Day 11: Maybe Ohio isn’t that bad

Wow. What a great day of riding. I started out making great time. There were some hills but nothing compared to the last couple days. Could I be finally approaching some flatlands?

After a great night of sleep Laura sent me off with breakfast in my stomach, some snacks in my bag, and a hug. This was my first couch surfing experience and it was great. It turns out Laura is a burner so we got to chat about that for a bit. I wish I could have stayed longer but she is moving to Missouri before I get there so we may get to hang out more.

Now that I’ve gotten used to the highways a bit I’m actually able to enjoy the beauty around me. The rolling farm lands are certainly different than the forests of Maryland and Pennsylvania but they have a charm to them. It is still green out here but there are also lots of corn fields between the tiny towns that dot the back highways. Many of these towns are little more than a park, a church, a graveyard, and a few homes clustered together. I hate the idea of carrying cash but using my card may not be an option if I need help in one of these towns.

There was one stretch of road that I did 8 miles on that was absolutely amazing. The hills were soft and I saw only four cars in the 45 minutes or so I rode the road. It had some amazing sites of farms and trees on all sides. I would love to do that ride on County Road 6 again. I am learning some tricks out here when comes to riding, things like riding on loose gravel downhill is as much a art as science and I’m glad my muscles respond naturally to the bike at this point.

As the day was winding down I started looking for a camping spot. I couldn’t find anything free but found a campground a few miles away. Just a warning, anything called “Hidden Hills” is probably not easily accessible by bike. When I arrived the manager was gone but Tim, one of the regular residents of the campground, talked to me and helped get things sorted out.

I met Dick, the manager, a bit later and we talked about my trip. Everyone else on the grounds were regulars with full size camper units while I had just a small tent. Basically, I stood out. I set up my camp and started some bike maintenance when Dick came around to collect the fee. Unfortunately they only accepted cash and I had none. I offered to ride to town and get some but instead Dick offered me a ride. We got into his ’91 red Camaro and roared into town.

After that was settled Tim and Dick invited me to join them and some friends for brats and beers. In the tradition of Rebecca’s wise motto (DIFTS: Do It For The Story), I said yes. So, for an hour or so I talked and laughed with some really great people. There was Dick, Tim, Tim’s wife, Bob, Bob’s wife, Redneck, and a few chihuahuas. It’s hard to really express how cool this night was, just chatting about life in general with some genuinely happy people who obviously care about each other a great deal.

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