$12 :: lunch, coffee, snacks
97.82 mi :: :: :: :: 5043 mi
Those folks at the Wild Waves showed me a good time last night. The ring leader was Rose Wild (“with an ‘e’?”, “No, just plain wild.”) She invited me to her fire and kept me in beer. Sam, a kid who was the first to meet me, takes care of the fire. His mom Lynne makes me coffee, dad Jim tells me about their trips in Michigan and Canada. I play show and tell for a bunch of them with the bike, including a quiet, smiling redhead named Anne that I find attractive. I trade looks with her all night. Ron identifies Hickory trees for me and explains the history of the group, who have been camping here for years. Across the green they’re trying to build a bigger fire than ours. We yell challenges back and forth, and Rose turns the fire blue with copper sulfate.
I eat oatmeal for breakfast to balance camping expenses =). Then I start down 6 toward Cleveland. The scenery alternates from lakefront residences to heavy industry to urban development. I pass Ford’s distribution and assembly plants, power plants, water treatment plants, and mysterious plants with conveyors and piles of colored ‘dirt’. There is no traffic except on a construction detour, probably thanks to the holiday.
Downtown I meet a cyclist named Jeremy going from Boulder, CO to New York city. We cross paths a few times during the day. I break a spoke and try to adjust the rest of them so I can keep riding. I’ll need tools from a bike shop to fix it. While I work the airshow entertains me. Like my mom I love to watch the jets – they do some amazing things I have never seen before.
Some cops ask me questions down the path a ways. They give me an orange soda. One smokes a cigar and says he’d like to take a train trip because he likes to drink. One is a burly blond woman with biker tattoos.
I stop for lunch and listen to two girls chatter nonstop about friends in jail, on parole, involved in organized crime.
I feel strong today. I make a good push and leave Cleveland’s suburbs one by one. I encounter vast nurseries with endless fields of attractive plants. The structures, organization, and variety make them look futuristic. Perry Nuclear Power Plant’s control stacks peek out above the trees to the north here and there. I remember seeing them once before on a train trip.
I try my usual tricks to camp in Madison, but the police make no exceptions for me. After dinner I continue to Geneva State Park, where Dan & Gloria find me looking out over the lake. I roll my last two cigarettes for them. They’re in fine spirits after partying all day. Gloria agrees to let me camp on her lawn in Geneva. Off we go. I meet Gloria’s mom, an ex-bartender confined to a chair at 69 and on oxygen. I put my earplugs in and fall asleep to the rain and lights on the porch. I have to get up once to put bug repellant on my face.