Monday, July 25

We got a surprisingly good night’s rest at the fleabag motel we stayed at in Erie (the Thunderbird Motel, if anyone is interested). We were up and out by about 7:00AM. It looked like it never did rain last night, and was still very muggy and quite warm. We rode a couple of hundred yards down the street to a breakfast place, under huge black clouds that promised rain, and sure enough, it started raining while we were eating breakfast. We dallied as long as we could, nursing several cups of coffee, and had the very nice folks working there fill all our water bottles for us. Oh, we filled the bottles there because both the hot and cold faucets on our luxury motel room served up hot water!

It looked like the rain was easing up so I put the rain covers on my panniers, we both donned rain jackets, and we set off. We only made it a half mile or so when the rain started coming down hard and we heard thunder. Instead of plowing and getting soaked we turned into a small office plaza and took refuge under the overhang in front of the building. We stood around there for at least an hour, probably more. Every time it seemed like the rain was letting up, another line of heavy rain and lightning came barreling through. Finally, during one of the lulls between downpours, we pedaled back a quarter mile or so to the local McDonalds, and sat out the rest of the storm there.

A few minutes before 11:00 we made it out of town with the last remnants of the rain dripping and misting on us. As the storms came through the wind shifted around from west to north, which was good for us as we were heading southwest or west all day. Side winds are no picnic, but they are a far sight better than headwinds!

We rode Lake Rd nearly all day, which was nearly flat and almost always smooth. In Pennsylvania is mostly had a wide shoulder, but once we crossed the border into Ohio the shoulder went away and we shared the narrow lane with motor traffic. The drivers here are much more polite than Boston drivers are, and we had zero problems sharing the road.

Coming into Conneaut we rode past an old fashioned drive-in and promptly turned around and went back, for a root beer float made with locally made root beer. Dessert taken care of, we finished riding into town and stopped at a diner for lunch. By now I was feeling the 30 or so miles in my legs, but Jodi was as strong as ever, so she pulled for most of the remaining 25 miles through Ashtabula, where we stopped to buy food for tonight and tomorrow morning, and on through Geneva-on-the-Lake to the park where we are camped for the night.

Geneva-on-the-Lake is a little touristy town, with a Main Street lined with touristy shops and teeming with people. We had to slow down for the jam of motor traffic in town, and enjoyed watching all the vacationing people along the way.

The weather cleared and the air dried substantially this afternoon. It is a beautiful evening now, and the forecast says it should drop into the low 60’s tonight; good sleeping weather. We are still in the eastern time zone, but about 600 miles further west than Boston, so it stays light later than we are used to. It is 7:45 now, and barely starting to turn to dusk.

Tomorrow, if all goes well, we will ride to Cleveland Heights, where we will be staying at the home of another cyclist we connected with through, which is an internet site where cyclists volunteer to host other touring cyclists in their homes.