July 13, Day 43
Youngstown to Erie, PA
Weather: Very wet in the AM, beautiful afternoon.
Last night we stayed in Niles, OH rather than Youngstown. As the sign indicates, Niles is the home of President McKinley.
We know you have been praying to the weather gods and for more than 99.9 percent of the last 42 days, you have been successful, at least with respect to the rain gods. From time to time you have fallen short with respect to the wind gods. As some pointof course, the rain gods had to assert their authority and this morning they did so with a vengeance. This was going to be our 4th very long day. As we rolled out of the motel there was kind of a mist and the humidity must have been 150 percent. By the time we hit the 6 mile mark the skies opened. We put on our rain shirts but they really didn't help much.
We rode with Rick and Jay in a nice pace line through the heaviest rain. Riding in a pace line in the rain can be a little dicey. If you are right on the wheel of the rider in front the rooster tail off his rear wheel effectively blinds you so you need to ride a foot or so to the left or right. And, you need to be very, very vigilant. We arrived at the first SAG at the 33 mile mark unable to have taken any pictures because of the rain. The SAG was at a little cafe so many of us went in and ordered coffee for warmth.
We waited a respectable amount of time but the rain did not let up so off we went again. Within about 4 miles of the first SAG the skies really opened and we took shelter on the porch of a very pleasant gentlemen by the name of Mr. Dillon. He and his lovely white cat entertained us for about 10 minutes when the downpour lessened slightly and off we went. By about the 45 mile mark, the rain had stopped and slowly but surely the sky lightened.
As the rain let up we were able to see the changes in the landscape from prior days. We saw our first vineyards, and we don't think we saw any corn or soy. The road was relatively flat and the landscape was very green. We saw our first covered bridge. We are told there are many in this area.
We pulled into the second SAG at about 69 miles to lovely sunshine and warming temperatures. This SAG stop was at a root beer stand that had the best shredded turkey sandwiches. The sandwich, along with a root beer, made everything seem right.
A mile or two down the road we crossed into PA, our 10th state. By now we had wonderful tail winds which pushed us along at around 20 mph as we “flew” toward Erie. The road was flat and we saw more vineyards.
We arrived in Erie dirty from the morning ride and ready for a shower. We walked down to Lake Erie and felt somewhat strange. For 43 days we have been along way from home, or at least it felt like a long way from home. As we gazed at the Lake, we felt for the first time close to home and that this adventure was slowly but surely coming to an end. It felt strange.
Tomorrow is a rest day. As always, it will include laundry, bike cleaning an a nap or two.
Thanks for reading. We really do welcome your comments. Keep the good vibes coming.
Amy and John