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Journey to the East: 23 July 2012

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

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State number twelve

HOW POETRY COMES TO ME
 
It comes blundering over the
Boulders at night, it stays
Frightened outside the
Range of my campfire
I go to meet it at the
Edge of the light
 
-Gary Snyder

A change in the air
This morning dawned overcast and later began to drizzle – reminded me a bit of the Pacific Northwest especially with the endless grey lake stretching out like the ocean. It did clear up though and the day once again reached the low 90s – too hot. But there was a feel of a thunderstorm brewing and with strong northward blowing winds I was propelled right along. The route once again was along the lake but would duck inland at various times, usually to get around something on the lake edge – a nuclear power plant for instance. After not seeing any other tourons since Illinois I talked to two eastbound riders today (and yesterday I saw a ‘bent rider I’m pretty sure was touring). The first, J__ was an older gent pulling a BOB and he greeted me by asking “I’m old enough to know better, what’s your excuse?” No excuse needed,I replied, just touring to tour. He was going cross country in stages and was focusing on seeing, as he put it, “America’s industry before it returns to nature”. So he’s off to Detroit of course and ending this section in Chicago. The second touron I met was a solo girl whose name I didn’t get. She was riding Boston to Seattle to do graduate work at the UW. I ran into her just past the small port town of Ashtabula which had an excellent coffeehouse and roaster: the Harbor Perk. Not long after this I rode through the decrepit town of Conneaut and the route turned inland and I was in Pennsylvania. The route angled back to the lake but spent many miles going though farmland in the now beating sun. Finally back on the lake in increasingly more urban areas I turned off route toward Presque Isle which is a big state park and this week happens to be Presque Isle Week meaning its packed. I stayed at Sara’s Campground a private ‘ground fit on the edge of the state park. It was jam packed and they had the tenters check by jowl.

traveling day after day –
forgetting what I used to do

Journey to the East: 22 July 2012

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

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Lake Erie

IS
 
Here’s a dragonfly
               (T OTA L LY)
Where it was,
          that place no longer exists.
 
-Philip Whalen

This summer I hear the drumming
This was the third long day in a row, driven primarily by the spacing of the campgrounds. Today was much improved though, with the addition of a decent tailwind most of the day. The route gave up all pretense of staying rural as it reached Lake Erie and went through increasingly larger towns. Plenty of traffic too. I really enjoyed this section of the ride though with its views of the lake though the trees; kind of like riding along on the ocean back home. It all culminated in the city of Cleveland which is of course a good sized city. The route was quite through the city, first going through neighborhoods, then a nice park with trail and finally over a bridge into the downtown core. From there it dropped fit to the waterfront by the Indians Stadium and then the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame. Staying on the waterfront most of the rest of this now hot day the towns began to decrease in size. Finally I made it to the quite small (but still part of a larger region) town of Perry where I left the route and rode to its park right on the Great Lake. Here they have a little campground that once again seems to be mostly seasonal RV-ers. However they are fully up on bicycle tourists and allow them them to stay for free. Nearby to me was a group celebrating a birthday and after plying me with questions w/r/t the tour gave me cake and ice cream. Nice and definitely needed on a day, the first ever on tour, that I rode more than a 100 miles.

grey drizzly morning
and just like that,
pining for autumn