Saturday, August 24 – 2755 miles down, 519 to go
We were all looking forward to an easy 61 mile run into Canton today.
We had the Pro Football Hall of Fame on our minds, and wanted to get there quickly so we could visit the Hall and check out the exhibits. There were only three of us but our plan was to ride 30 miles, take a break, and then go 30 more. That meant two 5-mile pulls each, a break, then two more pulls each. Easy enough. We had to drive back to Wellington from Elyria, and we weren’t in a hurry so we didn’t get going until almost 7:30am.
I had planned what might be called an interesting route that eschewed highways and took a lot of country back roads. The good in that was hopefully quiet roads with little traffic. The bad meant lots of twists and turns that could cause troubles for Amy driving the sag. We started off on highways with a good shoulder, but soon turned off onto the country lanes. And it was magnificent. Fields and houses with huge lawns once again, and very little traffic. But the route did prove to be an issue as we did lose Amy a few times. But, we always managed to re-connect in a few minutes and continued on towards Canton.
What we didn’t expect were the hills. We’re getting close to the Appalachians, and the terrain turned hilly and we were climbing a lot more than we expected. Nothing major, but just a lot of uphill grinds. We’ve become a bit accustomed to flatter routes, so this slapped us in the face a little bit, but it was good to get used to climbing again with our second biggest climbing day looming in two days when we go from Pittsburgh to Cassandra.
We were close to our 30 miles when we hit a detour in Seville that took us awhile to get figured out. We had help from some of the locals once again, and these Ohio people continue to be wonderful and friendly. Once we got ourselves sorted out, we took our stop and Rick immediately went to work along with Tom, building egg-salad sandwiches. Today Tom added BacOs to the mix, and what an interesting element they brought. I think they made all of the BacOs in the world back in the 60’s, and they keep them in large underground salt mines somewhere and pull them out as needed. They’re supposed to be a bacon substitute, and they’re a staple at many salad bars. They have the consistency of gravel and taste like, well, kinda like paste and dust. Regardless we were all wondering what they’d bring to the table. It sounded like we were eating marbles as we crunched our sandwiches, but they sure were good otherwise.
We passed some Amish folks as we spun along, and took another break under a shady tree to watch them ride by. We hit the outskirts of Massillon and got into some heavy city traffic, and then were into Canton and arrived at another Ramada. It turned into about a 64 mile day with all our detours and back-tracking, and the climbs shocked us back to the reality of the next several days.
We cleaned up and immediately headed to the Hall of Fame, which was only a few miles away. Boy, is that an impressive place. Really really well done exhibits that tell the entire story of the NFL and its precursors. We spent a lot of time in the hall that has busts of all the inductee’s. It’s very cool. As we struggled up the stairs at the Hall we were all bemoaning how our quadriceps’s felt. Yep, definitely climbed some hills today.
Hunger overtook us and we finished the day at an Italian restaurant where once again we ate a shocking amount of food. It sure was good, and we needed to carb up for tomorrow, which has about 9 rated climbs, none of them huge but again, a preview of our big day on Monday when we leave Pittsburgh. We did laundry and washed bottles, and a benefit of rooming with Rick is that he grabbed my bike and worked it over with his oils and potions.
We’re looking forward to tomorrow as we received a call from Joe Williams, one of our hosts in Durango, and he’s in Canton on business and is going to ride with us tomorrow! It’ll be good to see Joe again and to ride with him once again. Another strong PD person who brings inspiration along with one of the most interesting personalities and backgrounds that I’ve encountered in awhile.
No Parkinson’s events today, but we received some very warm messages from Doug and his wife regarding the ride yesterday. Long may Doug wave, he’s a special person.
I’ll close with some thank you’s that I’d be remiss in not mentioning. Our neighbor Kevin Criss has been absolutely wonderful in offering assistance, mowing our lawn when Isaac was driving the sag, and donating to our mission. It’s nice to know that you have strong support back on the home front, so thank you Kevin for that. Also my long-time friend Stephen Kinsch who stepped up immediately when I called him and asked him for a favor to help out Isaac while we were gone and riding. And Claire Sanford who called and offered to assist with Isaac’s schedule at Boulder High (she’s a counselor there, and we went to high school with her). She went out of her way to offer assistance as well. All of these bring a modicum of peace-of-mind while we’re off gallivanting around the country.
More tomorrow as we ride with Joe.