From Fremont, I pedalled to Huron and took advantage of Warm Showers and stayed with my first host! They weren’t home but were kind enough to let me stay anyway! They became familiar with “Trail Angels” on the Appalachian Trail when their son through-hiked it and had numerous encounters with these life savers. They decided to be Trail Angels of their own and host cyclists! They have a beautiful house on Lake Erie and a shed set up entirely for visiting campers!
I enjoyed an evening watching the sunset over the lake and hanging out with their kitty cat, watching Babe.
In the morning, their daughter came over to let the cleaning lady in and I was able to shower and make coffee. I decided that my body needed a rest and I wasn’t going to get a better place, so I stayed another night! It felt great to relax, stretch, sleep, and read all day. In the evening I went to a pub about a quarter mile away and met some fantastic locals. Many of the people I met reminded me of people from back home. Nice country folk who enjoy conversation and a good time. They all know each other. Most people are fascinated by the fact that I’m biking so far by myself, even though I’m only alone for one more week. One older gentlemen, Hubie, bought my drinks all night and made me promise to text him every night to let him know I’m okay. People have been so friendly toward me so far. I’ve been thinking today about the people who have stopped to talk with me. 90% of them are men and I’m curious about how it might change when Alvin is biking with me. Only older women have came over to talk with me and younger women most of the time don’t even look at me and smile. It has made me think about my interactions with strangers and who I choose to approach and speak with and why. I guess I’ve had a lot of time to think…
Today, I was nervous about biking through Cleveland. I’m not much of a city person and the locals in Huron weren’t much comfort. The 40 miles to Cleveland flew by and I was amazed by all of the fancy mansions with perfectly manicured lawns, gated properties, and various helpers working hard to keep up. So much house and yet no one is interested in opening their space to others and hosting strangers. No hosts in that 40 miles of lakeside mansions. I stopped at the last town before getting into Cleveland to pick up some fresh foods and a local biker treated me to a delicious hand squeezed drink made that day from only fruit! Ate in the park and continued on a bike trail that led me to a beautiful spot overlooking the city.
Biking through the city wasn’t as difficult and scary as I thought it would be. Actually, the 15 miles leaving the city center was worse! I’m so thankful for the maps from Adventure Cycling. I wouldn’t have made it through the city safely without them. I met a man leaving the city that ended up biking with me for about 10 miles. He has gone on a number of different tours hosted by Adventure Cycling and is leaving for one next week! If you need gear, maps, or want to tour with a group or supported you must check them out!