Brianís Cross-USA Bicycle Tour
Day 55 - Saturday, August 11, 2001
I had my sleeping bag and mattress pad on the wooden platform where the band or disk jockey sets up. A pretty hard surface, but better than the concrete floor. Regardless, I was tired enough so I slept well.
To "check out", all I had to do was turn off the lights and lock the keys inside the building. Pretty easy.
It was only a few miles out of Monroeville before turning north on Stateline Road. It seemed fairly arbitrary that it was 8:00 at the houses on the west side of the street, and 9:00 for the houses on east side.
I then crossed the border and got my official welcome to Ohio. Somehow I had hoped that the cornfields would have instantly turned into trees but I should have known better than that. But then the route started following a creek, so that I only had cornfields on one side - there were the trees by the creek on the other side.
I unloaded some ballast by mailing my Illinois and Indiana maps back home in Payne. This was another one employee post office where the postmaster wasn't in uniform (it was a Saturday).
The people seem friendly enough, although they are less likely to start a conversation. This might be because they see enough other bikes on the route, or I'm getting closer to the bigger cities. I haven't figured that one out yet.
Surprisingly, the hardest thing to convey to strangers on this whole trip is the fact that I live in California and flew up to Seattle to start my tour. They either think that I live and started my ride from California, or that I live and started my ride in Seattle. Now that I'm far enough east, I just answer California to whatever question is asked.
I was surprised to see that the junction called Junction had a convenient store/lunch stop, even though it was listed as "no services" on the Adventure Cycling map. Since it had a city of Defiance mailing address, it probably slipped below the Adventure Cycling radar.
Today would be short day, ending in a town big enough (Defiance) to meet Dan and Deb (with the two boys) who were driving down from southeast Michigan to visit. I did find a little time to go to the bike shop to use their pump before they closed early for the day - they even had a visitor log book to sign.
The cuisine topic came up over dinner. (OK, I brought it up.) Dan, who works at Ford, said that the European business travelers to Michigan - despite going to different restaurants every day - get tired of the same "Michigan menu" that is offered at each one. The "freeway area strip mall" section of Defiance was no exception. I've had more variety in cuisine from going out to lunch for one week at work than I've had on this whole trip! Luckily Applebee's has some "pseudo-ethnic" food items on their menu, I got the chicken stir fry.