Saturday, June 11, 2011

Water, Agua, Voda, Vatten, Vasser

Along with riding on rails to trails, we rode on back country roads, staying off the main highways as much as possible. We had to get used to big trucks hauling coal whizzing past us at 60 mph though. For what good it did, I'd pull in my elbows when one approached. Not that I ride with my elbows straight out, but it was just a reflex. We had some nice stops along the way, including this old abandoned country store.

I like downhills much more than the uphills. We could really get up some speed on the downhills and I'd yell "Whoopppppeeeeee!" But I was damn quiet on the uphills except for my huffing and puffing. I do little counting games on the uphills...1 ... 2... 3 ... 4,  2 ... 2... 3... 4...,  3 ... 2 ... 3 ... 4, etc., anything to keep my mind off the pain in my knees. We only walked up one hill the entire trip, but had some breaks half way up some of the hills. Coming out of the Ohio valley, the only way out is up and that day was a bloody hard day too. By the end of the day my knees were a'hurtin' and I swear there was a nest of bees on my bike seat! (say no more!)
After our night of hobo camping and being robbed of a hotel room, we checked on in to a Hampton Inn the next night. This was our 'camp'. We spread out our wet gear, cranked up the fan, hopped in the shower (ahhhh!) and went out for margaritas! Bike touring is fun!

We chose a great night to be holed up in a motel room. This scene from our room is before mayhem broke loose with violent storms, including tornadoes, hail and inches of rain. The tornadoes were a bit north, near Akron, but the news on the tv said beware of flooding along all the rivers. And that's exactly where we were biking the following day. Oh well, that's tomorrow and tonight we are not in our little tent with rain and hail beating down on us. We are dry and clean and I burrowed in my down duvet.
                    I didn't realize there were so many canals in Ohio.

So back on the E & O Canal. Lovely day.

 Yellow flag iris are abundant along the canal. Sometimes used in sewage treatment plants for removing metals, it has escaped into other water areas and is a noxious weed in some places.
Bikes share the trail with horses. The sign directs horses to the right, bikes to the left.

The river was really high, but it seemed just fine so we biked on.

The canal was on our right, river on the left. The canal water started escaping over to the river side and still we biked on, pedaling through and soaking our shoes. Soon we were biking through snake infested water, well only one snake but it sounds really dramatic.

Then the trail turned into this....a lake with ducks and geese. No-sir-eeeee-bob, not going into that!

How appropriate, a little arc in the playground. Climb aboard children!

Picnic anyone?

Time to turn back...

We consulted Miss GPS for an alternative route.

...and were on our way on country back roads once again.

On our last day, Houston and Garrett were just a half day behind us. We waited in a little town for them to catch up so we could ride the last 7 miles to Oberlin with them. I spotted a Subway a lit right on over there for a sandwich. Food is a huge factor while biking and I don't think I was ever so thrilled to see a Subway.

Big smiles.

Soon Garrett rode in...
...then Houston
Tami's daughter, Hannah, rode out a few miles to meet us. I've known Hannah her whole life and was so happy to see her. We were in Oberlin for her graduation, and it was Garrett's 5th year reunion. We really earned party time in Oberlin. Good times! 
Since I've been home a week or so, I've had time to reflect on my first bike tour. I had a great time biking/camping with Tami. Thanks Tami for making me do this! I do really like it (have to work on those hills though) and am ready for more. Houston is planning our next adventure, biking the Blue Ridge Parkway in September. I'm on board! We're even looking at another bike for me. Yippeee!

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