Cowan Lake State Park, OH

Well our biking wonder~~Steve, arrived in Cowan Lake State Park about an hour ago. His travels took him from Richmond, Indiana to Cowan Lake, logging 72.7 miles. Crossing into the Eastern Time Zone today, he realized that having started a little later actually put him into camp an extra hour later by the clock. Cowan Lake is southeast of Dayton and northeast of Cincinnati. The one drawback for the night is that he is in the flight pattern for incoming jets to Cincinnati Airport. Welcome to the wilds of a more populated area, right?

When I asked what he wanted to share with others about his day, he said, “It is definitely busier. There’s a lot more traffic and more people. And it is hillier once again. Ohio seems to have even more trees than Indiana.” This evening’s sleep will serve as a stark contrast to the June night in Jeffrey City, Wyoming, which is registered as an honest-to-goodness ghost town. The only sign of life there was the grazing pronghorn antelope near his campsite the next morning! He also said that when he looked at his Ohio map this morning, he decided to head towards Lebanon as it was not printed in bold on the map, meaning it was a smaller town. Well, 17,000 population IS large!! Also comparing the maps of Wyoming to Ohio, Sweetwater Junction was listed in small print on the Wyoming map and was actually a junction in the road with a gas station and rest area. I guess it’s a matter of the masses squeezing into less space.

Steve also indicated that he’s experiencing a smidgen of physical and mental fatigue. While he has moved up his finale in Yorktown, Virginia to either Monday, August 15 or Tuesday, August 16, he hopes to take a rest day when he rolls into Parkersburg, Ohio in a few days. We just want him to remain healthy and safe. I admire all that he’s accomplished so far, having logged around 3,800 miles. He needs to keep up his stamina and concentration. Thanks for all of your prayers, good thoughts, and emails of encouragement. He said that he feels quite humbled and indebted to everyone.

~~Love, Diane

Richmond, IN

After riding 86 miles today, Steve decided to stop in Richmond, Indiana. Looking at the map, he’s only a few miles from entering Ohio. Today he missed a turn on the American Discovery Trail (ADT) and ended up riding on U.S. Route 35, which had wonderfully paved 2 foot wide shoulders. By continuing on Route 35, he cut off probably 15 miles from his route and nearly 2 hours of riding time. When he gets into Ohio, the ADT twists and turns, making it a 511 ride across the state. I would wager at this point in the game that he’s rethinking the ADT and formulating a more direct route. Once into Ohio he’ll purchase a more detailed map with county roads listed and determine his plan.

Also, you’ve likely heard the saying that “once a horse senses home, it takes off for the barn.” Steve said that he’s picking up speed and is very compelled to do the same thing. He just discovered that our family in Charlottesville is going on vacation soon too. We don’t want to miss them, so this is another reason for him to pick up his pace. For those friends and family members in Pennsylvania and Maryland, stay tuned for an update on his schedule! We’d still love to see you all…perhaps after he’s done???

This evening he’s in a Days Inn and feels good after a great day of riding. Indiana’s been very pretty, but he said that he’s ready for Ohio now! O…..HI..O

~~ Toodles, Diane

Marion, IN

After a long day of riding 94 miles, Steve called about 6:15 this evening to let us know he made his goal of Marion, Indiana tonight. He was actually placing his call from a diner down the street from the little motel where he’ll be staying. Feeling calorie-starved from his ride, he didn’t even stop to shower or change after acquiring his room, but instead headed straight to a food source. They will be happy to see him walk into their establishment with his ravenous appetite accompanying him!! The guy eats like a teenage boy again, consuming nearly everything in sight. I believe he’s lost about 18 pounds and is basically a lean machine, but still he’s disappointed that the middle aged mid-section refuses to leave.

While he’s continuing his trek eastward on the American Discovery Trail, he did venture off the route a bit today onto another county road. Despite being somewhat flat terrain similar to Northern Illinois, the roads are tree-lined instead making a tunnel effect as he rides along. He said that it was a very pretty ride today. The temperatures were in the upper 80s and the humidity level was quite bearable. All in all he’s experienced great riding conditions since leaving Batavia on Tuesday. Tomorrow he will be entering Ohio as part of his day. Indiana being narrow made the trip fairly quick across the state. It’s quite a comparison to Oregon, Wyoming, and Nebraska with their wider girths.

I slipped over to church to see the VBS skit put on by the high school kids and much to might delight I saw several of my preschoolers who are attending VBS this week. What fun to see them and see how much they’ve grown! All of these little ones move along to kindergarten in a few weeks. And, several of the high school youth will be off to college in less than a month, so they too move along. It was great to reconnect with all of them.

Steph and I had an enjoyable bike ride this evening. We had Steph’s friend, Monte, over for dinner and relaxed over our meal on the deck without nagging mosquitoes (one benefit of the drought here). The windows are open and a cool breeze is wafting through the house. Whew…it’s a real contrast to last weekend. — Ya’ all have a nice weekend! Love, Diane