Sunday, 27 September 2015

Downpours and Rest Days

Location: Erie, PA, USA
It had rained heavily during the night but it had just about cleared up when we left Ben's. We blitzed it along the road to Orwell where we stopped for donuts and coffee at a little Amish shop. Sat on the bench outside guzzling down half a dozen donuts we had a nice chat with an old Amish guy on a mobility scooter. He was very impressed by our trip and thought it was great we were seeing so much of the country. Having wolfed down all the donuts we set off north along the bike trail that would take us all the way to Ashtabula on the shores of Lake Erie. Here's something you probably knew already - 3 mega sugary donuts is too many in one sitting. I got this weird jittery feeling after only a couple of miles which only abated a little when we were joined by some other cyclists and the conversation distracted me from my sugary butterflies.

The cyclists turned around at about mile 19 and we continued north to the end of the trail and onto the roads. A few miles of faffing about on back roads, some of which were gravel lead us to our sixteenth state of Pennsylvania.

We were ready for lunch but didn't find a suitable spot for many more miles when we opted for a patch of grass under an oak. Ben had given us some lovely apples and a hunk of gorgeous looking Amish cheese for our lunch and it was a particularly delicious roadside meal for us. The wind was blowing quite strongly now and every now and again we'd have to protect ourselves against a barrage of acorns.

We caught our first glimpses of the lake after lunch and it was really hard to not assume it was the sea. Lake Erie is the smallest of the Great Lakes but even so is enormous. We rode past fields of grape vines and were surrounded by the smell of Concord grapes, it was quite incredible. The sky had been looking increasingly ominous and then in a matter of moments it was bucketing it down. There was no time to put on jackets, we were wet through within minutes, but it was pretty warm and we had another Warm Showers hosts that evening so we'd be able to get everything dried out. It was the most torrential rain we've been caught out in on the trip and I really enjoyed riding in it. I found it quite exhilarating and amusing watching the waves of rain sweep across the road, feeling it cover every part of my body and hear it beat through the corn fields. By the time we made it to our hosts we'd been riding in it about an hour, it was still fairly warm and the rain had eased a little. 

Jason and Michelle were at a prior engagement when we arrived but had left us detailed instructions about where our room and bathroom were, where the laundry was and had left us food to eat. They came home earlier than expected due to the rain and we had a wonderful evening, eating fantastic lasagne and having fun with them along with Jason's Mum, Jeannie, and their friend JD. We were having a rest day the following day so after a delicious breakfast of sausage and potato pie we hung around a bit, then after Jason and Michelle left to go golfing we wandered down to the lake for a swim. The water was fairly warm, but the wind was pretty cold so we didn't last long. We warmed up back at the house in the hot tub then got ready as they were throwing a little dinner party in the evening. We had another fabulous meal and a very funny evening with the other guests.

1 comment:

  1. Great photo of you both looking across the lake! Mr P