New York, New York
Jul 6, 2007
|Hi- We left Cleveland nice and early and had a great trip into Perry, Ohio. Ohio is a very bike-friendly state and has a lot of
bike lanes which we have not seen a lot of since leaving CA. Thank you Ohio. We went to the Perry Township Park right on Lake
Erie and paid $5 for camping right on the Lake. What a deal and for being right on Lakefront! It was our very own little slice
of heaven for an afternoon.
We found out from Butch (camp host) at the Perry Campground that these insects called 'midges' come on shore in waves. They breed on the lake, come
on shore and die within 2 weeks. They are everywhere. They are about 1/2" long and you would at first think that they are fat mosquitos.
Way too small for skeeter-eaters. There is nothing for the birds to even eat after they die so people have to wash them off of
everything. They are on the sides of buildings, get into the restrooms and when someone walks in, they fly around and buzz. Good
thing Butch told us they don't bite. Otherwise, we might have had to stay in the tent all afternoon and that would have been a shame.
This happened to be the one day we were right on the water. How beautiful!! Couldn't even hear any cars or trains at all.
Fact-there are trains everywhere and you can always hear them close up or in the far off distance.
Anyhow, Greg was going to fix his cable and when he took the screw out that tightens the cable, it dropped on the ground and even
though we crawled around about 45 minutes on hands and knees feeling the ground, we couldn't find it. He improvised, but had to stay in
the 2nd chain ring till we found a hardware store next day. Our day was still great though listening to the water slapping on the
shore (it was windy). We sat on the beach and drank a small box of wine and ate dry cheerios. Fran found a river shell (pink) and
we built a small rock monument (see pics). We then dined on fine garlic-herb mashed potatos (topped with grated parmesan cheese), fried spam, and pork and beans. Sounds
good huh? Bet you wish you could have some. We still have one of our original mac & cheese bags in our bear can from San Diego.
Seems we find different things to eat. We now have graduated to cooking packaged soups and can even make garlic bread on our cookstove. This
cookstove is amazing. Hardly uses any propane and with the pans we use with it, heats very quickly. All in all, we are very pleased
with our choices of camping equipment. The one thing we would recommend if any of our friends/family decide to ride across America,
is that you get air mattresses the same size. Ours are wonderful, but Greg's has more depth and therefore is more comfortable.
Fran is jealous because he won't share. Acually hers is too short for him. Getting back to the midges; when it gets dark, you hear a very
'loud' humming noise. That noise comes from the sheer 'numbers' of midges in the woods. We spoke of the fact that if a person ever
got lost in the woods at night and had to listen to that, you would just freak out from how loud it was. It could make a person go crazy.
Slept like a rock that night. Butch also had us write in his log for bikers. If you recall, we had done this in Monroeville (bicycle
hostel) and it is neat reading where people are coming from and where they are going. We feel really fortunate that we are able to take this
timeframe for our trip. Seems like some riders do 'major' miles each and every day. We don't know how they can take pictures and enjoy
all the little things if you were flying along at 20mph. or more. We seem to average around 10 - 12 mph. most days on the flats and are
really comfortable with around 40 miles a day. We do more, but body parts seem to be happiest with around that distance. Thank goodness,
we don't have to hurry. Just the other day at a gas station we stopped at for coffee, a nice looking young man, dressed to the hilt, driving
a black convertible Porsche came up to us. He indicated he was a rider and asked us the usual questions; where were we from and where we were
heading, how many miles we averaged, etc. Turns out he was a traithlete and was very into telling us of his major $ bike, how fast he rides,
how he can run etc. Then he spoke of his wife and how he wants her to do these things with him and how she had just started to sprint.
She didn't enjoy it though and he was disappointed. Couldn't seem to understand why. Fran speaks up and says how we sometimes take the
better part of the day riding due to taking pictures or just stopping and talking to people. He looked at her like she had two heads or
something at first, but then as we told him of our many experiences and how our route changes from day to day because of what people tell
us, it seems he may have seen what we were really about. We hope so. We understood what he meant by having a job, and how life gets so busy.
He inquired about what we did for jobs and how could be do this? It was hard for him to grasp that we are not big-buck people and still
have managed to save what we needed for this trip. We sincerely hope we have made a small impact on his life.
On the fourth of July we woke up early and booked due to impending rain. We got dripped on intermittently and then it rained. We
finally had to resort to getting out our raingear for the last 5 miles into Erie. We found a motel and blogged off line, captioned
about 2 million pictures till dinnertime. Ate, and started back in on this when the fireworks started all around us in the nearby
park, behind the motel and on the Lake. Seems like this was the first time they had done fireworks on the Lake and we were glad we
weren't on the lake directly as it seems half the population of Pennsylvania were there. We heard 'how' bad the traffic was the next
day. All in all, we had a great day and fireworks to boot without even leaving our motel grounds.
Today is the 5th of July and we determined we needed maps for the rest of the trip (because we tend to drift off the bike maps) and so we
located a AAA and went there this AM. It was back to hot and humid early and we did so much climbing that we were disgustingly wet in
that short 6 miles. It was all climb no matter which way we turned. Got all our maps, sat and drank gatorade and then had a wonderful
ride back downhill because we wanted to get back on our lake route. Stopped at a Wendy's for lunch and Greg had not been feeling real
well so we decided to find a motel and call it a early day. Might be catching something so found a Super 8. Been sleeping for several
hours and we will see what happens tomorrow. I have no wi-fi either with this motel and our own either as we are down really low and
I will just notepad today.
Also wanted to note that due to the old camera failure, we still have not taken the time to get to any Walmart or place to have them download
all the pictures onto a CD for us to put into our pc. I'm sure you have nothing better to do than sit and read this all day. But just
in case; we know that we have slacked off with keeping all this current, but all is not our fault. As mentioned somewhere else, the
Broadband coverage has not been as great as we had hoped it was in many of the small towns/campgrounds we have been in.
Friday, 5th we left Erie for Barcelona; was only 38 miles,but didn't want to overdo as Greg's stomach still not in perfect working order.
We stopped to take some pictures off this bridge and this gentleman walking started talking to us. He said that we needed to do Niagra
Falls even though we do not have our passports with us. We had spoken of getting them, but failed to act on it and here we are and
we are almost there. Time goes too quickly. We were remarking about the number of vineyards in the area [2 miles from the New york
state line] and he told us the next 45-50 miles were all vineyards. Used to be big time cherry trees, but found it was easier to
pick grapes rather than cherries. That explained why the cherry farms are 'pick your own' farms. The trees all have ladders sitting
up into their branches waiting for someone to come along. Way back when, they used to hire local town young people to do all the
picking, but that time is long gone now with the grape pickers they have. Believe we have a picture of one. The area we were in is
the leading Concord grape belt in the U.S. with Welch being their biggest buyer. We went to lunch in West Lake and once on the road
from there, we saw this stone lighthouse called the Barcelona Lighthouse, and the marina down below. Gosh, it was so magnificent and peaceful. We sat on the
bench overlooking this little bit of heaven and enjoyed the peaceful serenity of the whole place. Then, we saw this man, who had to
have been in the 80's, loading his bike into his car in the parking lot. He rides SR 5 East for exercise and lives in Buffalo. Another
rider saw us talking, turned around and wanted to know what our jerseys were about. [from the Wells Fargo ride in the desert]. Seems
this young man tried doing some really testosteronal [no such word] rides doing up to 206 miles a day,but it was not fun anymore so
he quit. [started in San Diego and quit in Arkansas] He averaged 166 miles per day!! Nuts; no wonder he quit. Now rides for fun
and how he wants. Nice guy. Now we are in a Koa campground and are trying to plan things out so that we can see Niagra Falls from
the U.S. side. We want to go to Canada and probably can get in [everyone says]; just probably can't come back to the U.S. We will
see- it is the holiday weekend so we need to plan ahead as everything is filled. Fact, we have only been turned away once so far
on this entire trip. That one time however, inspired us to plan a little more as that was not a 'fun' day when that happened and
it was hot, muggy, and quite a bit of traffic as it had gotten late. So see ya'll and have a great day. Life is good!!!!! Greg & Fran