I knew I posted my day off goings ons a bit too early. While I was at NV, the cows stopped by the field right next to Rati & Dwija’s. It was fun to say hello. But I got a few ticks and that never goes over well when you’re a guest in someone’s house.
And a bit later that evening, Olivia stopped by. Woo! I’ve not seen her in nearly a year. Rati, Olivia and I were up till midnight or so catching up. She and I talk a lot, but we never really get to hang out. She even brought me a box of stuff that she … somehow acquired… from random places throughout the world. The best thing (by far) was an instruction pamphlet about what to do if your airplane goes down i the middle of the ocean. I wish I could scan it, it’s amazing. Thanks!
Obviously, I got to sleep late, which I thought would be a bad thing, since I had to get up early. I wanted to be on the road by 8am. Afterall, I had 325ish miles to do today, right?
Somehow or another I woke up on time and was indeed on the road by 8am. I said my good-byes (I’m really going to miss them) and bumped on down their lane, out Palace road to a very windy US 250 to WV 88 and then National Road through Wheeling.
The sky was a bit threatening, and I figured that it was probably going to rain sometime today. I putt-putted along National Road, crossed the Ohio River in to Ohio (there was no “Welcome to Ohio” sign… weird) and it started to sprinkle. Pennsylvania has 423 different words for “rain.” It was definitely a sprinkle. I pulled under and overpass and started to change into my Devo-esque rain gear.
The sprinkle changed into a light mist and I figured that after struggling to get the suit on, the sun would come out.
Hardly. I took National Road to St. Clairsville and then OH 9 to reconnect with US 250. Ghosh suggested that I do this to avoid the insane twists of 250 below Cadiz, OH. Great tip, I bet it saved me an hour. No worries, because I can lose an hour much more efficiently than I can gain one.
The rain was coming down pretty steadily now. All through OH 9, US 250 and OH 39, the rain fell, mostly, in buckets.
While it was raining, I rode through Berlin, Ohio. Berlin is pretty much the Lancaster of Ohio. Amish everywhere. But their buggies are cooler than Pennsylvania Amish. They’re kind of high-tech. I wish I could have grabbed a few pics. They are all black, and snazzy. Sort of like the Knight Rider car of Amish buggies. They even have two “mod” lights on the front and a couple of mirrors. I think it would be pretty cool to add a bunch of lights and mirrors, Quadrophinia style!
The big attraction for me today was the Lincoln Highway. I’ve heard it was well preserved through Ohio. I was bummed that it was raining, but as I got to the town of Lucas, it stopped. In celebration, I pulled over by this weird ass building called Liquid and ate a Cliff Bar.
It was around noon, and so that was my lunch.
Mansfield, Ohio delivered the Lincoln Highway to me before I expected it, so in glee, I wandered from my directions and followed it. Now that does indeed sound like a recipe for disaster, but I promise, it’s not. All worked out because Ohio marks the Lincoln Highway really very well. Thanks, Ohio. This time, you ARE fun!
I took a really old alignment of it and I was afraid I’d get lost, so I went north to find the slightly less old alignment. I crossed US 30 and went about a mile, nearly giving up until I saw an old Lincoln Highway mile marker and squeaked in appreciation.
Heading west, I magically dodged about four storms. It got really nasty to the south and east of me. That’s right, the storms were headed north north east, so I had to keep steppin’ to avoid the wet.
Figuring that since the sun was out, I could remove the Devo-gear, I pulled over and attempted to disrobe. Though I was avoiding the storms, I wasn’t avoiding the wind. The wind kicked up and knocked Ruby over into a ditch, nearly right on top of me.
I struggled for several minutes to right her and nearly couldn’t. I’m not sure what I would have done if I couldn’t pick her up. Thankfully, I did, though I was amazingly out of breath after. There is no damage at all, but both of the mirrors got all loose on me. I’m prepared in ways that make Boy Scouts look like slackers, so I fixed it on the spot. Ten minutes later, I was on the road.
It was amazing. The sun was shining, it was 70 degrees and the road was straight and long and I was smiling ear to ear, but for the wind. The wind was blowing pretty well due-east, which meant that I had a horrible time keeping Ruby up to speed. Normally, with the weight of the bags and me, she can pull 75mph no problem. But with this wind, I couldn’t even coax her to do 60.
The Lincoln Highway isn’t anywhere near a funky as Route 66, but it has a turn of the century (like early 1900′s) charm all its own. The towns are quaint and peaceful and the sky is huge. Ohio passed really quickly.
Before I knew it, I was at a truck stop fueling up (Ruby’s MPG suffered horribly because of the wind). I walked inside and was stopped by a nice-ish man who had almost five teeth to his smile. He asked me how much I paid for the scooter. I told him $6000 to which he replied that he could get one just like it for $2000.
No, he couldn’t, but I had to pee really badly and didn’t want to argue. I simply didn’t care. He then asked where I was going. I told him California via Route 66 and that tomorrow I’d be in Chicago.
“You don’t need to go to Chicago to pick up Route 66, ” he said. “It’s starts in Ohio, just down the road.” I told him that it didn’t, but he insisted it did, so I said, “you’re talking about Ohio Route 66, I’m talking about US Route 66.” He said, “yep, I know, you can take it to California.”
I agreed because I didn’t care enough not to.
He kept talking, even when I tried to make it for the bathroom. I have a hard time just ending a conversation. It went on and on for about 20 minutes. Finally, I got relief and used another door to exit the truck stop, you know, just in case.
As I left, the clouds were rolling in. Luckily, Ohio was nearly at an end and Indiana was waiting with open arms. I took Lincoln Highway but a few miles into Indiana, then turned north on Indiana Route 101.
My original destination was for the KOA in Auburn, Indiana. It’s WAY too cold and windy for that, so I decided to take 101 pasted Auburn to US Route 6. It’s about 30 miles. The winds were now cross winds. My guess is probably 40mph gusts (there was a sustained wind of 32mph). It was pretty tough keeping the rubber side down. I could get higher speeds with cross winds, but it was a bit hairier.
I took Route 6 west to Kendallville, where I decided I would stop for the night. But it was only 5pm. Why not push on? So I did.
The towns of Wawaka, Nappanee and Bremmen provided really nothing at all. I was looking for a place with WiFi and nothing doing there.
By the time I hit US 31, in the town of Lapaz, it was 7:30. I had put my rain gear on again. The temperature dropped to 48 and I was freezing. I needed to find a motel, but there didn’t seem to be anything anywhere. So I called Sarah who looked it up and after a few “where am I?!” calls, she directed me to go to US 30. Yep. The same exact road I traveled 30 miles away from to be on US 6. It was now a measly 6 miles away. So yes, I could have stayed on Lincoln Highway, enjoyed a lovely ride and ended up in the same place as I am now, Days Inn … somewhere in Indiana (Plymouth?), in much less time.
Everything was wet. It’s not that the rain gear didn’t hold up. It did really well. But I got caught by surprise and the rain did its thing.
Also, my boots are not waterproof. *Slosh slosh*
The motel room is nice. Things are drying out and soon life will be back to normal.
Tomorrow is Chicago. Should be a comparatively short ride. I definitely had a better day today (save for the end bits) than I did on my first day out. I’m weary, but ready to move along.
And tomorrow is the start of Route 66! So if you’re reading just waiting for such things, your wait is soon over.
Miles traveled today: 412 miles
Miles traveled total: 727 miles
High temp: 70
Low temp: 48 (rain rain rain rain rain!)
Things forgotten: hat at Rati and Dwija’s. Grr.
Here are the pics from today and last evening.