Pat and Sari's Honeymoon Bike Ride

Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Findlay, OH to Willard, OH
53 miles (8563 total miles)

Hot and humid again today, up to the low 90's (that seems like an oxymoron). The wind was calm most of the day as well, which was good except that we didn't have much of a breeze to cool us off. We went fewer miles and had more climb today than yesterday, and that will be the pattern until after we cross the Alleghenies. We started at about 7:30 and ended at our motel at 2:50, having gone almost 53-1/2 miles in 5 bike hours. As Pat said when we were nearly at our destination, "I'm glad we don't have 20 more miles to go today". It was also nice to be done early so we had more time to relax. The hills weren't bad at all today, just a lot of gently rolling ones - Ohio's getting us gradually warmed up for the real hills!

We were on US 224 all day today, a pretty decent road with a shoulder; long stretches of it had a pretty patchy and therefore rough shoulder, though. We were thrilled near the end of the day when we crossed into Huron County and had very fresh, smooth asphalt all the way to Willard (it stopped at the edge of town). There was a lot more traffic than we've been used to, mostly around the cities. Most of the drivers were very nice, slowing down if they couldn't move over. Only one truck made us nervous, not moving over much even though he could have. Hard to know if he couldn't see us in the early morning glare or just didn't feel like making room for us. There weren't as many towns today either, really just 4 that we were aware of; including Findlay, our starting town, and Willard, our ending town, there was Tiffin, a large town that we mostly skirted around, and Attica, a smaller town where we stopped for a soda. Luckily, there were a few little restaurants that popped up in the middle of nowhere, usually at the intersection of major roads, including one where we stopped for lunch.

We started off through the streets of Findlay, a fairly large town. We went past the University of Findlay which was spread out through parts of downtown - we saw an athletic complex, a seminary, and the main campus with a large, pretty building called Old Main. The traffic outside of town was still pretty busy for miles, then it lightened up and we were able to enjoy the scenery more. It seemed more pastoral today, not so much just crop fields. We saw things that were reminiscent of what we always see on the Ohio Turnpike when we've driven from home to Detroit - barns with Ohio logos or Mail Pouch chewing tobacco ads painted on them, the Sandusky River, and wide, flat fields with a few farm buildings or trees on them. The houses and barns that we came across seemed so typical of Heartland Americana - porches with swings and rockers, stars and flags as decorations, tidy flower gardens and old farm equipment. We didn't see much of Tiffin, except for a large medical center and some motels around the edge of town (and another increase in traffic), and there wasn't much to see of Attica, except some nice houses along the main street. Willard was another surprisingly busy town with a main shopping strip lined with fast food places. We were happy to plop into our motel and cool off. We expect to get some fallout (as in rain) from Gustav, which we're hoping will cool things off some. We're also hoping it won't happen on Friday night when we'll be camping again for the last time this trip.

A University of Findlay sign in front of...

their athletic complex

Riding out of Findlay

The main entrance to the university, in front of the 'Old Main' building

A mural on an old building, with windows cleverly incorporated into the design

Scenes of Ohio along US 224

The road's a little hillier but still pretty straight and still has a shoulder

A nice decoration on the side of a barn

Another old barn with a stone wall below

More hazy fields and trees...

with some farm buildings

An advertisement on the side of this barn

A rustic bit of Americana, with a camoflauged tree house in back

Another view of 224, with more hills ahead

Coming into Tiffin, a large medical center with an interesting architecture

The welcome to Tiffin, founded 1817; the town was to the north of our road

We cross over the Sandusky River

A lot of traffic near Tiffin, and the hills keep on coming

Pretty barns out in the fields...

and trees in the distance

More Americana, with a porch swing, rocker, and bench

Looking back on our rolling hills - the shoulder's rougher along this part

Looking ahead to more dips and rises

A pretty field...

with a barn

A close-up of the barn

Coming into Attica, a nice house with nice grasses in front

Another lovely house in town

Downtown Attica, with an interesting dome in the back

A bank at a downtown corner (the temperature reads 91 degrees)

More pretty fields

A barn with a horse paddock

The road was freshly paved in Huron County!

Farm buildings

A farm with a pond

Coming into Willard

The Willard water tower