1000 cyclists who have stayed there and various other things related to the Northern Tier and Great Lakes cycling routes which both go through there. It was really nice to sleep in a cool air conditioned room on a hot humid night and to use the facilities. We ate dinner at a nice little resturant in town and of course visited the Whippy Dip for ice cream. Its quite amazing how helpful and generous people are to cyclists, we
have encountered so many of them and this place to stay was an especially nice gesture from complete strangers.

The next day we got off to a lazy start and entered Ohio amid sprinkles of rain. We stopped in Defiance for some bike repairs and another movie (I cannot get Ray to ride any further when he decides he wants to go to the cinema). Then rode through Independence and Florida before we came to a nice city park in Napoleon where we stayed for the night. Ohio is a great state for bicycling because it is SO flat and the wind has been blowing us gently eastward since we got here. We have been riding through lots more fields but the areas around here are a bit more residential where development has encroached on farmland. We've been passing more farm stands and a lot of bigger towns.

Yesterday, after a large can of Campbell's Soup, we visited the little town of Grand Rapids which was quaint to the point of making me wonder if people actually live there. They were having an antique car show and a little farmer's marked. Then we went stopped in Bowling Green to find a book store. We spent yesterday afternoon and evening at a state park outside of Gibonsburg (at least I think that is what the town was called, some names have started to blur).

Today we have had our first glimpses of Lake Erie. We are apparently on Ohio's north coast. I'm not sure if they have any other coasts and I didn't even know they had this one until today. But what I have seen of the lake does seem great and big and I guess it is kind of like a coast. Not quite the same as the one I am used to, but it does seem really pretty and the lake is quite sparkley and blue green. We will see a lot more of it this week as we ride along it all the way into New York.

We are going to spend some time in Cleveland tomorrow, the first (and probably only) really big city that we go through. My time is running out on this computer so I will let you know more soon!


Tony said...

When the Cinema beckons, one must heed its call.

Brita said...

I saw "Hancock" on Saturday night - it was fun. What did you see this time?

Ohio sounds wonderful - enjoy it. I'm going to Maples tomorrow night to celebrate my birthday! Wish you could be there!