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08/06/2007 Entry: "Manhattan, IL to Akron, IN"

Manhattan, IL to Fair Oaks, IN
Our hosts in Manhattan treated us like royalty. Even before we arrived, Kelly (Librarian) had warned her family that we were coming, and her grandmother had put brownies in the oven. We were given a lovely yard to put our tents in, and showers, and a stove to cook on, and a table to eat on. Dinner was entertaining as always. The six of us probably should not go into public places anymore. We've been on the road for too long.
We successfuly got an early start out of Manhattan and on to smaller roads. We were very, very happy to be in the middle of nowhere again. Highlights of the day included crossing the border into Indiana, riding on roads that we didn't have maps for, and Kaia falling out of a corn field. I would have peed my pants if I hadn't just emptied my bladder. We arrived mid-afternoon in Fair Oaks, IN hoping to find a place to stay. Fair Oaks has a post office and a soda machine and an enormous park. We chose the park, obviously. As Seager, MinWah, Karen and I argued about whether or not we should go back and follow the signs we had seen earlier for the "Dairy Adventure," Kaia and Anders talked with Anders' parents in Minneapolis. There was no running water at the park, but some nice neighbors said we could use their hose, and later gave us a wonderful overview of Fair Oaks history while we played with their dog, Buddy. Buddy would have been a good dog to kidnap and take bike touring. Sadly, Kaia and Anders finished their phone call with the conclusion that they needed to go home sooner than later, and Karen called Orian to have him bring the truck down instead of his motorcycle when he visited us the next day.
We found a cozy little home in the park shelter for the night, and had a mostly uneventful sleep. The train across the street was loud, but we were used to that, but I wasn't prepared for my cell phone (which was charging on the other side of the shelter) to start ringing at 3:30 AM. I jumped out of my tent and sleeping bag to try to answer before it went to voicemail, tripping on the tent and falling with quite a bit of force on the cement floor. My first road rash of this entire trip was caused by trying to get out of my tent. Needless to say, I didn't manage to answer the phone.

Fair Oaks to Akron
Highlights of Fair Oaks to Akron: More really nice trafficless rural roads, crossing into the Eastern Time Zone, grocery shopping and gorging on pie for Kaia and Anders' last day riding with us, getting lost and found again around a lake where the roads stopped being gridlike, and having a ridiculously easy time finding a yard to stay in once we reached Akron. Seager found a better map, and was happy. We cooked dinner in the rain and chatted with our host. Orian showed up around 9:30 and took Karen out on a date, and the rest of us ate ice cream and bananas for Kaia and Anders' last night eating with us. We all stayed up too late chatting in the big tent out of the rain, and went to bed looking forward to all the wonderful food that Mommy Welling sent along for breakfast. On the whole, it was a pleasant, mostly uneventful day, though a bit sad with the impending departure of our good friends.




August 2007


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