Pat and Sari's Honeymoon Bike Ride
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Second day in a row that I'm starting off with something I forgot to mention yesterday. This time, I needed Janet to remind me. When we went through Huntington, IN, yesterday, we saw a sign mentioning that it was Vice-President Dan Quayle's birthplace. I didn't catch the sign until it was too late to get a picture, so naturally I forgot all about it. There is a museum dedicated to him in town as well, but we didn't go past it. I saw another sign in town with something mis-spelled on it, so maybe it's a town thing.
Today started out chilly again, but got into the low 90's and was more humid than yesterday. We also had a headwind again today. So, despite the terrain being quite flat, it wasn't nearly as pleasant or as easy as it could have been. Still, we did a little better than yesterday, going slightly farther (73-3/4 miles) in about the same bike time (6-3/4 hours) but getting to our motel a half-hour earlier, at 4:45 after leaving at about the same time (7:30). We got onto SR 613 pretty quickly and stayed on it for about two-thirds of the day. 613 was long and straight and flat, passing through the usual corn and soybean fields. We then went off on some rougher county roads, going through some small farms, finally connecting with US 224, another relatively smooth road with a shoulder.
The big excitement today, of course, was going into Ohio, our 28th state. We reached the state line sooner than we expected; we were pleased to see a welcome sign, although it wasn't a particularly thrilling one (it looked like the locals didn't think much of it either). Another lucky thing was coming across a big crowd of birds eating by the roadside. We stopped the bike and took some pictures. Just before we left, a car came up behind us and I waited to see if the birds would all fly away at once, which they did! This was the first time I've gotten a good picture of what we see nearly every day - a profusion of small birds swooping around in a big cloud. It's quite a sight. We went through a few small towns again today, the first one being Payne, OH. Even though it was early, we decided to stop in a bar in town for a little snack. Everyone in the bar was very nice and we chatted with a number of the folks there. Two of them ended up paying for our little meal - the third time that's happened to us! Like Peru yesterday, Payne had some surprisingly grand houses in it, as well as some that were less grand, but still quite nice. Many of them had very nice gardens in front, too. The town also had a large elementary school and nearby baseball field. Many of the farm fields we saw had been recently harvested and plowed, a few had been disked as well, leaving a finer soil ready for planting. We also saw one corn field in the process of being harvested, with corn being shot into a dump truck next to the harvesting machine. It being September now, I guess we'll be seeing more of this. Many crops seemed very dry, though; I think Ohio, as well as Indiana, have had a drought lately.
We had two towns to choose from for lunch, Melrose and Oakwood, about 2 miles apart. We didn't know if either one would have a place to eat, but we figured that a place called Melrose would have to have a diner. And sure enough, it did - Uncle Fudd's Diner (whose logo was a picture of Elmer Fudd). It turned out to be a great place to eat, and we didn't see anything in Oakwood, so we were very glad we stopped. Still tooling along on 613, we came to one of our favorite signs - Road Closed Ahead. We puzzled for a while as to whether to chance it or not when a car came down the road that was supposedly closed. We flagged him down and asked him about it and he said it was no big deal, that we could easily get around it. And in fact, he was right, they only had one intersection in town blocked off and we easily bypassed it by going through a gas station. The town was Leipsic, and by now we were pretty hot and thirsty so we stopped in town for some sodas and to fill up our camelbaks with ice. It was also a nice town and the folks were very nice to us. After Leipsic, we bumped around the county roads for a while, and finally got onto US 224 about 5 miles from Findlay and our motel for the night. We're pretty glad tomorrow is going to be shorter - we've had enough 70+ mile days for a while!