Friday, May 30, 2014

Ohio: What a Difference a Trail Makes

We have been in Ohio for the past four days, and it's been such a change from riding in Kentucky.  I don't want to sound negative about Kentucky, but it's clearly a car culture.  In Ohio, we spent 90% or so of our first day of riding (60+ miles) and 85% or so of our second day of riding (another 60 miles) on a rail trail.  It was pretty much riding heaven.

We also saw a lot of wildlife (as opposed to roadkill) on the trail, including bunnies, snakes, tons of birds, and this fawn -
I'd seen the fawn in the distance but couldn't figure out what it was.  My father's answer was, "A chihuahua on stilts."  Yes, I have built-in comedy on this trip.

I also saw a few memorials along the trail.  A couple of them seemed to be for people who had biked and loved the trail, and this one served as a warning -
Even trails are not free from danger, and it was a good reminder to check for cars when the trail crossed roads.

One of the things that happens when you do this kind of ride is that you meet a lot of people.  Some people are just kind of dumbfounded that we're doing this.  There were four women in a Wendy's (I will be swearing off fast food for at least a year after I'm done with this trip) that I felt viewed me as a circus freak.  As the ladyfriend pointed out, this must be the way our son feels when people quiz him about his piercings and tattoos.  I try to be friendlier than I'm inclined to be.  So I smile and act nice.

But then there are those people who want to talk about your trip and their own biking and travels, who are great.  We had a guy come up to us in Kentucky who was going to do the Underground Railroad route with his sons and was out for the day doing a shorter ride.  We had another cyclist turn around to come talk to us about touring, and there was the 81-year man (who I helped reseat his rear tire) who had just taken up cycling the year before.  How amazing is that?  It flew in the face of all the other people who have said things like, "I'm too old; have a bad knee/hip/back/attitude; can't, won't, etc."  We're not out to make people feel bad, but don't expect us to say, "Oh yeah.  Sure.  You're absolved of having to be physically active at all."  Okay, that sounded a little harsh, but hopefully you know what I mean.

There have been many people who have been amazingly kind and generous to us, of which the Warm Showers community is full.  The server at Slim's, a bar and grill in Spring Valley, OH, told the cook  about our trip, and she came out of the kitchen just to talk with us.  And then there was Plume Eatery in Corwin, OH, which not only stayed open for us but made us a dish off the dinner menu when they didn't actually serve dinner on that day.
My father and I shared the catfish and grits, which they split for us (as they did the soup it usually comes with - pea soup with bacon crumbled over it), and they also divided the flatbread and salad we ordered to go to take to our campsite that night.  They couldn't have been nicer, and I'd definitely eat there again.  The food was really good and the people genuine.

Speaking of campsites and lodging - we stayed that night at the Frontier Campground where they had the cutest little cabins.
We camped, of course, and our site was quite charming as well.

Unfortunately not all of our accommodations have been great.  Have I mentioned my adage - "It's not an EconoLodge unless there's a cigarette burn in the linens"?  Well, we finally hit the bottom of the barrel on the EconoLodge in Columbus, OH.  Check out the 2-inch cigarette burn in my father's sheet:
I know, you're probably itching right now, but thankfully there were no bed bugs.  As I wrote in my comment card - just because a hotel is budget doesn't mean it shouldn't be clean.  This EconoLodge had a thick rim of dust on the headboard as well, and it was clear the carpet hadn't been vacuumed in a long time.  I'm off the EconoLodge; Travelodge, where we stayed in Newport, Kentucky, however, was quite nice.

So now we're at my aunt's house in Granville, enjoying a full day off with her and her husband.    Last night I got to watch THE RANGERS CLINCH THEIR STANLEY CUP FINAL BERTH!  The ladyfriend even called me so we could watch the last 22 seconds together.  So great!!!!!

Granville is such a cute little town.  Amy Butler lives here!  Crazy!  Thankfully, I guess, there's no Amy Butler fabric outlet here; however, there is a yarn store, Wisp, and my aunt, who is also a knitter took me there.  I just couldn't help myself.
Just one skein.  I swear.  Just one - a beautiful skein of Madeline Tosh in fingering weight, which will make a lovely shawl/wrap that will go with a lot of what I wear in the summer.

And in case you were concerned there wasn't enough fried food in my life -  deep fried dill pickles, which I shared with my aunt.  Always yum!

1 comment:

  1. Haha. I love to imagine you smiling and making nice. Can't wait to watch the Rangers with you upon your return!!!!!!!!!!!!