Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Ohio to Erie Day 3 and Done

Tuesday found us waking up from our campsite near Alum Creek and creekily getting rolling. We rode the few miles to Galena to stretch out our legs, and stopped at the diner for breakfast:

No need to specify which diner, since there is only one in Galena... but I would recommend it even if there was some competition.

Charles's knee was starting to bother him more, but we only have a short day in front of us, just 30 or so more miles to Mt. Vernon.

Most of the early part of today's ride was on the road along farm fields:

Though the skies looked a bit threatening, we never got more than a few drops of rain. We also had our only major detour from the map here, when we apparently missed a road leaving Hartford and headed off in the wrong direction. We realized this some miles later, but were able to route back to Centerburg without much difficulty--smartphone mapping apps have taken some of the mystery out of bike touring.

In Centerburg, we stopped for a longish break at a gas station before the final push to Mt. Vernon on the Heart of Ohio trail. Once in Mt. Vernon, we stopped for lunch at the local Mexican restaurant, and then checked into our hotel. We took a welcome shower, did some laundry:

and then hit the town. I bought some books at the local independent book store, even though I wasn't sure I had room to pack them in my bags:

We walked around town long enough to justify dinner, had some burgers and beers, and retired to our hotel rooms.

During the day's ride, Charles's knee had improved from "excruciating" to merely extremely painful, and it didn't improve much beyond that even with our afternoon of rest (and beer). He described a grinding feeling when flexing his knee that made me wince just to hear it. Combined with some saddle sores and my left hand getting a bit tingly and numb, we decided not to face the hills of day four and instead to call in the cavalry. In this case, Charles's wife Angie, who was happy to drive the short distance to pick us up in Mt. Vernon rather than Cleveland.

In the end, we did more than half the trail, without a great training base for either one of us, and have a good starting point to finish the rest of it. We'll see about that next year!

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