Leaving Wooster, under partly cloudy skies, we encountered some more rollers, but not as long or steep as yesterday. We spent most of the day in what I would call rural residential neighborhoods - lots of nice homes and fewer small farms than before. There were several very large dairy farms, but most farms were quite small compared to the ones we were riding by further west. Our route sheets had us turning and twisting down narrow country roads, over hill and dale. It was a pleasant day to be on a bicycle despite a pesky east wind. We have ridden through Missouri, Indiana, Illinois, and now Ohio without once having a west wind! The wind ALWAYS blows out of the west in these states, but not for us! What are the odds? Is a favoring wind, once in a while, too much to ask for?
Ok, what is it with the huge lawns? Every house has at least an acre of newly mowed lawn in front. Do these people have a fetish for riding mowers? Some of these lawns look like golf courses. Sorry, honey, I'm going out to mow the lawn - see you next Tuesday. They do look nice and nearly all the homes we have passed have been neatly kept and clean. Oh, one more observation, we haven't see any graffiti since leaving Los Angeles and there is very little litter along the roadsides in the heartland - very nice.
Niles, Ohio, is a former industrial center, iron, steel, and glass manufacturing. Many of these industries are now shuttered, but I did find the Niles Ironworks with a huge statue of a welder in the parking lot.
The cemetery in Niles had American flags marking the graves of her sons/daughters who had served in the military. It was a very moving sight to see the flags flying as I came into town.
At the second SAG stop, Rick pointed out this little spider who was centered in the Cannondale logo on my bicycle. Of course, I had to take a picture. I don't know when it got off, but it must have been somewhere south of Niles because it wasn't there when I got off the bike at the hotel.
As I walked into the hotel, Mary Lou S. introduced herself. In 1996, she and her daughter rode from LA to Boston. It turns out she knows Walter! It's a small world. Rain is forecast for tomorrow's ride into Erie…stay tuned.