Day Twelve: Zenia, OH to Columbus, OH: trailside conversations

Yesterday was incredibly wet – it rained hard from the moment we mounted up till we climbed a few steps to the door of our great B and B (the John Allen House) in Xenia. We were worried that we were too wet to go inside and started wiping our gear and ourselves off on the porch. Our host Sherry was cool and let us wash and dry our wet clothes in her machines, and as I’d noticed a decanter of brown liquid on a table with glasses, asked about it and she said “that’s Maker’s Mark and it is for the guests” and I had, no lie, been pondering a scenario like that all day. It was a dream come true after a day described best by Lisa in the last post.

We started reviewing the weather forecast for today last night and it didn’t look too good – it looked even worse than the day we’d just finished – a higher chance of rain and possible storms. We decided to wait for the morning and see what it looked like. I was so happy at the B and B, I honestly just wanted to stay there and sit in a chair for another day. (We’re getting close to 800 miles in the saddle in the last 11 days and the thought of an unplanned rest day was very appealing.)

We slept really well and woke at about 6:00 AM, checked the forecast again and, wide awake, just jointly decided to take off. We got up and packed and went down through the huge house to the kitchen and had hard boiled eggs and toast. We loaded up the bikes, said goodbye to Sherry, and rode down to the trail and headed east through the foggy countryside. We both were smelling something like buttered popcorn. We checked the Queen Anne’s Lace, which was prolific but that didn’t seem to be it…

We could not figure out where the aroma was coming from – any ideas?

It was to be a short day at a little over 50 miles into Columbus and we had a hotel booked so we were feeling good as we set out. The weather wasn’t an issue – it wasn’t raining. We were on a trail all the time, which had many names: Ohio/Erie, Prairie Grass, Camp Chase, Scioto, BR 50…but it kept running east.

Today, we met lots of oncoming bike tourers and felt like we had time to stop and chat with them. We met two fellows (Ryan and Steve) who were on a multi day trip to Cincinnati and who gave us great advice for Pittsburgh and the GAPCO. We met a single guy our age who was heading just “west” and we met a couple that was heading to the Pacific Northwest. It is an interesting subculture and we all have stories and advice – it felt like we were hobos exchanging information about where the kind people lived.

We also noticed cicadas for the first time today – saw them and heard them

We rolled into Columbus as the weather became more threatening. When you ride into a big city on a bike, you tend to be routed under bridges and along the rivers. Which is great, as long as there are no trolls under the bridges. We found our hotel and they kindly let me clean and tweak the bikes in a utility room. I fixed the two tubes we’d punctured so far so we have back ups now and the bikes are reasonably clean though they need tuneups, for sure.

Our lovely room was a mess after we cleaned our bags and ourselves. It is an amazing what a mess we are at this point. We cleaned the floor with the old towels the front desk had supplied us with and the last thing we did was clean our bodies of grease and sweat and then we both shut our eyes for a few minutes.

We walked over to Hofbrauhaus (next door) and had German food – earlier than we’d normally eat, but… We are warm and safe and happy. Tomorrow we move on – east to Zanesville, Ohio, then to Wheeling, WV and then into Pittsburgh for our second day off – and we can’t wait. We got some tips from friends on the road today that will come in handy.

4 thoughts on “Day Twelve: Zenia, OH to Columbus, OH: trailside conversations

  1. “Colly-umbus,” as I used to call it (don’t ask me why).

    More than half-way along & your first cicadas – pretty good, I’d say.

    What is a “time up?” (Seems too deliberate to be a spell-check correction for “tune-up.”)


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