Before I start writing about Day 2, I want to say how grateful I was to have Dave and Caily with me on Night 1. They prepped and brought foil packs for our dinner. They took the lead on getting the fire going during an interlude in the rain (no easy task). And they handled the cooking. My head was in a million different places at the time: trying to schedule the next day’s drive around more potential rain, removing some saddlebag supports that my dad had fabricated for the bike that were inadvertently cutting into the straps on the saddlebags and causing them to fray, worrying that the bags might not work without the supports (they were fine), worrying about my ability to handle the heat and humidity — I was super tired and swimming in my own sweat (should I have brought more clothes?). I honestly wonder if I wouldn’t have turned around and gone home if it wasn’t for the company and help of Dave and Caily that first night. Many thanks to them.
So, Day 2. Morning. I took a shower (the campground had surprisingly nice showers) and felt majorly refreshed. I made a note to take a shower as soon as possible after finishing my riding days going forward. I definitely should have done this the day before.
The original plan for the morning was to find a quaint little diner and get breakfast, but with afternoon showers on the horizon, I didn’t think I had time. So, I made tea in my jetboil and had the breakfast of champions: larabar, beef jerky, fruit leather.
Then, Dave, Caily, and I set off for Brandywine Falls in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park (my first national park of the trip):
Which was quite nice. After taking in the falls, I parted with my friends and headed west.
Ohio is a lot of this:
Four lanes, flat, and farms. But then stoplights and little towns every so often. I stopped in one of the towns, Monroeville, for lunch:
The burger I had at Twist & Shout was shockingly good. Like, probably the best burger I’ve ever had at a place like this. If you’re ever in Monroeville, Ohio, I highly recommend.
Ohio gave me the opportunity to test the little Suzuki on some faster roads than I was used to. It performed well, which gave me the confidence to abandon my no interstates plan for the trip and briefly use I-475 to get around Toledo faster. That was a success. And so I hurried on to Ann Arbor, hoping to beat the rain, but… I got caught in horrible traffic instead (maybe an early rush hour because the 4th of July was the next day?). Regardless, the rain never came, and I made it to my friend Zac’s place totally dry:
I took a shower right away. I hung camping stuff up in the garage to dry out. I did laundry. It was great to be staying in a house. Many thanks to Zac and Suzy.
We all went out for dinner that night at Homes Brewery, which also has Korean food. I had good beer and bibimbap. Then I got a tour of Ann Arbor. Saw The Big House. Later, Zac and I stayed up late reminiscing and chatting about the future, fatherhood. It was good to see him.