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Thursday, August 9, 2007
more storms!!

The reason I stopped abruptly: there was a tornado warning in Hartville, where we ended for tonight. The sky was completely dark; the clouds looked like there was impending doom; and the rain came down so hard we couldn't see more than a foot out the window.

Anyways, back to West Salem. Seager stayed up for quite a while watching the lightning show. In the morning, we headed on any East road we could find. We ended up in Creston, OH. We were able to find a better map there...good thing, because there was no good way to get around the big cities in Ohio with our old map.

Once we were back on the road, Ohio stopped being flat. The hills were like walls towering in front of us. We thought the steep grades would die down a little, but that didn't happen. In fact, the traffic started getting heavier, as we were approaching the area around big cities Akron and Canton. By Doyersville, Karen decided the hills weren't for her, and split from the rest of us. She preferred more traffic and less hills, while the others preferred the hills and less traffic. It started storming after Karen left. The rain was pleasant for awhile (yay no humidity), but luckily, when the storm really hit us, we encountered a fresh fudge shop in a town called Canal Fulton.

We continued to North Canton. Still lots of hills, and more cars than usual. We made a stop at the bike shop before making our way to Hartville, our end town. As we pulled into the public library, a man in his vehicle notified us of the tornado watch. Soon after, the librarians made us all hide in a corner while the tornado warning was on. Karen was also able to find shelter in time. She met up with us at the library fine after a little bit. It's still thundering and raining loudly right now!

Posted by MinWah {bio} @ 02:52 PM CST Link | Leave us a note!


After lunch at the library in Plymouth yesterday, we rode rode rode to West Salem. The weather went from cloudy skies in the morning to bright hot sun in the afternoon. The humidity didn't help, of course. The terrain became a bit more hilly, but nothing too bad. Several dogs jumped out at us into the road and chased us, but we barked and yelled at them, enough for them to lower their ears and tails and go back to their bushes. Also, we quite unexpectedly biked through Amish/Mennonite country. We saw many Amish farmers using their hay cutters, driving their buggies, and lugging water into their barns. What was interesting was that there were several richer households (speedboats and nice cars in the driveway) scattered among the old, simple Amish barns. We observed their way of living for awhile as we took a rest off the side of the road. When we finally got into West Salem, we treated ourselves to a box of ice cream and fruit outside the grocery store. More Amish people drove by with their buggies carrying lots of fresh market food. We camped out at the park for the night, after the town hall called the mayor and took a copy of his license.

During the night, 3 storms hit us. We were lucky we didn't get the worst of the storms, but it sure was thundering and raining hard. Seager was woken up by the first lightning show, and got us all up to organize our stuff. The lightning was quite luminescent, lighting up the whole sky.

continued later....

Posted by MinWah {bio} @ 02:09 PM CST Link | Leave us a note!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Oakwood, OH to Berwick, OH and from Berwick on the way to ?

While we were updating at the Oakwood library, the librarian received a phone call and then called over to us, "Hey, are you the kids biking? Charlene and Phil want to know if you have dinner plans." Charlene and Phil are the couple Marcia over in Scott put us in touch with, and they had us go over to the restaurant next to the library after we finished up there. The restaurant was a little place, and we chatted with the waitresses, who both knew we all were coming. After a few minutes, Charlene appeared and asked us to order whatever we wanted, saying that she had already eaten and needed to be at home to watch her granddaughter and friend.

Seager and Ariel set a good example for me and so I didn't order everything that I wanted because I didn't want to be greedy (I didn't order any pie). We had a nice greasy dinner. Fortunately we were the only customers because we giggled throughout the meal and were quite loud. Afterwards we rode over to Charlene and Phil's house, where we met the latter, and were introduced to our home for the evening, a little camper with electricity and plumbing. We all got a good shower in (Seager had to have his kneeling since the ceiling was so low) and Charlene even let us do our laundry which was moist and getting moldy from the hot, humid, and rainy weather. They had two other couples over and we all sat on the porch after dark and chatted, eating homemade ice cream. Phil even found a new screw to replace the one that had fallen out of my glasses sometime earlier in the day. I hung out with Shelby and her friend for awhile and was introduced to this video game where the object is to design theme parks.

We slept pretty well in our air conditioned camper and woke up at the usual time; around 6:30. Phil was already up sitting on the porch, asked us each if we wanted an egg sandwich, "...with toast?", "Sure...", "...tomato, cheese?", "Even better...", and we were each fixed up with an egg, cheese, and tomato sandwich on toast, with a glass of juice. They had even arranged to have someone from the local newspaper come and interview us, so we had a little interview and were seen off in grand style, including an ice cream bucket full of fresh garden tomatoes.

It was kind of rainy in the morning, but cool. We about 30 or 40 miles into Van Buren, a little town with a state park, and we stopped at a picnic table on one of those grassy islands in the middle of the road. The picnic table had a shelter. It had stopped raining, but the sun had come out and become hot, so the shelter was very nice. We ate lunch, took naps, and hit the road again. It was a muggy road, and less flat than the first miles into Oakwood, although still pretty flat. We probably got chased by a few more dogs. We rode into Forstoria and were at about 60 miles. We found a gas station, filled up on water, and looked at the map to decide what to do. We decided to head south into a mostly headwind and rode towards what we thought was a town but was really just a cluster of houses. Fortunately we found Rick, a guy who was sitting out by his house, and he offered us a lawn to pitch our tent and hang out for the evening, as well as water. We hung out by the road and were visited by some incredulous locals, who thought it was pretty funny that we were riding our bikes across the country.

Rick's place was thoughtfully decorated with US flags and other lawn ornaments. The garage was also painted like the flag. Later in the evening a storm snuck up on us and Rick came out and offered his garage for us to sleep in, since he had heard that there was a tornado watch in the next county over. So we packed up our stuff and moved it inside. Soon after we got the last of our things inside, the rain started coming down hard. But it didn't last long. Within an hour the rain had stopped and the sky cleared up, leaving us a dramatic sunset with beautiful cloud patterns and a cool evening.

There was a TV in the garage so we stayed up for awhile watching America's Top Talent or something like that and fell asleep with the nice breeze from a fan. All in all a good evening.

Started out early again this morning. It's supposed to get up to 97 degrees F today...I believe it. It's kind of disgusting riding in this weather; the humidity is so high it is like being sprayed continuously with a mister. Fortunately there is a nice air-conditioned library to sit in. We'll be heading back out in it soon since we still have more miles to put in today. We ate a nice lunch out on the lawn.

Posted by Karen {bio} @ 09:59 AM CST Link | Leave us a note!

Monday, August 6, 2007
Oakwood, Oh

Folks, I have the second half of the update today from the Oakwood Library, so I will be covering from Akron to Roanoke to Oakwood, wooh!

Click Here to read more

Posted by Seager {bio} @ 02:39 PM CST Link | Leave us a note! (2)

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.

Posted by Ariel {bio} @ 02:26 PM CST Link | Leave us a note!




August 2007


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